Ancient Origins of the Jatars

After doing genetic testing it has been revealed that Jatars and their descendants can trace back their roots to a European. This original ancestor was white and this is so for all the descendants belonging to the R-M198 haplogroup. This haplogroup originated in Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Eastern and Northern Europe. The parent haplogroup is R-M198 and the age of this haplogroup is 10,000 years.

(More technical information: The more precise predicted Haplogroup is R-M512. Haplogroup R originated in Central Asia. Most descendants belong to one of two major lineages. They are present at low frequencies across Central Asia, South Asia, and Europe.)

3000 years ago our ancestors were from the Kurgan culture. These people are believed to be the first speakers of the Indo-European language group. Descendants of these people (example, the Jatars) are found in Slavic populations (native to Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, Northeastern Europe, North Asia and Central Asia) in Europe, India, and Central and Western Asia.

This is the migratory map of the haplogroups taken from familytreedna.com (Please go to this link if you want to test your DNA):

The Jatars are an offshoot of the R1a haplogroup which is basically East European or Central Asian in origin.

Sure, if we go back far enough we are all from Africa, but the Jatars are the offspring of those who went northwards, settled in Central Asia or Eastern Europe or thereabouts and then travelled down into India a few thousand years ago.

The presence of this particular haplogroup (R1a)  is found more commonly in the YDNA (passed on through the male line) of Indians, and therefore it is believed that these people did not enter India as a migratory group but were invaders. They have a mention in the Rig Veda which was written thousands of years ago and are called “Aryans” if you believe that theory. There is no evidence of these people being in India beyond the last few thousand years and possibly have been present in India only for about 1000 years.

If we go beyond that, it is clear is that they lived on the Indo-Gangetic plains about 15,000 years ago, and were Indo-Scynthians. A significant number of people from the western side of the Indian sub-continent, ie Sindhis, Gujaratis and Punjabis also share this haplogroup (R1a). This haplogroup is more common amongst the Brahmins of India, even found to some extent amongst South Indian Brahmins, but it is not found in Deshastha Brahmins who were here long before them.

Pramila Desai’s family

Pramila Desai is the great-grand-daughter of Shriram Jatar and granddaughter of Balasaheb Jatar, the son of Shriram Jatar who passed away early, from T.B., leaving behind his daughter Kumud Borgankar (nee Jatar) and widow Ramabai Jatar. Pramila is one of Kumud’s four daughters and presently lives in the USA.

The following write-up and photos have been contributed by Ranjan Desai, Pramila Desai’s son.

Pramila Desai nee Borgaonkar is the oldest daughter of Shankar Rao Borgaonkar and Kumudini Borgaonkar (nee Jatar) and the grand-daughter of Bala Saheb Jatar and Ramabai Jatar nee Khandekar (also called fondly as Dudhai).

Pramila married Kishen Rao Desai and has four children – Revathi, Swaroopa (Rupa), Sunita (Ruma), Ranjan, and 7 grandchildren (Arjun, Achyut, Deepali, Amrita, Nisha, Rina and Aditi) and 4 great-grandchildren (Shaila, Naveen, Anishka and Anvitha). Her 90th birthday was recently celebrated in California, USA.

Children
Pramila Desai’s four children. From Left to Right: Revathi, Sunita (Ruma), Pramila (Sitting), Ranjan and Swarupa (Rupa)

 

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From L to R Sitting: Deepali Abhayankar, Asha Ghate, Pramila Desai, Aditi Desai, Rina Dhawlikar

 

Pramila Desai’s other siblings are her brother Digamber (Bal) Borgaonkar and sisters Achala Rao (Deceased), Saral Dudhbhate (Deceased) and Asha Ghate.

The erstwhile Hyderabad was ruled by the Nizam which was an independent state. Nizam ruled Hyderabad and served as the client king even under British rule. Her father Shankar Rao after completing his studies as Barrister-At-Law in London choose to return back to India and settle down in Hyderabad.

Pramila was brought up in Hyderabad at the Borgaonkar ancestral home. She was encouraged by her parents to study and served as a role model to all her siblings. She graduated with honours and finished her Bachelors in Arts (B.A.) from the famous Nizam College (which still exists in Hyderabad). In the olden days in Hyderabad when very few girls used to study, all her siblings also graduated in different fields of study.

Pramila often spent time with her Jatar cousins in her childhood days and has very fond memories.

She used to ride her bicycle to go around when she was very young in the erstwhile Hyderabad where very few girls ventured out alone. She grew up to be a bold, strong and independent woman. She was very active in sports, learned swimming in the swimming pond at home and played tennis. She even represented the district level tennis tournament from Sangareddy district. She was interested in acting and took part in a stage show.

Both Pramila who stayed at home to take care of her children, and her husband Kishen Rao Desai, worked hard to make sure that their four children got a good education. They both valued the importance of education and hard work to do well in life and that proved correct for their children. Unfortunately, Kishen Rao Desai passed away while he was in the mid-’50s due to a brief illness caused by Hepatitis B virus which was not diagnosed properly in time to cure it. Moreover, the vaccine for that Hepatitis B virus came a couple of years later. Undaunted, Pramila continued to encourage her younger children to complete and finish their graduation.

After moving to the USA, the India Community Center (ICC) in the Bay Area, California has become “a home away from home” for her. With a handful of enthusiastic volunteers, the ICC was started around the 1990s. Since the last 2-3 decades, Pramila has actively participated and conducted many programs at ICC. She helped start many programs at ICC which still continue to date. One such program was called “Chajju Ka Chaubara” at ICC and she managed that program for a couple of years where all the seniors would talk about their experiences, tell stories or read the poems. She actively participated in a program called FOSWL (Friends Of Same Wave Length) which now has chapters all over the world. Look out for a chapter in your city !! They invite a well-known good speaker to talk on a topic which is attended by many enthusiastic audiences. She helped many members in learning to stitch sweaters and comforters in the arts and crafts program @ ICC.

Pramila’s 90th birthday was celebrated in the United States in 2018. The photo below is of the celebration at home.

group photo
Standing row: Rama Kulkarni (great-granddaughter of Bhausaheb) Rupa Abhayankar, Ranjan Desai, Revathi, Aditi (Ranjan’s daughter), Ruma, Tina (Uday’s daughter), Gautam (Deepali’s husband), Saraswati (Revathi’s schoolmate), Sripad (Ruma’s husband), Deepali, Tirumala (Saraswati’s daughter).
Sitting row: David (HabibKhans student), Habib Khan, Pramila Desai and Asha Ghate (moushi)

Another celebration took place at the ICC.

360DegViewOfICC
360DegViewOfICC.( 90th Birthday Celebration at ICC

 

Presently Pramila actively attends ICC twice a week while keeping herself busy the rest of the days by reading books, doing exercises – yoga, walking and watching TV.

Additional input contributed by Pramila’s daughter, Sunita (Ruma):

What a grand age to achieve! That itself is an achievement in itself. We are hoping to celebrate it every year from now on and reach a century. She has always been very sophisticated and distinguished.
The celebration began with Puja in the house. Mummy recites and does many aartis.
The next was a celebration in her center where she goes 2-3 times a week over the last 20 years. Special music program and lunch was arranged. Many of her friends felicitated her with shawls and gifts.
She and her friends felt very, very young when the evergreen song of “zohrajabeen” was sung. She thanked everyone and joined in singing her favorite song. It was very well arranged by center and Ranjan.
Over the weekend the celebration continued in the clubhouse for friends and family. Overall our mother was very happy, elated and in good spirits and is calling up everyone to thank everyone individually

Related Reading: Visit to Borgao85th and 90th Birthday Party of 5 cousins,

 

Anuradha Jatar and the Sulabha Trust

Anuradha, known as Sonu in the Jatar family, is the wife of Jairaj Jatar, who is the son of Bhalachandra Jatar (known as Chandu).  B.S. Jatar (Chandu) is the son of Baburao, the grandson of Bapurao and the great-grandson of Shriram Jatar.  He lives with his son Jairaj and his family in Mumbai. Jairaj and Anuradha (Sonu) have two daughters, Ketaki and Shivani.

The following post and pictures are contributed by Anuradha Jatar

Us 4 at Mt Batur (2)
From Left to Right: Jairaj, Ketaki, Sonu and Shivani at Mt. Batur

 

About Anuradha (Sonu) Jairaj Jatar (nee Anuradha Purushottam Moghe)

I was already working in the special school for intellectually disabled when I met Jairaj. A chance meeting at a common friends’ marriage reception turned in to a long-term association and relationship. I had vaguely heard of Jairaj as my cousin (Gita Ghate) was his classmate at Elphinstone College. They used to meet occasionally.

My association with the Jatar family was even older than that. The late Bal Jatar’s mother, Radha Vahini, was from the Pandit family of Wai. And so was my maternal grandmother, Mrs Sushila Bhatavadekar (nee Pandit). The Matunga Bhatavadekars would frequently meet with the Parsi colony/Tata Power Jatars on a personal and social basis!

It is hardly a surprise then that Bal Kaka and Anjali Vahini were roped in to “arrange” our wedding in 1991. It was a natural choice.

Srinivas Jatar was in my college (SIES, Sion ) where he pursued Biochemistry and I pursued Biology.

There was already an Anuradha in the Jatar family (Vaishali, Mrudula and Nandita’s mother) and so I was fondly called by my nickname “Sonu” by all in the Jatar family. Unfortunately, the older Anuradha Jatar died a few years after my marriage.

If I am not mistaken, many of the Jatar children (and related families) were born at the Family Nursing Home that was started in 1946 by my maternal grandfather Dr Dattaraye Bhatavadekar, at Matunga.

As of today, I have been the Headmistress for the school of the intellectually disabled for the last 30 years. The school was founded in the form of a Trust by various of my family members one of which, Dr Sulabha Bhatavadekar, was my maternal aunt. Incidentally, another founder, Dr Sreelekha Kulkarni (of Kamayani fame) is also related to the Jatar family so this is another link I have with the family.

sonu in school
Anuradha is on the extreme right

 

The Sulabha Trust

The school was started by family members and Dr. Sulabha Bhatavadekar (my maternal aunt) was one of the founders. Another founder is Dr Sreelekha Kulkarni (of Kamayani fame).

The Sulabha Trust, located in Chembur, is registered with Charity Commissioner, Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act (FCRA), Income Tax Act, Niti Aayog, Commissioner of Disabilities, Maharashtra State.

The school was established 40 years ago. The Sulabha Trust has the following sections:

  • A Special School for students between 5 to 18 years. At present we have 100 in the school.
  • A Vocational Training Centre for 18 to 30 years of age. We have 32 young adults working on different trades such as weaving, making files, incense sticks and imitation jewellery etc. The products are sold to the general public. Some members of the Mumbai  Jatar bhishi still buy the floor swabs and kitchen napkins.
  • A Guidance and Counselling centre.
  • An Early Intervention Clinic in which students below the age of 6 years with delayed physical and mental milestones are identified and referred for Occupational Therapy.
  • A speech therapy centre

The facilities the school provides are for a person from childhood to adulthood. The teachers are well-trained. Free education is given to all students. The trust finds sponsors to sponsor them. The students of the school regularly practise and participate in Special Olympics, Bharat, Maharashtra – individual and team games.

Recently, in the World Games for Special Olympics held at Abu Dhabi, UAE, in March 2019, two of our girl students participated in badminton and swimming. One student won two gold medals – in Badminton Singles and Doubles. The other student, who participated in swimming, came in 8th place in the final race. The credit goes to the participants themselves and their trainers, parents and class teachers who worked together and prepared the special needs children for this achievement. It is a matter of pride for the school that they reached this level of achievement.

sonu olympic
You might be surprised to know how conscientious and competitive these students with special needs and different abilities can be! They do not function age-appropriately, yet they are eager learners. It is a challenging job for teachers and they are elated with students’ achievements, even if it is a small skill that they master!

We focus on independent living skills, gross and fine motor development and perceptual areas. Yoga, Social skills, Functional Academics, Computers, Art, Craft, Stitching, Prevocational Training, Office Skills, Music, Dance are all taught in the school.

We try and place them wherever possible in open employment and some are suggested home-based activities (depending on individual cases). The Trust supports them for this.

Please visit the Sulabha Special School when in Mumbai. 
For more details, you can visit our website: www.sulabhaspecialschool.org

PMPL Driver Conductor Training by the Jatar Trust

The Vimalabai Jatar Charitable Trust has been funding the training of drivers and conductors for the past many years. The training happened this year too. The training takes place in several batches, of 24 drivers and 24 conductors in each batch (total 48) at IDTR, Pune (Institute of Driver Training and Research).

When the drivers and conductors work in pairs it improves communication. The training takes place over a period of two days.

PMPL2PMPL

Medha Jere conducted the role-play sessions. The drivers and conductors are put into difficult situations that they commonly face during their journey. For example, if a person with heavy luggage enters the bus and blocks the passage of other passengers.  Or when there is a conflict between passengers about seat-sharing. Or how to behave if a passenger complains of a missing wallet.

Here are a few videos from those sessions.

 

 

 

Samirran Jatar’s heroic win against a Russel’s Viper

Samirran was sitting on a rock at his friend’s farmhouse, talking on the phone when a Russell’s Viper bit him. The viper came from behind and put the fangs in deep into the right hand.

This snake is also one of the genera responsible for causing the most snakebite incidents and deaths among all venomous snakes on account of many factors, such as their wide distribution, generally aggressive demeanor, and frequent occurrence in highly populated areas

samirran(Samirran is the son of Dinkar (Kumar) Jatar. Kumar was the grand-son of Kashinath Shriram Jatar (Bapurao), who was the eldest son of Shriram Jatar,  (link to the family tree of Shriram.) Samirran has a brother, Udaiyan .)

Samirran then held the snake’s head with his left hand and tore the snake’s fangs out. While doing so, the fangs grazed his left thumb – and poison entered there too. This snake is usually 3-4 feet in length and has a stout body, so not easy to hold it.

He then held on to the snake because he says he knew that hospitals prefer to know which snake has bitten the patient.

What presence of mind and bravery!

His friend then drove him to the nearest hospital – with Samirran HOLDING ON TO THE LIVING SNAKE.

That hospital said they didn’t have anti-venom. Imagine what it must have been like to walk into a hospital reception with a living snake! Continue reading “Samirran Jatar’s heroic win against a Russel’s Viper”

The Hawa Mahal Murders – a contest winner!

N.J. Kulkarni’s The Hawa Mahal Murders is a contest winner and was launched at the Pune International Literary Festival on the 20th of September 2019 by Javed Akhtar.

JA

It’s a book with nail-biting suspense and here is a review from an unknown person:

This book is everything you would want in a detective murder mystery: suspense and well-rounded characters who you are invested in from the first page itself. Mumbai serves as a perfect backdrop to the story. Finished it in one sitting as I couldn’t put it down. A terrific, entertaining read.

Screenshot 2019-09-24 at 8.49.31 PM copy

The book did brisk business at PILF19, where it was launched. Here is the Amazon link to buy, and here is the Flipcart link. Right now, only the hard copy is available and only practical for those living in India to buy it. But the soft copy (ebook) will be available soon.

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It has a good sales rank on Amazon as well, in the Crime/Thriller category, despite no preorders or advance reviews.

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The story in the Hawa Mahal Murders can satisfy your appetite for suspense, mystery, Bollywood, blackmail, love…and seduction. It’s entertainment. A fun read, a thrilling whodunnit but without any gore or horror. It’s not a standard thriller or a detective novel. It’s not about some kind of puzzle that needs to be solved. You can call it a kind of psychological thriller.

But that’s not the only reason why the Hawa Mahal Murders is worth a buy.  Sure, there is adventure, mystery, and it keeps you turning the pages, but the Hawa Mahal Murders is actually about the important things in our lives, it’s about our values. It’s about friendship and to what extent we can go to, to help our best friends and how much we can sacrifice for those whom we love. It’s about being betrayed in love and then it’s about second chances.

It’s also about risking everything, one’s career, one’s life because of wanting to do the right thing. We all have it in us, this spot of heroism. It just requires the right circumstances to bring it out.

Once you start reading the Hawa Mahal Murders, you will find yourself getting sucked into their world, Smita’s world, Jai’s world, and you will find yourself rooting for them. You want them to succeed because they are fighting not just to survive, they are fighting for all that matters in this life. Integrity. Loyalty. Love.

You will be able to relate to these characters, maybe even love them, and I hope that they can also inspire you in some way.

Contributed by the author, N.J. Kulkarni. She is the daughter of Sudhir and Sarala Jatar and the grand-daughter of Bhausaheb, the son of Shriram Jatar. Nita also runs this family website.

Nitten Kirtane the tennis star!

IMG_2049Nitten Kirtane’s contribution to tennis has been exemplary over 4 decades whereby he has achieved at every level be it Junior Wimbledon runner up with Mahesh Bhupathi, Asian games bronze medallist, SAF Games medallist both in Chennai and Dhaka, Men’s no 1 in India, Davis cupper for 6 years, 4 time Men’s National Champion, 12 time Men’s Doubles Champion, 2 time ITF Men’s Singles Champion, 13 time ITF Men’s Doubles Champion and over 100 AITA titles.

Recently with his historic Silver Medal Win at the seniors World Championship held at Miami in 2018, he is ranked No. 1 in the Seniors in India today.

He recently was the coach of the Indian Railways team which won the Gold at the World Championship in Bulgaria. He is also a committee member of the MSLTA seniors team for promotion of tennis.

Lastly, I would like to highlight that he has 9 international medals and 16 national medals in his four-decade-long tennis career.

By Nitin’s wife, Rheeya

Nitten is the son of Mohini Kirtane. Her sister Mohini and brother Vijay are the children of Nalini (Nanutai) and MK Joshi. Nanutai was a Jatar girl, the daughter and only surviving child of Radha (nee Vatsala Mainkar) and Vasudev (Appasaheb) Jatar. Appasaheb was the son of Kashinath Jatar (Bapurao), who was the eldest child of Shriram Bhikaji Jatar. This family tree will explain it further.

Vineeta Chitale nee Nirmala Inamdar

vinita chitaleThe above photograph of Vineeta Chitale (1936-2017) was taken on her 80th birthday.  Vineeta Chitale was popularly known as Neelatai in family circles. Before marriage, Vineeta Chitale’s name was Nirmala Inamdar. She was the daughter of Purushottam (Pandit) Inamdar and Kusum Bhat. You can check out the Inamdar Family Tree.

Pandit Inamdar, her father, was the son of Godavari (Godutai) Inamdar nee Jatar. Godutai was popularly known as Mai in the family. She was the wife of Laxmanrao Inamdar and the daughter of Shriram Jatar. Godutai, Vineeta Chitale’s grandmother, was the sister of Kashinath Jatar (Bapurao), Janki Bhupatkar (Autai), Ranganath (Balasaheb), Nilkanth (Bhausaheb, Ambutai Bhatawadekar (she died early without children) and Vishnu (Abasaheb). You can check out the Jatar Family Tree.

Vineeta married Shyam Chitale and has two sons, Aditya and Devdutta Chitale. Aditya is a lawyer and he and his wife Madhumati (nee Patel) live in Mumbai and have one son, Riddhiman. Devdutta works for Tata Uganda and he and his wife Nilakshi (nee Patankar) have a daughter Tanvi and a son Nikhil.

Vineeta Chitale was one of the achievers in our family.  She was far ahead of her time. She worked as a medical social worker at the MGM Hospital, Parel. Later, she joined T.I.S.S. as a member of faculty, in the Deptt. of Medical and Psychiatric Social Work. After retirement, she worked in the Center for AIDS Research, Action and Training, T.I.S.S. (Tata Institue of Social Sciences). After that, she worked as an independent consultant and then Chair Professor on the Mahalakshmi Temple Trust. She has written research books for T.I.S.S. as well as academic papers.

The short write-up below was given by her daughter-in-law, Madhumati Chitale.

My Aiee..my mom in law. I miss her dearly..one of the strongest women I knew..and had the honour of knowing..steeped in culture..and fiercely independent..loved her family to a fault..her brothers adored her and grandchildren were delighted to be in her company..she in fact was a great conversationalist and had people of all ages engaged in a banter most times..loved to travel ..ready to spontaneously do things..a pioneer at work and much appreciated for her council. She all on all was a true modern woman.

The write-up below has been provided by her son, Devdatta Chitale:

Aai was very sincere in her work with a single minded doggedness towards any responsibility, work or project she took over.

She loved travelling so much that even at an age of 74 she quietly moved around in Kampala (without our knowledge) on two wheeler taxis, which I think was very daring and dangerous.

She touched hearts and minds of several persons during her long and illustrious career in Medical Social Work.

Actually she never retired as even at 79 she was still visiting Tata Institute (TISS) twice weekly, doing project work.

By the way she started in 1961 and was working till 2016.

To my wife she was more of a friend and a go to person rather than the ubiquitous Sasu maa

The grand-children just loved her as she was their Best Lawyer

She had a capacity to get the right gifts for each person according to his/her tastes and fancies.

She loved her family immensely and was very proud of her Inamdar and Bhat heritage.

I know she related well even with her second and third cousins and was in regular touch with many ( mamay-aatey baheen)

Within her community she was very respected and looked up as a “viduri” which she was.

Her greatest asset was she Listened to all her patients from alcoholics, trans-genders, drug abuse victims, AIDS patients and many such people having difficulties in their lives.

So many lives were transformed by her advice and support.

She was very much loved by all her family members and her relatives (especially her brothers she was their Tai)

Though she had a very tough career and life in general she was very happy and content in her last years.

Vinita Chitale (born on 19th April 1936) passed away on the 9th of January, 2017, in Kampala, Africa, of complications from a hip fracture.