The khatairn shop…..
Little did I knew I was growing amongst the refugees family as neighbors who fled Sindh (Pakistan) searching new life in free India. Heard stories of pain losing everything to partition and determination to rebuild their lives. All my friends were (still are) sindhis including neighbors. Growing up with sindhis all around , really brought in awesome Sindhi food. One such important part of Sindhi food is khatairn or pickles. Walking the busy streets of thane east station road , which was known as thane camp, you will find some amazing old shops run by sindhis for 2-3 generations.
One such khatairn shop that belongs to HARIRAM JOWAHARMAL PICKLE & MASALA MART. Hariram Jowaharmal family were in cotton business in Pakistan. Uprooted during partition the family arrived at Akbar camp in Thane kolshet. Looking to start life all over again , Late Hariram had his share of initial struggle and later could buy small shop and a house for Rs.1500 in 1955 and started making khatairn.
Dada , as sindhis fondly refer elders, is always happy to see me whenever I popup for to buy my stock of pickles and papads. “ Dada , nayo Cha tass ?” Sab nayo aayein , tu khaayein kari ta dhiss .“ is the usual conversation we have. He will simply want me to taste the pickles, which the family has been making for generations that has never changed its quality till date. The best part is they have two types of masalas, fine milled and the koota hua ( crushed in mortal pestle ) . The stuffed red chilli pickle that i make has the aamchur from this shop , since im sure of the quality. The kokum flowers are generally hard to find , is easily available at dada’s khatairn shop.
Im not yet done singing about my city , there is more search and more to write. Infact im rediscovering thane and myself as i again walk the gullies and streets looking for the peeping history !