Mehboob Madhavjee Jessani
|Mehboob Madhavjee Jessani|
|All Nicknames||Raju Jinny|
|Place of birth||Jamnagar|
|Country of birth||India|
|Date of Birth|| 1964/03/25
|Place of longest stay||Jamnagar|
|Profession or occupation carried out for the longest period in life:||Self-employed - Photographer etc.|
|Family tree||click here|
|Full name||Madhavjee Jessani|
Mehboob Madhavjee Jessani is a well-known videographer in Jamnagar, professionally recognised as Raju Jinny, a singer and a music impresario, who has even managed to take a group to Kinshasa, Zaire and who now creates his own shairi poetry.
From his outward appearance of a street savvy movie star “hero” (he wears fashionable shades and rides a two-wheeler swiftly through the crazy Jamnagar traffic), you would never guess that Raju is functionally illiterate, having spent only 2 days of his life in a formal school. How he got to where he is, is a story of his personal fight to continually improve his life and worthy of the great Khoja entrepreneurial spirit.
Raju’s father, Madhavjee Jessani, was a small peasant farmer growing juwar,bajar and groundnuts, which were sold locally in Dodhia, one of villages of Navgham area in Jamnagar State, where many Khojas had settled centuries earlier after their arrival from Kutch. Life was hard and there were few opportunities for progress.
In 1953, a rich Jamnagar merchant and a prominent member of the Jamnagar City Khoja Ismaili jamaat, Waras Chagganbhai Badlawara gave him a one room chuna-thatched roof house at the Pi Ji Vaari, the Khoja Kabarastan cemetery and Dharamsala guest house, in exchange for his labour in maintaining the property.
The family grew vegetables and animal feed in the vaari and as far as he can remember (about 5 years old), Raju sold vegetables on front of the daramsala, next to the cemetery. When he was a little older, he would sell “sing daria” from a rekri cart. Later, he sold little trinkets called ”Balbus” with the local “Vagri” nomad population. At age 15, he was old enough to assist his father by milking and taking the bullock “bhenss” to feed in the countryside.
He also worked in a brass factory for 3 rupees at day. Later, he started a home business, making electrical items and would make as much as 36 rupees a day. When he got older, he started selling ready-made clothes and then took a course in ladies dressmaking, by paying 1200 rupees which was a very large sum for him. Since he could not read or write, he used pictures to learn to sew. In 1990, his sister bought a store on a major road and Mehboob became famous for making dresses for local dignitaries under the name of “Raju Jinny”. The store grew to 10 sewing machines, which were worked by his brother, nephews and nieces. Raju still sews.
Raju loved singing all kinds of filmy songs and he had a special talent- he could sing both male and female voices-so he sang Lata Mangeskar and Mohamed Rafi at local events and shows! But his “kasoti” trial was soon to come - He fell ill and lost his singing voice. Raju did give up on showmanship - soon he became a Master of Ceremonies, telling shairis, tuchkas and jokes at the shows. His love of the industry took him to Kinshasa, where he promoted a full musical show.
When he was 30 years of age, he learnt a new trade-photography and started taking professional photos etc. He was able to earn enough to get married to a girl from Kanalus, also from the Navgam area. He has two daughters- one aged 20, who has completed grade 12 and works with him in the photography business and a younger one age 14 is still in grade 10
A few years ago, Raju taught himself videography and is now well-known in Jamnagar for taking wedding photos, company and jamaati assignments etc. On the side, Raju also acts a real estate broker!
When asked, Raju says his motto is “never fear failure”. Indeed.
But that’s just one of the many traits of this remarkable individual.