As if Mr. Jeff is alive!

26 Aug

Click here to read in Gujarati
It pains me a lot beyond words to draft this Article as the Hero of my previous Blog “A full circle swallowed 22 years” is no more with us. The title is very significant and also philosophically profound, but there is no room of any interpretation or discussion for the same here.

I look backward to about a half century past when we first met on a volleyball ground and our friendship blossomed at the very first meeting. Over the years, we became like brothers and shared our heartaches with each other. Throughout this long time span, excluding last seven years, we had hardly been together for about 1000 days. He had been in abroad and me here in India, but our regular communication with each other did not allow us to feel any physical distance which may separate us.

Much more has been said for the Late Mr. Jafferbhai (Nick name ‘Jeff’) in the above referred Blog, but today I would like to highlight some more aspects of his character and personality. His soft and sometimes outspoken manner always reflected his inner nature. Being a man of principles, he could never adjust himself with any dual standard people. Sometimes I counseled him by quoting T. S. Eliot, an English poet, in the words, “Human kind cannot bear very much reality.” but he would instantly reply, “My work is over to say what I had to, Valibhai. Now, it is his own business whether to agree with me.”

Mr. Jafferbhai’s life was philanthropic and who-so-ever came in contact with him knew it very well. He had hundreds of friends wherever he moved and they were in variety also like Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsees. Mr. Bhailalbhai, a Jain from Ahmedabad, has remained his business partner for the last three decades and still their Partnership continues. He always favored most those African people and nobody dared criticize them face to face to him. He argued in many ways that those people are really good people, nowhere to be found on earth.jafarbhai_jeni.jpg

Mr. Jeff had run his store in a Jew population area for 27 years where he was known as “Shalom King”. Some years ago, Nasir Ismailee had written an Article on him in his weekly chain of Articles titled “Sanvedna-na-soor (Tunings of emotions)” in Gujarat Samaachar. I’ll quote Mahatma Gandhi to co-relate its wording with Mr. Jeff’s practical approach of dealing with his clientele circle. It is as this: “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work, he is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider to our business, he is a part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him, he is doing us a favor by giving us opportunity to do so.”

The Late Mr. Jafferbhai was a very popular figure among three generation of his customers with his self inspired virtues and good nature. His dealing with them was in a touch of Indian culture and affections; and that was the secret of his popularity. Financially, he earned little; but ethically he gained more. American people lacking family feelings could get comfort sharing their personal problems with him. He was a devoted man of action, compassion and love. To all, he was more than a businessman; always caring and taking personal interest to solve their any type of problems.

Such was the life of a very simple and honest man. I recall here a saying: “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life such when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” Mr. Jeff was a living example of this saying. I know that all his near ones and the rest who witnessed his life will surely miss him the great. His last struggle against his sickness of hardly 2 or 3 months is over now. The upper and the final circle of his life spread over 74 years has narrowed to a Dot. It is the hard luck of mine that I could not remain physically present when he breathed his last in States. It would have been better if I could convey my condolence in person to the members of his family there. My heart and tears are with them and I’ll also miss him equal to they people do till I am alive as I am the part of the Late’s family.

On behalf of the Late’s and my own families, I thank very much all those people around the world who have expressed their warm and sympathetic messages of condolence to us to bear the irreparable loss of the Late. Their prayers will surely prove to be beneficial to the soul of the Late in heaven and help us to draw upon our and his beloved ones’ strength to accept the fact that he is no more with us physically; but, in our memory, he will remain as if he is alive.

With a heavy heart, I conclude my Article here by reciting a pious verse “Surely, from the Almighty God we come and to Him shall we return.” May God bless his soul to rest in heaven amongst the proximity of the souls of those who enjoy the bliss and kindness of Him.

May God bless the members of my Blog family also.

– Valibhai Musa
Dtd. :
27th August, 2007


Posted by on August 26, 2007 in Article, લેખ, FB, MB


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

11 responses to “As if Mr. Jeff is alive!

  1. Ashraf Palasara

    August 27, 2007 at 2:16 am

    Dear All,

    I have had the opportunity to meet Jeff uncle personally and witness his wisdom, ever pleasing personality, his thoughtfullness, forth-coming and helpful nature and the warmth which would touch anyone’s heart. Its impossible to describe his qualities fully into words.

    I read a blog on his life “full circle swallowed 22 years” published sometime back and just cant stop wondering how could one face all those dreadful days all alone with so much courage – Hatts off to him.

    I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Jeff uncle’s family and friends and pray to Almighty God to give courage to bear this unbearable loss.

    May Jeff uncle’s soul rest in peace and amongst God’s chosen ones, in the proximity of the Infallibles and amongst the souls of those people who enjoy the mercy and pleasure of Him.

    With Heartfelt Sympathies
    On behalf of RK Palasara Family

    Ashraf Palasara


  2. Rubina Palasara

    August 28, 2007 at 7:25 am

    Dear All,

    It’s very hard to believe that Jafardada is no more. I know him very personally as he was the best friend of my Validada and after that he became more than a family member; so we ‘bachapanthi’ used to call him ‘dada’. There is no word to describe him as he was the superb human being. I didn’t see a person like him. Really I am feeling very sorry for not being able to talk with him in his last days!

    He wanted to come Aus. ( at my place) to have ‘Pudlas’ of my hand. I was waiting for him to come. We just can wait, nothing is in our hands. Now we just pray to Almighty God for him.I would like to offer my sincere condolences to his family and also our family.



  3. Akbarali Musa

    September 2, 2007 at 3:48 am

    My dear All,
    This all happens like we know the Law of God that everyone must die one day, but we cannot remember this fact all the time. Late my Jeff uncle is no more with us now, myself is not ready to accept this fact.He had attachement with my full family like its natural part. Now I can remember his each and every statement and behaviour which were like his preparations of final journey toward the Almighty Allah, as I was a person who travelled with him during the last journey from India to US and locally in US. Anyway he was with us during the last few years of his retired life as our family member.
    I think,I am the only guy who travelled maximum with him and remained with him too closer. I know him very well and I can say WHAT A GENIOUS PERSONALITY………
    Akbarali Musa
    705 Mayrose Tower,
    AHMEDABAD-380 006


  4. Naseem Soonasra

    September 4, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    With a heavy heart I bring myself to give a eulogy on my father,a man of high morals & values. Words cannot describe his entirety. This was a man filled with oceans of knowledge,this was a man filled with compassion for humanity. His silence at many occasions spoke words of wisdom.
    Words of wisdom were never spoken so well as when he advised,advice with no strings attached. His words were my fortification & his strength I fed on….This was (IS) my father,this is my foundation.

    Youngest Daughter of Late Jafferali Soonasra
    Naseem Soonasra


  5. Kayam Ali

    September 9, 2007 at 7:25 am

    With heartfelt sympathies I would first offer condolences to all the bereaved family members of Late Jafferali Soonasra (Jeff Mama) with prayers that they will come to terms with normal life without his physical presence amongst them.
    Secondly I pray to The Almighty to grant the departed soul an elevated place in Heaven amongst His chosen ones (Ameen)
    I am short of words to express the love and gratitude and well wishes he showered on me and my family whenever he visited us in Dubai. His humbleness reflected the tough times he had faced in his life. He shared the vast experiences of his life by
    interacting with the young generation and parted valuable advice to all whom he was in touch with.
    I end here with prayers for the departed soul to rest in peace

    Kayam Ali Taher Ali


  6. Sumitra and Bhailal Shah

    September 20, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    With deepest sympathy for the Soonasra family, we will miss Jeff so much even though he was away from us part of every year. Working with him for the last 30 years I found that he was the most hardworking, honest, and diligent man that one could find as a business partner. He was not only a partner, but also a teacher of world events to us all. And he was a good teacher of Gujarati to both of my daughters when they were young. We will greatly miss him and may his soul rest in peace.

    Sumitra and Bhailal Shah
    Sheetal and Sejal Shah
    Allentown, PA


  7. zamin ali kughsia

    February 10, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    thank you for writing about my maternal grand father.


  8. સુરેશ જાની

    May 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Article moved me very much. I feel sorry for not coming in contact with you a bit earlier, as I could have met him at Houston, where I have gone at least 6-7 times in these 10 years.
    One of my best friends is also Zafar . Zafar Shaikh in Ahd. One of his favorite quotes –

    दिलसे जो बात निकलती है, असर रखती है
    पर नहीं, ताकते परवाज मगर रखती है ।

    Yes , these are the unknown jewels of humanity.
    Almighty God bless his soul.

    પૂણ્ય પરવાર્યું નથી.
    નસીર ઈસ્માઈલી – મારા બહુ જ પ્રિય લેખક . જફર ભાઈ વિશે એમનો લેખ વાંચવા મળશે તો એ મારું ખુશ કિસ્મત હશે. મને એમની સૈલી બહુ જ ગમે છે. અને મારાં ઘણાં લખાણોમાં મેં તે વાપરી છે.

    जब आये संसारमें , जग हसे तूम रोय
    करनी ऐसी कर चलो, आप हसे जग रोय.


  9. Lord eBay

    July 30, 2015 at 3:53 am

    Inna Lilah, Wahina Ilaehi Rajihun! Uncle Jeff has written his good history with his good deeds and he has passed on to more peaceful heights, leaving us to reflect on our own lives, the effects our lives have on others’ lives. It’s a pity I didn’t get to know him when he was alive, but for the fact that he held Africans in high esteem, which I am one, he has left something for me to appreciate him for. Valibhai, I really live that quote from Mahatma Ghandi; it’s great. I pray God grants the deceased Aljanat Firdous. Condolence to the family!



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