Monthly Archives: August 2008

No scarcity of Jacks of all!

Click here to read in Gujarati
Today, just for some change in topic and also to entertain you, I am here with this Article. Before I compose some episodes from my past memory, I would like to twist the word ‘Jack’ slight differently. Automobile owners know about jack and we see that this workshop tool bears the loads of all vehicles from light to heavy always in its position down on earth as a servant, but never up as a master! ‘Jack’ is a proper noun, famous in nursery rhymes also such as “Jack and Jill, went up the Hill” and “Little Jack Horner, sat in the Corner”. But here, I have no concern with all those Jacks.

In figure of speech or idiomatic narration, the meaning of ‘Jack of all, but master of none’ is related with a person and not with the jack, the tool that I mentioned earlier. This saying is applied to a person who might be competent with many skills but not outstanding performer in any one. One more shadow meaning, contradictory to above while speaking only ‘Jack of all’, is as a compliment to somebody who can handle the most situations smartly.

We might have witnessed many Jacks who try to be a grocer with just a single dry ginger*. Their little learning, sometimes, might prove to be harmful or dangerous to us. We should be careful of such boastful persons pretending that they know everything. We should think for 999 times before having their help for the solutions of our problems. We should salute them at the distance of 5.48064 meters. The Linear measuring unit Gaj (2 feet)** in Gujarati is out of date and therefore I have converted it into metric calculation!

Now, let us come to the main link of our talk with illustrations of some 1.5 times wiser (દોઢ ડાહ્યા)guys. They are always proud of declaring them as ‘Jacks of all”. The world is over-crowded with them and therefore we have never to face with any short-supply of them! Such a stranger happens to meet you easily on a Railway platform. He is there to see off his relatives. He turns towards you and begins to talk with you. He favors you with an unsolicited advice that the particular last night train always runs crowded and if you have no reservation, you should better go to the yard from where the train is going to arrive on the platform. You follow his advice, go there, occupy the upper berth and sleep down. Early in the morning, when you wake up, you find yourself and your compartment on the very same Railway Station. Now, you realize that the compartment was dropped off to be shunted to that particular train.

Above episode is not fabricated, but it bears the label of fact with it. I have presented it in a style as if you-you have been the hero of that comical tragedy. Still, I’ll not let you go as I want to give you the roll of another hero of one more episode. But, for this, my prime condition is that you must be a male because I wish to send you to a barber’s shop for your shaving; yes, only for shaving, not for getting your hair-cut. Morning hours are always busy in this industry, but you are lucky. You enter a shop where all chairs are vacant. Perhaps, the owner only is there as his staff is yet to resume duties. You occupy one chair and primary job for creating lather with soap starts to soften your beard covering the territory of your face.

Now, you count the minutes! One, Three, Five… Oh! Ten!!! That fellow is not prepared to take razor in hand and start shaving. You presume that he is doing so just to provide you an extremely close shave service with no irritation. But, the layer of lather is getting thicker and thicker. You look like a Santa-Claus with white artificial beard in front mirror. Being the brush very hard, you feel irritated in hair roots, skin and mussels of your cheeks. Now, you cry out, “Why, why, O Mister! What’s wrong with you? What are you doing?”

In hesitating tone of speech, the poor fellow whispers, “Sorry Sir! I am not the hair-dresser. I am the friend of the owner of this shop. He has gone somewhere on bicycle saying that he would soon return. I thought I may save your shave-time with this primary job. He will be just coming. Excuse me, Sir!”

But, you are not losing your temper because you are confused. You are in custody of the soul of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. ‘To laugh and not to laugh’ is a question! Besides, ‘To be and not to be angry’ is also a bigger question for you! Lastly, Pointing to him a chair, you say simply: “Have your seat there and be relaxed, my friend (you stupid!).”

Just before, the lather of soap might begin to get dry and particles fall down, the owner enters the shop as a savior of the dummy barber to bring him out of his miserable situation. No sooner does the owner step into the shop, the helpless guy quits the premises carrying his pitiful face similarly just as a mouse runs away seeing a cat.

The mouse of your computer is in grip of your hand to scroll further, am I right? But sorry! Your another episode is over, my Article is over and my time is also over here!

Byes… see you again,

With regards,

I am

– Valibhai Musa
August 30, 2008

* સૂંઠના ગાંગડે ગાંધી થવું!

** નવ ગજના નમસ્કાર!


Posted by on August 30, 2008 in Article, લેખ, gujarati, Human behavior, Humor, MB


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Life on earth, possible but not safe!

Click here to read in Gujarati
Today my heart, paining with the burning issue of violence now-a-days spread over one or the other country of the world, stimulates me to write something still more over and above some of my previous articles in this regard. Wars and conflicts, both military and civilian, can never bring permanent solutions of the issues. The world has experienced the failure of experiments of violence and still we are not prepared to give a serious thought over the philosophy of non-violence successfully experimented by Mahatma Gandhi. The world is now weary of hate and violence. Far past and recent massacres made through Atomic Bombs and Bomb Blasts have destroyed the lives of such a number of people with whom, if they were alive, we could have started a new world on any planet of the universe.

Let me very frankly put a new equation as “World = Rulers + Ruled”. The Rulers are at top, the Ruled are at bottom. The Rulers are few and the Ruled are countless. Out of both the divisions, the oppressors are few, the oppressed are many. From top to bottom, those some very few are engaged in how to destroy the earth, its innocent population, its balanced environment, its natural resources, its social law and order, its peace and comforts, its primary needs for survival of all creatures, its ideology and spirituality and its many more physical and abstract concerns. A great number of the oppressed have to judge who use Atomic Bombs and alike destroying weapons as the Rulers and who use Bomb Blasts and similar practices damaging and disturbing civilian lives as the Ruled. A neutral observer will not generalize them in particular group of East or West and Caste or Religion. They will classify them as a single group of known as the enemies of humanity and rebellious against the God and His Divinity.

The Birthday (2nd October) of Mahatma Gandhi has been declared as International Non-violence Day by the UNO. But, what of that if the purpose of the day is not served! All the member nations of the UNO should at least introduce the study of Non-violence minimum at Primary Education level and see we can create a new generation throughout the world that can change the face of the world with a new concept of Non-violence. Revolutionary education to present growing up generation may bring good results flourished fully after 100 years if we start today. I recall an ancient system of erecting walls with bricks and stones around the capital cities of a particular kingdom to protect it from the attacks of the enemies. In that context, I remember a quote somewhere read as “Just to prevent the wars, walls should be built in the minds of the people.” The lessons of Non-violence will surely build the castles in the minds of the new generation and thus the future of the world will be very bright and the earth will be worth living for all.

I am not an expert of National and/or International Politics as well as not a scholar of World History. But, with my simple logic and understanding, I have come to a conclusion that due to some political mistakes, the powerful nations opted wars instead of some alternative solutions of the issues and as a result millions of human lives have been destroyed. Some political critics have openly blamed those powerful nations that they have imposed wars upon the world under the pretext of saving all from destructive weapons and that also with a good name of war for peace. But, the outcomes of those so called wars for peace are before our eyes and we have no any option but to believe in that all these misfortunes are the side products of those wars.

It is the irony of the fate of the world that the scientists try to know whether life is possible on other planets like Mars; but here on this Earth, we see that life is possible but not safe. Human is not safe in transportations, on roads, in hospitals, in their business premises, in religious places, in schools or colleges, in their farms or even at its home.

Just for some moments meanwhile, I’ll go to a personal matter of mine just to co-relate it with my following point of the Article. My Friend Dr. K. M. Patel’s daughter, Urmila is preparing for her Ph.D. in the subject of “Saul Bellow – an American Novelist”. I chatted on internet to feed some contents if useful to her. I chanced to collect a dialogue from Saul Bellow’s novel “Ravelsterin” (Frankly speaking, I have not read the full novel) which is very important for me to advocate humanity. The dialogue is as “There are times when I need to ride in the subway at rush hour or sit in a crowded movie house-that’s what I mean by a humanity bath. As cattle must have salt to lick, I sometimes crave physical contact.”

I pick up only two words ‘humanity bath’ from above text and join my Readers with me to imagine a ‘blood bath’ resulted from a bomb blast and victims would have been travelers of any transport or spectators of any movie in a theatre. Those enemies of humanity take away the lives of many in a second and on the other hand some Surgeons try to save a single life with some major operations for hours. A mother sacrifices her whole life to bring up her child and make him a young man and in no moments he becomes the victim of such man-made disasters. A doctor who studies up to the age of about 25 years and has been capable to save the lives of many patients and he loses his valuable life in a very cheap manner. Many blood donors worldwide donate their blood willingly to save the lives of unknown people and here the sacred blood of many innocents is spilt and wasted.

Mahatma Gandhi has rightly said, “We see that this song of hate has not benefited humanity.” I repeat my words placed in my previous Article “International Non-violence Day” and say that to walk on the way of Non-violence is rather difficult and perhaps the result may be disappointing. Gandhiji has explained this issue of doubt in his words as “My faith is as strong as ever. There is no hope for the aching world except through the narrow and straight path of Non-violence. Millions like me may fail to prove the truth in their lives; that would be their failure, never of the eternal law.”

While summing up, I would suggest to my Gujarati Readers to read a poem of Zaverchand Meghani titled as “Ghan re bole!” (ઘણ રે બોલે!). A sledge (big hammer) and an anvil (એરણ)are the instruments of a blacksmith. In personification flower of speech (સજીવારોપણ અલંકાર), the hammer and the anvil have been imagined as brother and sister respectively. Here, the brother speaks and the sister hears. The sledge declares its (his) wish before the anvil to make some creative equipments useful to mankind rather than destructive weapons used in wars. It is a wonderful poem that can be sung in tune of a singing prayer (ભજન).

Let us pray to God for prosperity and happiness of the world.


– Valibhai Musa
Aug 15, 2008


Posted by on August 15, 2008 in Article, લેખ, education, MB


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Rays of hope in ways of humanity

Click here to read in Gujarati
I was one of the founder trustees, the framer of Constitution and Chairman of the first Board of the local NGO – “The Guardian Trust, Kanodar”. I worked for first seven years in team spirit with my fellow trustees to achieve the goals of the Trust and now I am retired. Here, I am pleased to disclose one of the objects of the Trust which will be self explanatory to my Readers and particularly those NRIs and PRs of Kanodar residing elsewhere representing young generation to know about this village, its community, its culture and many other aspects of its heritage descending from the ancestors for the last half millennium since the foundation of this village by Kaano (Kanji) Patel whose name reflects in the word ‘KANODAR’.

The text of the above referred object of the Trust is as follows:

”The Mo’mineen (Muslims) of Kanodar have spread all over the world with their own identity that they live with love with others, accept others with their differences and make their contributions in their social lives wherever they live. This Trust will encourage the individuals and various organizations of this peculiar community to continue to set an example to other communities to respect everybody’s dignity and rights and to carry out social responsibilities for the common good of people.”

To build up integrity and reputation of the village, many honorable personalities have contributed in past; and present leadership also is on the same track walking on the footprints of the former devoted Chiefs. This Article is aimed to remind the new generation the culture and traditions of the community, inspire them to preserve the image of this village intact with good behavior and pass on the same heritage to the next generation by providing the live examples to them. During my life span of almost seven decades, I have been the witness of the hundreds of those local heroes who have devoted their most of time to uplift the village to higher summits of its fame. Due to my limitation to the size of the Article, I am unable to highlight the services of all those ever shining stars in detail.

But, I would like to bring out in knowledge some opinions of other people about this village of Kanodar in order to mention in general its integrity, peace and prosperity. Most of the people may be familiar with the name of Swami Sachchidanand. He is a Karmyogi Saint of Gujarat engaged in social, literary and spiritual activities. Some years past, he was invited to the opening ceremony of the local High School for its starting of Science stream. Swamiji had never visited this village but while on his way from Petlad to Kanodar, he was given some briefs and feedbacks about the village. Endowed with sharp intellect, spirituality and own intuition, he knew everything about the village and its people as if he had visited the village previously and lived here. While delivering his speech he said, “If the Lahore Conference for the discussion of partition of India would have been organized at Kanodar, India would have remained united.” These words are the best compliments to the village and at the same time making conscious to the natives of Kanodar to remain firm and deserving for the preservation of conception of integrity of not only our village, bur wherever we live. Generally, Swamiji was being honored with donation to his Ashram wherever he was invited, but here he donated Rs.25,000/- to the High School from the funds of his own Trust.

If we go to some past, the memories of Dr. H. L.Purohit, a Maharashtriyan Brahmin and Dwarkagiri Maharaj, a gymnastic practicing Saint (અખાડા સાધુ) from U.P. (India) will surely revive into our minds. Dr. Purohit as a Physician rendered his services to the local Hospital for about 33 years and Dwatkagiri Maharaj as a worshipper of the local Temple of Shiva; but mainly with his social services, had devoted his whole life for the welfare of the village. Both these personalities had so high opinions as well as feelings for this village that they wished to have their last breaths here and get their funeral services in the earth of this village. Dr. Purohit was not fortunate in this regard as his offspring called him at his native place Baroda after retirement, but Bapji breathed his last here and was buried in the position of Samadhi in the premises of the temple. They both, having their Hindu creed, told emotionally in public that if the God gave them rebirth in any form, they would prefer to be here not only once but again and again. These words are the great rewards to the local Muslim community and also strong enough to bring tears of gratitude into our eyes.

There is no room for remembering the specific contributions of numerous Muslims (both male and female) here in this precise Article; but in general, I may say that they people remained rays of hope in ways of humanity. They people laid a firm foundation of Secularism and Unity in the village. It is a fitting time to recall all these memories in the prevailing situation everywhere in world when violence in various forms has risen high and universal peace is thrown in danger.

As mentioned in my earlier Article “A full circle swallowed 22 years”, the new generation of the village has spread over all continents of the world to meet with their financial needs. We should thank God that He has been kind and merciful to lead the world think broadly for globalization and liberalization and thus windows of settling abroad have opened. As a result, hundreds of youths with their spouse and offspring have migrated elsewhere in the world. This old man (me) thinks by heart that all these youngsters are the representatives of our secular village of Kanodar, Gandhiji’s Gujarat and our great country, India to spread the mission of Universal brotherhood and peace.

I would just remind, to all NRIs and PRs residing elsewhere in world who are natives of Kanodar and in wider sense to say any human wherever it lives, the story of migration of Zoroastrians (Parsis) during 18th century from Iran to harbor of Sanjaanaa in Gujarat (India). They had assured the ruler of Gujarat then that they will mix up with local people as sugar mixes in milk. My brothers and sisters, we know the exemplary role played by these Parsis such as Jamshedji Tata, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, and Homi Jehangir Bhabha in the progress of India. You have to awaken and mobilize the people with whom you happen to come in contact as a neighbor, a co-worker, a businessman or in any other status with mission of secular ideology, feelings of mutual co-operation and motto of ‘Live and Let Live” of ‘Sarvoadaya-ism’ founded by Vinoba Bhave and Jay Prakash Narayana.

While nearing to sum up my Article, I’ll quote somebody’s experience from unknown source in the words as “When I was running in the pouring rain, without an umbrella, wearing a spiffy suit, on my way to a meeting, a kind lady (a stranger) offered me her umbrella, gave me her address, and trusted I would return it when the rain died down.” This is a very little weighing episode, but a heavy and hidden sense lies therein. Here is the importance of mutual trust, not the cost of umbrella. One should take such affordable risks to be helpful to others to make the foundation of trust with human to human strong and I am sure it will not go in vain.

Summing up, we should remember that hate can never be ceased by hate. Let us renew and spread our hope in humanity. If we are going to err, let us err on the positive side of compassion, generosity and tolerance.

Friends, it is time to close now. Bye,

– Valibhai Musa
August 6, 2008


Posted by on August 6, 2008 in Article, લેખ, Humanity, MB


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