No scarcity of Jacks of all!

30 Aug

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 The Linear measuring unit Gaj (2 feet)** in Gujarati is out of date and therefore I have converted it into metric calculation!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


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 responses to “No scarcity of Jacks of all!

  1. Dr. Chandravadan Mistry

    August 31, 2008 at 2:15 am

    VALIBHAI..You have the mastery of USE of a WORD…….The word JACK had really gone into VARIOUS TRANSFORMATIONS by the time you ended your article. I very much enjoyed reading your article !


  2. Karimbhai V.Hada

    September 11, 2008 at 6:14 am

    A very funny but interesting write-up. Till date, I was of the mind that one gaj is equal to one yard, and so I referred the Guj. dictionary and found that Valibhai was right. Most of the people take a gaj for a yard (3 feet). Let me add here that this is a Persian word which means a measurement of 24 Tasu (tavssuh in Persian) and one Tasu is equal to one inch. Thanks to Valibhai that I could correct my knowledge and add up also. Jack of all means Her-Fun-Maula in Urdu and Persian, and such persons sometimes save our time and toil when they come forward with their unexpected advice/suggestion when we are in utter confusion. There is no scarcity of such people as God loves them more and so He produces them more according to R.Tagore.


  3. Valibhai Musa

    September 12, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Dear Karimbhai,
    I appreciate your general knowledge. Thanks for your comment and giving etymological origin of the word ‘tasu’ and also equivalent phrase for ‘Jack of all’ in other languages. I think that ‘Jacks of all’ can be categorized in two divisions; one, real and the other, self-conceited. The latter may sometimes prove to be troublesome if followed blindly.
    Valibhai Musa


  4. karimbhai V.Hada

    September 13, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Yes Valibhai, if we follow blindly it will be our GAJ(elephant)-sized mistake and our gaj to play with the tune of events will be little bit useless [gaj vagyo nahi]. Am I right? Waiting for your next episode.



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