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Life and Literature

Click here to read in Gujarati
In Sanskrit, there is a verse (Shloka)
asसाहित्य संगीत कला विहीन, साक्षात् पशु, पूच्छविश्नहीन” (Sahitya sangeet-kala vihin, sakshat pashu poochchh vishna-hin). Its translation is as “A man, not interested in Literature, Music (Classical – as it is the ancient verse) or any Art, is just like an animal without a tail and horns.” Here, I am going to discuss only literature in context to human life. Literature is an indispensable necessity of human life. It is an eye opener, a driving force to mould our life and a preacher to understand human life, human love, human nature and overall to say humanism. The literature helps a man to come out from animalism and adopt humanism. Gift of intellect from God to a man makes him different and superior to all other creatures. The study of literature, inclusive of religious ones and other sciences, not only sharpens the intellect of a human; but also provides him inspiration and aptitude to know everything, visible or disguise, in the universe. With reading the works of poets, philosophers and intellectuals and also religious literature of spirituality, divinity and mysteries of the universe and its Creator, a man can become capable to uplift himself to be a super human from simply a human. The literature feeds the human mind and soul such a food with which it can enrich own thoughts to make own life successful and think for the good of the whole mankind of the universe.

A matured man or woman who remains indifferent towards literature is just like a kid of a famous poem of Rabindranath Tagore titled as ‘Authorship’. I know that to spare more space for this side reference in my brief essay is not appropriate, but I can’t withhold myself as I am sure that the poor level of the kid of the poem to understand literature will compel my Readers to admit that the people, matured but passive towards literature, are like this kid unable to understand literature with the only difference that they people do not play with toys and swing in cradles. Let us enjoy some pieces of thoughts of the kid of above poem here below.

The child complains to its mother with some charges put upon its father, an author. Firstly, it says that the father writes a lot of books but what he writes is beyond its (kid’s) understanding. It tries to make its mother agree with that she is also in same position unable to understand what he writes. The child considers the mother superior to the father as she can tell nice stories which the father can’t write. A very cute question is asked whether he has not heard the stories of giants, fairies and princesses from his own mother or has forgotten them all. Further, the child says that the father is crazy towards writing books as if he plays at making books. The child complains also that she does not allow it to make the slightest noise in the house that may disturb him. In child’s view, the writing of books is nothing more than its own writing of the alphabets just as a..b..c..d..e in its notebook. We can see the humorous argument of the child in a climax that the father wastes heaps and heaps of papers and she does not allow it (kid) to take a single sheet of paper to make a boat with. Here, my summary of the poem is over but I recommend to my Readers to read original text of the said poem to enjoy it nicely.

Now, I once again come to my main track of the theme of my essay. Today, the Reading of literature has decreased to a considerable rate. Two factors have played their rolls in this regard; one, other forms of entertainment such as TV, Movie, Sports etc. have become popular and, two, human life has become strenuous in gaining money for survival of the family. In such situation, the Reading is going to become a lost art and that is not a good sign for the future of the world.

Modern means of entertainment which have taken place of Reading of literature are merely aimed to give pleasure, luxury and time-pass only. They are far away from teachings of any moral lessons or developing any wisdom in the minds and souls of the people. No doubt, all these are the various forms of an Art, but they are deficient and imperfect for cultural advancement of the people.

For centuries, a debate on art, divided into two schools of thought as ‘Art for art’s sake’ and ‘Art for life’, has been going on without any conclusion. Concept of ‘Art for art’s sake’ may be good for artists themselves as they are the monopoly holders of saving art, but the common men need something more that may uplift them in all aspects of their lives, something that may empower them to strengthen their inner thoughts, something that may realize them the realities of life rather than flying high in the sky of imaginations. Any art whether it may be even literature must have the aim of bringing some change in human behaviors and morals. Modern popular arts such as western noisy music, vulgar performance of dance, nude painting and photography, violent and sexy movies and TV serials are just like slow poisons for the new generation capable enough to throw them deep down into the valley of decline. We can distinguish the basic difference between literature and other arts in a very simple way that literature teaches us what to enjoy and other arts teach us how to enjoy.

Literature opens the windows of our mind through which we can gaze towards the unknown inner and outer world which we have not yet seen. The works of great writers have changed the thinking directions of the people with their writings. They have sown the seeds of social awareness and ethical reformation in the minds of the people and many revolutions such as developing ideas of democracy, abolishing slavery and hatred towards so called untouchables, avoiding discriminations of all kinds, uplifting the status of a woman in society etc. have been possible covering the most part of the world and its numerous communities. It is the role of literature that has changed the most of the false traditions throughout the globe. To maintain the size of my Article, I cannot catalogue all those books both literary and religious which have played a vital role in changing the values of human life.

Literature is capable to change our beliefs if they have been falsely hammered into our minds. It makes us a mentally matured person to grow high towards understanding. An American historian and author – Barbara W. Tuchman quotes on books of literature as “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled (lame), thought and speculation at a standstill.” For expansion of horizons of knowledge, no any alternative other than books can be so effective and result oriented.

My humble request and counseling to parents worldwide is that they should encourage their children to read some good books or cultural magazines. In modern social system, birthdays of children are celebrated by giving them various gifts. Should we not add at least a single good book to the list of gifts?

– Valibhai Musa
May 5, 2008

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Posted by on May 5, 2008 in Article, લેખ, MB


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Expressing Feelings of Honor and Gratitude

I am pleased to represent here a Report of my Guest Author – Mr. Karimbhai V. Hada who had rendered his services as an Anchor-man to the local social function held at Kanodar Mahila Mandal Hall and which was presided by Mrs. Ladiben V. Bangalawala, Sarpanch of Gram Panchayat. Mr. Karimbhai Hada was honored with “Sanchar Sarthi Award” when he was in service with Telecom Department. He is a man of literature and presently the President of Local Community. He is a devoted man of social services and had glorified the Chair of Secretary of Sarvodaya Kelavani Mandal, a reputed local Trust for Higher Secondary Education.

IMG_KVH4 Now onward, you will read the words of Mr. Karimbhai Hada. At the concluding part of this post, I’ll appear before you just to express my feelings of gratitude in brief. Here, Mr. Karimbhai speaks in his following words:

“Under the banner of Local NGO – Ascent Foundation, running a well-equipped and full fledged Institution known as Adarsh Public Library, had organized a remarkable function attended by a great mass of invited village people on May 10, 2009 to felicitate the three native personalities for their contribution of social welfare, education and global brotherhood through respective fields of their works and activities. These honorable persons are:- Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on May 18, 2009 in Article, education, Humanity


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Parables and Fables

Click here to read in Gujarati
These are the literary f
orms of short stories or folk tales. They may be in prose or poetry ending with moral or religious lessons to the listeners or readers. Sources of these forms can be sought out from the religious books. Sometimes, the roots of these stories cannot be traced out as they might have been narrated by unknown authors or fabulists. Both these may seem to be the same as wisdom and characterbuilding stories, but there is a thin distinguishing linein their characteristics. Generally, ‘Parable’ is having human characters, but ‘Fable’ has the variety of characters other than humans such as animals, plants, objects etcetera. What they may be, but they are as our heritage going on one generation to another.

Aesop of fifth century B.C., an Africanslaveformerly and then freed was the mostpopular fabulist and his fables have spreadthroughout the world. The parables of Christ and many other derived from ancient Greek and Sanskrit literature have remained the part of our early childhooddevelopmentat our homes or in our schools. Elders are also equally interested in these stories either forinsistent demand of their children to be narrated to them or for the sake of their own pleasure. Presently, we can avail thousands of books on parables and fables, but their roots are in preliterate oral cultures.

Recently, I chanced toview an interesting Article based on the famous fable of ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’. Its end is well known to all that the tortoise wins the race against the hare. The morallesson is as ‘A slow and steady wins the race.’ We all have grown up with hearing this popular version, but the same fable is extended in a different twist. The second race is arranged with the request of the hare and this time, the hare wins and moral lesson is as ‘Fast and consistentwill always beat the slow and steady.’ Further, the tortoise challenges the hare for the third race with a different route where there is a river just beforefinal destination. This time, the tortoise wins the race and moral lesson is as ‘First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency.’ But the story still continues. Both the competitors know their own drawbacks and limitations very well and therefore they jointly decide to do the last race again; not to decide any winner or loser, but just for their own pleasure and satisfaction. Both co-operate each other as a team. Firstly, the hare carries the tortoise on its back up to the river. Then, the tortoise carries the hare and swims to the oppositebank of the river. And, lastly the hare carries the tortoise again on its back. Thus they reach the finishing linetogether. Overall to say, many moral lessons from the last match are highlighted. They may be named as team work, to harnessindividual’s capacity for greater success, to face the adverse situations with collective decisions, qualities of a good leadership, ability of turning failure to success, changing of strategy to try something different and the last very important to compete against situations rather than rivals.

Above Article has inspired me totry any other familiar fable to be narrated differently or extended interestingly and humorously or twisted in an anti-climax mode of end. I have preferred a story ‘A smart crow’ to try it with other than above three options. I have made up my mind, now, to fabricate a postdiscussion of the episode of the above story in form of conversation among the crows. But before that, let us overview this story in its originaltext that we had read in our primers of our primaryeducation years. It is as below:

“Once there was a crow. It was very thirsty. It flew here and there in search of water. Lastly, it saw a pitcher on the ground. It put its head inside. The neck of the pitcher was too long and slender. Water level was very deep. Its beak could not reach the water. It looked around and saw some pebbles nearby. It got an idea. It picked up the pebbles one by one and threw them into the pitcher. As the pebbles went inside, the water level rose up. Soon it came up to the mouth of the pitcher. Thus, it quenched its thirst. It flew back at its nest and told its friends how smart it was. MORAL: Answers to great problems often come from unexpected sources.”

William Cleary has retold Aesop’s many unforgettable stories in the form of poetry. ‘The thirsty crow gets good advice’ is a poem written by him in a different presentation. Here, I am not going to representit as the limitedspace in this Article does not permit me to do so.

Let us go, now, to the unofficial gathering of the crows in the thicket in the compound of Internationally famous ‘Indian Institute of Management (IIM)’ at Ahmedabad (India). These are the home trees of the crows participating in the post discussion on the episode of the above referred fable ‘A smart crow’. It is said that the environment is the best natural teacher for the learner. Here is the environment of the Management Studies where the crows dwell. The crows have acquired a very good knowledge from the discussions of the students sitting under the trees. Their (crows’) conversation is as follows:

Today, I heard an interesting story of a fore-father of ours narrated by a human mother to her kid while I wassitting in the Nimb tree there. How clever that our fore-father was! How smartly he drank water from the pitcher!” said a crow.

“No doubt, it was a wonderful work. But, he could have tried by some other way rather than that of a laborious job.” the other crow replied.

“What sort of other way, my child?” said an old crow.

“He would have made a hole on the sidewall of the pitcher by poking with his beak!”

“No, No way! It is a foolish idea. We have no righttodamagethe property of others. Moreover, there would have been the wastage of plenty of water contrary to the use of very little water for a single thirsty bird.” said the old crow.

“Damage of property! What a foolish talk! Don’t we see the students doing so when they are on strike damaging the national property in ways of burning buses, rooting out rail tracks etc.?’

The old crow said, “What they people do is not our look out. But, I honestly believe that such destructive activity is against the ethics of our community of Crows. The earthen pot might be belonged to perhaps a very poor man and why, justfor some drops of water, should we do such a major damage? Remember that the Gentle-crows never behave so.”

“Will you, please, throw light what we should do in such situation?” asked a very young crow with curiosity.

“You should tryto find out some other sources of water by flying here and there a little more before undertaking such laborious job. Presence of pitcher with water there is the great evidence that there must be the water somewhere nearby.” the old crow replied.

In between, a female crow entered the discussionafter finishing her feeding of some grains to her young one and said, “Excuse me for my comment on our ancestors. But, should our honorable forefather not offer his discovered water to other crows to drink besides simply his own praise?”

A quite grown up young crow that was an outspokenbird and against feminism also fired the poor female crow angrily and said, “When the males are talking, you females should not interfere, understand?”

All the crows cried out loudly saying, “Shame, shame! You should not behave like this towards the females. After all they are also poor creature being, the half population of ours and therefore they have the equalrightas we have in all fields of our life.”

A witty crow taunted the Indian Political Parties in these words, “We are not like those Politicians who are not prepared to allow even 33% Reservation in Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies to the women. Actually, they must have 50% Reservation instead of 33%.” All crows cawed out joyfully.

The old crow who was the Chief of his community in the IIMCampus shouted loudly in the style of a Speaker of Parliament, “Order, Order! Now let us come to the point raised on ‘offering of water to others’. My inner soul tells me that the fabulist or the narrator might have missed to point out this matter. It is also possible that during the course of uncountable centuries, the people would have dropped down this point. I don’t believe that our forefathers would have been so selfish like human being. To share the benefits of one’s own labor with others is the great mottoof our crow community. Human capitalists snatch away the benefits from labor of others and they get rich and rich leaving thousands behind to live below poverty line(BPL). Any way, our today’s discussion has remained very interesting. We unanimously agree with the smartness of our forefather who has been a mentor for human kind also for centuries. The episode shows how one should utilize own intellect in adverse circumstances. It is the dusk now. Let us pay our homage to the Late our Forefather, the Hero of the fable ‘A smart crow’ by keeping silence for two minutes.”

And lastly, the old crow announced, “Our formalmeeting is now adjourned. It is the time for our meditation. Good night to all.’

I also bid goodbye to all my Readers, meanwhile

With best regards,
– Valibhai Musa
Dtd.: June 5, 2008


Posted by on June 5, 2008 in Article, લેખ, Humor, MB


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Happiness and Gloomy

Click here to read in Gujarati
An extract from a Birthday Greeting Letter to my niece residing in States:-

“My dear Child,

Today is your Birth Day. I, on behalf of our rest United Family here in India, pray the Almighty God with the media of the Infallibles to favor you with His mercy and kindness to achieve both worldly and spiritual prosperities in your life.

As you may be aware of the Astronomical truth that the 21st June is the longest day having the shortest night of the year. In literary language, it may be said that the day is the sign of happiness and the darkness of the night shows gloomy. You would have understood what I mean to say. After all, the life is, in real sense, a life when there is the combination of both happiness and gloomy. Being interested in literature, I compare the event in such a way just as the content of this letter. But, as far as our religious doctrines are concerned, we should fulfill our duties with no care of results as the fundamental principle of the religion is ‘ To surrender ourselves to the will of God.’

Summing up, my views and ideas are like an open book and I allow you to communicate to whom-so-ever it may concern, I don’t mind.”

6th June, 1997


Posted by on May 6, 2007 in લેખ, MB


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(387) My quoted Quotes in my Posts (10)

(148) “A man, not interested in Literature, Music (Classical – as it is the ancient verse) or any Art, is just like an animal without a tail and horns.” (A Sanskrit Verse)

(149) “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled (lame), thought and speculation at a standstill.” (Barbara W. Tuchman) 

# Life and Literature

(150) “Error is committed unknowingly and innocently, but blunder is backed by strong intension and sometimes hasty thoughtlessness for doing so.”  (Valibhai Musa)

(151) “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow.” (A Swedish proverb)

(152) “A balanced life is the only key to preserve the prosperity for a long time.” (An unknown source) 

(153) “You will never have any more time than you have today.” (William George Plunkett) 

(154) “One should also recognize the opportunities as they, sometimes, come open-faced and, sometimes, disguised.” (Valibhai Musa)

(155) “Our temptations and efforts to gather the whole world within our arms or under our feet are futile just as a hen tries to gather her chicks, wandering here and there, under her wings.” (Valibhai Musa)

#  Lose and long on life long

(156) “To be human means to feel inferior. (Alfred Adler)

(157) “Nature is the best physician and that it should be allowed to function without the intrusion of meddlesome interference.” (Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine and a Greek Physician) 

(158) “The beloved of the Almighty are: the rich who have the humility of the poor, and the poor who have the magnanimity of the rich.” (Sheikh Saadi, a Persian man of literature)

# Lady with the lantern !

(159) “I would suggest that when a person has a thought of doing anything serious against the law, it should go to a quiet place and think about it seriously before it does.” (William George Bonin, a murderer, who was executed about a decade ago in America had uttered his last words)

(160) “If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself, you should say, ‘He obviously does not know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned.’” (Epictetus, a Greek Philosopher)

(161) “Behave with others as you would expect others to behave with you.” (A Slogan)

# Hear-says or rumors

(162) “Silence of good people encourages evil indirectly.” (Valibhai Musa)

# Paying Respect to the Late Mr. ‘Sufi’

(163) “Just to prevent the wars, walls should be built in the minds of the people.” (An unknown source) 

(164) “We see that this song of hate has not benefited humanity.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

#  Life on earth, possible but not safe !

(165) ’‘To do  and not to do is a question.” (Shakespeare)

# No scarcity of Jacks of All !

(166) “A little learning may be perfect if style of presentation goes with it”. (A Saying)

# Art of Balanced Exaggeration in Conversation – 1

(167) “Poetry is an art of soul.” (An unknown source)

(168) “Exaggeration is to paint a snake and add legs.” (A Proverb) 

(169) “Some so speak in exaggerations and superlatives that we need to make a large discount from their statements before we can come at their real meaning.” (Tryon Edwards) 

# Art of Balanced Exaggeration in Conversation – 2

(170) “Opening of a mall in a city puts an end to the business of thousands of hawkers and traders. This mall culture will plunge the middle class into a greater financial crisis and turn hawkers into beggars.” (Medha Patkar, an Activist)  

# Rivalry of two retail trade sectors in India

(171) “Over diversification is only good for those who don’t know what they are doing, If you are sure that you know five good stocks then have faith in yourself and distribute your money among them instead of buying thirty random companies that you know nothing about. Diversification can scientifically reduce your returns especially when you believe that few stocks will go up in price by a good percentage.” (Warren Buffet, the richest man in the world)

# Strategies in Bearish Stock Market

(172) “One of my colleagues asked if I was lying in the emergency room critically ill, would I prefer a doctor with technical excellence, or one who was compassionate and caring? I replied neither. Why should a patient need to choose? A competent Physician must be both.” (Dr. Gabriel Smilkstein)

#  Dr. P. J. Shah, a tender-hearted Physician will be missed

(173) “One should save money against hard times, save wife at the sacrifice of own riches, but invariably one should save own soul even at the sacrifice of wife and riches.” (Chanakya)

(174) “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.” (Kelly Preston)

#  Rising above Corruption – A General Review

(175) “The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from mental illness. Think of your three best friends and if they are okay, then the fourth that remains is you.” (Rita Mae Brown) 

#  Who is really insane? – ‘Seldom’ such Posts (3)

-Valibhai Musa 

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Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Quotes


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