Tag Archives: Ahmedabad

Art of Balanced Exaggeration in Conversation – 1

Click here to read in Gujarati
I am neither an expert of studies of conversation nor a counselor of how to speak with individuals or address an audience. I have pity on myself why I try to put a big morsel in my small mouth by choosing a profound and scientific  topic for my today’s post! I question to myself, “How dare you (Mr. Author) put on an Armour without having a sword in hand?” But, I am prepared for ‘Come what may!’ I recall Narmad, the brave (a Gujarati man of letters) with his call ‘Go forward and victory is there waiting for you.’ *

My good Readers, you will bear with me if I remember our Indian Railway Minister Mr. Laluprasad Yadav for his daring of translating a couplet into English which he had recited in Hindi  while delivering his Budget speech. I am sorry for going out of the track of my subject for a while as I cannot restrict myself giving you his Hindi text below in English script for your ‘Off the record’ entertainment!

“Sab kah rahe hain, hum ne gazab kiya hai,
Karodon ka munafa, har ek sham diya hai,
Phal salon mein ab dega paudha jo lagaya hai,
seva ka samarpan ka hamne farz nibhaya hai.”

Mr. Laluprasad Yadav’s presence of mind and his witty nature encouraged him to translate the above verse in his stumbling as well as pigeon English; and, not only the House but the Speaker Mr. Somnath Chatterjee also burst into laughter. Enjoy  few sample lines  he said in the translation as “They are saying that Lalu Yadav  has planted  a fruit tree and every year it is a duty of mine to grow fruit trees”.

I shall link above episode with  an appropriate  point of my  further   text, but meanwhile, I am  going to represent my attempt of conversation on a topic  with  my   little   knowledge in that  regard  to justify the title  of my Article. During  our  S.S.C.  Exam. year 1959, we  had  a  lesson  in  English Text  Book  as ‘Yateo’s Gift’. This  reference is  enough  here as  my  main purpose   is   to let  you  know  the  moral  from the story that “A little gift  may be perfect  if love goes with it”. In my case also, the same slogan may be applied in the words as “A little learning may be perfect if style of presentation goes with it”.

Here is the back-ground of the episode in brief. It was the year of 1982. We were diverting our family business of Handloom Cloth Weaving as in kind of Master Weavers to Automobiles. We had started our business with some dealerships of Tyre, Lubricants and Auto Electrical Companies. Mr. Subeer Benerjee was the District Manager of ‘Firestone’ Tyre Company at Ahmedabad. One day he paid a courtesy visit to our premises at Palanpur. Normally, the Company Executives and even SRs also never accepted any dealer’s Lunch or Dinner invitations. ‘Firestone’ was an America based multinational company and it was their disciplinary code of conduct. But, as an exceptional case, Mr. Benerjee accepted our invitation to honor our feelings of hospitality. We took a very nice Hotel on Highway to have our lunch. Being our order of some special items, we had to wait for about half an hour. Mr. Benerjee and myself were sitting comfortably in the family Room. With the last name, he was supposed to be a Bengali, but he was from Indore (M.P.). Just to pass the time and also to push back our hunger, we started our conversation in general as follows:

“Valibhai, you are a well educated man and may be interested in Urdu Gazals and alike forms of poetry. Am I right?”

“Of course!” (An unexpected question puzzled me and I felt that something unripe has been cut off with my positive answer!)

“Very good! I am fortunate enough to listen to some She’rz (couplets) from you just to enjoy.”

“Certainly! Why not?  But, do you know the etiquettes of a listener?” (I already knew my limitations to cope with the challenge in this regard; but, I was trying to confuse him just for innocent amusement!)

“Yes, yes. Paying of Daad (words of appreciation)! Isn’t it?”

“Yes, certainly!

I had to pass through an acid test! Luckily, I recalled some couplets heard from my friend some years ago. Now, I am prepared to be like a brave warrior with naked sword in hand without wearing  the Armour, quite opposite to my former statement!

“But, with one condition! You will not ask for any more, you see!”

“I can’t understand your condition. Will you please explain?”

“I would think that you do not evaluate that high-rank poet and his top most creation in Urdu properly!”

I was trying to prepare an embankment for incoming water in advance  as I had a single arrow in my arrow case!

“O.K. Baabaa! I agree with you, but which Urdu poet you are going to talk about?”

“You, you will name the poet, not me, if you are a true fan of him!” I already knew the name, but I wanted to throw the ball in Mr. Benerjee’s court.

“Valibhai, you are really a very cute person. No doubt, I can recite hundreds of She’rz (stanzas) of celebrated Shaayars (poets); but now, I am sure that I’ll be defeated by you! You have tempted me for a long time. Now, please recite it for quick comfort of my mind.”

Now,I felt myself safe in my fortification. I said, “Janaab, to Pesh hai ye! (Sir, now it is this!)”

dil hee to hai na sang-o-KHisht dard se bhar na aaye kyoN ?
royeNge  ham   hazaar  baar,  koee  hameiN  sataaye  kyoN? (1)

[ sang = stone, KHisht = brick ]

દિલ હી તો હૈ ન સંગો ખિશ્ત,દર્દ સે ભર ન આયે ક્યોં?
રોયેંગે હમ હઝાર બાર, કોઈ હમેં સતાયે ક્યોં? (૧)

dair naheeN, haram naheeN,  dar naheeN, aastaaN naheeN
baiTHe haiN rehguzar pe ham, GHair hameiN uTHaaye kyoN ? (2)

[ dair = temple, haram = mosque, dar = gate, aastaaN = abode/thresh-hold, rehguzar = path/way ]

દૈર નહીં  હરમ નહીં, દર નહીં આસ્તાં નહીં,
બૈઠે હૈ રેહગુજર પે હમ, ગૈર હમેં ઉઠાયે ક્યોં? (૨)

As soon as my recitation of the verse was over, Mr. Benerjee, forgetting his status and rising from his chair to embrace me, cried out loudly, “That’s it! Well done, well done, Valibhai! He is none else but Mirza Ghalib, am I right? Now, I have to honor your prior condition with no any hesitation as I am really one of his admirers. Valibhai, I am very happy beyond words! Really, you gave me an exciting surprise! Thanks, thanks a lot.”

“Exciting surprise? Really! I feel good for your compliment, but still I am going to give you one more surprise while seeing you off!”, I said.

My good Readers, you will have to wait for this ‘one more surprise’ promised to Mr. Banerjee just until before the Part-2 of this Article concludes and I see you off then.

Wish you a nice day, meanwhile

–  Valibhai Musa
Sep. 20, 2009

* યાહોમ કરીને પડો ફત્તેહ છે આગે!


Posted by on September 23, 2008 in Article, લેખ, Humor, MB


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As if Mr. Jeff is alive!

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


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