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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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Hear-says or rumors

Click here to read in Gujarati
Hear-say is a
social nuisance. Its sadder part is that the fabricator of it cannot be known by us. Finding out its root is as difficult as to reach the source of a river. It is also like knowing about our far ancestors. We may go back up to certain generations and then we have to stop somewhere. Here-say or in other word to say ‘Rumor’ spreads like fire. Where there is fire, there is always wind. Similarly, when a rumor starts, nobody can control or stop it. It is the weakness of human mind that such rumors are exaggerated by who-so-ever hears and then it is passed on to others. Authenticity of hear-say is always lame as it is not based on one’s personal knowledge. Another’s statement comes to the listener passing through many tongues and ears with no any concrete base. Therefore, the judicial system also does not accept such hear-say evidence as per the law of evidence because the witness is unable to say anything on oath.

Hear-says, related to individuals, communities, religions or even nations, create misunderstandings among the people and adverse messages far from any truth spread over everywhere. The victims of such hear-says have to suffer the irreparable damage to their own prestige. Some bias or complex, once fixed in the minds of the people, takes a very long time to be wiped off. In individual cases, Irresponsible and intentional fabrications of the stories against him or her make them mentally disturbed and sometimes they are so much pressurized that he or she attempts to make suicide or on the ground of some doubt towards the supposed enemies, he or she gets excited and takes revenge by quarrel, murder or any other damage. Such harsh action undertaken under excitement is liable to be condemned and at long last the doer has to suffer some punishments by law. William George Bonin, a murderer, who was executed about a decade ago in America had uttered his last words as “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.”

Now, let us discuss some aspects of this issue in light of some psychological and social impacts falling on our smooth and steady life. Here onwards, we are going to take up the matter in discussion relating to individuals only.

First of all, as a part of creating courage in us to face this evil, we – the individuals should not take all such back biting and rumors targeted towards us as a serious issue if we are fully right on our part. If the hear-says, spread against us, are brought to our knowledge by any of our well-wishers, we should take them easy. Epictetus, a Greek Philosopher, has quoted as – 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.” We should not be swayed by all such hear-says, but we must stand still like a rock against them. We should not be victim of nervous breakdown or over-sensitiveness. It is the unavoidable nature of human kind that some of them are not only mean minded, but jealous also.

We should not expect that all guys known or unknown to us will be pleased about the goings on in our life. Public opinions carry no weight and if we ignore them, they will automatically calm down. When time passes, they forget the hear-say spread about us or some other fresh hear-say may take its place there. That is why it is said that the memory of public is always very short.

Now, let us try to know who those devils may be doing all these notorious activities just for their worthless entertainment. First of all, the needle of suspicion may turn towards one’s own open or disguised enemies. Some Psychologists have found out with their observations that there are some people in every society who feel insecurity owing to their own problems get engulfed by envy and jealousy. They are always interested in numbering happy hours of others. Their minds having devil’s workshops are always busy and ready to think out how they can find a new fellow to hurt its feelings. All of a sudden, they people become offensive with their weapons of hear-says. Now, we have two options whether we allow ourselves to be hurt or fight against them. The latter is not a gentleman’s wisdom. Suppose that we want to fight with, but against whom! Isn’t it like biting into the air! I suggest going to the third option and it is that we should ignore all those things and try to create courage in ourselves to cope with the situation.

Hear-says fall short on evidence always. They are the mixtures of truth and untruth. The people behind hear-says can never bring proofs to surface. Besides, they will never show their faces to us. We can never know what they are cooking up behind us to degrade us in the eyes of those people who have high respect and great confidence in ourselves. They are stabbing us from behind to finish us cowardly. What it may be, but we should try to forget it thinking that it is just a nightmare. It is never possible that one may have all the people as friends and not a single foe. He who lives in a society may have some opponents also. There are two qualities of opponents, noble and cunning. Noble opponent will come face to face and the latter will remain invisible to us. They are determined to show us that we are not safe from their tongues. But, we must be equally determined that we are not going to pay any attention towards their dirty games.

It is obvious that when dung (છાણ) of cattle is lifted from the ground, the dust stuck to it will accompany it. Similarly, little or more effect of such wicked deed will influence the minds of our relatives, friends and associated persons in the field of our work. It may happen that some of them may turn their backs on us and join the gang of those notorious people without reserving any judgment whether we are offender or guilty. In such circumstances, we should take their behaviors as alarming that they are not our true relatives or friends. It would be better to depart from them or continue formal relations with them and form a new company of friends who may stand by us in such sorrowful hours in future. True friends or relatives are those who stick with us in our thick or thin times.

Summing up, I would like to put some questions to ask to our inner self. They are as: Are we not the birds of same feathers i.e. same persons like those whom we dislike? Do we have the same tendency of believing in the worst in somebody else like those people? Do we keep ourselves away from any falsehood or fabricated stories? Do we have clean conscience? Are we like those opinion making people? Do we blow any wind to spread over rumors or hear-says concerned to others? Are we like those who run away leaving the victim of hear-says or rumors to his or her destiny? Are we prepared to approach the victim to know the fact before reaching any conclusion? Many such questions may be asked to ourselves. If our answers are just and appropriate, we may criticize others; otherwise we have no right to do so.

“Behave with others as you would expect others to behave with you.”


– Valibhai Musa
Dtd: June 14, 2008

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Posted by on June 14, 2008 in લેખ, Character, MB


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