In continuation to Part I of this topic that addressed the totality of my views, what follows are the views on those articles in that issue that prompted me to jot down my reactions. I have followed the page order in which these articles have appeared in the supplement:
“Catchphrase – A super hit formula for success’ [‘કૅચફ્રૅઝઃ સકસેસકા સુપરહિટ ફોર્મ્યૂલા’ – વિહાર – કાના બાટવા] is quite smartly informative on a topic which may perhaps be grandma’s theory for students of marketing management or new entrants into the advertising industry. But his pick of currently popular examples as well as his extension of the theory to politics, business and day-to-day life helps in making this article a standout. The use of રૂઢપ્રયોગ as potential equivalent of catchphrase sounds like a “May I Help You” sign on a police station – it neither appeals nor helps.
Shri Jwalant Chhaya has successfully maintained his standard of uncommonness of views in his article “R K Laxaman- Uncommon Man” [“આર.કે.લક્ષ્મણ – અનકોમન મૅન” – સંવાદ – જ્વલંત છાયા] by capturing a good deal of unknown facets of Laxman’s ‘Common Man’s style and the philosophy it epitomizes. Shri Laxman had the guts to leave his allotted print space blank in the days of the Emergency. This was at a time when it was actually considered quite prestigious to be included in his caricatures! For many TOI readers, including your humble self, a day would truly begin after reading the day’s ‘Common Man’ cartoon. He brought the cartoon or the caricature to a status of one of the most important USPs of newspapers or magazines. Shri Chhaya’s quote of Shri Ishwarbhai Dave could not have been more aptly placed.
As always , Shri Nagindas Sanghavi has been quite objective in his analyses, but unlike in the past, he is quite expansive in this latest article ‘Division of states: Key to good governance’ [“રાજ્યોનું વિભાજનઃ સારા વહીવટની ચાવી” – તડ ને ફડ – નગીનદાસ સંઘવી] by covering similar additional examples, although, it could be argued, the apparent similarity of ultimate outcomes may have been possible because of a variety of reasons.
Even Shri Anil Joshi has not hesitated in aiming quite sharp barbs at the current crop of so-called intellectuals in ‘These are not intelligent people, they are clever ones’ [“એ લોકો બૌધ્ધિક નહીં, હોશીયાર હોય છે..” – કાવ્ય વિશ્વ – અનિલ જોષી]. This should send out a loud message to the world about the power of sarcasm in the words of a poet when he chooses not to be diplomatic about poetic justice.
Varsha[ji] Pathak has taken up the cudgels with sycophancy [“પપૂ,ધધુ,સંશિ, ક,ખ .. ઝ,જ્ઞ?” – આપણી વાત – વર્ષા પાઠક] and its vulgar manifestations. The range of examples of these ‘symbols of respect'(!) make interesting reading but also call for the mustering of courage in extraordinary measure to practice them – both as giver and the recipient.
Shri Vinay Dave’s ‘Band- Baaja – Baraat’ [“બેંડ – બાજા – બારાત” – La – ફ્ટર – વિનય દવે] has succeeded in rubbing salt to the wounds that have just healed or nearly healed. His satirical account of the ridiculousness of our marriage rituals and ceremonies must evoke a revulsion of this extravagant show. That is, unless it has the unintended effect of helping the marriage industry of getting the entire set of activities so beautifully documented.
Similarly, let us hope that the message of love for the mother [“માતા પ્રત્યેનો પ્રેમઃ આપણા સંસ્કારી હોવાનો પુરાવો” – ખુલ્લી વાત ખૂલીને – મનોજ શુક્લ] is able to help us in exhibiting our mother–to-be – the female foetus!!
‘TeamLease – Preparing an employable workforce’ is not only an inspiring story of an entrepreneur of a different kind, but is quite timely too. [“વ્યાવસાયિક ક્ષેત્રમાટે વર્કફૉર્સ તૈયાર કરતીઃટિમ લીઝ” સ્ટ્રૅટૅજી & સક્સેસ – પ્રકાશ બિયાણી] It is indeed quite ironical that the education industry is considered a sunrise industry and the very place to mint money, but its current products – our adolescents and youth – are unfit for the market [i.e., not readily employable].
The neighboring article – ‘Would you like meeting Sophia?’ [“સોફિયાને મળવું ગમશે?”- સાયબર સફર – હિમાંશુ કીકાણી] – has sought to introduce a pain-killer to the multitude of stakeholders of education such as parents, teachers, students and academics, by painstakingly ferreting out, from the world of the Internet, a very useful website – www.sophia.org. But he has acknowledged the currently ailing state of affairs of education at the end of his article – by way of a humble request to teachers to take up meaningful teaching, to parents to be helpful in a real sense and to students to shun a marks-only orientation.
I would certainly accord part of the credit for motivating me to write this lengthy review / comment letter – as an acknowledgement of the stature of ‘કળશ’ as well as appreciating the excellence of most of the articles of the issue under discussion – to “You need a wide chest (36″!) to appreciate (someone or something)” [છત્રીસની છાતી જોઇએ વખાણ કરવા!” – Small સત્ય – મુકેશ મોદી]. (More on the reasons for this piece at the end.) Even as the science of psychology has codified ‘appreciation’, its practice, whether as a motivational or a sycophantic tool, does remain an interesting and intricate art.
Shri Madhu Ray (or Rai?) [Thacker] has effectively expounded on the concept of two-fold repetition vis-à-vis three-fold repetition. [“ગફલત તે ગફલતને ગફલત છે” – નીલે ગગન કે તલે – મધુ રાય]. I am sure he would have been equally effective and attention-catching if he had would not have resorted to mixing English words with his erudite Gujarati, except the use of businessman in place of વાણિજ્યપુરૂષ. I also liked the topic selection;; sentence construction choice of precise but modern Gujarati words; the ‘throw’ of intent in the writings of another iconoclast of Gujarati literature – Shri Chandrakant Baxi; but failed to comprehend his compulsive use of Urdu words. I will thrice repeat the topic with quite jarring practice of the Gujarati generation, who was brought up on half-baked English medium education using some funny-sounding adjectives or adverbs or part of the verb in a “gujarati” sentence which then has only noun and verb in gujarati, in their communication with their children, now under quarter-baked education ‘system’. If all these are called styles in the modern lingo, then so be it.
‘Bail out’ could not have been better bailed out than the way Shri Paresh Vyas has so smartly taken us around all bail outs in “બેઇલઆઉટઃ મા, મને કોઠીમાંથી કાઢ!” [શબદ કીર્તન]. If Shri Bakul Dave has succeeded in exemplarily brief manner from ‘old’ to ‘elder’ in “ઘરડા નહીં, પરિપક્વ થઇએ” [અક્ષયપાત્ર], then Shri Ajay Nayak has excelled at pulling down the house of inflated ego-cards of those who have false notions of who they are. He has hit the bull’s eye when he states that you can spend your lifetime and still do not know who you are. He has aptly used the simile of a pumpkin, but there is a strong possibility that for many of the current generation, this may well be a message from Mars. [“મને ઓળખે છે તું?!”- નાવીન્ય].
The cake of luck is in both the hands of Shri Chetan Bhagat. Shri Vinod Mehta are you listening? ‘Lucknow Boy’ is confined to a footnote in શબ્દસંહિતા, even if he is “must read”, whereas ‘Revolution 2020’ got a repeat full scale article even when it was ‘not liked much’ [“‘રિવોલ્યૂશન ૨૦૨૦ એક ભ્રમ છે’ ચેતન ભગત” – મૂડ ઇન્ડિગો – જયેશ અધ્યારુ]. Incidentally, I am quite an old subscriber of ‘Outlook’ and have been reading articles / blogs of Chetan Bhagat in TOI with interest.
Shri Sanjay Chhel [“ભગવાન ભવનમેં ભીડ હૈ ભારી, સુણો અરજ હમારી” – અંદાઝે બયાં] has so well picked up the pulse of ever so subtle philosophy of the omnipresence of the God, when he says, “Wow, where do you stay and what address do we publicize”. This reminds me of an excellent series of articles by Dr. J J Raval in Janmabhoomi Pravasi a few weeks back. He has also explained the concept of અહંબ્રહ્મમ [I am universal] equally lucidly, both in metaphysics and in astronomy.