Gujaratis: Vaishnav Jan or Money Minded Misers
Like jokes on brainless Sikh Sardars, fun stories on money-minded and miserly Gujaratis abound. And like my first Sikh sick jokes told to me by a sardar himself, most of the miser jokes on Gujaratis came from their own selves.
My first jokes on Gujaratis’ craze for money came over half a century ago when I moved to their state to start their first English daily, killed then but revived recently: The WesternTimes.
It was my senior Ramu Patel and colleagues Parikh and Vatma who told them. Later I heard from Governor Kumudben Joshi of AP remarks about their concern for money whenever I praised Gujarat, which was often.
Jourñalist friend A Gujarati who had no wife, no child, no money, no house and a blind Mother prayed fervently to God and God was moved by his prayers and told him to make ONLY ONE request which will be granted to him.
Then the Gujarati man prayed and said, “God, I want my Mother to see my wife putting diamond bangles on my daughter’s hand inside my car parked in front of my mansion on beach front.”
When God heard this prayer, God said to himself, “I still have a lot to learn from these Gujaratis I created.” :
The Father of the nation is a bania (said to be most miserly) Gandhi whose favourite song was Narsi Mehta’s Vaishnavjantoa tene kahiye jo peed parayejaanehai (call him alone a real Hindu who knows the pain of others.)
The most famous Marathi humourist Pu.La. Deshpande told me 60 years ago that as perthe ancient treatise Natyashastr humour is born from pathos.
That alone is a joke which does not hurt the feelings of even the person joked about. Pathos cannot hurt anyone. A sense of humour more than handsome features is said to be what a woman seeks in a man. Self effacing humour of the British targeting themslves is said to be the best.
— Dedicated to Sardar Balwant Singh Garcha who told me my first Sardar jokes.