હું તો વગડાનો માણસ છું – ધીરૂભાઈ સરવૈયા
Born to a farmer family, Dhirubhai Sarvaiya lives in a village called Khirasara, 14 kilometers away from Rajkot city. Dhirubhai has total of seven brothers including him, and unbelievably all of them live together in the same village. Of course, for the better living, the homes are separate, but all situated in the same line. So a total of 50 members in Sarvaiya family live together and hence it can surely be called a joint-family.
He is 42 years old (as on the year 2009), and since last 22 years, he has been in the field of Lok Sahitya. In his early days of being a ‘Kalakar‘ he used to sing hymns mostly. But later, his hobby changed the curve and he became a highly popular humorist, particularly in Saurashtra region of Gujarat state. In the video below, he shares the story of how he turned to a humorist from a folk singer.
Today, his fame has crossed the boundaries. His humorist programs are organized everywhere in Gujarat state, in other countries like USA, England, Dubai and Singapore.
Interviewing Dhirubhai Sarvaiya, was my personal passion, as I am a great fan of his humor since last few years. To me, he is a man who is in close touch with his village roots. He is a common man with uncommon talent. As he says that many of his jokes come from his observation of village life-style and its people.
So, after finding his number, I called him up and introduced myself and activities of Speakbindas. Dhirubhai has no knowledge about website, blogs and all. All I could convince him was, Speakbindas is a medium where people from around the globe can read interview and watch article. He generously, was agreed for the interview. He told us to meet after few days, post- Bhim Agiyaras. And as he had promised, he invited us at his home at Khirasara.
Coincidentally, he was in Rajkot only when we gave him the confirmation call from our car itself. He asked us to stop by a well known garden on highway, from where we were to follow him. He arrived in his Indigo car. He was in formal dress, and looked like he lost some weight too. So from there, we followed his car till his home.
Aah! what a home he is living in. Mostly the village surrounding was beautiful, and plants and tress in his home were adding beauty to it. It was a day of hot summer. But as Dhirubhai says “In evening times, it is very beautiful to sit on terrace with family members and friends.” He led us inside his home and offered us some coldrinks too. He genuinely asked us if we would like to have a lunch with him at his home. Well, we had already completed our lunch at home, but his greeting sounded very genuine.
Overall, he sounded very down to earth person, with no celebrity show-off at all. Rather, he made us very much comfortable at his home. His fan base is so huge all over Saurashtra and Gujarat. Meeting him personally was like an honor for us. He gave the interview very candid way. Apart from this interview video, we have recorded our personal moments too with him, which we spent after the interview. We had asked only for his 10 minutes, but we could spent one and half hour with this very joyful personality. Those who are from Rajkot and wish to view those special moments, are most invited to my office. Email me on Speakbindas AT Gmail Dot Com.
Below is only the excerpt of the interview. Video has lots more to watch and know about Dhirubhai.
Speakbindas: To laugh is easy, but to make others laugh with full heart is a tough job. How you mastered this art?
Dhirubhai Sarvaiya: In this era, people have a life full of tensions. So whenever I go out, my vision is always humorous. The reason why our humor touches people is because it tells a story about their life. For example, recently when I was going through a market I saw person having a small ice cube in hand. He seemed like he was observing the same. I asked him what he was doing and he said “I am trying to find from where this ice cube is leaking!” So this is how we look at things humorously.
Speakbindas: Your programs are being organized in various countries as well. Which are the countries you have been so far? And how was the experience with audience there?
Dhirubhai Sarvaiya: I have traveled to USA twice, once England, Dubai and Singapore. And because such programs are rarely organized in foreign countries, Gujaratis do attend them even by traveling 200 miles distance. And they feel pride by listening to humorists like me. And our work is something like “Vato ni Herapheri”. We tell the Indian stories in foreign and vice versa.
When I returned from my first trip to USA, someone in my village asked me that what is that which is not in USA but is in India? And I said to him that in USA there is no such a mother like we have in India.
I think, foreign countries are good to travel, to see places, to do business etc. but if it’s about living, then India is far better. Here we feel the smell of our motherland.
Speakbindas: Do you go with any preparation to host a program?
Dhirubhai Sarvaiya: I have nothing in my mind until I go on stage. It all comes naturally after sitting on the stage. So there are no such preparations for the program. And let me tell you, Devang that, such programs can not be hosted with preparations. You can not have a practice at home to fight with someone outside!! So for me, it’s a God Gift.
Speakbindas: Dhirubhai, you make others laugh like anything. Can you make your family members laugh too?
Dhirubhai Sarvaiya: Oh! Yes. Sometimes, when I am with family and telling something, on some incidents, even my wife, my children too laugh.
Speakbindas: Well, there are some people if we look at their faces, we think that, this persona wouldn’t have laughed in recent time! Can you make such hard looking people laugh?
Dhirubhai Sarvaiya: Yes, of course. Sometimes, some people have told me that some of their family members like father or grandfather or so never laughs, or do not even attend a program throughout. But I have been told by few families that their such family member has attended my program and enjoyed it throughout. So the thing is that, they attended the program throughout only because they enjoyed the same.
Speakbindas: How do you feel over your such huge popularity?
Dhirubhai Sarvaiya: It feels good, because I am getting paid for my hobby. People pay me with a broad smile on their faces. And it’s not only money they pay, they also give me lots of love. I have never been ill because the money I am paid comes with lots of smile in it. So it’s God’s blessing that we get both money and love from people.