No man is a hero to his own valet

A valet is the personal servant of a gentleman. He is what in Pakistan is called a bearer. He keeps and brushes his master’s clothes, lays out his suits for him to wear, brings him his morning tea, prepares his bath water, helps him to dress and waits on him in any way his master wants. As the valet knows a good deal of his master’s private life.

Now the valet’s or we can say Nokar’s master would be a public character. He may be a great statesman, a famous solider, a well known artist, a noted musician, a famous politician or could be a popular actor or celebrity of showbiz. To the public outside he is a great and important personage. His guests at dinner see him as an accomplished gentleman and perfect host, the public knows him as a fine speaker or presenter who can affect the multitude, or a general who has won famous victories, or a singer or violinist who can draw crowds to hear him or a greater actor who can move a theater audience to tears or laughter. To them he is a hero, a great man whom they respect and run to see and hear. They know little or nothing of his private life, they see only the grand outside.

But to his valet the great man is simply a man. He sees his master in undress and to speak when no one else is looking and when a man is likely to be his natural self. The valet sees him off his guard. Even the greatest heroes may be subject to indication, colds in the head, fits of bed temper, unpleasant habits and insignificant human weaknesses. The public do not see their hero in these weak moments, but the valet does. And as the similar proverb says ”Familiarity breed contempt ”. the valet says in his heart (if the public knew my master as he really is, they would no longer admire him and call him a hero).

But after all both these proverbs are rather pessimistic. They both suppose that no master can be great in private as well as in public, and that no personal servant is able of appreciating greatness. But this is not true. There are valets who can and do appreciate the greatness of their masters, because there are masters who are great from first to last and through. Familiarity does not breed contempt, except when the man with whom we are familiar really deserves contempt, or when though he really deserves respect, we are unable of appreciating his noble qualities.

  By Rehana khan(111/10)


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