आँधी -जयशंकर प्रसाद  हिन्दी देवनागरी में पढ़ें।

Icon-edit.gif is lekh ka punarikshan evn sampadan hona avashyak hai. ap isamen sahayata kar sakate hain. "sujhav"

chnda ke tat par bahut-se chhatanare vrikshon ki chhaya hai, kintu main pray: muchakund ke niche hi jakar tahalata, baithata aur kabhi-kabhi chandani men oonghane bhi lagata. vahin mera vishram tha. vahan meri ek sahachari bhi thi, kintu vah kuchh bolati n thi. vah rahatthon ki bani huee moosadani-si ek jhopadi thi, jisake niche pahale sathiya musaharin ka mota-sa kala ladaqa pet ke bal pada rahata tha. donon kalaiyon par sir teke hue bhagavanh ki anant karuna ko pranam karate hue usaka chitr ankhon ke samane a jata. main sathiya ko kabhi-kabhi kuchh de deta tha; par vah nahin ke barabar. use to majoori karake jine men sukh tha. any musaharon ki tarah aparadh karane men vah chatur n thi. usako musaharon ki basti se door rahane men suvidha thi, vah muchakund ke phal ikatthe karake bechati, semar ki ruee bin leti, lakadi ke gatthe bator kar bechati par usake in sab vyaparon men koee aur sahayak n tha. ek din vah mar hi to gee. tab bhi kalaee par se sir utha kar, karavat badal kar angadaee lete hue kalua ne keval ek jnbhaee li thi. mainne socha-sneh, maya, mamata in sabon ki bhi ek ghareloo pathashala hai, jisamen utpann hokar shishu dhire-dhire inake abhinay ki shiksha pata hai. usaki abhivyakti ke prakar aur visheshata se vah akarshak hota hai sahi, kintu, maya-mamata kis prani ke hriday men n hogi! musaharon ko pata laga-ve kalloo ko le gaye. tab se is sthan ki nirjanata par garima ka ek aur rng chadh gaya.

main ab bhi to vahin pahunch jata hoon. bahut ghoom-phir kar bhi jaise muchakund ki chhaya ki or khinch jata hoon. aj ke prabhat men kuchh adhik sarasata thi. mera hriday halaka-halaka sa ho raha tha. pavan men madak sugandh aur shitalata thi. tal par nachati huee lal-lal kiranen vrikshon ke antaral se badi suhavani lagati thin. main parajate ke saurabh men apane sir ko dhire-dhire hilata hua kuchh gunagunata chala ja raha tha. sahasa muchakund ke niche mujhe dhuna aur kuchh manushyon ki chahal-pahal ka anuman hua. main kutoohal se usi or badhऩe laga.

vahan kabhi ek saray bhi thi, ab usaka dhvns bach raha tha. do-ek kothariyan thin, kintu purani pratha ke anusar ab bhi vahin par pathik thaharate.

mainne dekha ki muchakund ke as-pas door tak ek vichitr jamavada hai. adh‌bhut shiviron ki panti men yahan par kanan-charon, bina gharavalon ki basti basi huee hai.

srishti ko arambh hue kitana samay bit gaya, kintu in abhagon ko koee pahad ki talahati ya nadi ki ghati basane ke lie prastut n huee aur n inhen kahin ghar banane ki suvidha hi mili. ve aj bhi apane chalate-phirate gharon ko janavaron par lade hue ghoomate hi rahate hain! main sochane laga-ye sabhy manav-samaj ke vidrohi hain, to bhi inaka ek samaj hai. sabhy snsar ke niyamon ko kabhi n manakar bhi in logon ne apane lie niyam banaye hain. kisi bhi tarah, jinake pas kuchh hai, unase le lena aur svatantr hokar rahana. inake sath sadaiv aj ke snsar ke lie vichitratapoorn sngrahalay rahata hai. ye achchhe ghudasavar aur bhayanak vyapari hain. achchha, ye log kathor parishrami aur snsar-yatra ke upayukt prani hain, phir in logon ne kahin basana, ghar banana kyon nahin pasand kiya?-main man-hi-man sochata hua dhire-dhire unake pas hone laga. kutoohal hi to tha. aj tak in logon ke sambandh men kitani hi baten sunata aya tha. jab nirjan chnda ka tal mere manovinod ki samagri ho sakata hai, tab aj usaka basa hua tat mujhe kyon n akarshit karata? main dhire-dhire muchakund ke pas pahunch gaya. ek dal se bndha hua ek sundar bachheda hari-hari doob kha raha tha aur lahnga-kurata pahane, rumal sir se bandhe hue ek ladaqi usaki pith sookhe ghas ke matthe se mal rahi thi. main ruk kar dekhane laga. usane poochha-ghoda loge, baboo?

nahin-kahate hue main age badha tha, ki ek taruni ne jhopade se sir nikal kar dekha. vah bahar nikal aee. usane kaha-ap padhऩa janate hain?

han, janata to hoon.

hinduon ki chitthi ap padh lenge?

main usake sundar mukh ko kala ki drishti se dekh raha tha. kala ki drishti; thik to bauddh-kala, gandhar-kala, dravidon ki kala ityadi nam se bharatiy moorti-saundary ke anek vibhag jo hai; jisase gadhऩ ka anuman hota hai. mere ekant jivan ko bitane ki samragi men is tarah ka jad saundary-bodh bhi ek sthan rakhata hai. mera hriday sajiv prem se kabhi aplut nahin hua tha. main is mook saundary se hi kabhi-kabhi apana manovinod kar liya karata. chitthi padhऩe ki bat poochhane par bhi main apane man men nishchay kar raha tha, ki yah vastavik gandhar pratima hai, ya gris aur bharat ka is saundary men samanvay hai.

vah jhunjhala kar boli-kya nahin padh sakoge?

chashma nahin hai, mainne sahasa kah kiya. yadyapi main chashma nahin lagata, to bhi striyon se bolane men n jane kyon mere man men hichak hoti hai. main unase darata bhi tha, kyonki suna tha ki ve kisi vastu ko bechane ke lie pray: is tarah tng karati hain ki unase dam poochhane vale ko lekar hi chhootana padata hai. isamen unake purush log bhi sahayak ho jate hain, tab vah bechara grahak aur bhi jhnjhat men phns jata. meri saundary ki anubhooti vilin ho gee. main apane dainik jivan ke anusar tahalane ka upakram karane laga; kintu vah samane achal pratima ki tarah khadi ho gee. mainne kaha-kya hai?

chashma chahie? main le ati hoon.

thaharo, thaharo, mujhe chashma n chahie.

kahakar main soch raha tha ki kahin mujhe kharidana n pade. usane poochha-tab tum padh sakoge kaise?

mainne dekha ki bina padhe mujhe chhutti n milegi. mainne kaha-le ao, dekhoon, sambhav hai ki padh sakoon- usane apani jeb se ek buri tarah muda hua patr nikala. main use lekar man-hi-man padhऩe laga.

laila....,

tumane jo mujhe patr likha tha, use padh kar main hnsa bhi aur du:kh to hua hi. hnsa isalie ki tumane doosare se apane man ka aisa khula hua hal kyon kah diya. tum kitani bholi ho! kya tumako aisa patr doosare se likhavate hue hichak n huee. tumhara ghoomanevala parivar aisi baton ko sahan karega? kya in prem ki baton men tum gambhirata ka tanik bhi anubhav nahin karati ho? aur dukhi isalie hua ki tum mujhase prem karati ho. yah kitani bhayanak bat hai. mere lie bhi aur tumhare lie bhi. tumane mujhe nimantrit kiya hai prem ke svatantr samrajy men ghoomane ke lie, kintu tum janati ho, mujhe jivan ki thos jhnjhaton se chhutti nahin. ghar men meri stri hai, tin-tin bachche hain, un sabon ke lie mujhe khatana padata hai, kam karana padata hai. yadi vaisa n bhi hota, to bhi kya main tumhare jivan ko apane sath ghasitane men samarth hota? tum svatantr van-vihngini aur main ek hindoo grihasth; anekon rukavaten, bison bandhan. yah sab asambhav hai. tum bhool jao. jo svapn tum dekh rahi ho-usamen keval ham aur tum hain. snsar ka abhas nahin. main snsar men ek din aur jirn sukh lete hue jivan ki vibhinn avasthaon ka samanvay karane ka prayatn kar raha hoon. n-maloom kab se manushy is bhayanak sukh ka anubhav kar raha hai. main un manushyon men apavad nahin hoon, kyonki yah sukh bhi tumhare svatantr sukh ki santati hai! vah arambh hai, yah parinam hai. phir bhi ghar basana padega. phir vahi samasyaen samane avengi. tab tumhara yah svapn bhng ho jayaga. prithvi thos aur knkarili rah jayagi. phool hava men bikhar jayenge. akash ka virath mukh samast alok ko pi jayaga. andhakar keval andhakar men jhunjhalahat-bhara pashchatap, jivan ko apane dnkon se kshat-vikshat kar dega. isalie laila! bhool jao. tum charayari bechati ho. usase suna hai, chor pakade jate hain. kintu apane man ka chor pakadऩa kahin achchha hai. tumhare bhitar jo tumako chura raha hai, use nikal bahar karo. mainne tumase kaha tha ki bahut-se purane sikke kharidoonga, tum abaki bar pashchim jao to khojakar le ana. main unhen achchhe damon par le loonga. kintu tumako kharidana hai, apane ko bechana nahin, isalie mujhase prem karane ki bhool tum n karo.

han, ab kabhi is tarah patr n bhejana kyonki vah sab vyarth hai.

rameshvar

main ek sans men patr padh gaya, tab tak laila mera munh dekh rahi thi. mera padhऩa kuchh aisa hi hua, jaise log apane men barrate hain. mainne usaki or dekhate hue vah kagaz use lauta diya. usane poochha-isaka matalab?

matalab! vah phir kisi samay bataoonga. ab mujhe jalapan karana hai. main jata hoon. kahakar main muda hi tha ki usane poochha-apaka ghar, baboo!-mainne chnda ke kinare apane saphed bngale ko dikha diya. laila patr hath men liye vahin khadi rahi. main apane bngale ki or chala. man men sochata ja raha tha. rameshvar. vahi to rameshvaranath varma! kyooriyo marchent! usi ki likhavat hai. vah to mera parichit hai. mitr man lene men man ko ek tarah ki adachan hai. isalie main pray: apane kahe janevale mitron ko bhi jab apane man men sambodhan karata hoon, to parichit hi kahakar! so bhi jab itana mane bina kam nahin chalata. mitr man lene par manushy usase shiv ke saman atm-tyag, bodhisatv ke sadrish sarvasv-samarpan ki jo asha karata hai aur usaki shakti ki sima ko pray: atiranjit dekhata hai. vaisi sthiti men apane ko dalana mujhe pasand nahin. kyonki jivan ka hisab-kitab us kalpanik ganit ke adhar par rakhane ka mera abhyas nahin, jisake dvara manushy sabake oopar apana pavana hi nikal liya karata hai.

akele jivan ke niyamit vyay ke liye sadharan poonji ka byaj mere lie paryapt hai. main sukhi vicharata hoon! han, main jalapan karake kurasi par baitha hua apani dak dekh raha tha. usamen ek liphapha thik unhin aksharon men likha hua-jinamen laila ka patr tha-nikala. main utsukata se kholakar padhऩe laga-

bhaee shrinath

tumhara samachar bahut dinon se nahin mila. tumhen yah janakar prasannata hogi ki ham log do saptah ke bhitar tumhare atithi honge. chnda ki vayu ham logon ko khinch rahi hai. minna to tng kar hi raha hai, usaki man ko aur bhi utsukata hai. un sabon ko yahi soojhi hai, ki din bhar tal men dongi par bhojan n karake hava khayenge aur pani piyenge. tumhen kasht to n hoga?

tumhara-rameshvar

patr padh lene par jaise kutoohal mere samane nachane laga. rameshvar ke parivar ka sneh, unake madhur jhagade; man-manauval-samajhauta aur abhav men bhi santosh; kitana sundar! main kalpana karane laga. rameshvar ek saphal kadamb hai, jisake oopar malati ki lata apani saikadon ulajhanon se, anand ki chhaya aur alingan ka sneh-surabhi dhal rahi hai.

rameshvar ka byah mainne dekha tha. rameshvar ke hath ke oopar malati ki pili hatheli, jisake oopar jaladhara pad rahi thi. sachamuch yah sambandh kitana shital hua. us samay main hns raha tha-balika malati aur kishor rameshvar! hindoo-samaj ka yah parihas-yah bhishan mano-vinod! to bhi mainne dekha, kahin bhoochal nahin hua-kahin jvalamukhi nahin phoota. bahiya ne koee ganv bahaya nahin. rameshvar aur malati apane sukh ki phasal har sal katate hain. ...mainne jo socha-abhi-abhi jo vichar mere man men aya, vah n likhoonga. meri kshudrata jalan ke roop men prakat hogi. kintu main sach kahata hoon, mujhe rameshvar se jalan nahin, to bhi mere us vichar ka mithya arth log laga hi lenge. aj-kal manovigyan ka yug hai n. pratyek ne manovrittiyon ke lie hriday ko kabootar ka daraba bana dala hai. inake lie saphed, nila, surkh ka shreni-vibhag kar liya gaya hai. utani prakar ki manovrittiyon ko ginakar vargikaran kar lene ka sahas bhi hone laga hai.

to bhi mainne us bat ko soch hi liya. mere sadharan jivan men ek lahar uthi. prasannata ki snigdh lahar! parivarik sukhon se lipata hua, pranay-kalah dekhoonga; mere dayitv-vihin jivan ka vah manovinod hoga. main rameshvar ko patr likhane laga-

bhaee rameshvar!

tumhare patr ne mujh par prasannata ki varsha ki hai. mere shoony jivan ko anand kolahal se, kuchh hi dinon ke lie sahi bhar dene ka tumhara prayatn, mere lie sukh ka karan hoga, tum avashy ao aur sabako sath lekar ao!

tumhara-shrinath

punashch-

bnbee se ate hue sooran avashy lete ana! yahan vaisa nahin milata. sooran ki tarakari ki garami men hi tum log chnda ki thndi hava jhel sakoge aur sath-sath apani chalati-phirati dookan ka ek baks, jis par ham logon ki batachit ki parampara lagi rahe.

-shrinath

dopahar ka bhojan kar lene ke bad main thodi der avashy letata hoon koee poochhata hai, to kah deta hoon ki yah nidra nahin bhaee, tandra hai, svasthy ko main use apane aram se chalane deta hoon! chikitsakon se salah poochhakar usamen chhed-chhad karana mujhe thik nahin jnchata. sach bat to yah hai ki mujhe vartaman yug ki chikitsa men vaisa hi vishvas hai, jaise pashchaty puratatvgyon ki khoj par. jaise ve sanchi aur amaravati ke stambh tatha shilp ke chihnon men vastr pahani huee moortiyon ko dekhakar, grik shilp-kala ka abhas pa jate hain aur kalpana kar baithate hain ki bharatiy bauddh kala aisi ho hi nahin sakati, kyonki ve kapada pahanana janate hi n the. phir chahe ap tripitak se hi praman kyon n den ki bina antarvasak, chivar ityadi ke bharat ka koee bhi bhikshu nahin rahata tha; par ve kab mananevale! vaise hi chikitsak ke pas sir men dard hone ki dava khojane gaye ki vah pet se usaka sambandh jodakar koee rechak aushadhi de hi dega. bechara kabhi n sochega ki koee gambhir vichar karate hue, jivan ki kisi kathinaee se takarate rahane se bhi pida ho sakati hai. to bhi main halki-si tandra keval tabiyat banane ke lie le hi leta hoon.

sharadh-kal ki ujali dhoop tal ke nile jal par phail rahi thi. ankhon men chakachaundhi lag rahi thi. main kamare men pada angadaee le raha tha. dulare ne akar kaha-eerani-nahin-nahin baloochi aye hain. mainne poochha-kaise eerani aur baloochi?

vahi jo moonga, phiroza, charayari bechate hain, sir men rumal bandhe hue.

main uth khada hua, dalan men akar dekhata hoon, to ek bis baras ke yuvak ke sath laila. gale men chamade ka beg, pith par choti, chhint ka rumal. ek nirala akarshak chitr! laila ne hnsakar poochha-baboo, charayari loge?

charayari?

han baboo! charayari! isake rahane se isake pas sona, asharphi rahega. thaili kabhi khali n hogi. aur baboo! isase chori ka mal bahut jald pakada jata hai.

sath hi yuvak ne kaha-le lo baboo! asali charayari; sona ka charayari! ek baboo ke lie laya tha. vah mila nahin.

main ab tak un donon ki suramili ankhon ko dekh raha tha. surame ka ghera gore-gore munh par ankh ki vistrit satta ka svatantr sakshi tha. patali lambi gardan par khilaune-sa munh tapatap bol raha tha! mainnen kaha-mujhe to charayari nahin chahie.

kintu vahan sunata kaun hai, donon sidhi par baith gaye the aur laila apana beg khol rahi thi. kee potaliyan nikalin, sahasa laila ke munh ka rng ud gaya. vah ghabarakar kuchh apani bhasha men kahane lagi. yuvak uth khada hua. main kuchh n samajh saka. vah chala gaya. ab laila ne muskarate hue, beg men se vahi patr nikala. mainne kaha-ise to main padh chuka hoon.

isaka matalab!

vah tumhari charayari kharidane phir avega. yahi isamen likha hai-mainne kaha.

bas! itana hi?

aur bhi kuchh hai.

kya baboo?

aur jo usane likha hai, vah main nahin kah sakata-

kyon baboo? kyon n kah sakoge? bolo.

laila ki vani men puchakar, dular, jhidaqi aur agya thi.

yah sab bat main nahin ......

bich men hi bat katakar usane kaha-nahin kyon? tum janate ho, nahin bologe?

usane likha hai, main tumako pyar karata hoon.

likha hai, baboo!-laila ki ankhon men svarg hnsane laga! vah phurati se patr modakar rakhati huee hnsane lagi. mainne apane man men kaha-ab yah poochhegi, vah kab avega? kahan milega?-kintu laila ne yah sab kuchh nahin poochha. vah sidhiy़on par arddh-shayanavastha men jaise koee sundar sapana dekhati huee muskara rahi thi. yuvak daudata hua aya; usane apani bhasha men kuchh ghabara kar kaha par laila lete-hi-lete kuchh boli. yuvak bhi baith gaya. laila ne meri or dekhakar kaha-to baboo! vah avega. meri charayari kharidega. gul se bhi kah do. mainne samajh liya ki yuvak ka nam gul hai. mainne kaha-han, vah tumhari charayari kharidane avenge. gul ne laila ki or prasann drishti se dekha.

parantu main, jaise bhayabhit ho gaya. apane oopar sandeh hone laga. laila sundari thi, par usake bhitar bhayanak rakshas ki akriti thi ya devamoorti! yah bina jane mainne kya kah diya! isaka parinam bhishan bhi ho sakata hai. main sochane laga. rameshvar ko mitr to manata nahin, kintu mujhe usase shatruta karane ka kya adhikar hai?

chnda ke dakshini tat par thik mere bngale ke samane ek pathashala thi. usamen ek sinhali sajjan rahate the. n jane kahan-kahan se unako chnda milata tha. ve pas-pados ke ladaqon ko bulakar padhane ke lie bithate the. do mastaron ko vetan dete the. unaka vishvas tha ki chnda ka tat kisi din tathagat ke pavitr charan-chihn se ankit hua tha, ve aj bhi unhen khojate the. bade shant prakriti ke jiv the. unaka shyamal sharir, kunchit kesh, tikshn drishti, sinhali visheshata se poorn vinay, madhur vani aur kuchh-kuchh mote adharon men chaubison ghante basane vali hnsi akarshan se bhari thi. main kabhi-kabhi jab jibh men khujalahat hoti, vahan pahunch jata. aj ki vah ghatana mere gambhir vichar ka vishay banakar mujhe vyast kar rahi thi. main apani dongi par baith gaya. din abhi ghante-dedh-ghante baki tha. us par khekar dongi le jate bahut der nahin huee. main pathashala aur tal ke bich ke udyan ko dekh raha tha. khajoor aur nariyal ke oonche-oonche vrikshon ko jisamen nirali chhata thi. ek naya pipal apane chikane patton ki hariyali men jhoom raha tha. usake niche shila par prgyasarathi baithe the. nav ko atakakar main unake samip pahuncha. ast hone vale soory-bimb ki rngili kiranen unake prashant mukhamandal par pad rahi thin. do dhaee hazar varsh pahale ka chitr dikhaee pada, jab bharat ki pavitrata hajaron kos se logon ko vasana-daman karana sikhane ke lie amantrit karati thi. aj bhi adhyatmik rahasyon ke us desh men us mahati sadhana ka ashirvad bacha hai. abhi bhi bodh-vriksh panapate hain! jivan ki jatil avashyakata ko tyag kar jab kashay pahane sandhya ke soory ke rng men rng milate hue dhyan-stimit-lochan moortiyan abhi dekhane men ati hai, tab jaise mujhe apani satta ka vishvas hota hai, aur bharat ki apoorvata ka anubhav hota hai. apani satta ka isalie ki main bhi tyag ka abhinay karata hoon n! aur bharat ke lie to mujhe poorn vishvas hai ki isaki vijay dharm men hain.

adharon men kunchit hnsi, ankhon men prakash bhare prgyasarathi ne mujhe dekhate hue kaha-aj meri ichchha thi ki apase bhent ho.

mainne hnsate hue kaha-achchha hua ki main pratyaksh hi a gaya. nahin to dhyan men badha padati.

shrinathaji! mere dhyan men apake ane ki sambhavana n thi. to bhi aj ek vishay par apaki sammati ki avashyakata hai.

main bhi kuchh kahane ke lie hi yahan aya hoon. pahale main kahoon ki ap hi arambh karenge?

sathiya ke ladake kalloo ke sambandh men to apako kuchh nahin kahana hai? mere bahut kahane par musaharon ne use padhऩe ke lie meri pathashala men rakh diya hai aur usake palan ke bhar se apane ko mukt kar liya. ab vah sat baras ka ho gaya hai. achchhi tarah khata-pita hai. saph-suthara rahata hai. kuchh-kuchh padhata bhi hai!-prgyasarathi ne kaha.

chalie, achchha hua! ek raste par lag gaya. phir jaisa usake bhagy men ho. mera man in ghareloo bandhanon men padane ke lie virakt-sa hai, phir bhi n jane kyon kalloo ka dhyan a hi jata hai-mainne kaha.

tab to achchhi bat hai, ap is kritrim virakti se oob chale hain, to kuchh kam karane lagie. main bhi ghar jana chahata hoon, n ho to pathashala hi chalaie-kahate hue prgyasarathi ne meri or gambhirata se dekha.

mere man men halachal huee. main ek bakavadi manushy! kisi vishay par gambhirata ka abhinay karake thodi der tak saphal vad-vivad chala dena aur phir vishvas karana; itana hi to mera abhyas tha. kam karana, kisi dayitv ko sir par lena asambhav! main chup raha. vah mera munh dekh rahe the. main chaturata se nikal jana chahata tha. yadi main thodi der aur usi tarah sannata rakhata, to mujhe han ya nahin kahana hi padata. mainne vivahavala chutakula chhed hi to diya.

ap to virakt bhikshu hain. ab ghar jane ki avashyakata kaise a padi?

bhikshu! ashchary se prgyasarathi ne kaha-main to brahmachary men hoon. vidyabhyas aur dharm ka anushilan kar raha hoon. yadi main chahoon to pravrajya le sakata hoon, nahin to grihi banane men koee dharmik apatti nahin. sinhal men to yahi pratha prachalit hai. mere vichar se yah prachin ary-pratha bhi thi! main garhasthy-jivan se parichit hona chahata hoon.

to ap byah karenge?

kyon nahin; vahi karane to ja raha hoon.

dekhata hoon, striyon par apako poorn vishvas hai.

avishvas karane ka karan hi kya hai? itihas men, akhyayikaon men kuchh striyon aur purushon ka dusht charitr padhaqar mujhe apane aur apani bhavi sahadharmini par avishvas kar lene ka koee adhikar nahin? pratyek vyakti ko apani pariksha deni chahie.

vivahit jivan! sukhadayak hoga?-mainne poochha.

kisi karm ko karane ke pahale usamen sukh ki hi khoj karana kya atyant avashyak hai? sukh to dharmacharan se milata hai. anyatha snsar to du:khamay hai hi! snsar ke karmon ko dharmikata ke sath karane men sukh ki hi sambhavana hai.

kintu byah-jaise karm se to sidha-sidha stri se sambandh hai. stri! kitani vichitr paheli hai. ise janana sahaj nahin. bina jane hi usase apana sambandh jod lena, kitani badi bhool hai, brahmachariji!-mainne hns kar kaha.

bhaee, tum bade chatur ho. khoob soch-samajhakar, parakhakar tab sambandh jodऩa chahate ho n; kintu meri samajh men sambandh hue bina parakhane ka doosara upay nahin. prgyasarathi ne gambhirata se kaha. main chup hokar sochane laga. abhi-abhi jo mainne ek kand ka bijaropan kiya hai, vah kya laila ke svabhav se parichit hokar! main apani moorkhata par man-hi-man tilamila utha. mainne kalpana se dekha, laila pratihinsa bhari ek bhayanak rakshasi hai, yadi vah apane jati-svabhav ke anusar rameshvar ke sath badala lene ki pratigya kar baithe, tab kya hoga?

prgyasarathi ne phir kaha-mera jana to nishchit hai. tamraparni ki tarng-malaen mujhe bula rahi hain! meri ek prarthana hai. ap kabhi-kabhi akar isaka nirikshan kar liya kijie.

mujhe ek bahana mila, mainne kaha-mainne baithe-bithaye ek jhnjhat bula li hai. main dekhata hoon ki kuchh dinon tak to mujhe usamen phnsana hi padega.

prgyasarathi ne poochha-vah kya?

mainne laila ka patr padhऩe aur usake bad ka sab vrittant kah sunaya. prgyasarathi chup rahe, phir unhonne kaha-apane is kam ko khoob soch-samajh kar karane ki avashyakata par to dhyan n diya hoga, kyonki isaka phal doosare ko bhogane ki sambhavana hai n!

mujhe prgyasarathi ka yah vyng achchha n laga. mainne kaha-sambhav hai ki mujhe bhi kuchh bhogana pade.

bhaee main dekhata hoon, snsar men bahut-se aiese kam manushy ko karane padate hain, jinhen vah svapn men bhi nahin sochata. akasmath ve prasng samane akar gurrane lagate hain, jinase bhag kar jan bachana hi usaka abhisht hota hai. main bhi isi tarah byah karane ke lie sinhal ja raha hoon.

andhakar ko bhed kar sharadh ka chandrama nariyal aur khajoor ke vrikshon par dikhaee dene laga tha. chnda ka tal lahariyon men prasann tha. main kshan bhar ke lie prakriti ki us sundar chitrapati ko tanmay hokar dekhane laga.

kalua ne jab prgyasarathi ko bhojan karane ki soochana di, mujhe smaran hua ki mujhe us par jana hai. mainne doosare din ane ko kah kar prgyasarathi se chhutti mangi.

dongi par baithakar main dhire-dhire dand chalane laga.

main anamana-sa dand chalata hua kabhi chandrama ko aur kabhi chnda tal ko dekhata. nav saral andolan men tir rahi thi. bar-bar sinhali prgyasarathi ki bat sochata jata tha. mainne ghoomakar dekha, to kunj se ghira hua pathashala ka bhavan chnda ke shubhrajal men pratibimbit ho raha tha! chnda ka vah tat samudr-upakool ka ek khand-chitr tha. man-hi-man sochane laga-main karata hi kya hoon, yadi main pathashala ka hi nirikshan karoon, to hani kya? man bhi lagega aur samay bhi katega. -ab main door chala aya tha. samane muchakund vriksh ki nil akriti dikhalaee padi. mujhe laila ka phir smaran a gaya. kitani saral, svatantr aur sahasikata se bhari huee ramani hai. suramili ankhon men kitana nasha hai aur apane madak upakaranon se bhi rameshvar ko apani or akarshit karane men vah asamarth hai. rameshvar par mujhe krodh aya aur laila ko phir apane vicharon se ulajhate dekh kar jhunjhala utha. ab kinara samip ho chala tha. main muchakund ki or se nav ghumane ko tha ki mujhe us prashant jal men do shir tairate hue dikhaee pade. sharadh-kal ki shital rajani men un tairanevalon par mujhe ashchary hua. mainne dand chalana band kar diya. donon tairanevale dongi ke pas a chale the. mainne chandrika ke alok men pahachan liya, vah laila ka sundar mukh tha. kumadini ki tarah praphull chandani men hnsata hua laila ka mukh! mainne pukara-laila! vah bolane hi ko thi ki usake sathavala mukh gurra utha. mainne samajha ki usaka sathi gul hoga; kintu laila ne kaha-chup, babooji hain. ab mainne pahachana-vah ek bhayanak taji kutta hai, jo laila ke sath tair raha tha. laila ne kaha-babooji, ap kahan? meri dongi ke ek or laila ka hath tha aur doosari or kutte ke donon agale pnje. mainne kaha-yon hi ghoomane aya tha aur tum rat ko tairati ho? laila.

dinabhar kam karane ke bad ab to chhutti mili hai, badan thanda kar rahi hoon-laila ne kaha.

vah ek adh‌bhut drishy tha. itane dinon tak main jivan ke akele dinon ko kat chuka hoon. anek avasar vichitr ghatanaon se poorn aur manoranjak mile hain; kintu aisa drishy to mainne kabhi n dekha. mainne poochha-aj ki rat to bahut thandi hai, laila!

usane kaha-nahin, badi garm.

donon ne apani rukavat hata li. dongi chalane ko svatantr thi. laila aur usaka sathi donon tairane lage. main phir apane bngale ki or dongi khene laga. kinare par pahunch kar dekhata hoon ki dulare khada hai. mainne poochha-kyon re! too kab se yahan hai?

usane kaha-apako ane men der huee, isalie main aya hoon. rasoee thandi ho rahi hai.

main dongi se utar pada aur bngale ki or chala. mere man men n jane kyon sandeh ho raha tha ki dulare jan-boojhakar parakhane aya tha. laila se batachit karate hue usane mujhe avashy dekha hai. to kya vah mujh par kuchh sandeh karata hai? mera man dulare ko sandeh karane ka avasar dekar jaise kuchh prasann hi hua. bngale par pahunchakar main bhojan karane baith gaya. svabhav ke anusar sharir to apana niyamit sab karata hi raha, kintu so jane par bhi vahi sapana dekhata raha.

aj bahut vilamb se sokar utha. alas se kahin ghoomane-phirane ki ichchha n thi. mainne apani kothari men hi asan jamaya. meri ankhon men vah ratri ka drishy abhi ghoom raha tha. mainne lakh cheshta ki kintu laila aur vah sinhali bhikshu donon hi ne mere hriday ko akhada bana liya tha. mainne virakt hokar vichar-parampara ko todane ke liye bansuri bajana arambh kiya. asavari ke gambhir vilambit alapon men phir bhi laila ki premapoorn akriti jaise banane lagati. mainne bansuri bajana band kiya aur thik vishramakal men hi mainne dekha ki prgyasarathi samane khade hain. mainne unhen baithate hue poochha-aj ap idhar kaise bhool pade?

yah prashn meri vichar-vishrinkhalata ke karan hua tha, kyonki ve to pray: mere yahan aya hi karate the. unhonne hns kar kaha-mera ana bhoolakar nahin, kintu karan se hua hai. kahiye, apane us vishay men kuchh sthir kiya?

mainne anajan banakar poochha-kis vishay men?

prgyasarathi ne kaha-vahi pathashala ki dekh-rekh karane ke lie, jaisa mainne us din apase kaha tha.

mainne bat udane ke dhng se kaha-ap to soch-vicharakar kam karane men vishvas hi nahin rakhate. apaka to yahi kahana hai n ki manushy pray: anichchhavash bahut-se kam karane ke lie badhy hota hai, to phir mujhe us par sochane-vicharane ki kya avashyakata thi? jab vaisa avasar avega, tab dekha jayaga.

kripaya meri baton ka manonukool arth n lagaie. yah to main manata hoon ki ap apane dhng se vichar karane ke lie svatantr hain; kintu unhen kriyatmak roop dene ke samay apaki svatantrata men mera vishvas sndigdh ho jata hai. pray: dekha jata hai, ham log kya karane jakar kya kar baithate hain, to bhi ham usaki zimmedari se chhootate nahin. man lijie ki laila ke hriday men ek durasha utpann karake apane rameshvar ke jivan men adachan dal di hai. sambhav hai, yah ghatana sadharan n rah kar koee bhishan kand upasthit kar sakati hai aur apaka mitr apane anisht karanevale ko n bhi pahachan sake, to kya ap apane hi man ke samane isake lie aparadhi n thaharenge?

prgyasarathi ki ye baten mujhe bedhngi-si jan padin kyonki us samay mujhe unaka ana aur mujhe upadesh dene ka dhong rachana asahy hone laga. meri ichchha hoti thi ki ve kisi tarah bhi yahan se chale jate; to bhi mujhe unhen uttar dene ke lie itana to kahana hi pada ki-ap kachche adrishtavadi hain. apake jaisa vichar rakhane par main to ise is tarah sulajhaoonga ki aparadh karane men aur dand dene men manushy ek doosare ka sahayak hota hai. ham aj jo kisi ko hani pahunchate hain, ya kasht dete hain, vah itane hi ke lie nahin ki usane meri koee buraee ki hai. ho sakata hai ki main usake kisi aparadh ka yah dand samaj-vyavastha ke kisi maulik niyam ke anusar de raha hoon. phir chahe mera yah dand dena bhi aparadh ban jay aur usaka phal bhi mujhe bhogana pade. mere is kahane par prgyasarathi ne hns diya aur kaha-shrinathaji, main apaki dand-vyavastha hi to karane aya hoon. ap apane bekar jivan ko meri begar men laga dijie. mainne pind chhudane ke lie kaha- achchha, tin din sochane ka avasar dijie.

prgyasarathi chale gaye aur main chupachap sochane laga. mere svatantr jivan men man ke mar jane ke bad yah doosari ulajhan thi. nishchint jivan ki kalpana ka anubhav mainne itane dinon tak kar liya tha. mainne dekha ki mere nirash jivan men ullas ka chhinta bhi nahin. yah gyan mere hriday ko aur aur bhi sparsh karane laga. main jitana hi vicharata tha, utana hi mujhe nishchintata aur nirasha ka abhed dikhalaee padata tha. mere alasi jivan men sakriyata ki pratidhvani hone lagi. to bhi kam n karane ka svabhav mere vicharon ke bich men jaise vyng se muskara deta tha.

tin dinon tak mainne socha aur vichar kiya. ant men prgyasarathi ki vijay huee kyonki meri drishti men prgyasarathi ka kam nam ke lie to avashy tha, kintu karane men kuchh bhi nahin ke barabar.

mainne apana hriday dridh kiya aur prgyasarathi se jakar kah diya ki-main pathashala ka nirikshan karoonga, kintu mere mitr anevale hain aur jab tak yahan rahenge, tab tak to main apana bngala n chhodoonga kyonki yahan un logon ke ane se apako asuvidha hogi. phir jab ve log chale jayenge, tab main yahin akar rahane lagoonga.

mere singhali mitr ne hns kar kaha-abhi to ek mahine yahan main avashy rahoonga. yadi ap abhi se yahan chale aven to, bada achchha ho, kyonki mere rahate yahan ka sab prabandh apaki samajh men a jayaga. rah gee meri asuvidha ki bat, so to keval apaki kalpana hai. main apake mitron ko yahan dekhakar prasann hi hooonga. jagah ki kami bhi nahin.

main ‘achchha’ kah kar unase chhutti lene ke lie uth khada hua; kintu prgyasarathi ne mujhe phir se baithate hue kaha-dekhie shrinathaji, yah pathashala ka bhavan poornat: apake adhikar men rahega. bhikshuon ke rahane ke lie to sngharam ka bhag alag hai hi aur usamen jo kamare abhi adhoore hain, unhen shighr hi poora karakar tab main jaoonga aur apane sngh se main isaki pakki likha-padhi kar raha hoon ki ap pathashala ke ajivan avaitanik pradhanadhyaksh rahenge aur usamen kisi ko hastakshep karane ka adhikar n hoga.

main us yuvak bauddh mishanari ki yuktipoorn vyavaharikata dekh kar man-hi-man chakit ho raha tha. ek kshan bhar ke lie us sinhali ki vyavahar-kushal buddhi se main bhitar-hi-bhitar oob utha. meri ichchha huee ki main spasht asvikar kar doon; kintu n jane kyon main vaisa n kar saka. mainne kaha-to apako mujhamen itana vishvas hai ki main ajivan apaki pathashala chalata rahoonga!

prgyasarathi ne kaha-shakti ki pariksha doosaron hi par hoti hai; yadi mujhe apaki shakti ka anubhav ho, to kuchh ashchary ki bat nahin. aur ap to janate hi hain ki dharmik manushy vishvasi hota hai. sookshm roop se jo kalyan-jyoti manavata men antarnihit hai, main to usamen adhik-se-adhik shraddha karata hoon. vipathagami hone par vahi sant ho karake manushy ka anushasan karati hai, yadi usaki pashuta hi prabal n ho gee ho, to.

mainne prgyasarathi ki ankhon se ankh milate hue dekha, usamen tivr snyam ki jyoti chamak rahi thi, main prativad n kar saka, aur yah kahate hue khada hua ki- achchha, jaisa ap kahate hain vaisa hi hoga!

main dhire-dhire bngale ki or laut raha tha. raste men achanak dekhata hoon ki dulare dauda hua chala a raha hai. mainne poochha-kya hai re?

usane kaha-babooji, ghodagadi par bahut-se adami aye hain. ve log apako poochh rahe hain.

mainne samajh liya ki rameshvar a gaya. dulare se kaha ki-too daud ja, main yahin khada hoon. un logon ko saman-sahit yahin liva la!

dulare to bngale ki or bhaga, kintu main usi jagah avichal bhav se khada raha. man men vicharon ki andhi uthane lagi, rameshvar to a gaya aur ve eerani bhi yahin hain. oh, mainne kaisi moorkhata ki! to mere man ko jaise dhadhas hua ki rameshvar mere bngale men nahin thaharata hai. is bauddh pathashala tak laila kyon ane lagi? jaise laila ko vahan ane men koee daivi badha ho. phir mera sir chakarane laga. mainne kalpana ki ankhon se dekha ki laila abadhagati se chalane vali ek nirjharani hai. pashchim ki sarrate se bhari huee vayutarng-mala hai. usako rokane ki kisamen samathry hai; aur phir akele rameshvar hi to nahin, usaki stri bhi usake sath hai. apani moorkhatapoorn karani se mera hi dam ghutane laga. main khada-khada jhil ki or dekh raha tha. usamen chhoti-chhoti lahariyan uth rahi thin, jinamen soory ki kiranen pratibimbit hokar ankhon ko chaundhiya deti thin. mainne ankhe band kar lin. ab main kuchh nahin sochata tha. gadi ki gharagharahat ne mujhe sajag kiya. mainne dekha ki rameshvar gadi ka palla kholakar vahin sadak men utar raha hai.

main usase gale mil shighrata se kahane laga-gadi par baith jao. main bhi chalata hoon. yahin pas hi chalana hai.-usane gadivan se chalane ke lie kaha. ham donon sath-sath paidal hi chale. pathashala ke samip prgyasarathi apani rahasyapoorn muskarahat ke sath agavani karane ke lie khade the.

do dinon men ham log achchhi tarah rahane lage. ghar ka kona-kona avashyak chijon se bhar gaya. prgyasarathi isamen barabar ham logon ke sathi ho rahe the aur sabase adhik ashchary mujhe malati ko dekh kar hua. vah mano is jivan ki sampoorn grihasthi yahan saja kar rahegi. malati ek svasth yuvati thi; kintu door se dekhane men apani chhoti-si akriti ke karan vah balika-si lagati thi. usaki tinon santanen badi sundar thin. minna chhah baras ka, rajjan char ka aur kamalo do ki thi. kamalo sachamuch ek gudiy़a thi, kalloo ka usase itana ghana parichay ho gaya ki donon ko ek doosare bina chain nahin. main sochata tha ki prani kya snehamay hi utpann hota hai. agyat pradeshon se akar vah snsar men janm leta hai. phir apane lie snehamay sambandh bana leta hai; kintu main sadaiv in buri baton se bhagata hi raha. ise main apana saubhagy kahoon, ya durbhagy?

inhin kee dinon men rameshvar ke prati mere hriday men itana sneh umada ki main use ek kshan chhodane ke lie prastut n tha. ab ham log sath baithakar bhojan karate, sath hi tahalane nikalate. baton ka to ant hi n tha. kalloo tinon ladaqon ko bahalaye rahata. dulare khane-pine ka prabandh kar leta. rameshvar se meri baten hoti aur malati chupachap suna karati. kabhi-kabhi bich men koee achchhi-si mithi bat bol bhi deti.

aur prgyasarathi ko to mano ek pathashala hi mil gee thi. ve garhasthy-jivan ka chupachap achchha-sa adhyayan kar rahe the.

ek din main bazar se akela laut raha tha. bngale ke pas main pahuncha hi tha, ki laila mujhe dikhaee padi. vah apane ghode par savar thi. main kshan bhar tak vicharata raha ki kya karoon. tab tak ghode se utar kar vah mere pas chali aee. main khada ho gaya tha. usane poochha-babooji, ap kahin chale gaye the?

han!

ab is bngale men ap nahin rahate?

main tumase ek bat kahana chahata hoon, laila. mainne ghabara kar usase kaha.

kya babooji?

vah chitthi.

hai mere hi pas, kyon?

mainne usamen kuchh jhooth kaha tha.

jhooth! laila ki ankhon se bijali nikalane lagi thi.

han laila! usamen rameshvar ne likha tha ki main tumako nahin chahata, mujhe bal-bachche hain.

ain! tum jhoothe! dagabaj! .... kahati huee laila apani chhuri ki or dekhati huee dant pisane lagi.

mainne kaha-laila, tum mera kasoor.....

tum mere dil se dillagi karate the! kitane ranj ki bat hai! vah kuchh n kah saki. vahin baithakar rone lagi. mainne dekha ki yah badi aphat hai. koee mujhe is tarah yahan dekhega to kya kahega. main turant vahan se chal dena chahata tha, kintu laila ne ansoo bhari ankhon se meri or dekhate hue kaha-tumane mere lie duniya men ek badi achchhi bat sunaee thi. vah meri hnsi thi! ise jan kar aj mujhe itana gussa ata hai ki main tumako mar daloon ya ap hi mar jaoon.-laila dant pis rahi thi. main kanp utha-apane pranon ke bhay se nahin kintu laila ke sath adrisht ke khilavad par aur apani moorkhata par. mainne prarthana ke dhng se kaha-laila, mainne tumhare man ko thes laga di hai-isaka mujhe bada du:kh hai. ab tum usako bhool jao.

tum bhool sakate ho, main nahin! main khoon karoongi!-usaki ankhon se jvala nikal rahi thi.

kisaka, laila! mera?

oh nahin, tumhara nahin, tumane ek din mujhe sabase bada aram diya hai. ho, vah jhootha. tumane achchha nahin kiya tha, to bhi main tumako apana dost samajhati hoon.

tab kisaka khoon karogi?

usane gahari sans le kar kaha-apana ya kisi..... phir chup ho gee. mainne kaha-tum aisa n karogi, laila! mera aur kuchh kahane ka sahas nahin hota tha. usi ne phir poochha-vah jo tej hava chalati hai, jisamen bijali chamakati hai, baraph girati hai, jo bade-bade pedon ko tod dalati hai....ham logon ke gharon ko uda le jati hai.

andhi!-mainne bich hi men kaha.

han, vahi mere yahan chal rahi hai!-kahakar laila ne apani chhati par hath rakh diya.

laila!-mainne adhir hokar kaha.

main usako ek bar dekhana chahati hoon.-usane bhi vyakulata se meri or dekhate hue kaha.

main use dikha doonga; par tum usaki koee buraee to n karogi?-mainne kaha.

hush!-kahakar laila ne apani kali ankhen uthakar meri or dekha.

mainne kaha-achchha laila! main dikha doonga.

kal mujhase yahin milana. kahati huee vah apane ghode par savar ho gee. udas laila ke bojh se vah ghoda bhi dhire-dhire chalane laga aur laila jhuki huee-si us par mano kisi tarah baithi thi.

main vahin thodi der tak khada raha. aur phir dhire-dhire anichchhapoorvak pathashala ki or lauta. prgyasarathi pipal ke niche shilakhand par baithe the. minna unake pas khada unaka munh dekh raha tha. prgyasarathi ki rahasyapoorn hnsi aj adhik udar thi. mainne dekha ki vah udasin videshi apani samasya hal kar chuka hai. bachchon ki chahal-pahal ne usake jivan men vanchhit parivartan la diya hai. aur main?

main kah chuka tha, isalie doosare din laila se bhent karane pahuncha. dekhata hoon ki vah pahale hi se vahan baithi hai. nirasha se udas usaka munh aj pila ho raha tha. usane hnsane ki cheshta nahin ki aur n mainne hi. usane poochha-to kab, kahan chalana hoga? main to soorat men usase mili thi! vahin usane meri chitthi ka javab diya tha. ab kahan chalana hoga?

main bhaunchak-sa ho gaya. laila ko vishvas tha ki soorat, bambee, kashmir vah chahe kahin ho, main use livakar chaloonga hi. aur rameshvar se bhent kara doonga. sambhavat: usane mere parihas ka dand nirdharit kar liya tha. main sochane laga-kya kahoon.

laila ne phir kaha-main usaki buraee n karoongi, tum daro mat.

mainne kaha-vah yahin a gaya hai. usake bal-bachche sab sath hain! laila, tum chalogi?

vah ek bar sir se pair tak kanp uthi! aur main bhi ghabara gaya. mere man men nee ashnka huee. aj main kya doosari bhool karane ja raha hoon? usane samhalakar kaha-han chaloongi, baboo! mainne gahari drishti se usake munh ki or dekha, to andhad nahin, kintu ek shital malay ka vyakul jhonka usaki ghungharali laton ke sath khel raha tha. mainne kaha-achchha, mere pichhe-pichhe chalo ao!

main chala aur vah mere pichhe thi. jab pathashala ke pas pahuncha, to mujhe haramoniyam ka svar aur madhur alap sunaee pada. main thithakakar sunane laga-ramani-kanth ki madhur dhvani! mainne dekha ki laila ki bhi ankhe us sngit ke nashe men matavali ho chali hain. udhar dekhata hoon to kamalo ko god men liye prgyasarathi bhi jhoom rahe hain. apane kamare men malati chhote-se saphari baje par piloo ga rahi hai aur achchhi tarah ga rahi hai! rameshvar leta hua usake munh ki or dekh raha hai. poorn tripti! prasannata ki madhuri donon ke munh par khel rahi hai! pas hi ranjan aur minna baithe hue apane mata aur pita ko dekh rahe hain! ham logon ke ane ki bat kaun janata hai. mainne ek kshan ke lie apane ko kosa; itane sundar snsar men kalah ki jvala jala kar main tamasha dekhane chala tha. hay re-mera kutoohal! aur laila stabdh apani badi-badi ankhon se ekatak n jane kya dekh rahi thi. main dekhata tha ki kamalo prgyasarathi ki god se dhire se khisak padi aur billi ki tarah pair dabati huee apani man ki pith par hnsati huee gir padi, aur boli-man! aur gana ruk gaya. kamalo ke sath minna aur ranjan bhi hns pade. rameshvar ne kaha-kamalo, too bali paji hai le! ba-paji-lal-kahakar kamalo ne apani nanhi-si ungali uthakar ham logon ki or snket kiya. rameshvar to uthakar baith gaye. malati ne mujhe dekhate hi sir ka kapada tanik age ki or khinch liya aur laila ne rameshvar ko dekhakar salam kiya. donon ki ankhe milin. rameshvar ke munh par pal bhar ke lie ek ghabarahat dikhaee padi. phir usane samhalakar poochha-are laila! tum yahan kahan?

charayari n loge, baboo?-kahati huee laila nirbhik bhav se malati ke pas jakar baith gee.

malati laila par ek salajj muskan chhodati huee, uth khadi huee. laila usaka munh dekh rahi thi, kintu us or dhyan n dekar malati ne mujhase kaha-bhaee ji, apane jalapan nahin kiya. aj to ap hi ke lie mainne sooran ke laddoo banaye hain.

to deti kyon nahin pagali, main savere se hi bhookha bhatak raha hoon-mainne kaha. malati jalapan le ane gee. rameshvar ne kaha-charayari le aee ho? laila ne han kahate hue apana beg khola. phir ruk kar usane apane gale se ek tabij nikala. resham se lipata hua chaukor tabij ka sivan kholakar usane vah chiththi nikali. main sthir bhav se dekh raha tha. laila ne kaha-pahale babooji, is chiththi ko padh dijie.-rameshvar ne kampit hathon se usako khola, vah usi ka likha hua patr tha. usane ghabarakar laila ki or dekha. laila ne shant svaron men kaha-padhi़e baboo! main ap hi ke munh se sunana chahati hoon.

rameshvar ne dridhata se padhऩa arambh kiya. jaise usane apane hriday ka samast bal anevali ghatanaon ka samana karane ke lie ekatr kar liya ho; kyonki malati jalapan liye a hi rahi thi. rameshvar ne poora patr padh liya. keval niche apana nam nahin padha. malati khadi sunati rahi aur main sooran ke laddoo khata raha. bich-bich men malati ka munh dekh liya karata tha! usane badi gambhirata se poochha-bhaee ji, laddoo kaise hain, yah to apane bataya nahin, dhire se kha gaye.

jo vastu achchhi hoti hai, vahi to gale men dhire se utar li jati hai. nahin to kadavi vastu ke lie, thoo-thoo n karana padata. main kah hi raha tha ki laila ne rameshvar se kaha- thik to! mainne sun liya. ab ap usako phad dalie. tab apako charayari dikhaoon.

rameshvar sachamuch patr phadane laga. chindi-chindi us kagaz ke tukade ki ud gee aur laila ne ek chhipi huee gahari sans li, kintu mere konon ne use sun hi liya. vah to ek bhayanak andhi se kam n thi. laila ne sachamuch ek sone ki charayari nikali. usake sath ek sundar moonge ki mala. rameshvar ne charayari lekar dekha. usane malati se pachas ke not dene ke lie kaha. malati apane pati ke vyavasay ko janati thi, usane turant not de diye. rameshvar ne jab not laila ki or badhaye, tabhi kamalo samane akar khadi ho gee-ba..... lal...... rameshvar ne poochha, kya hai re kamalo?

putali-si sundar balika ne rameshvar ke galon ko apane chhote se hathon se pakad kar kaha-lala-lal....

laila ne not le liye the. poochha-babooji! moonge ki mala n lijiega?

nahin.

laila ne mala uthakar kamalo ko pahana di. rameshvar nahin-nahin kar hi raha tha kintu usane suna nahin! kamalo ne apani man ko dekhakar kaha man....lal....vah hns padi aur kuchh not rameshvar ko dete hue boli-to le n lo, isaka bhi dam de do.

laila ne tivr drishti se malati ko dekha; main to saham gaya tha. malati hns padi. usane kaha-kya dam n logi?

laila, kamalo ka munh choomati huee uth khadi huee. malati avakh, rameshvar stabdh, kintu main prakritisth tha.

laila chali gee.

main vicharata raha, sochata raha. koee ant n tha-or-chhor ko pata nahin. laila-prgyasarathi-rameshvar aur malati sabhi mere samane bijali ke putalon-se chakkar kat rahe the. sandhya ho chali thi, kintu main pipal ke niche se uth n saka. prgyasarathi apana dhyan samapt karake uthe. unhonne mujhe pukara-shrinathaji! mainne hnsane ki cheshta karate hue kaha-kahie!

aj to ap bhi samadhisth rahe.

tab bhi isi prithvi par tha! jahan lalasa krandan karati hai, du:khanubhooti hnsati hai aur niyati apane mitti ke putalon ke sath apana kroor manovinod karati hai; kintu ap to bahut oonche kisi svargiy bhavana men.....

thahariye shrinathaji! sukh aur du:kh, akash aur prithvi, svarg aur narak ke bich men hai vah saty, jise manushy prapt kar sakata hai.

mujhe kshama kijie! antariksh men udane ki mujhamen shakti nahin hai. mainne parihas-poorvak kaha.

sadharan man ki sthiti ko chhod kar jab manushy kuchh doosari bat sochane ke lie prayas karata hai; tab kya vah udane ka prayas nahin? ham log kahane ke lie dvipad hain, kintu dekhie to jivan men ham log kitani bar uchakate hain, udan bharate hain. vahi to unnati ki cheshta, jivan ke lie sngram, aur bhi kya-kya nam se prashnsit nahin hoti? to main bhi isaki ninda nahin karata; uthane ki cheshta karani chahie, kintu

ap yahi n kahenge ki samajh-boooojh kar ek bar uchakana chahie; kintu us ek bar ko-us achook avasar ko janana sahaj nahin. isilie to manushy ko, jo sabase buddhiman prani hai, bar-bar dhokha khana padata hai. unnati ko usane vibhinn roopon men apani avashyakataon ke sath itana milaya hai ki use siddhant bana lena pada hai ki unnati ka dvandv patan hi hai.

snyam ka vajr-gambhir nad prakriti se nahin sunate ho? sharirik karm to gaun hai, mukhy snyam to manasik hai. shrinathaji, aj laila ka vah man ka snyam kya kisi mahanadi ki prakhar dhara ke achal bandh se kam tha? main to dekhakar avakh tha. apaki us samay vichitr paristhiti rahi. phir bhi kaise sab nirvighn samapt ho gaya. use sochakar to main ab bhi chakit ho jata hoon; kya vah is bhayanak pratirodh ke dhakke ko samhal legi?

laila ke vaksh:sthal men kitana bhishan andhad chal raha hoga, isaka anubhav ham log nahin kar sakate! main ab bhi isase bhayabhit ho raha hoon.

prgyasarathi chup rahakar dhire-dhire kahane lage-main to kal jaoonga. yadi tumhari sammati ho, to rameshvar ko bhi sath chalane ke lie kahoon. bambee tak ham logon ka sath rahega aur malati is bhayavani chhaya se shighr hi door hat jayagi! phir to sab kushal hi hai. ....

mere trast man ko sharan mili. mainne kaha-achchhi bat hai. prgyasarathi uth gaye. main vahin baitha raha, aur bhi baitha rahata, yadi minna aur ranjan ki kilakari aur rameshvar ki dant-dapat-malati ki kalachhi ki khat-khat ka kolahal zor n pakad leta aur kalloo samane akar n khada ho jata.

prgyasarathi, rameshvar aur malati ko gaye ek saptah se oopar ho gaya. abhi tak us vastavik snsar ka kolahal sudoor se ati huee madhur sngit ki pratidhvani ke saman mere kanon men goonj raha tha. main abhi tak us madakata ko utar n saka tha. jivan men pahale ki-si nishchintata ka virag nahin, n to vah be-paravahi rahi. main sochane laga ki ab main kya karoon?

kuchh karane ki ichchha kyon? man ke kone se chutaki lete kaun poochh baitha?

kiye bina to raha nahin jata.

karo bhi, pathashala se kya man oob chala?

utane se santosh nahin hota.

aur kya chahie?

yahi to samajh nahin saka, nahin to yah prashn hi kyon karata ki-ab main kya karoon-mainne jhunjhala kar kaha. meri baton ka uttar lene-denevala muskara kar hat gaya. main chinta ke andhakar men doob gaya! vah meri hi gaharaee thi, jisaki mujhe thah n lagi. main prakritisth hua kab, jab ek udas aur jvalamayi tivr drishti meri ankhon men ghusane lagi. apane us andhakar men mainne ek jyoti dekhi.

main svikar karoonga ki vah laila thi, is par hnsane ki ichchha ho to hns lijie, kintu main laila ko pa jane ke lie vikal nahin tha, kyonki laila jisako pane ki abhilasha karati thi, vahi use n mila. aur parinam thik meri ankhon ke samane tha. tab? meri sahanubhooti kyon jagi? han, vah sahanubhooti thi. laila jaise dirgh path par chalane vale mujh pathik ki chirasngini thi.

us din itana hi vishvas karake mujhe santosh hua.

rat ko kalua ne poochha-babooji! ap ghar n chaliega. main ashchary se usaki or dekhane laga. usane hath-bhari ankhon se phir vahi prashn kiya. mainne hns kar kaha-mera ghar to yahi hai re kalua!

nahin babooji! jahan minna gaye hain. jahan ranjan aur jahan kamalo gee hai, vahin to ghar hai.

jahan bahooji gee hain-jahan babaji....hathath prgyasarathi ka mujhe smaran ho aya. mujhe krodh men kahana pada-kalua, mujhe aur kahin ghar-var nahin hai. phir man-hi-man kaha-is bat ko vah bauddh samajhata tha-

‘‘hoon, sabako ghar hai, babaji ko, bahooji ko, minna ko-sabako hai, apako nahin hai?’’ usane thunakate hue kaha.

kintu main apane oopar jhunjhala raha tha. mainne kaha-bakavad n kar, ja so rah, aj-kal too padhata nahin.

kalua sir jhukaye-vyatha-bhare vaksh:sthal ko dabaye apane bichhaune par ja pada. aur main us nistabdh ratri men jagata raha! khidaqi men se jhil ka andolit jal dikhaee pad raha tha aur main ashchary se apana hi banaya hua chitr usamen dekh raha tha. chnda ke prashant jal men ek chhoti-si nav hai, jis par malati, rameshvar baithe the aur mai danda chala raha tha. prgyasarathi tir par khade bachchon ko bahala rahe the. ham log ujali chandani men nav khete chale ja rahe the. sahasa chitr men ek aur moorti ka pradurbhav hua. vah thi laila! meri ankhe tilamila gee.

main jagata tha-sota tha.

savera ho gaya tha. nind se bhari ankhe nahin khulati thin, to bhi bahar ke kolahal ne mujhe jaga diya. dekhata hoon, to eeraniyon ka ek jhund bahar khada hai.

mainne poochha-kya hai?

gul ne kaha-yahan ka pir kahan hai?

pir!-mainne ashchary se poochha.

han vahi, jo pila-pila kapada pahanata tha.

main samajh gaya, ve log prgyasarathi ko khojate the. mainne kaha-vah to yahan nahin hai, apane ghar gaye. kam kya hai?

ek ladaqi ko hava lagi hai, yahin ka koee aseb hai. pir ko dikhalana chahati hoon.-ek adhed stri ne badi vyakulata se kaha.

mainne poochha-bhaee! main to yah sab kuchh nahin janata. vah ladaqi kahan hai?

padav par, babooji! ap chalakar dekh lijie.

age vah kuchh n bol saki. kintu gul ne kaha-baboo! tum janate ho, vahi-laila!

age main n sun saka. apani hi antadhrvani se main vyakul ho gaya. yahi to hota hai, kisi ke ujadane se hi doosara basata hai. yadi yahi vidhi-vidhan hai, to basane ka nam ujadऩa hi hai. yadi rameshvar, malati aur apane bal-bachchon ki chinta chhodakar laila ko hi dekhata, tabhi...kintu vaisa ho kaise sakata hai. mainne kalpana ki ankhon se dekha; laila ka vivarn sundar mukh-nirasha ki jhulas se dayaniy mukh!

un eeraniyon se phir bat n karake main bhitar chala gaya aur takiye men apana munh chhipa liya. pichhe suna, kalua dant batata hua kah raha hai-jao-jao, yahan baba ji nahin rahate!

main ladaqon ko padhane laga. kitana ashcharyajanak bhayanak parivartan mujhamen ho gaya! use dekhakar main hi vismit hota tha. kalua inhin kee mahinon men mera ekant sathi ban gaya. mainne use bar-bar samajhaya, kintu vah bich-bich men mujhase ghar chalane ke lie kah baithata hi tha. main hatash ho gaya. ab vah jab ghar chalane ki bat kahata, to main sir hilakar kah deta-achchha, abhi chaloonga.

din isi tarah bitane lage. basant ke agaman se prakriti sihar uthi. vanaspatiyon ki romavali pulakit thi. main pipal ke niche udas baitha hua eeshath shital pavan se apane sharir men phurahari ka anubhav kar raha tha. akash ki alok-mala chnda ki vichiyon men dubakiyan laga rahi thi. nistabdh ratri ka agaman bada gambhir tha.

door se ek sngit ki-nanhi-nanhi karun vedana ki tan sunaee pad rahi thi. us bhasha ko main nahin samajhata tha. mainne samajha, yah bhi koee chhalana hogi. phir sahasa main vicharane laga ki niyati bhayanak veg se chal rahi hai. andhi ki tarah usamen asnkhy prani trin-toolika ke saman idhar-udhar bikhar rahe hain. kahin se lakar kisi ko vah mila hi deti hai aur oopar se koee bojhe ki vastu bhi lad deti hai ki ve chirakal tak ek doosare se sambaddh rahen. sachamuch! kalpana pratyaksh ho chali. dakshin ka akash dhoosar ho chala-ek danav taraon ko nigalane laga. pakshiyon ka kolahal badha. antariksh vyakul ho utha! kadakadahat men sabhi ashray khojane lage; kintu main kaise uthata! vah sngit ki dhvani samip a rahi thi. vajranirghosh ko bhed kar koee kaleje se ga raha tha. andhakar ke samrajy men trin, lata, vriksh sacharachar kampit ho rahe the.

kalua ki chitkar sun kar bhitar chala gaya. us bhishan kolahal men bhi vahi sngit-dhvani pavan ke hindole par jhool rahi thi, mano pathashala ke charon or lipat rahi thi. sahasa ek bhishan arrahat huee. ab main tarch liye bahar a gaya.

andhi ruk gee thi. mainne dekha pipal ki badi-si dal phati padi hai aur laila niche dabi huee apani bhavanaon ki sima par kar chuki hai.

main ab bhi chnda-tat ki bauddh pathashala ka avaitanik adhyaksh hoon. prgyasarathi ke nam ko kosata hua din bitata hoon. koee upay nahin. vahin jaise mere jivan ka kendr hai.

aj bhi mere hriday men andhi chala karati hai aur usamen laila ka mukh bijali ki tarah kaundha karata hai.

tika tippani aur sndarbh


bahari kadiyan

snbndhit lekh

varnamala kramanusar lekh khoj

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