आगा-पीछा -प्रेमचंद  हिन्दी देवनागरी में पढ़ें।

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

roop aur yauvan ke chnchal vilas ke bad kokila ab us kalushit jivan ke chihn ko ansuon se dho rahi thi. vigat jivan ki yad ate hi usaka dil bechain ho jata aur vah vishad aur nirasha se vikal hokar pukar uthati hay ! mainne snsar men janm hi kyon liya ? usane dan aur vrat se un kalimaon ko dhone ka prayatn kiya aur jivan ke basnt ki sari vibhooti is nishphal prayas men luta di. par yah jagriti kya kisi mahatma ka varadan ya kisi anushthan ka phal tha ? nahin, yah us navajat shishu ke pratham darshan ka prasad tha, jisake janm ne aj pandrah sal se usaki sooni god ko pradipt kar diya tha. shishu ka mukh dekhate hi usake nile honthon par ek kshin, karun, udas muskarahat jhalak gee par keval ek kshan ke lie. ek kshan ke bad vah muskarahat ek lambi sans men vilin ho gayi. us ashakt, kshin, komal rudan ne kokila ke jivan ka rukh pher diya. vatsaly ki vah jyoti usake lie jivan-sandesh aur mook upadesh thi.

kokila ne us navajat balika ka nam rakha shrriddha. usi ke janm ne to usamen shrriddha utpann ki thi. vah shrriddha ko apani ladaki nahin, kisi devi ka avatar samajhati thi. usaki saheliyan use badhaee dene atin; par kokila balika ko unaki najaron se chhipati. use yah bhi mnjoor n tha ki unaki papamayi drishti bhi us par pade. shrriddha hi ab usaki vibhooti, usaki atma, usaka jivan-dipak thi. vah kabhi-kabhi use god men lekar sadh se chhalakati huee ankhon se dekhati aur sochati kya yah pavan jyoti bhi vasana ke prachnd aghaton ka shikar hogi ? mere prayatn nishphal ho jayenge ? ah ! kya koee aisi aushadhi nahin hai, jo janm ke snskaron ko mita de ? bhagavan se vah sadaiv prarthana karati ki meri shrriddha kinhin kanton men n ulajhe. vah vachan aur karm se, vichar aur vyavahar se usake sammukh nari-jivan ka ooncha adarsh rakhegi. shrriddha itani saral, itani pragalbh, itani chatur thi ki kabhi-kabhi kokila vatsaly se gadgad hokar usake talavon ko apane mastak se ragadati aur pashchattap tatha harsh ke ansoo bahati.

solah varsh bit gaye. pahale ki bholi-bhali shrriddha ab ek sagarv, shant, lajjashil navayauvana thi, jise dekhakar ankhen tript ho jati thin. vidya ki upasika thi, par sare snsar se vimukh. jinake sath vah padhati thi ve usase bat bhi n karana chahati thin. matri-sneh ke vayumndal men padakar vah ghor abhimanini ho gee thi. vatsaly ke vayumndal, sakhi-saheliyon ke parityag, rat-din ki ghor padhaee aur pustakon ke ekantavas se agar shrriddha ko ahnbhav ho aya, to ashchary ki kaun-si bat hai ! use kisi se bhi bolane ka adhikar n tha. vidyalay men bhale ghar ki ladakiyan usake sahavas men apana apaman samajhati thin. raste men log ungali uthakar kahate 'qokila rndi ki ladaki hai.' usaka sir jhuk jata, kapol kshan bhar ke lie lal hokar doosare hi kshan phir choone ki tarah saphed ho jate. shrriddha ko ekant se prem tha. vivah ko eeshvariy kop samajhati thi. yadi kokila ne kabhi usaki bat chala di, to usake mathe par bal pad jate, chamakate hue lal chehare par kalima chha jati, ankhon se jhar-jhar ansoo bahane lagate; kokila chup ho jati. donon ke jivan-adarshon men virodh tha. kokila samaj ke devata ki pujarin, shrriddha ko samaj se, eeshvar se aur manushy se ghrina. yadi snsar men use koee vastu pyari thi, to vah thi usaki pustaken. shrriddha unhin vidvanon ke snsarg men apana jivan vyatit karati, jahan oonch-nich ka bhed nahin, jati-panti ka sthan nahin sabake adhikar saman hain. shrriddha ki poorn prakriti ka parichay mahakavi rahim ke ek dohe ke pad se mil jata hai

prem sahit maribo bhalo, jo vish dey bulay.

agar koee saprem bulakar use vish de deta, to vah natajanu ho apane mastak se laga leti qintu anadar se diye hue amrit ki bhi usaki najaron men koee hakikat n thi.

ek din kokila ne ankhon men ansoobhar kar shrriddha se kaha, 'kyon manni, sach batana, tujhe yah lajja to lagati hi hogi ki main kyon isaki beti huee. yadi too kisi oonche kul men paida huee hoti, to kya tab bhi tere dil men aise vichar ate ? too man-hi-man mujhe zaroor kosati hogi. '

shrriddha man ka munh dekhane lagi. mata se itani shrriddha kabhi usake dil men paida nahin huee thi. kanpate hue svar men boli, 'ammanji, ap mujhase aisa prashn kyon karati hain ? kya mainne kabhi apaka apaman kiya hai ? '

kokila ne gadagad hokar kaha, 'nahin beti, us param dayalu bhagavanh se yahi prarthana hai ki tumhari jaisi sushil ladaki sabako de. par kabhi-kabhi yah vichar ata hai ki too avashy hi meri beti hokar pachhatati hogi. '

shrriddha ne dhir knth se kaha, 'amman, apaki yah bhavana nirmool hai. main apase sach kahati hoon, mujhe jitani shrriddha aur bhakti apake prati hai, utani kisi ke prati nahin. apaki beti kahalana mere lie lajja ki bat nahin,rav ki bat hai. manushy paristhitiyon ka das hota hai. ap jis vayumndal men palin, usaka asar to padana hi tha; kintu pap ke daladal men phasakar phir nikal ana avashy gaurav ki bat hai. bahav ki or se nav khele jana to bahut saral hai; kintu jo navik bahav ke pratikool khe le jata hai, vahi sachcha navik hai. '

kokila ne muskarate hue poochha, 'to phir vivah ke nam se kyon chidhati hai ? '

shrriddha ne ankhen nichi karake uttar diya 'bina vivah ke jivan vyatit nahin ho sakata ? main kumari hi rahakar jivan bitana chahati hoon. vidyalay se nikalakar kalej men pravesh karoongi, aur do-tin varsh bad ham donon svatantr roop se rah sakati hain. daktar ban sakati hoon, vakalat kar sakati hoon; auraton

ke lie sab marg khul gaye hain. '

kokila ne darate-darate poochha, 'kyon, kya tumhare hriday men koee doosari ichchha nahin hoti ? kisi se prem karane ki abhilasha tere man men nahin paida hoti ? '

shrriddha ne ek lambi sans lekar kaha, 'ammanji, prem-vihin snsar men kaun hai ? prem manav-jivan ka shreshth ang hai. yadi eeshvar ki eeshvarata kahin dekhane men ati hai, to vah keval prem men. jab koee aisa vyakti milega; jo mujhe varane men apani manahani n samajhega, to main tan-man-dhan se usaki pooja karoongi,par kisake samane hath pasarakar prem ki bhiksha mangoon ? yadi kisi ne sudhar ke kshanik avesh men vivah kar bhi liya, to main prasann n ho sakoongi. isase to kahin achchha hai ki main vivah ka vichar hi chhod doon. '


inhin dinon mahila-mndal ka ek utsav hua. kalej ke rasik vidyarthi kafi snkhya men sammilit hue. hanl men til-bhar bhi jagah khali n thi. shrriddha bhi akar striyon ki sabase ant ki pnkti men khadi ho gayi. use

yah sab svang maloom hota tha. aj pratham hi bar vah aisi sabha men sammilit huee thi.

sabha ki karravaee shuroo huee. pradhan mahoday ki vaktrita ke pashchath prastav pesh hone lage aur unake samarthan ke lie vaktritaen hone lagin; kintu mahilaen unaki vaktritaen bhool gayin, ya un par sabha ka rob aisa chha gaya ki unaki vaktrita-shakti lop ho gayi. ve kuchh toote-phoote jumale bolakar baithane lagin. sabha ka rng bigadane laga. kee lediyan badi shan se pletapharm par ayin; kintu do-tin shabdon se adhik n bol sakin. navayuvakon ko majak udane ka avasar mila. kahakahe padane lage; taliyan bajane lagin. shrriddha unaki yah durjanata dekhakar tilamila uthi, usaka ang-pratyng phadakane laga. pletapharm par jakar vah kuchh is shan se boli, ki sabha par atnk chha gaya. kolahal shant ho gaya. log takataki bandhakar use dekhane lage. shrriddha svargiy bala ki bhanti dharavahik roop men bol rahi thi. usake pratyek shabd se navinata, sajivata aur dridhata pratit hoti thi. usake navayauvan ki surabhi bhi charon or phailakar sabha mndap ko avakh kar rahi thi. sabha samapt huee. log tika-tippani karane lage.

ek ne poochha, 'yah stri kaun thi bhee ! '

doosare ne uttar diya- 'usi kokila rndi ki ladaki. '

tisare vyakti ne kaha, 'tabhi yah avaz aur saphaee hai. tabhi to jadoo hai. jadoo hai janab mujassim jadoo ! kyon n ho, man bhi to sitam dhati thi. jab se usane apana pesha chhoda, shahar be-jan ho gaya. ab maloom hota

hai ki yah apani man ki jagah legi. '

is par ek khaddaradhari kala navayuvak bola, 'kya khoob kadaradani pharamaee hai janab ne, vah ! '

usi vyakti ne uttar diya, 'apako bura kyon laga ? kya kuchh sahrath-ganth to nahin hai ? '

kale navayuvak ne kuchh tej hokar kaha, 'apako aisi baten munh se nikalate lajja bhi nahin ati. '

doosare vyakti ne kaha, 'lajja ki kaun bat hai janab ? veshya ki ladaki agar veshya ho, to ashchary ki kya bat hai ? '

navayuvak ne ghrinapoorn svar men kaha, 'thik hoga, ap jaise buddhiman vyaktiyon ki samajh men ! jis ramani ke mukh se aise vichar nikal sakate hain, vah devi hai, roop ko bechanevali nahin. '

shrriddha usi samay sabha se ja rahi thi. yah antim shabd usake kanon men pad gaye. vah vismit aur pulakit hokar vahin thithak gayi. kale navayuvak ki or kritgytapoorn drishti se nihara aur phir badi teji se age badh gayi; lekin raste-bhar usake kanon men unhin shabdon ki pratidhvani goonjati rahi. ab tak shrriddha ki prashnsa karane vali, use utsahit karane vali keval usi ki man kokila thi aur charon or vahi upeksha thi; vahi tiraskar ! aj ek aparichit, kale kintu gaur hridayavale khaddaradhari navayuvak vyakti ke mukh ka chitr barabar usaki ankhon ke samane nach raha tha. man men prashn utha vah kaun hai ? kya phir kabhi usake darshan honge ?

kalej jate samay shrriddha us navayuvak ko khoee huee ankhon se khojati. ghar par roj chik ki ad se, raste ke ate-jate logon ko dekhati; lekin vah navayuvak najar n ata.


kuchh dinon bad mahila-mndal ki doosari sabha ka vigyapan nikala. abhi sabha hone ko char din baki the. vah charon din shrriddha ne apana bhashan taiyar karane men bitaye. ek-ek shabd ki khoj men ghnton sir marati. ek-ek

vaky ko bar-bar padhati. bade-bade netaon ki spichen padhati aur usi tarah likhane ki koshish karati. jab sari spich poori ho gayi, to shrriddha apane kamare men jakar kursiyon aur mejon ko snbodhit karake jor-jor se padhane lagi. bhashan-kala ke sabhi lakshan jama ho gaye the. upasnhar to itana sundar tha ki use apane hi mukh se sunakar vah mugdh ho gayi. isamen kitana sngit tha, kitana akarshan, kitani kranti !

sabha ka din a pahuncha. shrriddha man-hi-man bhayabhit hoti huee sabha-mndap men ghusi. hanl bhara hua tha aur pahale din se bhi adhik bhid thi. shrriddha ko dekhate hi janata ne taliyan pitakar usaka svagat kiya. kolahal hone

laga aur sabhi ek svar se chilla uthe ap apani vaktrita shuroo karen. shrriddha ne mnch par akar ek udati huee nigah se janata ki or dekha. vah kala navayuvak jagah n milane ke karan antim pnkti men khada hua

tha. shrriddha ke dil men gudagudi-si hone lagi. usane kanpate svar men apani vaktrita shuroo ki. usaki najaron men sara hanl putaliyon se bhara hua tha; agar koee jivit manushy tha, to vahi sabase pichhe khada hua kala navayuvak. usaka mukh usi ki or tha. vah usi se apane bhashan ki dad mang rahi thi. hira parakhane ki asha jauhari se hi ki jati hai. adha ghnte tak shrriddha ke mukh se phoolon ki varsha hoti rahi. logon ko bahut kam aisi vaktrita sunane ko mili thi. shrriddha jab sabha samapt hone par ghar chali to dekha, vahi kala navayuvak usake pichhe teji se chala a raha hai. shrriddha ko yah maloom tha ki logon ne usaka bhashan bahut pasand kiya hai; lekin is navayuvak ki ray sunane ka avasar use nahin mila tha. usane apani chal dhimi kar di. doosare hi kshan vah navayuvak usake pas pahunch gaya ! donon kee qadam chupachap chalate rahe.

ant men navayuvak ne jhijhakate hue kaha, 'aj to apane kamal kar diya ! '

shrriddha ne praphullata ke ऱet ko dabate hue kaha, 'dhanyavad ! yah apaki kripa hai. '

navayuvak ne kaha, 'main kis layaq hoon. main hi nahin, sari sabha sir dhun rahi thi. '

shrriddha—‘ 'kya apaka shubh-sthan yahin hai ? '

navayuvak –‘zi han, yahan main em.e. men padh raha hoon. yah oonch-nich ka bhoot n jane kab tak hamare sir par savar rahega. abhagy se main bhi un logon men hoon, jinhen snsar nich samajhata hai. main jati ka chamar hoon. mere pita

skool ke inspektar ke yahan ardali the. unaki sipharish se skool men bharati ho gaya. tab se bhagy se ladata-bhidata chala a raha hoon. pahale to skool ke mastar mujhe chhoote hi n the. vah halat to ab nahin rahi kintu ladake ab bhi mujhase khinche rahate hain. '

shrriddha –‘main to kulinata ko janm se nahin, dharm se manati hoon. '

navayuvak –‘yah to apaki vaktrita hi se siddh ho gaya hai. aur isi se apase baten karane ka sahas bhi hua, nahin to kahan ap aur kahan main ! '

shrriddha ne apani ankhen nichi karake kaha, 'shayad apako mera hal maloom nahin. '

navayuvak—‘ bahut achchhi tarah se maloom hai. yadi ap apani mataji ke darshan karava saken, to apaka bada abhari hooonga. '

'vah apase milakar badi prasann hongi ! shubh nam ! '

'mujhe bhagataram kahate hain.'

yah parichay dhire-dhire sthir aur dridh hota gaya; maitri pragadh hoti gayi. shrriddha ki najaron men bhagataram ek devata the aur bhagataram ke samaksh shrriddha manavi roop men devi thi.


ek sal bit gaya. bhagataram roj devi ke darshan ko jata. donon ghnton baithe baten kiya karate. shrriddha kuchh bhashan karati, to bhagataram sab kam chhodakar sunane jata. unake manasoobe ek the, jivan ke adarsh ek, ruchi ek, vichar ek. bhagataram ab prem aur usake rahasyon ki marmik vivechana karata. usaki baton men 'ras' aur 'alnkar' ka kabhi itana snyog n hua tha. bhavon ko ingit karane men use kamal ho gaya tha. lekin thik un avasaron par, jab shrriddha ke hriday men gudagudi hone lagati, usake kapol ullas se rnjit ho jate, bhagataram vishay palat deta aur jaldi hi koee bahana banakar vahan se khisak jata. usake chale jane par shrriddha hasarat ke ansoo bahati aur sochati kya inhen dil se mera prem nahin ?

ek din kokila ne bhagataram ko ekant men bulakar kaha, 'beta ! ab to munni se tumhara vivah ho jay, to achchha. jivan ka kya bharosa. kahin mar jaoon to yah sadh man hi men rah jay. '

bhagataram ne sir hilakar kaha, 'amman, jara is pariksha men pas ho jane do. jivika ka prashn hal ho jane ke bad hi vivah shobha deta hai. '

'yah sab tumhara hi hai; kya main sath bandh le jaoongi ?'

'yah apaki kripa hai, ammanji; par itana nirlajj n banaiye. main to apaka ho chuka, ab to ap dutakaren bhi to is dvar se nahin tal sakata. mujh jaisa bhagyavanh snsar men aur kaun hai. lekin devi ke mndir men jane

se pahale kuchh pan-phool to hona hi chahie.'

sal-bhar aur gujar gaya. bhagataram ne em.e. ki upadhi li aur apane hi vidyalay men arthashastr ka adhyapak ho gaya. us din kokila ne khoob dan-puny kiya. jab bhagataram ne akar usake pairon par sir jhukaya to usane use chhati se laga liya. use vishvas tha ki aj bhagataram vivah ke prashn ko zaroor chhedega. shrriddha pratiksha ki moorti bani huee thi. usaka ek-ek ang mano sau-sau tar hokar pratidhvanit ho raha tha. dil par ek nasha chhaya hua tha, panv zamin par n padate the. bhagataram ko dekhate hi man se boli, 'amman, ab hamako ek halaki-si motar le dijiega. '

kokila ne muskarakar kaha, 'halaki-si kyon ? bhari-si le lena. pahale koee achchha-sa makan to thik kar lo. '

shrriddha bhagataram ko apane kamare men bula le gayi. donon baithakar naye makan ki sajavat ke manasoobe bandhane lage. parade, pharsh, tasviren sabaki vyavastha ki gayi. shrriddha ne kaha, 'rupaye bhi ammanji se le lenge. '

bhagataram bola, 'unase rupaye lete mujhe sharm aegi. '

shrriddha ne muskarakar kaha, 'akhir mere dahej ke rupaye to dengi. '

donon ghnte-bhar baten karate rahe. magar vah marmik shabd, jise sunane ke lie shrriddha ka man atur ho raha tha, aj bhi bhagataram ke munh se n nikala aur vah vida ho gaya.

usake jane par kokila ne darate-darate poochha, 'aj kya baten hueen ? '

shrriddha ne usaka ashay samajhakar kaha, 'agar main aisi bhari ho rahi hoon to kuen men kyon nahin dal detin ? '

yah kahate-kahate usake dhairy ki divar toot gayi. vah avesh aur vah vedana, jo bhitar-hi-bhitar ab tak tis rahi thi, nikal padi. vah phoot-phoot kar rone lagi !

kokila ne jhunjhalakar kaha, 'zab kuchh batachit hi nahin karana hai, to roj ate hi kyon hain ? koee aisa gharana bhi to nahin hai, aur n aise dhannaseth hi hain. '

shrriddha ne ankhen ponchhakar kaha, 'ammanji, mere samane unhen kuchh n kahie. unake dil men jo kuchh hai, vah main janati hoon. vah munh se chahe kuchh n kahen; magar dil se kah chuke. aur main chahe kanon se kuchh n sunoon par dil se sab kuchh sun chuki. '

kokila ne shrriddha se kuchh bhi n kaha,; lekin doosare din bhagataram se boli, 'ab kis vichar men ho, beta ? '

bhagataram ne sir khujalate hue kaha, 'ammanji, main to hajir hoon, lekin gharavale kisi tarah raji nahin hote. jara phurasat mile, to ghar jakar raji kar loon. man-bap ko naraz karana bhi to achchha nahin ! '

kokila kuchh javab n de saki.

bhagataram ke man-bap shahar se door rahate the. yahi ek unaka ladaka tha. unaki sari umngen usi ke vivah par avalambit thin. unhonne kee bar usaki shadi tay ki. par bhagataram bar-bar yahi kahakar nikal jata ki jab tak naukar n ho jaoonga, vivah n karoonga. ab vah naukar ho gaya tha, isalie donon magh ke ek thande prat:kal men lade-phade bhagataram ke makan par a pahunche. bhagataram ne daudakar unaki pad-dhooli li aur kushal adi poochhane ke bad kaha, 'ap logon ne is jade-pale men kyon takaliph ki ? mujhe bula liya hota. '

chaudhari ne apani patni ki or dekhakar kaha, 'sunati ho bachcha ki amman ! jab bulate hain, to kahate hain ki imtihan hai, yah hai, vah hai. jab a gaye, to kahata hai, bulaya kyon nahin ! tumhara vivah thik ho gaya hai.

ab ek mahine ki chhutti lekar hamare sath chalana hoga. isilie donon aye hain. '

chaudharain -- 'hamane kaha, ki bina gaye kam nahin chalega. to aj hi darakhas de do. ladaki badi sundar, padhi-likhi, achchhe kul ki hai. '

bhagataram ne lajate hue kaha, 'mera vivah to yahin ek jagah laga hua hai, agar ap raji hon, to kar loon. '

chaudhari –‘is shahar men hamari biradari ka kaun hai, kyon bachcha ki amman ?

chaudharain –‘yahan hamari biradari ka to koee nahin hai. '

bhagataram –‘man-beti hain. ghar men rupaya bhi hai. ladaki aisi hai ki tum log dekhakar khush ho jaoge. muft men shadi ho jayagi. '

chaudhari –‘kya ladaki ka bap mar gaya hai ? usaka kya nam tha ? kahan ka rahanevala hai. kul-marajad kaisa hai zab tak yah sari baten maloom n ho jayn, tab tak byah kaise ho sakata hai ! kyon bachcha ki amman ? '

chaudharain –‘han, bina in baton ka pata lagaye kaise ho sakata hai ? '

bhagataram ne koee javab nahin diya.

chaudhari –‘yahan kis muhalle men rahati hain man-beti ? sara shahar hamara chhana pada hai, ham yahan koee bis sal rahe honge, kyon bachcha ki amman ? '

chaudharain –‘bis sal se zyada rahe hain. '

bhagataram –‘unaka ghar nakhas par hai. '

chaudhari –‘nakhas se kis taraph ? '

bhagataram –‘nakhas ki samanevali gali men pahala makan unhin ka hai. sadak se dikhaee deta hai.

chaudhari –‘pahala makan to kokila randi ka hai. gulabi rng se puta hua hai n ? '

bhagataram ne jhenpate hue kaha, ‘zi han, vahi makan hai !’

chaudhari –‘to usamen kokila randi nahin rahati kya ? '

bhagataram –‘rahati kyon nahin. man beti, donon hi to rahati hain. '

chaudhari –‘to kya kokila randi ki ladaki se byah karana chahate ho ? nak katavane par lage ho kya ? biradari men to koee pani piyega nahin.‘

chaudharain –‘looka laga doongi munh men raaud ke ! roop-rng dekhakar ke lubha gaye kya ? '

bhagataram –‘main to ise apana bhagy samajhata hoon ki vah apani ladaki ki shadi mere sath karane ko raji hai. agar vah aj chahe, to kisi bade-se-bade rees ke ghar men shadi kar sakati hai. '

chaudhari—‘ rees usase byah n karega rakh lega. tumhen bhagavanh samaee de to ek nahin char rakho. maradon ke lie kaun rok hai ! lekin jo byah ke lie kaho to byah vahi hai, jo biradari men ho. '

chaudharain –‘bahut padhane se adami baura jata hai. '

chaudhari –‘ham to gnvar adami hain, par samajh men nahin ata ki tumhari yah niyat kaise huee ? randi ki beti chahe innar ki pari ho, to bhi randi ki beti hai. ham tumhara vivah vahan n hone denge. agar tumane vivah kiya, to ham donon tumhare oopar jan de denge. itana achchhi tarah se samajh lena kyon bachcha ki amman ? '

chaudharain –‘byah kar lenge, jaise hnsi-thattha hai ! jhadoo mar ke bhaga doongi raaud ko ! apani beti apane ghar men rakhe. '

bhagataram –‘agar ap logon ki agya nahin hai, to main vivah nahin karoonga; magar main kisi doosari aurat se bhi vivah n karoonga. '

chaudharain –‘han, tum kunvare raho, yah hamen mnjoor hai. paturiya ke ghar men byah n karenge. '

bhagataram ne abaki jhunjhalakar kaha, 'ap use bar-bar paturiya kyon kahati hain. kisi jamane men yah usaka pesha raha hoga. aj din vah jitane achar-vichar se rahati hai, shayad hi koee aur rahati ho. aisa pavitr acharan to mainne aj tak dekha hi nahin. '

bhagataram ka sara yatn viphal ho gaya. chaudharain ne aisi zid pakadi ki jau-bhar apani jagah se n tali.

rat ko jab bhagataram apane prem-mandir men pahuncha, to usaka chehara utara hua tha. ek-ek ang se nirasha tapak rahi thi. shrriddha rasta dekhati huee ghabara rahi thi ki aj itani rat tak aye kyon nahin. unhen kya maloom ki mere dil ki kya halat ho rahi hai. yar-doston se chhutti milegi, to bhoolakar idhar bhi a jayenge.

kokila ne kaha, 'main to tujhase kah chuki ki unaka ab vah mizaj nahin raha. phir bhi to too nahin manati. akhir is talamatol ki koee had bhi hai. '

shrriddha ne dukhit hokar kaha, 'ammanji, main apase hazar bar vinay kar chuki hoon ki chahe laukik roop men kumari hi kyon n rahoon; lekin hriday se unaki byahata ho chuki. agar aisa adami vishvas karane ke kabil nahin hai, to phir nahin janati ki kis par vishvas kiya ja sakata hai. '

isi samay bhagataram nirasha ki moorti bane hue kamare ke bhitar aye. donon striyon ne unaki or dekha. kokila ki ankhon men shikayat thi aur shrriddha ki ankhon men vedana. kokila ki ankhen kah rahi thin, yah kya tumhare

rng-dhng hain ? shrriddha ki ankhen kah rahi thin itani nirdayata !

bhagataram ne dhime, vedanapoorn svar men kaha, 'ap logon ko aj bahut der tak meri rah dekhani padi; magar main majaboor tha; ghar se amman aur dada aye hue hain; unhin se baten kar raha tha. '

kokila boli, 'ghar par to sab kushal hai n ? '

bhagataram ne sir jhukaye hue kaha, 'zi han, sab kushal hai. mere vivah ka masala pesh tha. purane khayal ke adami hain, kisi tarah bhi raji nahin hote.

kokila ka mukh tamatama utha. boli, 'han, kyon raji honge ? ham log unase bhi nich hain n; lekin jab tum unaki ichchha ke das the, to tumhen unase poochhakar yahan ana-jana chahie tha. is tarah hamara apaman karake tumhen kya mila ? yadi mujhe maloom hota ki tum apane man-bap ke itane gulam

ho, to yah naubat hi kahe ko ati ? '

shrriddha ne dekha ki bhagataram ki ankhon se ansoo gir rahe hain. vinit bhav se boli, 'ammanji, man-bap ki maraji ka gulam hona koee pap nahin hai. agar main apaki upeksha karoon, to kya apako du:kh n hoga ? yahi hal un logon ka bhi to hoga. ' shrriddha yah kahati huee apane kamare ki or chali aur ishare se bhagataram ko bhi bulaya. kamare men baithakar donon kee minat tak prithvi ki or takate rahe. kisi men bhi sahas n tha ki us sannate ko tode. ant men bhagataram ne purushochit virata se kam liya aur kaha, 'shrriddha, is samay mere hriday ke bhitar tumul yuddh ho raha hai. main shabdon men apani dasha bayan nahin kar sakata. ji chahata hai ki vish khakar jan de doon. tumase alag rahakar jivit nahin rah sakata, keval tadap sakata hoon. mainne n-jane unaki kitani khushamad ki, kitana roya, kitana gidagidaya; lekin donon apani baton par ade rahe. bar-bar yahi kahate rahe ki agar yah byah hoga, to ham donon tum par apani jan de denge. unhen meri maut mnjoor hai; lekin

tum mere hriday ki rani bano, yah mnjoor nahin. '

shrriddha ne santvana dete hue kaha, 'pyare, mujhase unaka ghrina karana uchit hai. padhe-likhe adamiyon men hi aise kitane nikalenge. isamen unaka koee dosh nahin. main sabere unake darshan karane jaoongi, shayad mujhe dekhakar unaka dil pighal jay. main har tarah se unaki seva karoongi, unaki dhotiyan dhooongi, unake pair daba karoongi, main vah sab karoongi, jo unaki manachahi bahoo karati. isamen lajja ki kaun-si bat. unake talave sahalaoongi bhajan gakar sunaoongi mujhe bahut-se dihati git ate hain. ammanji ke sir ke saphed bal chunoongi. main daya nahin chahati, main to prem ki cheri hoon. tumhare lie main sab kuchh karoongi. sab kuchh.'

bhagataram ko aisa maloom hua, mano usaki ankhon ki jyoti badh gayi hai, athava sharir men koee doosari jyotirmay atma a gayi hai. usake hriday ka sara anurag, sara vishvas, sari bhakti ankhon se umadakar shrriddha

ke pairon ki or jati huee maloom huee, mano kisi ghar se nanhe-nanhe lal kapolavale, reshami kapadonvale, ghungharale balonvale bachche hnsate hue nikalakar khelane ja rahe hon.

chaudhari aur chaudharain ko shahar aye hue do saptah bit gaye. ve roj jane ke lie kamar kasate; lekin phir rah jate. shrriddha unhen jane n deti. sabere jab unaki ankhen khulatin, to shrriddha unake snan ke lie pani tapati huee hoti, chaudhari ko apana huqqa bhara hua milata. ve log jyonhi nahakar uthate, shrriddha unaki dhoti chhantane lagati. donon usaki seva aur avirat parishram dekhakar dng rah jate. aisi sundar, aisi madhubhashini, aisi hnsamukh aur chatur ramani chaudhari ne inspektar sahab ke ghar men bhi n dekhi thi. chaudhari ko vah devi maloom hoti aur chaudharain ko lakshmi. donon shrriddha ki seva aur tahal v prem par ashchary karate the; kintu to bhi kalnk aur biradari ka prashn unake munh par muhar lagaye hue tha. pandrahaven din jab shrriddha das baje rat ko apane ghar chali gayi, to chaudhari ne chaudharain se kaha, 'ladaki to sakshath lakshmi hai. '

chaudharain—‘ zab meri dhoti chhantane lagati hai, to main mare laj ke kat jati hoon. hamari tarah to isaki laundi hogi. '

chaudhari –‘fir kya salah deti ho apani biradari men to aisi sughar ladaki milane ki nahin. '

chaudharain –‘ram ka nam lekar byah karo. bahut hoga roti pad jayagi. panch bisi men to roti hoti hai, kaun chhappan take lagate hain. pahale hamen shnka hoti thi ki paturiya ki ladaki n jane kaisi ho, kaisi n ho, par ab sari shnka mit gee. '

chaudhari –‘zab baten karati hai, to maloom hota hai, munh se phool jhadate hain.‘

chaudharain –‘main to usaki man ko bakhanati hoon, jisaki kokh men aisi lakshmi janami. '

chaudhari –‘qal chalo, kokila se milakar sab thik-thak kar ayen.‘

chaudharain –‘mujhe to usake ghar jate saram lagati hai. vah rani bani baithi hogi; main to usaki laundi maloom hooongi. '

chaudhari –‘to phir paudar mngakar munh men pot lo gori ho jaogi. inspektar sahab ki mem bhi to roj paudar lagati thin. rng to sanvala tha;par jab paudar laga letin to munh chamakane lagata tha. '

chaudharain –‘hnsi karoge to gali doongi, han. kali chamadi par koee rng chadhata hai, jo paudar chadh jayaga ? tum to sachamuch usake chaukidar se lagoge. '

chaudhari –‘to kal munh-andhere chal den. agar kahin shrriddha a gayi to phir gala n chhodegi. bachcha se kah denge ki pndit se sayat-miti sab thik kar lo. ' phir hnsakar kaha, 'unhen to ap hi jaldi hogi. '

chaudharain bhi purane din yad karake muskarane lagi. chaudhari aur chaudharain ka mat pakar kokila vivah ka ayojan karane lagi. kapade banavaye jane lage. baratanon ki dookanen chhani jane lagin aur gahanon ke lie sunar ke pas 'ardar' jane lage. lekin n maloom kyon bhagataram ke mukh par prasannata ka chihn tak n tha. shrriddha ke yahan nity ki bhanti jata; kintu udas, kuchh bhoola hua-sa baitha rahata tha. ghnton atm- vismritiki avastha men, shoony drishti se akash athava prithvi ki or dekha karata. shrriddha use apane kimati kapade aur jadaoo gahane dikhalati. usake ang-pratyng se ashaon ki sphoorti chhalaki padati thi. is nashe men vah bhagataram ki ankhon

men chhipe hue ansuon ko n dekh pati thi. idhar chaudhari bhi taiyariyan kar rahe the. bar-bar shahar ate aur vivah ke saman mol le jate. bhagataram ke svatntr vicharavale mitr usake bhagy par eershya karate the. apsara-jaisi sundar stri, karoon ke khazane-jaisi daulat, donon sath hi kise mayassar hote hain ? kintu vah, jo mitron ki eershya, kokila ki prasannata, shrriddha ki manokamana aur chaudhari aur chaudharain ke anand ka karan tha, chhip-chhipakar rota tha, apane jivan se du:khi tha. chirag tale andhera chhaya hua tha. is chhipe hue toofan ki kisi ko bhi khabar n thi; jo usake hriday men hahakar macha raha tha.


jyon-jyon vivah ka din samip ata tha, bhagataram ki banavati umng bhi thandi padati jati thi. jab char din rah gaye, to use halaka-sa jvar a gaya. vah shrriddha ke ghar bhi n ja saka. chaudhari aur chaudharain tatha

any biradari ke log bhi a pahunche the; kintu sab-ke-sab vivah ki dhun men itane mast the ki kisi ka bhi dhyan usaki or n gaya. doosare din bhi vah ghar se n nikal saka. shrriddha ne samajha ki vivah ki ritiyon se chhutti n mili hogi. tisare din chaudharain bhagataram ko bulane gee, to dekha ki vah sahami huee vispharit ankhon se kamare ke ek kone ki or dekhata hua donon hath samane kiye, pichhe hat raha hai, mano apane

ko kisi ke var se bacha raha ho. chaudharain ne ghabarakar poochha, 'bachcha, kaisa ji hai ? pichhe is tarah kyon chale ja rahe ho ? yahan to koee nahin hai. '

bhagataram ke mukh par pagalon-jaisi achetana thi. ankhon men bhay chhaya hua tha. bhit svar men bola, 'nahin ammanji, dekho, vah shrriddha chali a rahi hai ! dekho, usake donon hathon men do kali naginen hain. vah mujhe un naginon se dasavana chahati hai ! are amman ! vah najadik a gayi. shrriddha ? shrriddha !! tum meri jan ki kyon bairin ho gayi ? kya mere asim prem ka yahi parinam hai ? main to tumhare charanon par bali hone ke lie sadaiv tatpar tha. is jivan ka mooly hi kya hai ! tum in naginon ko door phenk do. main yahan tumhare charanon

par letakar yah jan tum par nyochhavar kar doonga. ... hain, hain, tum n manogi ! '

yah kahakar vah chit gir pada. chaudharain ne lapakakar chaudhari ko bulaya. donon ne bhagataram ko uthakar charapaee par lita diya. chaudhari ka dhyan kisi aseb ki or gaya. vah turant hi laung aur rakh lekar aseb utarane ka ayojan karane lage ! svayn mantr-tantr men nipun the. bhagataram ka sara sharir thanda tha; kintu sir tave ki tarah tap raha tha. rat ko bhagataram kee bar chaunkakar utha. chaudhari ne har bar mantra

phoonkakar apane khayal se aseb ko bhagaya. chaudharain ne kaha, 'qoee daktar kyon nahin bulate ? shayad dava se kuchh fayada ho. kal byah aur aj yah hal. '

chaudhari ne ni:shnk bhav se kaha, 'daktar akar kya karega. vahi pipalavale baba to hain. dava-daroo karana unase aur rar badhana hai. rat jane do. sabera hote hi ek bakara aur ek botal daroo unaki bhent ki jayagi.

bas aur kuchh karane ki zaroorat nahin. daktar bimari ki dava karata hai ki hava-bayar ki ? bimari unhen koee nahin hai, kul ke bahar byah karane hi se devata log rooth gaye hain. '

sabere chaudhari ne ek bakara mngaya. striyan gati-bajati huee devi ke chautare ki or chalin. jab log lautakar aye, to dekha ki bhagataram ki halat kharab hai. usaki nadi dhire-dhire band ho rahi thi. mukh par

mrityu-vibhishika ki chhap thi. usake donon netron se ansoo bahakar galon par dhulak rahe the, mano apoorn ichchha ka antim sandesh nirday snsar ko suna rahe hon. jivan ka kitana vedana-poorn drishy tha ahrasoo ki do boonden !

ab chaudhari ghabaraye. turant hi kokila ko khabar di. ek adami daktar ke pas bheja. daktar ke ane men to der thi vah bhagataram ke mitron men se the; kintu kokila aur shrriddha adami ke sath hi a pahunchin. shrriddha

bhagataram ke samane akar khadi ho gayi. ankhon se ansoo bahane lage. thodi der men bhagataram ne ankhen kholin aur shrriddha ki or dekhakar bole ' tum a gayin shrriddha, main tumhari rah dekh raha tha. yah antim pyar

lo. aj hi sab 'aga-pichha' ka ant ho jayaga; jo aj se tin varsh poorv arambh hua tha. in tinon varshon men mujhe jo atmik-yantrana mili hai, hriday hi janata hai. tum vapha ki devi ho; lekin mujhe rah-rahakar yah bhram hota tha, kya tum khoon ke asar ka nash kar sakati ho ? kya tum ek hi bar men apani parampara ki niti chhod sakogi ? kya tum janm ke prakritik niyamon ko tod sakogi ? in bhramapoorn vicharon ke lie shok n karana. main tumhare yogy n tha qisi prakar bhi aur kabhi bhi tumhare-jaisa mahanh hriday

n ban saka. han, is bhram ke vash men padakar snsar se main apani ichchhaen bina poorn kiye hi ja raha hoon. tumhare agadh, nishkapat, nirmal prem ki smriti sadaiv hi mere sath rahegi. kintu hay afasos ...

kahate-kahate bhagataram ki ankhen phir band ho gayin. shrriddha ke mukh par gadhi lalima daud gayi. usake ansoo sookh gaye. jhuki huee garadan tan gee. mathe par bal pad gaye. ankhon men atm-abhiman ki jhalak a gayi. vah

kshan-bhar vahan khadi rahi aur doosare hi kshan niche akar apani gadi men baith gayi. kokila usake pichhe-pichhe daudi huee ayi aur boli, 'beti, yah krodh karane ka avasar nahin hai. log apane dil men kya kahenge. unaki dasha barabar bigadati hi jati hai ! tumhare rahane se bundhon ko dhadhas bndha rahega.'

shrriddha ne kuchh uttar n diya. kochavan se kaha, 'ghar chalo. kahakar kokila bhi gadi men baith gayi. asahy shit pad raha tha. akash men kale badal chhaye hue the. shital vayu chal rahi thi. magh ke antim divas the. vriksh, ped-paudho bhi shit se akade hue the. din ke ath baj gaye the, abhi tak log rajaee ke bhitar munh lapete hue the. lekin shrriddha ka sharir pasine se bhiga hua tha. aisa maloom hota tha ki soory ki sari ushnata usake sharir ki ragon men ghus gayi hai. usake hoth sookh gaye the, pyas se nahin, antarik dhadhakati huee agni ki

lapaton se. usaka ek-ek ang us agni ki bhishan anch se jala ja raha tha. usake mukh se bar-bar jalati huee garm sans nikal rahi thi, mano kisi choolhe ki lapat ho. ghar pahunchate-pahunchate usaka phool-sa mukh malin ho gaya, honth pile pad gaye, jaise kisi kale sanp ne das liya ho. kokila bar-bar ashrupoorn netron se usaki or takati thi; par kya kahe aur kya kahakar samajhaye.

ghar pahunchakar shrriddha apane oopar ke kamare ki or chali, kintu usamen itani shakti n thi ki sidhiyan chadh sake. rassi ko mazabooti se pakadati huee kisi tarah apane kamare men pahunchi. hay, adha hi ghnte poorv yahan ki ek-ek

vastu par prasannata, ahlad, ashaon ki chhap lagi huee thi; par ab sab-ki-sab sir dhunati hue maloom hoti thin. bade-bade sandookon men jode sajaye hue rakhe the, unhen dekhakar shrriddha ke hriday men hook uthi aur vah gir padi, jaise vihar karata hua aur kulachen bharata hua hiran tir lag jane se gir padata hai.

achanak usaki drishti us chitr par ja padi, jo aj tin varsh se usake jivan ka adhar ho rahi thi. us chitr ko usane kitani bar chooma tha; kitani bar gale lagaya tha, kitani bar hriday se chipaka liya tha.

ve sari baten ek-ek karake yad a rahi thin; lekin unake yad karane ka bhi adhikar use n tha.

hriday ke bhitar ek dard utha, jo pahale se kahin adhik pranantakari tha zo pahale se adhik toofan ke saman bhaynkar tha. hay ! us maranevale ke dil ko usane kitani yntrana pahunchayi ! bhagataram ke avishvas ka yah

javab, yah pratyuttar kitana romanchakari aur hriday-vidarak tha. hay ! vah kaise aisi nithur ho gayi ! usaka pyara usaki najaron ke samane dam tod raha tha ! usake lie usaki santvana ke lie ek shabd bhi munh se n

nikala ! yahi to khoon ka asar hai isake atirikt aur ho hi kya sakata tha. aj pahali bar shrriddha ko kokila ki beti hone ka pachhatava hua. vah itani svartharat, itani hridayahin hai aj hi use maloom hua. vah tyag, vah seva, vah uchchadarsh, jis par use ghamnd tha, dhahakar shrriddha ke samane gir pada; vah apani hi drishti men apane ko hey samajhane lagi. us svargiy prem ka aisa nairashyapoorn uttar veshya ki putri ke atirikt aur kaun de sakata hai.

shrriddha usi samay kamare se bahar nikalakar, vayu-veg se sidhiyan utarati huee niche pahunchi aur bhagataram ke makan ki or daudi. vah akhiri bar usase gale milana chahati thi, antim bar usake darshan karana chahati thi. vah annt prem ke kathin bndhanon ko nibhayegi aur antim shvas tak usi ki hi banakar rahegi !

raste men koee savari n mili. shrriddha thaki ja rahi thi. sir se panv tak pasine se nahaee huee thi ! n maloom kitani bar vah thokar khakar giri aur phir uthakar daudane lagi ! usake ghutanon se rakt nikal raha tha, sadi

kee jagah se phat gee thi, magar us vakt apane tan-badan ki sudh tak n thi. usaka ek-ek roan sahऱh knth ho-hokar eeshvar se prarthana kar raha tha ki us prat:kal ke dipak ki lau thodi der aur bachi rahe. unake munh

se ek bar 'shrriddha' ka shabd sunane ke lie usaki antaratma kitani vyakul ho rahi thi. keval yahi ek shabd sunakar phir usaki koee bhi ichchha apoorn n rah jayagi, usaki sari ashaen saphal ho jayngi, sari sadh poorn ho jayagi.

shrriddha ko dekhate hi chaudharain ne usaka hath pakad liya aur roti huee boli, 'beti, tum kahan chali gee thi ? do bar tumhara nam lekar pukar chuke hain.'

shrriddha ko aisa maloom hua, mano usaka kaleja phata ja raha hai. usaki ankhen pathara gayin. use aisa maloom hone laga ki vah agadh, athah samudr ki bhavar men pad gayi hai. usane kamare men jate hi bhagataram ke thnde

pairon par sir rakh diya aur use ankhon ke garam pani se dhokar garam karane ka upay karane lagi. yahi usaki sari ashaon aur kuchh aramanon ki samadhi thi.

bhagataram ne ankh kholakar kaha, 'kya tum ho shrriddha ? main janata tha ki tum aogi, isilie abhi tak pran avashesh the. jara mere hriday par apana sir rakh do. han, mujhe ab vishvas ho gaya ki tumane mujhe kshama kar diya. ji doob raha hai. tumase kuchh mangana chahata hoon, par kis munh se mangoon. jab jite-ji n mang saka to ab kya hai ? hamari antim ghadiyan kisi apoorn sadh ko apane hiy ke bhitar chhipaye hue hoti hain. mrityu pahale hamari sari eershya, sara bhedabhav, sara dvesh nasht karati hai. jinaki soorat se hamen ghrina hoti hai, unase phir vahi purana sauhard, purani maitri karane ke lie, unako gale lagane ke lie ham utsuk ho jate hain. jo kuchh kar sakate the aur n kar sake usi ki ek sadh rah jati hai.' bhagataram ne ukhade hue vishadapoorn svar men apane prem ki punaravritti shrriddha ke samane ki. us svargiy nidhi ko pakar vah prasann ho sakata tha, usaka

upayog kar sakata tha; kintu hay, aj vah ja raha hai, apoorn sadhon ki smriti liye hue ! hay re, abhagin sadh ! shrriddha bhagataram ke vakshasthal par jhuki huee ro rahi thi . bhagataram ne sir uthakar usake murajhaye hue, ansuon se dhoye hue svachchh kapolon ko choom liya; marati huee sadh ki vah antim hnsi thi.

bhagataram ne avaruddh knth se kaha, 'yah hamara aur tumhara vivah hai shrriddha yah meri antim bhent hai. yah kahate hue usaki ankhen hamesha ke lie bnd ho gayin ! sadh bhi marakar gir padi.'

shrriddha ki ankhen rote-rote lal ho rahi thin. use aisa maloom hua mano bhagataram usake samane premalingan ka snket karate hue muskara rahe hain. vah apani dasha, kal, sthan, sab bhool gayi. jakhmi sipahi apani jit ka samachar pakar apana dard, apani pida bhool jata hai. kshan bhar ke lie maut bhi hey ho jati hai. shrriddha ka bhi yahi hal hua. vah bhi apana jivan prem ki nithur vedi par utsarg karane ke lie taiyar ho gayi, jis par laila aur majanoon, shirin aur pharahad nahin, hajaron ne apani bali chadha di. usane chumban ka uttar dete hue kaha, 'pyare, main tumhari hoon aur sada tumhari hi rahoongi.'

tika tippani aur sndarbh

bahari kadiyan

snbndhit lekh

varnamala kramanusar lekh khoj

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