गुंडा -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"

vah pachas varsh se oopar tha. tab bhi yuvakon se adhik balishth aur dridh tha. chamade par jhurriyan nahin padi thin. varsha ki jhadi men, poos ki raton ki chhaya men, kadakati huee jeth ki dhoop men, nnge sharir ghoomane men vah sukh manata tha. usaki chadhi moonchhen bichchhoo ke dnk ki tarah, dekhanevalon ki ankhon men chubhati thin. usaka sanvala rng, sanp ki tarah chikana aur chamakila tha. usaki nagapuri dhoti ka lal reshami kinara door se hi dhyan akarshit karata. kamar men banarasi selhe ka phenta, jisamen sip ki mooth ka bichhua khunsa rahata tha. usake ghungharale balon par sunahale palle ke saphe ka chhor usaki chaudi pith par phaila rahata. oonche kandhe par tika hua chaudi dhar ka gndasa, yah bhi usaki dhaj! pnjon ke bal jab vah chalata, to usaki nasen chatachat bolati thin. vah gunda tha.

eesa ki atharahavin shatabdi ke antim bhag men vahi kashi nahin rah gayi thi, jisamen upanishadh ke ajatashatru ki parishadh men brahmavidya sikhane ke lie vidvanh brahmachari ate the. gautam buddh aur shnkarachary ke dharm-darshan ke vad-vivad, kee shatabdiyon se lagatar mndiron aur mathon ke dhvns aur tapasviyon ke vadh ke karan, pray: band-se ho gaye the. yahan tak ki pavitrata aur chhuachhoot men kattar vaishnav-dharm bhi us vishrinkhalata men, navagantuk dharmonmad men apani asaphalata dekhakar kashi men aghor roop dharan kar raha tha. usi samay samast nyay aur buddhivad ko shastr-bal ke samane jhukate dekhakar, kashi ke vichchhinn aur nirash nagarik jivan ne, ek navin sampraday ki srishti ki. virata jisaka dharm tha. apani bat par mitana, sinh-vritti se jivika grahan karana, pran-bhiksha manganevale kayaron tatha chot khakar gire hue pratidvandvi par shastr n uthana, sataye nirbalon ko sahayata dena aur pratyek kshan pranon ko hatheli par liye ghoomana, usaka bana tha. unhen log kashi men gunda kahate the.

jivan ki kisi alabhy abhilasha se vanchit hokar jaise pray: log virakt ho jate hain, thik usi tarah kisi manasik chot se ghayal hokar, ek pratishthit zamindar ka putr hone par bhi, nanhakoosinh gunda ho gaya tha. donon hathon se usane apani sampatti lutayi. nanhakoosinh ne bahut-sa rupaya kharch karake jaisa svang khela tha, use kashi vale bahut dinon tak nahin bhool sake. vasant ritu men yah prahasanapoorn abhinay khelane ke lie un dinon prachur dhan, bal, nirbhikata aur uchchhrinkhalata ki avashyakata hoti thi. ek bar nanhakoosinh ne bhi ek pair men noopur, ek hath men toda, ek ankh men kajal, ek kan men hajaron ke moti tatha doosare kan men phate hue joote ka talla latakakar, ek jadaoo mooth ki talavar, doosara hath abhooshanon se ladi huee abhinay karane vali premika ke kandhe par rakhakar gaya tha-

‘‘kahin baiganavali mile to bula dena.’’

pray: banaras ke bahar ki hariyaliyon men, achchhe panivale kuon par, gnga ki dhara men machalati huee dongi par vah dikhalaee padata tha. kabhi-kabhi jooakhane se nikalakar jab vah chauk men a jata, to kashi ki rngili veshyaen muskarakar usaka svagat karatin aur usake dridh sharir ko sasprih dekhatin. vah tamoli ki hi dookan par baithakar unake git sunata, oopar kabhi nahin jata tha. jooe ki jit ka rupaya muththiyon men bhar-bharakar, unaki khidaqi men vah is tarah uchhalata ki kabhi-kabhi samaji log apana sir sahalane lagate, tab vah thathakar hns deta. jab kabhi log kothe ke oopar chalane ke lie kahate, to vah udasi ki sans khinchakar chup ho jata.

vah abhi vnshi ke jooakhane se nikala tha. aj usaki kaudi ne sath n diya. solah pariyon ke nrity men usaka man n laga. mannoo tamoli ki dookan par baithate hue usane kaha-‘‘aj sayat achchhi nahin rahi, mannoo!’’

‘‘kyon malik! chinta kis bat ki hai. ham log kis din ke lie hain. sab ap hi ka to hai.’’

‘‘are, buddhoo hi rahe tum! nanhakoosinh jis din kisi se lekar jooa khelane lage usi din samajhana vah mar gaye. tum janate nahin ki main jooa khelane kab jata hoon. jab mere pas ek paisa nahin rahata; usi din nal par pahunchate hi jidhar badi dheri rahati hai, usi ko badata hoon aur phir vahi danv ata bhi hai. baba kinaram ka yah baradan hai!’’

‘‘tab aj kyon, malik?’’

‘‘pahala danv to aya hi, phir do-char hath badane par sab nikal gaya. tab bhi lo, yah panch rupaye bache hain. ek rupaya to pan ke lie rakh lo aur char de do malooki kathak ko, kah do ki dulari se gane ke lie kah de. han, vahi ek git-

‘‘vilami videsh rahe.’’

nanhakoosinh ki bat sunate hi malooki, jo abhi ganje ki chilam par rakhane ke lie angara choor kar raha tha, ghabarakar uth khada hua. vah sidhiy़on par daudata hua chadh gaya. chilam ko dekhata hi oopar chadha, isalie use chot bhi lagi; par nanhakoosinh ki bhrikuti dekhane ki shakti usamen kahan. use nanhakoosinh ki vah moorti n bhooli thi, jab isi pan ki dookan par jooekhane se jita hua, rupaye se bhara toda liye vah baitha tha. door se bodhisinh ki barat ka baja bajata hua a raha tha. nanhakoo ne poochha-‘‘yah kisaki barat hai?’’

‘‘thakur bodhisinh ke ladake ki.’’-mannoo ke itana kahate hi nanhakoo ke oth phadakane lage. usane kaha-‘‘mannoo! yah nahin ho sakata. aj idhar se barat n jayagi. bodhisinh hamase nipatakar tab barat idhar se le ja sakenge.’’

mannoo ne kaha-‘‘tab malik, main kya karoon?’’

nanhakoo gndasa kandhe par se aur ooncha karake malooki se bola-‘‘malukiya dekhata hai, abhi ja thakur se kah de, ki baboo nanhakoosinh aj yahin lagane ke lie khade hain. samajhakar aven, ladake ki barat hai.’’ malukiya kanpata hua thakur bodhisinh ke pas gaya. bodhisinh aur nanhakoo se panch varsh se samana nahin hua hai. kisi din nal par kuchh baton men hi kaha-suni hokar, bich-bachav ho gaya tha. phir samana nahin ho saka. aj nanhakoo jan par khelakar akela khada hai. bodhisinh bhi us an ko samajhate the. unhonne malooki se kaha-‘‘ja be, kah de ki hamako kya maloom ki baboo sahab vahan khade hain. jab vah hain hi, to do samadhi jane ka kya kam hai.’’ bodhisinh laut gaye aur malooki ke kandhe par toda ladakar baje ke age nanhakoosinh barat lekar gaye. byah men jo kuchh laga, kharch kiya. byah karakar tab, doosare din isi dookan tak akar ruk gaye. ladake ko aur usaki barat ko usake ghar bhej diya.

malooki ko bhi das rupaya mila tha us din. phir nanhakoosinh ki bat sunakar baithe rahana aur yam ko nyota dena ek hi bat thi. usane jakar dulari se kaha-‘‘ham theka laga rahe hain, tum gao, tab tak balloo sarngivala pani pikar ata hai.’’

‘‘bap re, koee aphat ayi hai kya baboo sahab? salam!’’-kahakar dulari ne khidaqi se muskarakar jhanka tha ki nanhakoosinh usake salam ka javab dekar, doosare ek anevale ko dekhane lage.

hath men harauti ki patali-si chhadi, ankhon men surama, munh men pan, menhadi lagi huee lal dadhi, jisaki saphed jad dikhalaee pad rahi thi, kuvvedar topi; chhakaliya angarakha aur sath men laisadar paratavale do sipahi! koee maulavi sahab hain. nanhakoo hns pada. nanhakoo ki or bina dekhe hi maulavi ne ek sipahi se kaha-‘‘jao, dulari se kah do ki aj rejident sahab ki kothi par mujara karana hoga, abhi chale, dekho tab tak ham janali se kuchh itr le rahe hain.’’ sipahi oopar chadh raha tha aur maulavi doosari or chale the ki nanhakoo ne lalakarakar kaha-‘‘dulari! ham kab tak yahan baithe rahen! kya abhi sarngiya nahin aya?’’

dulari ne kaha-‘‘vah baboo sahab! apahi ke lie to main yahan a baithi hoon, sunie n! ap to kabhi oopar...’’ maulavi jal utha. usane kadakakar kaha-‘‘chobadar! abhi vah suar ki bachchi utari nahin. jao, kotaval ke pas mera nam lekar kaho ki maulavi alauddin kubara ne bulaya hai. akar usaki marammat karen. dekhata hoon to jab se navabi gayi, in kaphiron ki masti badh gayi hai.’’

kubara maulavi! bap re-tamoli apani dookan samhalane laga. pas hi ek dookan par baithakar oonghata hua bajaj chaunkakar sir men chot kha gaya! isi maulavi ne to maharaj chetasinh se sadhe tin ser chinti ke sir ka tel manga tha. maulavi alauddin kubara! bazar men halachal mach gayi. nanhakoosinh ne mannoo se kaha-‘‘kyon, chupachap baithoge nahin!’’ dulari se kaha-‘‘vahin se baeeji! idhar-udhar hilane ka kam nahin. tum gao. hamane aise ghasiyare bahut-se dekhe hain. abhi kal ramal ke pase phenkakar adhela-adhela mangata tha, aj chala hai rob ganthane.’’

ab kubara ne ghoomakar usaki or dekhakar kaha-‘‘kaun hai yah paji!’’

‘‘tumhare chacha baboo nanhakoosinh!’’-ke sath hi poora banarasi jhapad pada. kubara ka sir ghoom gaya. lais ke paratale vale sipahi doosari or bhag chale aur maulavi sahab chaundhiya kar janali ki dookan par ladakhadate, girate-padate kisi tarah pahunch gaye.

janali ne maulavi se kaha-‘‘maulavi sahab! bhala ap bhi us gunde ke munh lagane gaye. yah to kahie ki usane gndasa nahin taul diya.’’ kubara ke munh se boli nahin nikal rahi thi. udhar dulari ga rahi thi’’ .... vilami vides rahe ....’’ gana poora hua, koee aya-gaya nahi. tab nanhakoosinh dhire-dhire tahalata hua, doosari or chala gaya. thodi der men ek doli reshami parade se dhnki huee ayi. sath men ek chobadar tha. usane dulari ko rajamata panna ki agya sunayi.

dulari chupachap doli par ja baithi. doli dhool aur sandhyakal ke dhuen se bhari huee banaras ki tng galiyon se hokar shivalay ghat ki or chali.

bhag 2

shravan ka antim somavar tha. rajamata panna shivalay men baithakar poojan kar rahi thi. dulari bahar baithi kuchh any ganevaliyon ke sath bhajan ga rahi thi. arati ho jane par, phoolon ki anjali bikherakar panna ne bhaktibhav se devata ke charanon men pranam kiya. phir prasad lekar bahar ate hi unhonne dulari ko dekha. usane khadi hokar hath jodate hue kaha-‘‘main pahale hi pahunch jati. kya karoon, vah kubara maulavi nigoda akar rejident ki kothi par le jane laga. ghanton isi jhnjhat men bit gaya, sarakar!’’

‘‘kubara maulavi! jahan sunati hoon, usi ka nam. suna hai ki usane yahan bhi akar kuchh....’’-phir n jane kya sochakar bat badalate hue panna ne kaha-‘‘han, tab phir kya hua? tum kaise yahan a sakin?’’

‘‘baboo nanhakoosinh udhar se a gaye.’’ mainne kaha-‘‘sarakar ki pooja par mujhe bhajan gane ko jana hai. aur yah jane nahin de raha hai. unhonne maulavi ko aisa jhapad lagaya ki usaki hekadi bhool gayi. aur tab jakar mujhe kisi tarah yahan ane ki chhutti mili.’’

‘‘kaun baboo nanhakoosinh!’’

dulari ne sir nicha karake kaha-‘‘are, kya sarakar ko nahin maloom? baboo nirnjanasinh ke ladake! us din, jab main bahut chhoti thi, apaki bari men jhoola jhool rahi thi, jab navab ka hathi bigadakar a gaya tha, baboo nirnjanasinh ke kunvar ne hi to us din ham logon ki raksha ki thi.’’

rajamata ka mukh us prachin ghatana ko smaran karake n jane kyon vivarn ho gaya. phir apane ko snbhalakar unhonne poochha-‘‘to baboo nanhakoosinh udhar kaise a gaye?’’

dulari ne muskarakar sir nicha kar liya! dulari rajamata panna ke pita ki jamindari men rahane vali veshya ki ladaqi thi. usake sath hi kitani bar jhoole-hindole apane bachapan men panna jhool chuki thi. vah bachapan se hi gane men surili thi. sundari hone par chanchal bhi thi. panna jab kashiraj ki mata thi, tab dulari kashi ki prasiddh ganevali thi. rajamahal men usaka gana-bajana hua hi karata. maharaj balavantasinh ke samay se hi sngit panna ke jivan ka avashyak ansh tha. han, ab prem-du:kh aur dard-bhari virah-kalpana ke git ki or adhik ruchi n thi. ab satvik bhavapoorn bhajan hota tha. rajamata panna ka vaidhavy se dipt shant mukhamandal kuchh malin ho gaya.

badi rani ki sapatny jvala balavantasinh ke mar jane par bhi nahin bujhi. ant:pur kalah ka rngamnch bana rahata, isi se pray: panna kashi ke rajamndir men akar pooja-path men apana man lagati. ramanagar men usako chain nahin milata. nayi rani hone ke karan balavantasinh ki preyasi hone ka gaurav to use tha hi, sath men putr utpann karane ka saubhagy bhi mila, phir bhi asavarnata ka samajik dosh usake hriday ko vyathit kiya karata. use apane byah ki arambhik charcha ka smaran ho aya.

chhote-se manch par baithi, gnga ki umadati huee dhara ko panna any-manask hokar dekhane lagi. us bat ko, jo atit men ek bar, hath se anajane men khisak janevali vastu ki tarah gupt ho gayi ho; sochane ka koee karan nahin. usase kuchh banata-bigadata bhi nahin; parantu manav-svabhav hisab rakhane ki prathanusar kabhi-kabhi kahi baithata hai, ‘‘ki yadi vah bat ho gayi hoti to?’’ thik usi tarah panna bhi raja balavantasinh dvara balapoorvak rani banayi jane ke pahale ki ek sambhavana ko sochane lagi thi. so bhi baboo nanhakoosinh ka nam sun lene par. genda munhalagi dasi thi. vah panna ke sath usi din se hai, jis din se panna balavantasinh ki preyasi huee. rajy-bhar ka anusandhan usi ke dvara mila karata. aur use n jane kitani janakari bhi thi. usane dulari ka rng ukhadane ke lie kuchh kahana avashyak samajha.

‘‘maharani! nanhakoosinh apani sab jamindari svang, bhainson ki ladaee, ghudadaud aur gane-bajane men udakar ab dakoo ho gaya hai. jitane khoon hote hain, sab men usi ka hath rahata hai. jitani ....’’ use rokakar dulari ne kaha-‘‘yah jhooth hai. baboo sahab ke aisa dharmatma to koee hai hi nahin. kitani vidhavaen unaki di huee dhoti se apana tan dhnkati hai. kitani ladakiyon ki byah-shadi hoti hai. kitane sataye hue logon ki unake dvara raksha hoti hai.’’

rani panna ke hriday men ek taralata udvelit huee. unhonne hnsakar kaha-‘‘dulari, ve tere yahan ate hain n? isi se too unaki badaee.....’’

‘‘nahin sarakar! shapath khakar kah sakati hoon ki baboo nanhakoosinh ne aj tak kabhi mere kothe par pair bhi nahin rakha.’’

rajamata n jane kyon is adh‌bhut vyakti ko samajhane ke lie chanchal ho uthi thin. tab bhi unhonne dulari ko age kuchh n kahane ke lie tikhi drishti se dekha. vah chup ho gayi. pahale pahar ki shahanaee bajane lagi. dulari chhutti mangakar doli par baith gayi. tab genda ne kaha-‘‘sarakar! ajakal nagar ki dasha badi buri hai. din dahade log loot lie jate hain. saikadon jagah nala par jue men log apana sarvasv gnvate hain. bachche phusalaye jate hain. galiyon men lathiyan aur chhura chalane ke lie tedhi bhaunhe karan ban jati hain. udhar rejident sahab se maharaja ki anaban chal rahi hai.’’ rajamata chup rahin.

doosare din raja chetasinh ke pas rejident markahem ki chiththi ayi, jisamen nagar ki duvryavastha ki kadi alochana thi. dakuon aur gundon ko pakadane ke lie, un par kada niyantran rakhane ki sammati bhi thi. kubara maulavi vali ghatana ka bhi ullekh tha. udhar henstigs ke ane ki bhi soochana thi. shivalayaghat aur ramanagar men halachal mach gayi! kotaval himmatasinh, pagal ki tarah, jisake hath men lathi, lohangi, gadansa, bichhua aur karauli dekhate, usi ko pakadane lage.

ek din nanhakoosinh sumbha ke nale ke sngam par, oonche-se tile ki ghani hariyali men apane chune hue sathiyon ke sath doodhiya chhan rahe the. gnga men, unaki patali dongi bad ki jata se bndhi thi. kathakon ka gana ho raha tha. char ulanki ikke kase-kasaye khade the.

nanhakoosinh ne akasmath kaha-‘‘malooki!’’ gana jamata nahin hai. ulanki par baithakar jao, dulari ko bula lao.’’ malooki vahan majira baja raha tha. daudakar ikke par ja baitha. aj nanhakoosinh ka man ukhada tha. booti kee bar chhanane par bhi nasha nahin. ek ghante men dulari samane a gayi. usane muskarakar kaha-‘‘kya hukm hai baboo sahab?’’

‘‘dulari! aj gana sunane ka man kar raha hai.’’

‘‘is jngal men kyon?-usane sashnk hnsakar kuchh abhipray se poochha.

‘‘tum kisi tarah ka khataka n karo.’’-nanhakoosinh ne hnsakar kaha.

‘‘yah to main us din maharani se bhi kah ayi hoon.’’

‘‘kya, kisase?’’

‘‘rajamata pannadevi se ’’-phir us din gana nahin jama. dulari ne ashchary se dekha ki tanon men nanhakoo ki ankhe tar ho jati hain. gana-bajana samapt ho gaya tha. varsha ki rat men jhilliyon ka svar us jhuramut men goonj raha tha. mndir ke samip hi chhote-se kamare men nanhakoosinh chinta men nimagn baitha tha. ankhon men nid nahin. aur sab log to sone lage the, dulari jag rahi thi. vah bhi kuchh soch rahi thi. aj use, apane ko rokane ke lie kathin prayatn karana pad raha tha; kintu asaphal hokar vah uthi aur nanhakoo ke samip dhire-dhire chali ayi. kuchh ahat pate hi chaunkakar nanhakoosinh ne pas hi padi huee talavar utha li. tab tak hnsakar dulari ne kaha-‘‘baboo sahab, yah kya? striyon par bhi talavar chalayi jati hai!’’

chhote-se dipak ke prakash men vasana-bhari ramani ka mukh dekhakar nanhakoo hns pada. usane kaha-‘‘kyon baeeji! kya isi samay jane ki padi hai. maulavi ne phir bulaya hai kya?’’ dulari nanhakoo ke pas baith gayi. nanhakoo ne kaha-‘‘kya tumako dar lag raha hai?’’

‘‘nahin, main kuchh poochhane ayi hoon.’’

‘‘kya?’’

‘‘kya,......yahi ki......kabhi tumhare hriday men....’’

‘‘use n poochho dulari! hriday ko bekar hi samajh kar to use hath men liye phir raha hoon. koee kuchh kar deta-kuchalata-chirata-uchhalata! mar jane ke lie sab kuchh to karata hoon, par marane nahin pata.’’

‘‘marane ke lie bhi kahin khojane jana padata hai. apako kashi ka hal kya maloom! n jane ghadi bhar men kya ho jay. ulat-palat hone vala hai kya, banaras ki galiyan jaise katane ko daudati hain.’’

‘‘koee nayi bat idhar huee hai kya?’’

‘‘koee heshnitagj aya hai. suna hai usane shivalayaghat par tilngon ki kampani ka pahara baitha diya hai. raja chetasinh aur rajamata panna vahin hain. koee-koee kahata hai ki unako pakadakar kalakatta bhejane....’’

‘‘kya panna bhi....ranivas bhi vahin hai’’-nanhakoo adhir ho utha tha.

‘‘kyon baboo sahab, aj rani panna ka nam sunakar apaki ankhon men ansoo kyo a gaye?’’

sahasa nanhakoo ka mukh bhayanak ho utha! usane kaha-‘‘chup raho, tum usako janakar kya karogi?’’ vah uth khada hua. udvign ki tarah n jane kya khojane laga. phir sthir hokar usane kaha-‘‘dulari! jivan men aj yah pahala hi din hai ki ekant rat men ek stri mere palng par akar baith gayi hai, main chirakumar! apani ek pratigya ka nirvah karane ke lie saikadon asaty, aparadh karata phir raha hoon. kyon? tum janati ho? main striyon ka ghor vidrohi hoon aur panna! .... kintu usaka kya aparadh! atyachari balavantasinh ke kaleje men bichhua main n utar saka. kintu panna! use pakadakar gore kalakatte bhej denge! vahi ....’’

nanhakoosinh unmatt ho utha tha. dulari ne dekha, nanhakoo andhakar men hi vat vriksh ke niche pahuncha aur gnga ki umadati huee dhara men dongi khol di-usi ghane andhakar men. dulari ka hriday kanp utha.

bhag 3

16 agast sanh 1781 ko kashi danvadol ho rahi thi. shivalayaghat men raja chetasinh lephtinent istakar ke pahare men the. nagar men atnk tha. dookanen band thin. gharon men bachche apani man se poochhate the-‘man, aj halue vala nahin aya.’ vah kahati-‘chup bete!’ sadaqen sooni padi thin. tilngon ki kampani ke age-age kubara maulavi kabhi-kabhi, ata-jata dikhaee padata tha. us samay khuli huee khidakiyan band ho jati thin. bhay aur sannate ka rajy tha. chauk men chitharoosinh ki haveli apane bhitar kashi ki virata ko band kiye kotaval ka abhinay kar rahi thi. isi samay kisi ne pukara-‘‘himmatasinh!’’

khidaqi men se sir nikal kar himmatasinh ne poochha-‘‘kaun?’’

‘‘baboo nanhakoosinh!’’

‘‘achchha, tum ab tak bahar hi ho?’’

‘‘pagal! raja kaid ho gaye hain. chhod do in sab bahaduron ko! ham ek bar inako lekar shivalayaghat par jayn.’’

‘‘thaharo’’-kahakar himmatasinh ne kuchh agya di, sipahi bahar nikale. nanhakoo ki talavar chamak uthi. sipahi bhitar bhage. nanhakoo ne kaha-‘‘namakaharamon! choodiy़an pahan lo.’’ logon ke dekhate-dekhate nanhakoosinh chala gaya. kotavali ke samane phir sannata ho gaya.

nanhakoo unmatt tha. usake thode-se sathi usaki agya par jan dene ke lie tule the. vah nahin janata tha ki raja chetasinh ka kya rajanitik aparadh hai? usane kuchh sochakar apane thode-se sathiyon ko phatak par gadabad machane ke lie bhej diya. idhar apani dongi lekar shivalay ki khidaqi ke niche dhara katata hua pahuncha. kisi tarah nikale hue patthar men rassi atakakar, us chanchal dongi ko usane sthir kiya aur bandar ki tarah uchhalakar khidaqi ke bhitar ho raha. us samay vahan rajamata panna aur raja chetasinh se baboo maniharasinh kah rahe the-‘‘apake yahan rahane se, ham log kya karen, yah samajh men nahin ata. pooja-path samapt karake ap ramanagar chali gayi hotin, to yah ....’’

tejasvini panna ne kaha-‘‘ab main ramanagar kaise chali jaoon?’’

maniharasinh dukhi hokar bole-‘‘kaise bataoon? mere sipahi to bandi hain.’’ itane men phatak par kolahal macha. raj-parivar apani mantrana men dooba tha ki nanhakoosinh ka ana unhen maloom hua. samane ka dvar band tha. nanhakoosinh ne ek bar gnga ki dhara ko dekha-usamen ek nav ghat par lagane ke lie laharon se lad rahi thi. vah prasann ho utha. isi ki pratiksha men vah ruka tha. usane jaise sabako sachet karate hue kaha-‘‘maharani kahan hai?’’

sabane ghoom kar dekha-ek aparichit vir-moorti! shastron se lada hua poora dev!

chetasinh ne poochha-‘‘tum kaun ho?’’

‘‘raj-parivar ka ek bina dam ka sevak!’’

panna ke munh se halaki-si ek sans nikal rah gayi. usane pahachan liya. itane varshon ke bad! vahi nanhakoosinh.

maniharasinh ne poochha-‘‘tum kya kar sakate ho?’’

‘‘mai mar sakata hoon! pahale maharani ko dongi par bithaie. niche doosari dongi par achchhe mallah hain. phir bat kijie.’’-maniharasinh ne dekha, janani dyodhi ka daroga raj ki ek dongi par char mallahon ke sath khidaqi se nav satakar pratiksha men hai. unhonne panna se kaha-‘‘chalie, main sath chalata hoon.’’

‘‘aur...’’-chetasinh ko dekhakar, putravatsala ne snket se ek prashn kiya, usaka uttar kisi ke pas n tha. maniharasinh ne kaha-‘‘tab main yahin?’’ nanhakoo ne hnsakar kaha-‘‘mere malik, ap nav par baithen. jab tak raja bhi nav par n baith jaynge, tab tak satrah goli khakar bhi nanhakoosinh jivit rahane ki pratigya karata hai.’’

panna ne nanhakoo ko dekha. ek kshan ke lie charon ankhe mili, jinamen janm-janm ka vishvas jyoti ki tarah jal raha tha. phatak balapoorvak khola ja raha tha. nanhakoo ne unmatt hokar kaha-‘‘malik! jaldi kijie.’’

doosare kshan panna dongi par thi aur nanhakoosinh phatak par istakar ke sath. chetaram ne akar ek chiththi maniharasinh ko hath men di. lephtinent ne kaha-‘‘ap ke adami gadabad macha rahe hain. ab mai apane sipahiyon ko goli chalane se nahin rok sakata.’’

‘‘mere sipahi yahan kahan hain, sahab?’’-maniharasinh ne hnsakar kaha. bahar kolahal badhऩe laga.

chetaram ne kaha-‘‘pahale chetasinh ko kaid kijie.’’

‘‘kaun aisi himmat karata hai?’’ kadakakar kahate hue baboo maniharasinh ne talavar khinch li. abhi bat poori n ho saki thi ki kubara maulavi vahan pahuncha! yahan maulavi sahab ki kalam nahin chal sakati thi, aur n ye bahar hi ja sakate the. unhonne kaha-‘‘dekhate kya ho chetaram!’’

chetaram ne raja ke oopar hath rakha hi thi ki nanhakoo ke sadhe hue hath ne usaki bhuja uda di. istakar age badhe, maulavi sahab chillane lage. nanhakoosinh ne dekhate-dekhate istakar aur usake kee sathiyon ko dharashayi kiya. phir maulavi sahab kaise bachate!

nanhakoosinh ne kaha-‘‘kyon, us din ke jhapad ne tumako samajhaya nahin? paji!’’-kahakar aisa saf janeva mara ki kubara dher ho gaya. kuchh hi kshanon men yah bhishan ghatana ho gayi, jisake lie abhi koee prastut n tha.

nanhakoosinh ne lalakar kar chetasinh se kaha-‘‘ap kya dekhate hain? utariye dongi par!’’-usake ghavon se rakt ke phuhare chhoot rahe the. udhar phatak se tilnge bhitar ane lage the. chetasinh ne khidaqi se utarate hue dekha ki bison tilngon ki snginon men vah avichal khada hokar talavar chala raha hai. nanhakoo ke chattan-sadrish sharir se gairik ki tarah rakt ki dhara bah rahi hai. gunde ka ek-ek ang katakar vahin girane laga. vah kashi ka gunda tha!

tika tippani aur sndarbh


bahari kadiyan

snbndhit lekh

varnamala kramanusar lekh khoj

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