दो सखियाँ -प्रेमचंद  हिन्दी देवनागरी में पढ़ें।

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

lakhanoo

1-7-25

pyari bahan,

jab se yahan ayi hoon, tumhari yad satati rahati hai. kash! tum kuchh dinon ke lie yahan chali atin, to kitani bahar rahati. main tumhen apane vinod se milati. kya yah sambhav nahin hai ? tumhare mata-pita kya tumhen itani azadi bhi n denge ? mujhe to ashchary yahi hai ki bediyan pahanakar tum kaise rah sakati ho! main to is tarah ghante-bhar bhi nahin rah sakati. eeshvar ko dhanyavad deti hoon ki mere pitaji purani lakir pitane valon men nahin. vah un navin adarshon ke bhakt hain, jinhonne nari-jivan ko svarg bana diya hai. nahin to main kahin ki n rahati.

vinod hal hi men inglaind se di0 phil0 hokar laute hain aur jivan-yatra arambh karane ke pahale ek bar snsar-yatra karana chahate hain. yorap ka adhikansh bhag to vah dekh chuke hain, par amerika, astreliya aur eshiya ki sair kiye bina unhen chain nahin. madhy eshiya aur chin ka to yah vishesh roop se adhyayan karana chahate hain. yoropiyan yatri jin baton ki mimansa n kar sake, unhin par prakash dalana inaka dhyey hai. sach kahati hoon, chanda, aisa sahasi, aisa nirbhik, aisa adarshavadi purush mainne kabhi nahin dekha tha. main to unaki baten sunakar chakit ho jati hoon. aisa koee vishay nahin hai, jisaka unhen poora gyan n ho, jisaki vah alochana n kar sakate ho; aur yah keval kitabi alochana nahin hoti, usamen maulikata aur navinata hoti hai. svavantrata ke to vah anany upasak hain. aise purush ki patni banakar aisi kaun-si stri hai, jo apane saubhagy par garv n kare. bahan, tumase kya kahoon ki prat:kal unhen apane bngale ki or ate dekhakar mere chitt ki kya dasha ho jati hai. yah un par nyochhavar hone ke lie vikal ho jata hai. yah meri atma men bas gaye hain. apane purush ki mainne man men jo kalpana ki thi, usamen aur unamen bal barabar bhi antar nahin. mujhe rat-din yahi bhay laga rahata hai ki kahin mujhamen unhen koee truti n mil jay. jin vishayon se unhen ruchi hai, unaka adhyayan adhi rat tak baithi kiya karati hoon. aisa parishram mainne kabhi n kiya tha. aeene-knghi se mujhe kabhi utana prem n tha, subhashiton ko mainne kabhi itane chav se kanth n kiya tha. agar itana sab kuchh karane par bhi main unaka hriday n pa saki, to bahan, mera jivan nasht ho jayega, mera hriday phat jayega aur snsar mere lie soona ho jayega.

kadachith prem ke sath hi man men eershya ka bhav bhi uday ho jata hai. unhen mere bngale ki or jate hue dekh jab meri padosin kusum apane baramade men akar khadi ho jati hai, to mera aisa ji chahata hai ki usaki ankhen jyotihin ho jayn. kal to anarth hi ho gaya. vinod ne use dekhate hi hait utar li aur muskarae. vah kulata bhi khisen nikalane lagi. eeshvar sari vipattiyan de, par mithyabhiman n de. chudailon ki-si to apaki soorat hai, par apane ko apsara samajhati hain. ap kavita karati hain aur kee patrikaon men unaki kavitaen chhap bhi gee hain. bas, ap zamin par panv nahin rakhatin. sach kahati hoon, thodi der ke lie vinod par se meri shraddha uth gayi. aisa avesh hota tha ki chalakar kusum ka munh noch loon. khairiyat huee ki donon men batachalat n huee, par vinod akar baithe to adh ghante tak main unase n bol saki, jaise unake shabdon men vah jadoo hi n tha, vani men vah ras hi n tha. tab se ab tak mere chitt ki vyagrata shant nahin huee. rat-bhar mujhe nind nahin ayi, vahi drishy ankhon ke samane bar-bar ata tha. kusum ko lajjit karane ke lie kitane masoobe bandh chuki hoon. agar yah bhay n hota ki vinod mujhe ochhi aur halaki samajhenge, to main unase apane manobhavon ko spasht kah deti. main sampoornat: unaki hokar unhen sampoornat: apana banana chahati hoon. mujhe vishvas hai ki snsar ka sabase roopavanh yuvak mere samane a jay, to main use ankh uthakar n dekhoongi. vinod ke man men mere prati yah bhav kyon nahin hai.

chanda, pyari bahan; ek saptah ke lie a ja. tujhase milane ke lie man adhir ho raha hai. mujhe is samay teri salah aur sahanubhooti ki badi zaroorat hai. yah mere jivan ka sabase najuk samay hai. inhin das-panch dinon men ya to paras ho jaoongi ya mitti. lo sat baj ge aur abhi bal tak nahin banaye. vinod ke ane ka samay hai. ab vida hoti hoon. kahin aj phir abhagini kusum apane baramade men n a khadi ho. abhi se dil kanp raha hai. kal to yah sochakar man ko samajhaya tha ki yon hi saral bhav se vah hns padi hogi. aj bhi agar vahi drishy samane aya, to utani asani se man ko n samajha sakoongi.

tumhari,

padma

2


gorakhapur

5-7-25

priy padma,

bhala ek yug ke bad tumhen meri sudhi to aee. mainne to samajha tha, shayad tumane paralok-yatra kar li. yah us nishthurata ka dnd hi hai, jo kusum tumhen de rahi hai. 15 epril ko kalej band hua aur ek julaee ko ap khat likhati hain—poore dhaee mahine bad, vah bhi kusum ki kripa se. jis kusum ko tum kos rahi ho, use main ashirvad de rahi hoon. vah darun du:kh ki bhanti tumhare raste men n a khadi hoti, to tumhen kyon meri yad ati ? khair, vinod ki tumane jo tasavir khinchi, vah bahut hi akarshak hai aur main eeshvar se mana rahi hoon, vah din jald ae ki main unase bahanoee ke nate mil sakoon. magar dekhana, kahin sivil mairej n kar baithana. vivah hindoo-paddhati ke anusar hi ho. haau, tumhen akhtyir hai jo saikadon behooda aur vyarth ke kapade hain, unhen nikal dalo. ek sachche, vidvanh pandit ko avashy bulana, isalie nahin ki vah tumase bat-bat par take nikalavaye, balki isalie ki vah dekhata rahe ki vah sab kuchh shastr-vidhi se ho raha hai, ya nahin.

achchha, ab mujhase poochho ki itane dinon kyon chuppi sadhe baithi rahi. mere hi khanadan men in dhaee mahinon men, panch shadiyaaun huee. baraton ka tanta laga raha. aisa shayad hi koee din gaya ho ki ek sau mahamanon se kam rahe hon aur jab barat a jati thi, tab to unaki snkhya panch-panch sau tak pahunch jati thi. ye panchon ladakiyan mujhase chhoti hain aur mera bas chalata to abhi tin-char sal tak n bolati, lekin meri sunata kaun hai aur vichar karane par mujhe bhi aisa maloom hota hai ki mata-pita ka ladakiyon ke vivah ke lie jaldi karana kuchh anuchit nahin hai. zindagi ka koee thikana nahin. agar mata-pita akal mar jayn, to ladaki ka vivah kaun kare. bhaiyon ka kya bharosa. agar pita ne kafi daulat chhodi hai to koee bat nahin; lekin jaisa sadharanat: hota hai, pita rin ka bhar chhod gaye, to bahan bhaiyon par bhar ho jati hai. yah bhi any kitane hi hindoo-rasmon ki bhanti arthik samasya hai, aur jab tak hamari arthik dasha n sudharegi, yah rasm bhi n mitegi.

ab mere balidan ki bari hai. aj ke pndrahaven din yah ghar mere lie videsh ho jayaga. do-char mahine ke lie aoongi, to mehaman ki tarah. mere vinod banarasi hain, abhi qanoon padh rahe hain. unake pita nami vakil hain. sunati hoon, kee ganv hain, kee makan hain, achchhi maryada hai. mainne abhi tak var ko nahin dekha. pitaji ne mujhase puchhavaya tha ki ichchha ho, to var ko bula doon. par mainne kah diya, koee zaroorat nahin. kaun ghar men bahoo bane. hai takadir hi ka sauda. n pitaji hi kisi ke man men paith sakate hain, n main hi. agar do-ek bar dekh hi leti, nahin mulakat hi kar leti to kya ham donon ek-doosare ko parakh lete ? yah kisi tarah snbhav nahin. zyada-se-zyada ham ek-doosare ka rng-roop dekh sakate hain. is vishay men mujhe vishvas hai ki pitaji mujhase kam snyat nahin hain. mere donon bade bahanoee saundary ke putale n hon par koee ramani unase ghrina nahin kar sakati. meri bahanen unake sath anand se jivan bita rahi hain. phir pitaji mere hi sath kyon anyay karenge. yah main manati hoon ki hamare samaj men kuchh logon ka vaivahik jivan sukhakar nahin hai, lekin snsar men aisa kaun samaj hai, jisamen dukhi parivar n hon. aur phir hamesha purushon hi ka dosh to nahin hota, bahudha striyaaun hi vish ka ganth hoti hain. main to vivah ko seva aur tyag ka vrat samajhati hoon aur isi bhav se usaka abhivadan karati hoon. han, main tumhen vinod se chhinana to nahin chahati lekin agar 20 julaee tak tum do din ke lie a sako, to mujhe zila lo. jyon-jyon is vrat ka din nikat a raha hai, mujhe ek agyat shnka ho rahi hai; magar tum khud bimar ho, meri dava kya karogi—zaroor ana bahan !

tumhari,

chanda

3


mnsoori

5-8-25

pyari chanda,

sainkadon baten likhani hain, kis kram se shuroo karoon, samajh men nahin ata. sabase pahale tumhare vivah ke shubh avasar par n pahunch sakane ke lie kshama chahati hoon. main ane ka nishchay kar chuki thi, main aur pyari chnda ke svaynvar men n jaoon: magar usake thik tin din pahale vinod ne apana atmasamarpan karake mujhe aisa mugdh kar diya ki phir mujhe kisi ki sudhi n rahi. ah! ve prem ke antastal se nikale hue ushn, aveshamay aur knpit shabd abhi tak kanon men goonj rahe hain. main khadi thi, aur vinod mere samane ghutane teke hue prerana, vinay aur agrah ke putale bane baithe the. aisa avasar jivan men ek hi bar ata hai, keval ek bar, magar usaki madhur smriti kisi svarg-sngit ki bhanti jivan ke tar-tar men vyapt rahata hai. tum us anand ka anubhav kar sakogi—main rone lagi, kah nahin sakati, man men kya-kya bhav aye; par meri ankhon se ansuon ki dhara bahane lagi. kadachith yahi anand ki charam sima hai. main kuchh-kuchh nirash ho chali thi. tin-char din se vinod ko ate-jate kusum se baten karate dekhati thi, kusum nit ne abhooshanon se saji rahati thi aur kya kahoon, ek din vinod ne kusum ki ek kavita mujhe sunayi aur ek-ek shabd par sir dhunate rahe. main manini to hoon hi; socha,jab yah us chudail par lattoo ho rahe hen, to mujhe kya garaj padi hai ki inake lie apana sir khapaoon. doosare din vah sabere aye, to mainne kahala diya, tabiyat achchhi nahin hai. jab unhonne mujhase milane ke lie agrah kiya, tab vivash hokar mujhe kamare men ana pada. man men nishchay karake ayi thi—saph kah doongi ab ap n aya kijie. main apake yogy nahin hoon, main kavi nahin, vidushi nahin, subhashini nahin....ek poori spich man men umad rahi thi, par kamare men aee aur vinod ke satrishn netr dekhe, prabal utkntha men kanpate hue honth—bahan, us avesh ka chitran nahin kar sakati. vinod ne mujhe baithane bhi n diya. mere samane ghutanon ke bal pharsh par baith gaye aur unake atur unmatt shabd mere hriday ko tarngit karane lage.

ek saptah taiyariyon men kat gaya. papa or mama phoole n samate the.

aur sabase prasann thi kusum ! yahi kusum jisaki soorat se mujhe ghrina thi ! ab mujhe gyat hua ki mainne us par sandeh karake usake sath ghor anyay kiya. usaka hriday nishkapat hai, usamen n eershya hai, n trishna, seva hi usake jivan ka moolatatv hai. main nahin samajhati ki usake bina ye sat din kaise katate. main kuchh khoee-khoee si jan padati thi. kusum par mainne apana sara bhar chhod diya tha. abhooshanon ke chunav aur sajav, vastron ke rng aur kat-chhant ke vishay men usaki suruchi vilakshan hai. athaven din jab usane mujhe dulahin banaya, to main apana roop dekhakar chakit rah gee. mainne apane ko kabhi aisi sundari n samajha tha. garv se meri ankhon men nasha-sa chha gaya.

usi din sndhya-samay vinod aur men do bhinn jal-dharaon ki bhanti sngam par milakar abhinn ho gaye. vihar-yatra ki taiyari pahale hi se ho chuki thi, prat:kal ham mnsoori ke lie ravana ho gaye. kusum hamen pahunchane ke lie steshan tak aee aur vida hote samay bahut royi. use sath le chalana chahati thi, par n jane kyon vah raji n huee.

mnsoori ramanik hai, isamen sandeh nahin. shyamavarn megh-malaen pahadiyon par vishram kar rahi hain, shital pavan asha-tarngon ki bhanti chitt ka rnjan kar raha hai, par mujhe aisa vishvas hai ki vinod ke sath main kisi nirjan van men bhi itane hi sukh se rahati. unhen pakar ab mujhe kisi vastu ki lalasa nahin. bahan, tum is anandamay jivan ki shayad kalpana bhi n kar sakogi. subah huee, nashta aya, ham donon ne nashta kiya; dandi taiyar hai, nau bajate-bajate sair karane nikal ge. kisi jal-prapat ke kinare ja baithe. vahan jal-pravah ka madhur sngit sun rahe hain. ya kisi shila-khnd par baithe meghon ki vyom-krida dekh rahe hain. gyarah bajate-bajate lautai. bhojan kiya. main pyano par ja baithi. vinod ko sngit se prem hai. khud bahut achchha gate hain aur main gane lagati hoon, tab to vah jhoomane hi lagate hain. tisare pahar ham ek ghnte ke lie vishram karake khelane ya koee khel dekhane chale jate hain. rat ko bhojan karane ke bad thiyetar dekhate hain aur vahan se laut kar shayan karate hain. n sas ki ghudakiyan hain n nanadon ki kanaphoosi, n jethaniyon ke tane. par is sukh men bhi mujhe kabhi-kabhi ek shnka-si hoti hai—phool men koee kanta to nahin chhipa hua hai, prakash ke pichhe kahin andhakar to nahin hai ! meri samajh men nahin ata, aisi shnka kyon hoti hai. are, yah lo panch baj ge, vinod taiyar hain, aj tenis ka maich dekhane jana hai. main bhi jaldi se taiyar ho jaoon. shesh baten phir likhoongi.

han, ek bat to bhooli hi ja rahi thi. apane vivah ka samachar likhana. patidev kaise hain ? rng-roop kaisa hai ? sasural gayi, ya abhi maike hi men ho ? sasural gayin, to vahan ke anubhav avashy likhana. tumhari khoob numaish huee hogi. ghar, kutumb aur muhalle ki mahilaon ne ghoonghat utha-uthakar khoob munh dekha hoga, khoob pariksha huee hogi. ye sabhi baten vistar se likhana. dekhen kab phir mulakat hoti hai.

tumhari,

padma

4


gorakhapur

1-9-25

pyari padma,

tumhara patr padhakar chitt ko badi shanti mili. tumhare n ane hi se main samajh gee thi ki vinod baboo tumhen har le ge, magar yah n samajhi thi ki tum mnsoori pahunch gayi. ab us amod-pramod men bhala garib chanda kyon yad ane lagi. ab meri samajh men a raha hai ki vivah ke lie ne aur purane adarsh men kya antar hai. tumane apani pasand se kam liya, sukhi ho. main lok-laj ki dasi bani rahi, nasibon ko ro rahi hoon.

achchha, ab meri biti suno. dan-dahej ke tnte se to mujhe kuchh matalab hai nahin. pitaji ne bada hi udar-hriday paya hai. khoob dil kholakar diya hoga. magar dvar par barat ate hi meri agni-pariksha shuroo ho gayi. kitani utkantha thi—vah-darshan ki, par dekhoon kaise. kul ki nak n kat jaegi. dvar par barat ayi. sara jamana var ko ghere hue tha. mainne socha—chhat par se dekhoon. chhat par gayi, par vahan se bhi kuchh n dikhaee diya. han, is aparadh ke lie ammanji ki ghudakiyan sunani padin. meri jo bat in logon ko achchhi nahin lagati, usaka dosh meri shiksha ke mathe madha jata hai. pitaji bechare mere sath badi sahanubhooti rakhate hain. magar kis-kis ka munh pakaden. dvarachar to yon gujara aur bhanvaron ki taiyariyan hone lagi. janavase se gahanon aur kapadon ka thal aya. bahan ! sara ghar—stri-purush—sab us par kuchh is tarah toote, mano in logon ne kabhi kuchh dekha hi nahin. koee kahata hai, kntha to laye hi nahin; koee har ke nam ko rota hai! ammanji to sachamuch rone lagi, mano main duba di gayi. var-pakshavalon ki dil kholakar ninda hone lagi. magar mainne gahanon ki taraph ankh uthakar bhi nahin dekha. han, jab koee var ke vishay men koee bat karata tha, to main tanmay hokar sunane lagati tha. maloom hua—dubale-patale adami hain. rng sanvala hai, ankhen badi-badi hain, hnsamukh hain. in soochanaon se dasharnotkntha aur bhi prabal hoti thi. bhanvaron ka muhoort jyon-jyon samip ata tha, mera chitt vyagr hota jata tha. ab tak yadyapi mainne unaki jhalak bhi n dekhi thi, par mujhe unake prati ek abhootapoorv prem ka anubhav ho raha tha. is vakt yadi mujhe maloom ho jata ki unake dushmanon ko kuchh ho gaya hai, to main bavali ho jati. abhi tak mera unase sakshath nahin hua hain, mainne unaki boli tak nahin suni hai, lekin snsar ka sabase roopavanh purush bhi, mere chitt ko akarshit nahin kar sakata. ab vahi mere sarvasv hain.

adhi rat ke bad bhanvaren hueen. samane havan-kund tha, donon or vipragan baithe hue the, dipak jal raha tha, kul devata ki moorti rakhi huee thin. ved mntr ka path ho raha tha. us samay mujhe aisa maloom hua ki sachamuch devata virajaman hain. agni, vayu, dipak, nakshatr sabhi mujhe us samay devatv ki jyoti se pradipt jan padate the. mujhe pahali bar adhyatmik vikas ka parichay mila. mainne jab agni ke samane mastak jhukaya, to yah kori rasm ki pabndi n thi, main agnidev ko apane sammukh moortivanh, svargiy abha se tejomay dekh rahi thi. akhir bhanvaren bhi samapt ho gee; par patidev ke darshan n hue.

ab antim asha yah thi ki prat:kal jab patidev kaleva ke lie bulaye jaynge, us samay dekhoongi. tab unake sir par maur n hoga, sakhiyon ke sath main bhi ja baithoongi aur khoob ji bharakar dekhoongi. par kya maloom tha ki vidhi kuchh aur hi kuchakr rach raha hai. prat:kal dekhati hoon, to janavase ke kheme ukhad rahe hain. bat kuchh n thi. baratiyon ke nashte ke lie jo saman bheja gaya tha, vah kafi n tha. shayad ghi bhi kharab tha. mere pitaji ko tum janati hi ho. kabhi kisi se dabe nahin, jahan rahe sher banakar rahe. bole—jate hain, to jane do, manane ki koee zaroorat nahin; kanyapaksh ka dharm hai baratiyon ka satkar karana, lekin satkar ka yah arth nahin ki dhamaki aur rob se kam liya jay, mano kisi aphasar ka padav ho. agar vah apane ladake ki shadi kar sakate hain, to main bhi apani ladaki ki shadi kar sakata hoon.

barat chali gee aur main pati ke darshan n kar saki ! sare shahar men halachal mach gee. virodhiyon ko hnsane ka avasar mila. pitaji ne bahut saman jama kiya tha. vah sab kharab ho gaya. ghar men jise dekhie, meri sasural ki ninda kar raha hai—ujadd hain, lobhi hain, badamash hain, mujhe jara bhi bura nahin lagata. lekin pati ke viruddh main ek shabd bhi nahin sunana chahati. ek din ammanji boli—ladaka bhi besamajh hai. doodh pita bachcha nahin, qanoon padhata hai, moonchh-dadhi a gee hai, use apane bap ko samajhana chahie tha ki ap log kya kar rahe hain. magar vah bhi bhigi billi bana raha. main sunakar tilamila uthi. kuchh boli to nahin, par ammanji ko maloom zaroor ho gaya ki is vishay men main unase sahamat nahin. main tumhin se poochhati hoon bahan, jaisi samasya uth khadi huee thi, usamen unaka kya dharm tha ? agar vah apane pita aur any sambandhiyon ka kahana n manate, to unaka apaman n hota ? us vakt unhonne vahi kiya, jo uchit tha. magar mujhe vishvas hai ki jara mamala thnda hone par vah ayenge. main abhi se unaki rah dekhane lagi hoon. dakiya chitthiyan lata hai, to dil men dhadakan hone lagati hain—shayad unaka patr bhi ho ! ji men bar-bar ata hai, kyon n main hi ek khat likhoon; magar snkoch men padakar rah jati hoon. shayad main kabhi n likh sakoongi. man nahin hai keval snkoch hai. par han, agar das-panch din aur unaka patr n aya, ya vah khud n ae, to snkoch man ka roop dharan kar lega. kya tum unhen ek chitthi nahin likh sakati ! sab khel ban jay. kya meri itani khatir bhi n karogi ? magar eeshvar ke lie us khat men kahin yah n likh dena ki chnda ne prerana ki hai. kshama karana aisi bhaddi galati ki, tumhari or se shnka karake main tumhare sath anyay kar rahi hoon, magar main samajhadar thi hi kab ?

tumhari,

chanda

5


mnsoori

20-9-25

pyari chanda,

mainne tumhara khat pane ke doosare hi din kashi khat likh diya tha. usaka javab bhi mil gaya. shayad babooji ne tumhen khat likha ho. kuchh purane khayal ke adami hain. meri to unase ek din bhi n nibhati. han, tumase nibh jayagi. yadi mere pati ne mere sath yah bartav kiya hota—akaran mujhase roothe hote—to main zindagi-bhar unaki soorat n dekhati. agar kabhi ate bhi, to kutton ki tarah dutkar deti. purush par sabase bada adhikar usaki stri ka hai. mata-pita ko khush rakhane ke lie vah stri ka tiraskar nahin kar sakata. tumhare sasuralavalon ne bada ghrinit vyavahar kiya. purane khayalavalon ka gajab ka kaleja hai, jo aisi baten sahate hain. dekha us pratha ka phal, jisaki tariph karate tumhari jaban nahin thakati. vah divar sad gee. tipatap karane se kam n chalega. usaki jagah naye sire se divar banane ki zaroorat hai.

achchha, ab kuchh meri bhi katha sun lo. mujhe aisa sndeh ho raha hai ki vinod ne mere sath daga ki hai. inaki arthik dasha vaisi nahin, jaisi mainne samajhi thi. keval mujhe thagane ke lie inhonne sara svang bhara tha. motar mange ki thi, bngale ka kiraya abhi tak nahin diya gaya, pharanichar kiraye ke the. yah sach hai ki inhonne pratyaksh roop se mujhe dhokha nahin diya. kabhi apani daulat ki ding nahin mari, lekin aisa rahan-sahan bana lena, jisase doosaron ko anuman ho ki yah koee bade dhani adami hain, ek prakar ka dhokha hi hai. yah svang isilie bhara gaya tha ki koee shikar phns jay. ab dekhati hoon ki vinod mujhase apani asali halat ko chhipane ka prayatn kiya karate hain. apane khat mujhe nahin dekhane dete, koee milane ata hai, to chaunk padate hain aur ghabarayi huee avaz men bera se poochhate hain, kaun hai ? tum janati ho, main dhan ki laundi nahin. main keval vishuddh hriday chahati hoon. jisamen purusharth hai, pratibha hai, vah aj nahin to kal avashy hi dhanavanh hokar rahega. main is kapat-lila se jalati hoon. agar vinod mujhase apani kathinaiyan kah den, to main unake sath sahanubhooti karoongi, un kathinaiyon ko door karane men unaki madad karoongi. yon mujhase parada karake yah meri sahanubhooti aur sahayog hi se hath nahin dhote, mere man men avishvas, dvesh aur kshobh ka bij bote hain. yah chinta mujhe mare dalati hain. agar inhonne apani dasha saph-saph bata di hoti, to main yahan mnsoori ati hi kyon ? lakhanoo men aisi garami nahin padati ki adami pagal ho jay. yah hajaron rupaye kyon pani padata. sabase kathin samasya jivika ki hai. kee vidyalayon men avedan-patr bhej rakhe hain.javab ka intazar kar rahe hain. shayad is mahine ke ant tak kahin jagah mil jay. pahale tin-bar sau milenge. samajh men nahin ata, kaise kam chalega. dedh sau rupaye to papa mere kalej ka kharch dete the. agar das-panch mahine jagah n mili to yah kya karen ge, yah fikr aur bhi khaye dalati hai. mushkil yahi hai ki vinod mujhase parada rakhate hain. agar ham donon baithakar paramarsh kar lete, to sari gutthiyan sulajhh jatin. magar shayad yah mujhe is yogy hi nahin samajhate. shayad inaka khayal hai ki main keval reshami gudiya hoon, jise bhanti-bhanti ke abhooshanon, sugndhon aur reshami vastron se sajana hi kafi hai. thiretar men koee naya tamasha hone vala hota hai, daude hue akar mujhe khabar dete hain. kahin koee jalasa ho, koee khel ho, kahin sair karana ho usaki shubh soochana mujhe avilamb di jati hai aur badi prasannata ke sath, mano main rat-din vinod aur krida aur vilas men magn rahana chahati hoon, mano mere hriday men gnbhir ansh hai hi nahin. yah mera apaman hai; ghor apaman, jise main ab nahin sah sakati. main apane snpoorn adhikar lekar hi sntusht ho sakati hoon. bas, is vakt itana hi. baki phir. apane yahan ka hal-haval vistar se likhana. mujhe apane lie jitani chinta hai, usase kam tumhare lie nahin hai. dekho, ham donon ke donge kahan lagate hain. tum apani svadeshi, panch hazar varshon ki purani jarjar nauka par baithi ho, main naye, drutagami motar-bot par. avasar, vigyan aur udyog. mere sath hain. lekin koee daivi vipatti a jay, tab bhi isi motar-bot par dooboongi. sal men lakhon adami rel ke takkaron se mar jate hain, par koee bailagadiyon par yatra nahin karata. relon ka vistar badhata hi jata hai. bas.

tumhari,

padma

6


gorakhapur

25-9-25

pyari padma,

kal tumhara khat mila, aj javab likh rahi hoon. ek tum ho ki mahinon ratati ho. is vishay men tumhen mujhase upadesh lena chahie. vinod baboo par tum vyarth hi akshep laga rahi ho. tumane kyon pahale hi unaki arthik dasha ki janch-padatal nahin ki ? bas, ek sundar, rasik, shisht, vani-madhur yuvak dekha aur phool uthin ? ab bhi tumhara hi dosh hai. tum apane vyavahar se, rahan-sahan se siddh kar do ki tumamen gnbhir ansh bhi hain, phir dekhoon ki vinod baboo kaise tumase parada rakhate hain. aur bahan, yah to manavi svabhav hai. sabhi chahate hain ki log hamen snpann samajhen. is svang ko ant tak nibhane ki cheshta ki jati hai aur jo is kam men saphal ho jata hai, usi ka jivan saphal samajha jata hai. jis yug men dhan hi sarvapradhan ho, maryada, kirti, yash—yahan tak ki vidya bhi dhan se kharidi ja sake, us yug men svang bharana ek lajimi bat ho jati hai. adhikar yogyata ka munh takate hain ! yahi samajh lo ki in donon men phool aur phal ka snbndh hai. yogyata ka phool laga aur adhikar ka phal aya.

in gyanopadesh ke bad ab tumhen hardik dhanyavad deti hoon. tumane patidev ke nam jo patr likha tha, usaka bahut achchha asar hua. usake panchaven hi din svami ka kripapatr mujhe mila. bahan, vah khat pakar mujhe kitani khushi huee, isaka tum anuman kar sakati ho. maloom hota tha, andhe ko ankhen mil gayi hain. kabhi kothe par jati thi, kabhi niche ati thi. sare men khalabali pad gayi. tumhen vah patr atyant nirashajanak jan padata, mere lie vah snjivan-mntr tha, ashadipak tha. pranesh ne baratiyon ki uddndata par khed prakat kiya tha, par badon ke samane vah jaban kaise khol sakate the. phir janatiyon ne bhi, baratiyon ka jaisa adar-satkar karana chahie tha, vaisa nahin kiya. ant men likha tha—‘priye, tumhare darshanon ki kitani utkntha hai, likh nahin sakata. tumhari kalpit moorti nit ankhon ke samane rahati hai. par kul-maryada ka palan karana mera karttavy hai. jab tak mata-pita ka rukh n paoon, a nahin sakata. tumhare viyog men chahe pran hi nikal jayn, par pita ki ichchha ki upeksha nahin kar sakata. han, ek bat ka dridh-nishchay kar chuka hoon—chahe idhar ki duniya udhar ho jay, kapoot kahalaoon, pita ke kop ka bhagi banoon, ghar chhodana pade par apani doosari shadi n karoonga. magar jahan tak main samajhata hoon, mamala itana tool n khinchega. yah log thode dinon men narm pad jaynge aur tab main aoonga aur apani hridayeshvari ko ankhon par bithakar laoonga.

bas, ab mai. sntusht hoon bahan, mujhe aur kuchh n chahie. svami mujh par itani kripa rakhate hain, isase adhik aur vah kya kar sakate hain ! priyatam! tumhari chanda sadas tumhari rahegi, tumhari ichchha hi usaka karttavy hai. vah jab tak jiegi, tumhare pavitr charanon se lagi rahegi. use bisarana mat.

bahan, ankhon men ansoo bhar ate hain, ab nahin likha jata, javab jald dena.

tumhari,

chanda

7


dilli

15-12-25

pyari bahan,

tujhase bar-bar kshama maaungati hoon, pairon padati hoon. mere patr n likhane ka karan alasy n tha, sair-sapate ki dhun n thi. roj sochati thi ki aj likhoongi, par koee-n-koee aisa kam a padata tha, koee aisi bat ho jati thi; koee aisi badha a khadi hoti thi ki chitt ashant ho jata tha aur munh lapet kar pad rahati thi. tum mujhe ab dekho toshayad pahichan n sako. mnsoori se dilli aye ek mahina ho gaya. yahan vinod ko tin sau rupaye ki ek jagah mil gayi hai. yah sara mahina bazar ki khak chhanane men kata. vinod ne mujhe poori svadhinata de rakhi hai. main jo chahoon, karoon, unase koee matalab nahin. vah mere mehaman hain. grihasthi ka sara bojh mujh par dalakar vah nishchint ho ge hain. aisa bephikra mainne adami hi nahin dekha. hajiri ki paravah hai, n dinar ki, bulaya to a ge, nahin to baithe hain. naukaron se kuchh bolane ki to mano inhonne kasam hi kha li hai. unhen datoon to main, rakhoon to main, nikaloon to main, unase koee matalab hi nahin. main chahati hoon, vah mere prabandh ki alochana karen, aib nikalen; main chahati hoon jab main bazar se koee chiz laoon, to vah bataven main jat gee ya jit aee; main chahati hoon mahine ke kharch ka bajat banate samay mere aur unake bich men khoob bahas ho, par in aramanon men se ek bhi poora nahin hota. main nahin samajhati, is tarah koee stri kahan tak grih-prabandh men saphal ho sakati hai. vinod ke is sampoorn atm-samarpan ne meri nij ki zarooraton ke lie koee gunjaish hi nahin rakhi. apane shauq ki chizen khud kharidakar late bura maloom hota hai, kam-se-kam mujhase nahin ho sakama. main janati hoon, main apane lie koee chiz laoon, to vah naraz n honge. nahin, mujhe vishvas hai, khush honge; lekin mera ji chahata hai, mere shauq singar ki chizen vah khud la kar den. unase lene men jo anand hai, vah khud jakar lane men nahin. pitaji ab bhi mujhe sau rupaya mahina dete hain aur un rupayon ko main apani zarooraton par kharch kar sakati hoon. par n jane kyon mujhe bhay hota hai ki kahin vinodad samajhen, main unake rupaye kharch kiye dalati hoon. jo adami kisi bat par naraz nahin ho sakata, vah kisi bat par khush bhi nahin ho sakata. meri samajh men hi nahin ata, vah kis bat se khush aur kis bat se naraz hote hain. bas, meri dasha us adami ki-si hai, jo bina rasta jane idhar-udhar bhatakata phire. tumhen yad hoga, ham donon koee ganit ka prashn lagane ke bad kitani utsukata se usaka javab dekhati thi; jab hamara javab kitab ke javab se mil jata tha, to hamen kitana hardik anand milata tha. mehanat saphal hueen, isaka vishvas ho jata tha. jin ganit ki pustakon men prashnon ke uttar n likhe hote the, usake prashn hal karane ki hamari ichchha hi n hoti thi. sochate the, mehanat akarath jayagi. main roj prashn hal karati hoon, par nahin janati ki javab thik nikala, ya galat. socho, mere chitt ki kya dasha hogi.

ek haphta hota hai, lakhanoo ki mis rig se bhent ho gee. vah ledi daktar hain aur mere ghar bahut ati-jati hain. kisi ka sir bhi dhamaka aur mis rig bulayi gayin. papa jab medikal kalej men prophesar the, to unhonne in mis rig ko padhaya tha. usaka ehasan vah ab bhi manati hain. yahan unhen dekhakar bhojan ka nimntran n dena ashishtata ki had hoti. mis rig ne davat mnjoor kar li. us din mujhe jitani kathinaee huee, vah bayan nahin kar sakati. mainne kabhi angarejon ke sath tebul par nahin khaya. unamen bhojan ke kya shishtachar hain, isaka mujhe bilakul gyan nahin. mainne samajha tha, vinod mujhe sari baten bata denge. vah barason angarejon ke sath inglaind rah chuke hain. mainne unhen mis rig ke ane ki soochana bhi de di. par us bhale adami ne mano suna hi nahin. mainne bhi nishchay kiya, main tumase kuchh n poochhoongi, yahi n hoga ki mis rig hnsengi. bala se. apane oopar bar-bar jhunjhalati thi ki kahan mis rig ko bula baithi. pados ke bngalon men kee hami-jaise parivar rahate hain. unase salah le sakati thi. par yahi snkoch hota tha ki ye log mujhe gnvarin samajhenge. apani is vivashata par thodi der tak ansoo bhi bahati rahi. akhir nirash hokar apani buddhi se kam liya. doosare din mis rig ayin. ham donon bhi mej par baithe. davat shuroo huee. main dekhati thi ki vinod bar-bar jhenpate the aur mis rig bar-bar nak sikodati thin, jisase prakat ho raha tha ki shishtachar ki maryada bhng ho rahi hai. main sharm ke mare mari jati thi. kisi bhanti vipatti sir sake tali. tab mainne kan pakade ki ab kisi angarej ki davat n karoongi. us din se dekh rahi hoon, vinod mujhase kuchh khinche hue hain. main bhi nahin bol rahi hoon. vah shayad samajhate hain ki mainne unaki bhadd kara di. main samajh rahi hoon. ki unhonne mujhe lajjit lajjit kiya. sach kahati hoon, chanda, grihasthi ke in jhnjhaton men mujhe ab kisi se hnsane bolane ka avasar nahin milata. idhar mahinon se koee nayi pustak nahin padh saki. vinod ki vinodashilata bhi n jane kahan chali gayi. ab vah sinema ya thietar ka nam bhi nahin lete. han, main chaloon to vah taiyar ho jayenge. main chahati hoon, prastav unaki or se ho, main usaka anumodan karoon. shayad vah pahile ki adaten chhod rahe hain. main tapasya ka snkalp unake mukh par ankit pati hoon. aisa jan padata hai, apane men grih-snchalan ki shakti n pakar unhonne sara bhar mujh par dal diya hai. mnsoori men vah ghar ke snchalak the. do-dhaee mahine men pandrah sau kharch kiye. kahan se laye, yah men ab tak nahin janati. pas to shayad hi kuchh raha ho. snbhav hai kisi mitr se le liya ho. tin sau rupaye mahine ki amadani men thietar aur sinema ka zikr hi kya ! pachas rupaye to makan hi ke nikal jate hain. main is jnjal se tng a gayi hoon. ji chahata hai, vinod se kah doon ki mere chalaye yah thela n chalega. ap to do-dhaee ghnta yoonivarsiti men kam karake din-bhar chain karen, khoob tenis khelen, khoob upanyas padhen, khoob soyen aur main subah se adhi rat tak ghar ke jhnjhaton men mara karoon. kee bar chhedane ka irada kiya, dil men thanakar unake pas gayi bhi, lekin unaka samipy mere sare snyam, sari glani, sari virakti ko har leta hai. unaka vikasit mukhamndal, unake anurakt netr, unake komal shabd mujh par mohini mntr-sa dal dete hain. unake ek alingan men meri sari vedana vilin ho jati hai. bahut achchha hota, agar yah itane roopavanh, itane madhurabhashi, itane saumy n hote. tab kadachith main inase jhagad baithati, apani kathinaiyan kah sakati. is dasha men to inhonne mujhe jaise bhed bana liya hai. magar maya ko todane ka mauqa talash kar rahi hoon. ek tarah se main apana atm-samman kho baithi hoon. main kyon har ek bat men kisi ki aprasannata se darati rahati hoon ? mujhamen kyon yah bhav nahin ata ki jo kuchh main kar rahi hoon, vah thik hai. main itani mukhapeksha kyon karati hoon ? is manovritti par mujhe vijay pana hai, chahe jo kuchh ho. ab is vakt vida hoti hoon. apane yahan ke samachar likhana, ji laga hai.

tumhari,

padma

8

kashi

25-12-25

pyari padma,

tumhara patr padhakar mujhe kuchh du:kh hua, kuchh hnsi ayi, kuchh krodh aya. tum kya chahati ho, yah tumhen khud nahin maloom. tumane adarsh pati paya hai, vyarth ki shnkaon se man ko ashant n karo. tum svadhinata chahati thin, vah tumhen mil gayi. do adamiyon ke lie tin sau rupaye kam nahin hote. us par abhi tumhare papa bhi sau rupaye diye jate hain. ab aur kya karana chahie? mujhe bhay hota hai ki tumhara chitt kuchh avyavasthit ho gaya hai. mere pas tumhare lie sahanubhooti ka ek shabd bhi nahin.

main pandrah tarikh ko kashi a gayi. svami svayn mujhe vida karane gaye the. ghar se chalate samay bahut roee. pahale main samajhati thi ki ladakiyan jhooth-mooth roya karati hain. phir mere lie to mata-pita ka viyog koee nee bat n thi. garmi, dashahara aur bade din ki chhuttiyon ke bad chh: salon se is viyog ka anubhav kar rahi hoon. kabhi ankhon men ansoo n ate the. saheliyon se milane ki khushi hoti thi. par abaki to aisa jan padata tha ki koee hriday ko khinche leta hai. ammanji ke gale lipatakar to main itana roee ki mujhe moorchchha a gayi. pitaji ke pairon par lot kar rone ki abhilasha man men hi rah gayi. hay, vah rudan ka anand ! us samay pita ke charanon par girakar rone ke lie main apane pran tak de deti. yahi rona ata tha ki mainne inake lie kuchh n kiya. mera palan-poshan karane men inhonne kya kuchh kasht n uthaya ! main janm ki rogini hoon. roj hi bimar rahati thi. ammanji rat-rat bhar mujhe god men liye baithi rah jati thi. pitaji ke kandhon par chadhakar uchakane ki yad mujhe abhi tak ati hai. unhonne kabhi mujhe kadi nigah se nahin dekha. mere sir men dard hua aur unake hathon ke tote ud jate the. das varsh ki umr tak to yon ge. chh: sal deharadoon men gujare. ab, jab is yogy huee ki unaki kuchh seva karoon, to yon par jhadakar alag ho gee. kul ath mahine tak unake charanon ki seva kar saki aur yahi ath mahine mere jivan ki nidhi hai. meri eeshvar se yahi prarthana hai ki mera janm phir isi god men ho aur phir isi atul pitrisneh ka anand bhogoon.

sandhya samay gadi steshan se chali. main janana kamare men thi aur log doosare kamare men the. us vakt sahasa mujhe svamiji ko dekhane ki prabal ichchha huee. santvana, sahanubhooti aur ashray ke lie hriday vyakul ho raha tha. aisa jan padata tha jaise koee kaidi kalapani ja raha ho.

ghnte bhar ke bad gadi ek steshan par ruki. main pichhe ki or khidaki se sir nikalakar dekhane lagi. usi vakt dvar khula aur kisi ne kamare men qadam rakha. us kamare men ek aurat bhi n thi. mainne chaunkakar pichhe dekha to ek purush. mainne turant munh chhipa liya aur boli, ap kaun hain ? yah janana kamara hai. maradane kamare men jaie.

purush ne khade-khade kaha—main to isi kamare men baithoonga. maradane kamare men bhid bahut hai.

mainne rosh se kaha—nahin, ap isamen nahin baith sakate.

‘main to baithoonga.’

‘apako nikalana padega. ap abhi chale jaiye, nahin to main abhi jnjir khinch loongi.’

‘are sahab, main bhi adami hoon, koee janavar nahin hoon. itani jagah padi huee hai. apaka isamen haraj kya hai?’

gadi ne siti di. main aur ghabarakar boli—ap nikalate hain, ya main jnjir khinchoon ?

purush ne muskarakar kaha—ap to badi gussavar maloom hoti hain. ek garib adami par apako jara bhi daya nahin ati ?

gadi chal padi. mare krodh aur lajja ke mujhe pasina a gaya. mainne phauran dvar khol diya aur boli—achchhi bat hai, ap baithie, main hi jati hoon.

bahan, main sach kahati hoon, mujhe us vakt leshamatr bhi bhay n tha. janati thi, girate hi mar jaoongi, par ek ajanabi ke sath akele baithane se mar jana achchha tha. mainne ek pair latakaya hi tha ki us purush ne meri banh pakad li aur andar khinchata hua bola—ab tak to apane mujhe kalepani bhejane ka saman kar diya tha. yahan aur koee to hai nahin, phir ap itana kyon ghabarati hain. baithie, jara hnsie-bolie. agale steshan par main utar jaoonga, itani der tak kripa-kataksh se vnchit n kijie. apako dekhakar dil kaboo se bahar hua jata hai. kyon ek garib ka khoon sir par lijiega........

mainne jhatakakar apana hath chhuta liya. sari deh kanpane lagi. ankhon men ansoo bhar aye. us vakt agar mere pas koee chhuri ya katar hoti, to mainne zaroor use nikal liya hota aur marane-marane ko taiyar ho gee hoti. magar is dasha men krodh se onth chabane ke siva aur kya karati ! akhir jhallana vyarth samajhakar mainne savadhan hone ki cheshta karake kaha—ap kaun hain ? usane usi dhithaee se kaha—tumhare prem ka ichchhuk.

‘ap to majak karate hain. sach batalaie.’

‘sach bata raha hoon, tumhara ashik hoon.’

‘agar ap mere ashik hain, to kam-se-kam itani bat manie ki agale steshan par utar jaie. mujhe badanam karake ap kuchh n payenge. mujh par itani daya kijie.’

mainne hath jodakar yah bat kahi. mera gala bhi bhar aya tha. us adami ne dvar ki or jakar kaha—agar apaka yahi hukm hai, to lijie, jata hoon. yad rakhiega.

usane dvar khol liya aur ek panv age badhaya. mujhe maloom hua vah niche koodane ja raha hai. bahan, nahin kah sakati ki us vakt mere dil ki kya dasha huee. mainne bijali ki tarah lapakakar usaka hath pakad liya aur apani taraph zor se khinch liya.

usane glani se bhare hue svar men kaha—‘kyon khinch liya, main to chala ja raha tha.’

‘agala steshan ane dijie.’

‘jab ap bhaga hi rahi hain, to jitani jald bhag jaoon utana hi achchha.’

‘main yah kab kahati hoon ki ap chalati gadi se kood padie.’

‘agar mujh par itani daya hai, to ek bar jara darshan hi de do.’

‘agar apaki stri se koee doosara purush baten karata, to apako kaisa lagata?’

purush ne tyoriyan chadhakar kaha—‘main usaka khoon pi jata.’

mainne nissnkoch hokar kaha—to phir apake sath mere pati kya vyavahar karenge, yah bhi ap samajhate honge ?

‘tum apani raksha ap hi kar sakati ho. priye! tumhen pati ki madad ki zaroorat hi nahin. ab ao, mere gale se lag jao. main hi tumhara bhagyashali svami aur sevak hoon.’

mera hriday uchhal pada. ek bar munh se nikala—are! ap!!’ aur main door hatakar khadi ho gayi. ek hath lnba ghoonghat khinch liya. munh se ek shabd n nikala.

svami ne kaha—ab yah sharm aur parada kaisa?

mainne kaha—ap bade chhaliye hain ! itani der tak mujhe rulane men kya maja aya?

svami—itani der men mainne tumhen jitana pahachan liya, utana ghar ke andar shayad barason men bhi n pahachan sakata. yah aparadh kshama karo. kya tum sachamuch gadi se kood padatin ?

‘avashy?’

‘badi khairiyat huee, magar yah dillagi bahut dinon yad rahegi.’ mere svami ausat qad ke, sanvale, chechakaroo, dubale adami hain. unasake kahin roopavanh purush mainne dekhe hain: par mera hriday kitana ullasit ho raha tha ! kitani anandamay santushti ka anubhav kar rahi thi, main bayan nahin kar sakati.

mainne poochha—gadi kab tak pahunchegi ?

‘sham ko pahunch jayenge.’

mainne dekha, svami ka chehara kuchh udas ho gaya hai. vah das minat tak chupachap baithe bahar ki taraph takate rahe. mainne unhen keval bat men lagane hi ke lie yah anavashyak prashn poochha tha. par ab bhi jab vah n bole to mainne phir n chheda. panadan kholakar pan banane lagi. sahasa, unhonne kaha—chanda, ek bat kahoon ?

mainne kaha—han-han, shauq se kahie.

unhonne sir jhukakar sharmate hue kaha—main janata ki tum itani roopavati ho, to main tumase vivah n karata. ab tumhen dekhakar mujhe maloom ho raha hai ki mainne tumhare sath anyay kiya hai. main kisi tarah tumhare yogy n tha.

mainne pan ka bida unhen dete hue kaha—aisi baten n kijie. ap jaise hain, mere sarvasv hain. main apaki dasi banakar apane bhagy ko dhany manati hoon.

doosara steshan a gaya. gadi ruki. svami chale gaye. jab-jab gadi rukati thi, vah akar do-char baten kar jate the. sham ko ham log banaras pahunch ge. makan ek gali men hai aur mere ghar se bahut chhota hai. in kee dinon men yah bhi maloom ho raha hai ki sasaji svabhav ki rookhi hain. lekin abhi kisi ke bare men kuchh nahin kah sakati. sambhav hai, mujhe bhram ho raha ho. phir likhoongi. mujhe isaki chinta nahin ki ghar kaisa hai, arthik dasha kaisi hai, sas-sasur kaise hain. meri ichchha hai ki yahan sabhi mujh se khush rahen. patidev ko mujhase prem hai, yah mere lie kafi hai. mujhe aur kisi bat ki parava nahin. tumhare bahanoeeji ka mere pas bar-bar ana sasaji ko achchha nahin lagata. vah samajhati hain, kahin yah sir n chadh jay. kyon mujh par unaki yah akripa hai, kah nahin sakati; par itana janati hoon ki vah agar is bat se naraz hoti hain, to hamare hi bhale ke lie. vah aisi koee bat kyon

karengi, jisamen hamara hit n ho. apani santan ka ahit koee mata nahin kar sakati. mujh hi men koee buraee unhen najar aee hogi. do-char din men ap hi maloom ho jaega ! apane yahan ke samachar likhana. javab ki asha ek mahine ke pahale to hai nahin, yon tumhari khushi.

tumhari,

chanda

9


dilli

1-2-26

pyari bahan,

tumhare pratham milan ki kutoohalamay katha padhakar, chitt prasann ho gaya. mujhe tumhare oopar hasad ho raha hai. menne samajha tha, tumhen mujh par hasad hoga, par kriya ulati ho gayi, tumhen charon or hariyali hi najar ati hai, main jidhar najar dalati hoon, sookhe ret aur nagn tilon ke siva aur kuchh nahin. khair ! ab kuchh mera vrittant suno—

“ab jigar thamakar baitho, meri bari ayi.”

vinod ki avichalit darshanikata ab asahy ho gayi hai. kuchh vichitr jiv hain, ghar men ag lage, patthar pade inaki bala se. inhen mujh par jara bhi daya nahin ati. main subah se sham tak ghar ke jhnjhaton men kudha karoon, inhen kuchh paravah nahin. aisa sahanubhooti se khali adami kabhi nahin dekha tha. inhen to kisi jngal men tapasya karani chahie thi. abhi to khair do hi prani hain, lekin kahin bal-bachche ho gaye tab to main be-maut mar jaoongi. eeshvar n kare, vah darun vipatti mere sir pade.

chanda, mujhe ab dil se lagi huee hai ki kisi bhanti inaki vah samadhi bhng kar doon. magar koee upay saphal nahin hota, koee chal thik nahin padati. ek din mainne unake kamare ke lnp ka balv tod diya. kamara andhera pada raha. ap sair karake aye, to kamara andhera dekha. mujhase poochha, mainne kah diya balb toot gaya. bas, apane bhojan kiya aur mere kamare men akar let rahe. patron aur upanyason ki or dekha tak nahin, n-jane vah utsukata kahan vilin ho gayi. din-bhar gujar gaya, apako balv lagavane ki koee fikr nahin. akhir, mujhi ko bazar se lana pada.

ek din mainne jhunjhalakar rasoiye ko nikal diya. socha jab lala rat-bhar bhookhe soyenge, tab ankhen khulengi. magar is bhale adami ne kuchh poochha tak nahin. chay n mili, kuchh paravah nahin. thik das baje apane kapade pahane, ek bar rasoee ki or jakar dekha, sannata tha. bas, kalej chal diye. ek adami poochhata hai, maharaj kahan gaya, kyon gaya; ab kya intazam hoga, kaun khana pakayega, kam-se-kam itana to mujhase kah sakate the ki tum agar nahin paka sakati, to bazar hi se kuchh khana mngava lo. jab vah chale ge, to mujhe bada pashchattap hua. rayal hotal se khana mngavaya aur baire ke hath kalej bhej diya. par khud bhookhi hi rahi. din-bhar bhookh ke mare bura hal tha. sir men dard hone laga. ap kalej se ae aur mujhe pade dekha to aise pareshan hue mano mujhe tridosh hai. usi vakt ek daktar bula bheja. daktar aye, ankhen dekhi, jaban dekhi, hararat dekhi, lagane ki dava alag di, pine ki alag, adami dava lene gaya. lauta to barah rupaye ka bil bhi tha. mujhe in sari baton par aisa krodh a raha tha ki kahan bhagakar chali jaoon. us par ap aram-kursi dalakar meri charapaee ke pas baith ge aur ek-ek pal par poochhane lage kaisa ji hai ? dard kuchh kam hua ? yahan mare bhookh ke anten kulakula rahi thi. dava hath se chhuee tak nahin. akhir jhakh marakar mainne phir baire se khana mngavaya. phir chal ulati padi. main dari ki kahin sabere phir yah mahashay daktar ko n bula baithain, isalie sabera hote hi harakar phir ghar ke kam-dhandhe men lagi. usi vakt ek doosara maharaj bulavaya. apane purane maharaj ko bekasoor nikalakar dandasvaroop ek kath ke ulloo ko rakhana pada, jo mamooli chapatiyan bhi nahin paka sakata. us din se ek nayi bala gale padi. donon vakt do ghnte is maharaj ko sikhane men lag jate hain. ise apani pak-kala ka aisa ghamand hai ki main chahe jitana bakoon, par karata apane hi man ki hai. us par bich-bich men muskarane lagata hai, mano kahata ho ki ‘tum in baton ko kya jano, chupachap baithi dekhti jav.’ jalane chali thi vinod ko aur khud jal gayi. rupaye kharch hue, vah to hue hi, ek aur jnjal men phns gayi. main khud janati hoon ki vinod ka daktar ko bulana ya mere pas baithe rahana keval dikhava tha. unake chehare par jara bhi ghabarahat n thi, chitt jara bhi ashant n tha.

chnda, mujhe kshama karana. main nahin janati ki aise purush ke pale padakar tumhari kya dasha hoti, par mere lie is dasha men rahana asahy hai. main age jo vrittant kahane vali hoon, use sunakar tum nak-bhaun sikodogi, mujhe kosogi, kalnkini kahogi; par jo chahe kaho, mujhe parava nahin. aj char din hote hain, mainne triya-charitr ka ek naya abhinay kiya. ham donon sinema dekhane gaye the. vahan meri bagal men ek bngali baboo baithe hue the. vinod sinema men is tarah baithate hain, mano dhyanavastha men hon. n bolana, n chalana! film itani sundar thi, aikting itani sajiv ki mere munh se bar-bar prashnsa ke shabd nikal jate the. bngali baboo ko bhi bada anand a raha tha. ham donon us film par alochanaen karane lage. vah film ke bhavon ki itani rochak vyakhya karata tha ki man mugdh ho jata tha. film se zyada maja mujhe usaki baton men a raha tha. bahan, sach kahati hoon, shakl-soorat men vah vinod ke taluon ki barabari bhi nahin kar sakata, par keval vinod ko jalane ke lie main usase muskara-muskara kar baten karane lagi. usane samajha, koee shikar phns gaya. avakash ke samay vah bahar jane laga, to main bhi uth khadi huee; par vinod apani jagah par hi baithe rahe.

mainne kaha—bahar chalate ho, meri to baithe-baithe kamar du:kh gayi.

vinod bole—han-han chalo, idhar-udhar tahal ayen. mainne laparavahi se kaha—tumhara ji n chahe to mat chalo, main majaboor nahin karati.

vinod phir apani jagah par baithate hue bole—achchhi bat hai.

main bahar ayi to bngali baboo ne poochha—kya ap yahin ki rahane vali hain ? ‘mere pati yahan yoonivarsiti men prophesar hain.’

‘achchha! vah apake pati the. ajib adami hain.’

‘apako to mainne shayad yahan pahale hi dekha hai.’

‘han, mera makan to bngal men hai. knchanapur ke maharaj sahab ka praivet sekretari hoon. maharaja sahab vaisaray se milane aye hain. ’

‘to abhi do-char din rahiega?’

‘ji han, asha to karata hoon. rahoon to sal-bhar rah jaoon. jaoon to doosari gadi se chala jaoon. hamare maharaja sahab ka kuchh thik nahin. yon bade sajjan aur milanasar hain. apase milakar bahut khush honge.

yah baten karate-karate ham restran men pahunch gaye. baboo ne chay aur tost liya. mainne sirph chay li.

‘to isi vakt apaka maharaja sahab se parichay kara doon. apako ashchary hoga ki mukutadhariyon men bhi itani namrata aur vinay ho sakati hai. unaki baten sunakar ap mugdh ho jayngi.’

mainne aine men apani soorat dekhakar kaha—ji nahin, phir kisi din par rakhie. apase to aksar mulakat hoti rahegi. kya apaki stri apake sath nahin ayin ?

yuvak ne muskarakar kaha—main abhi kvanra hoon aur shayad kvanra hi rahoon?

mainne utsuk hokar poochha—achchha! to ap bhi striyon se bhagane vale jivon men hain. itani baten to ho gayi aur apaka nam tak n poochha.

baboo ne apana nam bhuvanamohan das gupt bataya. mainne apana parichay diya.

‘ji nahin, main un abhagon men hoon, jo ek bar nirash hokar phir usaki pariksha nahin karate. roop ki to snsar men kami nahin, magar roop aur gun ka mel bahut kam dekhane men ata hai. jis ramani se mera prem tha, vah aj ek bade vakil ki patni hai. main garib tha. isaki saza mujhe aisi mili ki jivanaparyant n bhoolegi. sal-bhar tak jisaki upasana ki, jab usane mujhe dhan par balidan kar diya, to ab aur kya asha rakhoon?

mainne hnsakar kaha—‘apane bahut jald himmat har di.’

bhuvan ne samane dvar ki or takate hue kaha—mainne aj tak aisa vir hi nahin dekha, jo ramaniyon se parast n hua ho. ye hriday par chot karati hain aur hriday ek hi gahari chot sah sakata hai. jis ramani ne mere prem ko tuchchh samajhakar pairon se kuchal diya, usako main dikhana chahata hoon ki meri ankhon men dhan kitani tuchchh vastu hai, yahi mere jivan ka ekamatr uddeshy hai. mera jivan usi din saphal hoga, jab vimala ke ghar ke samane mera vishal bhavan hoga aur usaka pati mujhase milane men apana saubhagy samajhega.

mainne gambhirata se kaha—yah to koee bahut ooncha uddeshy nahin hai. ap yah kyon samajhate hain ki vimala ne keval dhan ke lie apaka parityag kiya. sambhav hai, isake aur bhi karan hon. mata-pita ne us par dabav dala ho, ya apane hi men use koee aisi truti dikhalaee di ho, jisase apaka jivan du:khamay ho jata. ap yah kyon samajhate hain ki jis prem se vnchit hokar ap itane du:khi hue, usi prem se vnchit hokar vah sukhi huee hogi. sambhav tha, koee dhani stri pakar ap bhi phisal jate.

bhuvan ne zor dekar kaha—yah asambhav hai, sarvatha asambhav hai. main usake lie trilok ka rajy bhi tyag deta.

mainne hnsakar kaha—han, is vakt ap aisa kah sakate hain; magar aisi pariksha men padakar apaki kya dasha hoti, ise ap nishchayapoorvak nahin bata sakate. sipahi ki bahaduri ka praman usaki talavar hai, usaki jaban nahin. ise apana saubhagy samajhie ki apako us pariksha men nahin padana pada. vah prem, prem nahin hai, jo pratyaghat ki sharan le. prem ka adi bhi sahridayata hai aur ant bhi sahridayata. sambhav hai, apako ab bhi koee aisi bat maloom ho jay, jo vimala ki taraph se apako narm kar de.

bhuvan gahare vichar men doob gaya. ek minat ke bad unhonne sir uthaya. aur bole—‘misej vinod, apane aj ek aisi bat sujha di, jo aj tak mere dhyan men ayi hi n thi. yah bhav kabhi mere man men uday hi nahin hua. main itana anudar kyon ho gaya, samajh men nahin ata. mujhe aj maloom hua ki prem ke oonche adarsh ka palan ramaniyan hi kar sakati hain. purush kabhi prem ke lie atm-samarpan nahin kar sakata — vah prem ko svarth aur vasana se prithakh nahin kar sakata. ab mera jivan sukhamay ho jayaga. apane mujhe aj shiksha di hai, usake lie apako dhanyavad deta hoon.’

yah kahate-kahate bhuvan sahasa chaunk pade aur bole—oh! main kitana bada moorkh hoon—sara rahasy samajh men a gaya, ab koee bat chhipi nahin hai. oh, mainne vimala ke sath ghor anyay kiya! mahanh anyay! main bilkul andha ho gaya tha. vimala, mujhe kshama karo.

bhuvan isi tarah der tak vilap karate rahe. bar-bar mujhe dhanyavad dete the aur moorkhata par pachhatate the. hamen isaki sudh hi n rahi ki kab ghnti baji, kab khel shuroo hua. yakayak vinod kamare men ae. main chaunk padi. mainne unake mukh ki or dekha, kisi bhav ka pata n tha. bole—tum abhi yahi ho, padma! khel shuroo hue to der huee! main charon taraph tumhen khoj raha tha.

main hakabakakar uth khadi huee aur boli—khel shuroo ho gaya? ghnti ki avaz to sunayi hi nahin di.

bhuvan bhi uthe. ham phir akar tamasha dekhane lage. vinod ne mujhe agar is vakt do-char lagane vali baten kah di hotin, unaki ankhon men krodh ki jhalak dikhayi deti, to mera ashant hriday snbhal jata, mere man ko dhadhas hoti, par unake avichalit vishvas ne mujhe aur bhi ashant kar diya. bahan, main chahati hoon, vah mujh par shasan karen. main unaki kathorata, unaki uddandata, unaki balishthata ka roop dekhana chahati hoon. unake prem, pramod, vishvas ka roop dekh chuki. isase meri atma ko tripti nahin hoti ! tum us pita ko kyon kahogi, jo apane putr ko achchha khilaye, achchha pahanaye, par usaki shiksha-diksha ki kuchh chinata n kare; vah jis rah jay, us rah jane de; jo kuchh kare, vah karane de. kabhi use kadi ankh se dekhe bhi nahin. aisa ladaka avashy hi avara ho jayaga. mera bhi vahi hal hua jata hai. yah udasinata mere lie asahy hai. is bhale adami ne yahan tak n poochha ki bhuvan kaun hai ? bhuvan ne yahi to samajha hoga ki isaka pati isaki bilkul paravah nahin karata. vinod khud svadhin rahana chahate hain, mujhe bhi svadhin chhod dena chahate hain. vah mere kisi kam men hastakshep nahin karana chahate. isi tarah chahate hain ki main bhi unake kisi kam men hastakshep n karoon main is svadhinata ko donon hi ke lie vish tuly samajhati hoon. snsar men svadhinata ka chahe jo bhi mooly ho, ghar men to paradhinata hi phalati-phoolati hai. main jis tarah apane ek jevar ko apana samajhati hoon, usi tarah vinod ko apana samajhana chati hoon. agar mujhase poochhe bina vinod use kisi ko de den, to main lad padoongi. main chahati hoon, kahan hoon, kya padhati hoon, kis tarah jivan jivan vyatit karati hoon, in sari baton par unaki tivr drishti rahani chahie. jab vah meri paravah nahin karate, to main unaki paravah kyon karoon? is khinchatani men ham ek-doosare se alag hote chale ja rahe hain aur kya kahoon, mujhe kuchh nahin maloom ki vah kin mitron ko roj patra likhate hain. unhonne bhi mujhase kabhi kuchh nahin poochha. khair, main kya likh rahi thi, kya kahane lagi. vinod ne mujhase kuchh nahin pooda. main phir bhuvan se film ke sambandh men baten karane lagi.

jab khel khatm ho gaya aur ham log bahar ae aur tanga thik karane lage, to bhuvan ne kaha—‘main apani kar men apako pahuncha doonga.’

hamane koee apatti nahin ki. hamare makan ka pata poochhakar bhuvan ne kar chala di. raste men mainne bhuvan se kaha—‘kal mere yahan dopahar ka khana khaiega.’ bhuvan ne svikar kar liya.

bhuvan to hamen pahunchakar chale ge, par mera man badi der tak unhin ki taraph laga raha. in do-tin ghnton men bhuvan ko jitana samajhi, utana vinod ko aj tak nahin samajhi. mainne bhi apane hriday ki jitani baten usase kah din, utani vinod se aj tak nahin kahin. bhuvan un manushyon men hai, jo kisi par purush ko meri kudrishti dalate dekhakar use mar dalega. usi tarah mujhe kisi purush se hnsate dekhakar mera khoon pi lega aur zaroorat padegi, to mere lie ag men kood padega. aisa hi purush-charitr mere hriday par vijay par sakata hai.mere hi hriday par nahin, nari-jati (mere vichar men) aise hi purush par jan deti hain. vah nirbal hai, isalie balavanh ka ashray dhoondhati hai.

bahan, tum oob gee hogi, khat bahut lamba ho gaya; magar is kand ko samapt kie bina nahin raha jata. mainne sabere hi se bhuvan ki davat ki taiyari shuroo kar di. rasoiya to kath ka ulloo hai, mainne sara kam apane hath se kiya. bhojan banane men aisa anand mujhe aur kabhi n mila tha.

bhuvan baboo ki kar thik samay par a pahunchi. bhuvan utare aur sidhe mere kamare men ae. do-char baten hueen. dinar-tebal par ja baithe. vinod bhi bhojan karane ae. mainne un donon adamiyon ka parichay kara diya. mujhe aisa maloom hua ki vinod ne bhuvan ki or se kuchh udasinata dikhayi. inhen rajaon-reeson se chidh hai, samyavadi hain. jab rajaon se chidh hai to unake pitthuon se kyon n hoti. vah samajhate hain, in reeson ke darabar men khushamadi, nikamme, siddhantahin, charitrahin logon ka jamaghat rahata hai, jinaka isake sivay aur koee kam nahin ki apane rees ki har ek uchit-anuchit ichchha poori karen aur praja ka gala katakar apana ghar bharen. bhojan ke samay batachit ki dhara ghoomate-ghoomate vivah aur prem-jaise mahattv ke vishay par a pahunchi.

vinod ne kaha—‘nahin, main vartaman vaivahik pratha ko pasand nahin karata. is pratha ka avishkar us samay hua tha, jab manushy sabhyata ki prarambhik dasha men tha. tab se duniya bahut age badhi hai. magar vivah pratha men jau-bhar bhi antar nahin pada. yah pratha vartaman kal ke lie ipayogi nahin.’

bhuvan ne kaha—‘akhir apako isamen kya dosh dikhaee dete hain ?

vinod ne vicharakar kaha—‘isamen sabase bada aib yah hai ki yah ek samajik prashn ko dharmik roop de deta hai.’

‘aur doosara?’

‘doosara yah ki yah vyaktiyon ki svadhinata men badhak hain. yah strivrat aur pativrat ka svang rachakar hamari atma ko snkuchit kar deta hai. hamari buddhi ke vikas men jitani rukavat is pratha ne dali hai, utani aur kisi bhautik ya daivik kranti se bhi nahin huee. isane mithya adarshon ko hamare samane rakh diya aur aj tak ham unhin purani, sadi huee, lajjajanak pashavik lakiron ko pitate jate hain. vrat keval ek nirarthak bndhan ka nam hai. itana mahattvapoorn nam dekar hamane us kaid ko dharmik roop de diya hai. purush kyon chahata hai ki stri usako apana eeshvar, apana sarvasv samajhe ? keval isalie ki vah usaka bharan-poshan karata hai. kya stri ka karttavy keval purush ki sampatti ke lie varis paida karana hai? us sampatti ke lie jis par, hindoo nitishastr ke anusar, pati ke dehant ke bad usaka koee adhikar nahin rahata. samaj ki yah sari vyavastha, sara sngathan sampatti-raksha ke adhar par hua hai. isane sampatti ko pradhan aur vyakti ko gaun kar diya hai. hamare hi viry se utpann santan hamari kamaee huee jayadad ka bhog kare, is manobhav men kitani svarthandhata, kitana dasatv chhipa hua hai, isaka koee anuman nahin kar sakata. is kaid men jakadi huee samaj ki santan yadi aj ghar men, desh men, snsar men, apane kroor svarth ke lie rakt ki nadiyan baha rahi hai, to kya ashchary hai. main is vaivahik pratha ko sari buraiyon ka mool samajhata hoon.

bhuvan chakit ho gaya. main khud chakit ho gee. vinod ne is vishay par mujhase kabhi itani spashtata se batachit n ki thi. main yah to janati thi, vah samyavadi hain, do-ek bar is vishay par unase bahas bhi kar chuki hoon , par vaivahik pratha ke ve itane virodhi hain, yah mujhe maloom n tha. bhuvan ke chehare se aisa prakat hota tha ki unhonne aise darshanik vicharon ki gndh tak nahin paee. jara der ke bad bole—prophesar saheb, apane to mujhe ek bade chakkar men dal diya. akhir ap is pratha ki jagah koee aur pratha rakhana chahate hain ya vivah ki avashyakata hi nahin samajhate ? jis tarah pashu-pakshi apas men milate hain, vah hamen bhi karana chahie?

vinod ne turnt uttar diya—bahut kuchh. pashu-pakhiyon men sabhi ka manasik vikas ek-sa nahin hai. kuchh aise hain, jo jode ke chunav men koee vichar nahin rakhate. kuchh aise hain, jo ek bar bachche paida karane ke bad alag ho jate hain, aur kuchh aise hain, jo jivanaparyant ek sath rahate hain. kitani hi bhinn-bhinn shreniyan hain. main manushy hone ke nate usi shreni ko shreshth samajhata hoon, jo jivanaparyant ek sath rahate hain. magar svechchha se. unake yahan koee kaid nahin, koee saza nahin. donon apane-apane chare-dane ki fikr karate hain. donon milakar rahane ka sthan banate hain, donon sath bachchon ka palan karate hain. unake bich men koee tisara nar ya mada a hi nahin sakata, yahan tak ki unamen se jab ek mar jata hai to doosara marate dam tak phuttail rahata hai. yah andher manushy-jati hi men hai ki stri ne kisi doosare purush se hnsakar bat ki aur usake purush ki chhati par sanp lotane laga, khoon-kharabe ke mnsoobe soche jane lage. purush ne kisi doosari stri ki or rasik netron se dekha aur ardhangini ne tyoriyan badalin, pati ke pran lene ko taiyar ho gee. yah sab kya hai ? aisa manushy-samaj sabhyata ka kis munh se dava kar sakata hai ?

bhuvan ne sir sahasalate hue kaha—magar manushyon men bhi to bhinn-bhinn shreniyan hain. kuchh log har mahine ek naya joda khoj nikalenge.

vinod ne hnsakar kaha—lekin yah itana asan kam n hoga. ya to vah aisi stri chahega, jo santan ka palan svayn kar sakati ho ya use ek musht sari rakam ada karana padegi !

bhuvan bhi hnse—ap apane ko kis shreni men rakkhenge?

vinod is prashn ke lie taiyar n th. tha bhi bedhnga-sa saval. jhenpate hue bole—paristhitiyan jis shreni men le jayn. main stri aur purush donon ke lie poorn svadhinata ka hami hoon. koee karan nahin hai ki mera man kisi navayauvana ki or akarshit ho aur vah bhi mujhe chahe to bhi main samaj aur niti ke bhay se usaki or tak n sakoon. main ise pap nahin samajhata.

bhuvan abhi kuchh uttar n dene paye the ki vinod uth khade hue. kalej ke lie der ho rahi thi. turant kapade pahane aur chal diye. ham donon divanakhane men akar baithe aur baten karane lage.

bhuvan ne sigar jalate hue kaha—‘kuchh suna’ kahan jakar tan tooti?

mainne mare sharm ke sir jhuka liya. kya javab deti. vinod ki antim bat ne mere hriday par kathor aghat kiya tha. mujhe aisa maloom ho raha tha ki vinod ne keval mujhe sunane ke lie vivah ka yah naya khandan taiyar kiya hai. vah mujhase pind chhuda lena chahate hain. vah kisi ramani ki tak men hain, mujhase unaka ji bhar gaya. vah khyal karake mujhe bada du:kh hua. meri ankhon se ansoo bahane lage. kadachith ekant men main n roti, par bhuvan ke samane main snyat n rah saki. bhuvan ne mujhe bahut santvana di—‘ap vyarth itana shok karati hain. mistar vinod apaka man n karen; par snsar men kam-se-kam ek aisa vyakti hai, jo apake snket par apane pran tak nyochhavar kar sakata. ap-jaisi ramani-ratn pakar snsar men aisa kaun purush hai, jo apane bhagy ko dhany n manega. ap isaki bilakul chinta n karen.’

mujhe bhuvan ki yah bat buri maloom huee. krodh se mera mukh lal ho gaya. yah dhoort meri is durbalata se labh uthakar mera sarvanash karana chahata hai. apane durbhagy par barabar rona ata tha. abhi vivah hue sal bhi nahin poora hua, meri yah dasha ho gee ki doosaron ko mujhe bahakane aur mujh par apana jadoo chalane ka sahas ho raha hai. jis vakt mainne vinod ko dekha tha, mera hriday kitana phool utha tha. mainne apane hriday ko kitani bhakti se unake charanon par arpan kiya tha. magar kya janati thi ki itani jald main unaki ankhon se gir jaoongi aur mujhe parityakta samajh, phir shohade mujh par dore dalenge.

mainne ansoo ponchhate hue kaha—main apase kshama mangati hoon. mujhe jara vishram lene dijie.

‘han-han, aram karen; main baitha dekhata rahoonga.’

‘ji nahin, ab ap kripa karake jaie. yon mujhe aram n milega.’

‘achchhi bat hai, ap aram kijie. main sandhya-samay akar dekh jaoonga.’

‘ji nahin, apako kasht karane ki koee zaroorat nahin hai.’

‘achchha to main kal jaoonga. shayad maharaja sahab bhi aven.’

‘nahin, ap log mere bulane ka intajar kijiega. bina bulaye n aiega.’

‘yah kahati huee main uthakar apane sone ke kamare ki or chali. bhuvan ek kshan meri or dekhata raha, phir chupake se chala gaya.

bahan, ise do din ho gaye hain. par main kamare se bahar nahin nikali. bhuvan do-tin bar a chuka hai, magar mainne usase milane se saf inakar kar diya. ab shayad use phir ane ka sahas n hoga. eeshvar ne bade najuk mauke par mujhe subuddhi pradan ki, nahin to main ab tak apana sarvanash kar baithi hoti. vinod pray: mere pas hi baithe rahate hain. lekin unase bolane ko mera ji nahin chahata. jo purush vyabhichar ka dasharnik siddhanton se samatharn kar sakata hai, jisaki ankhon men vivah-jaise pavitr bandhan ko koee mooly nahin, jo n mera ho sakata hai, n mujhe apana bana sakata hai, usake sath mujh-jaisi manini garvini stri ka kai din nirva hoga!

bas, ab vida hoti hoon. bahan, kshama karana. mainne tumhara bahut-sa amooly samay le liya. magar itana samajh lo ki main tumhari daya nahin, sahanubhooti chahati hoon.

tumhari,

padma

10


kashi

5-1-26

bahan,

tumhara patr padhakar mujhe aisa maloom hua ki koee upanyas padhakar uthi hoon. agar tum upanyas likhon, to mujhen vishvas hai, usaki dhoom mach jay. tum ap usaki nayika ban jana. tum aisi-aisi baten kahaaun sikh gayi, mujhen to yahi ashchary hai. us bngali ke sath tum akeli kaisi baithi baten karati rahin, meri to samajh nahin ata. main to kabhi n kar sakati. tum vinod ko jalana chahati ho, unake chitt ko ashant karana chahati ho. us garib ke sath tum kitana bhaynkar anyay kar rahi ho ! tum yah kyon samajhati ho ki vinod tumhari upeksha kar rahe hain, apane vicharon men itane magn hai ki unaki ruchi hi nahin rahi. snbhav hai, vah koee darshanik tatv khoj rahen ho, koee thisis likh rahin ho, kisi pustak ki rachana kar rahe hon. kaun kah sakata hai ? tum jaisi rupavati stri pakar yadi koee manushy chintit rahe, to samajh lo ki usake dil par koee bada bojh hain. unako tumhari sahanubhooti ki jarurat hai, tum unaka bojh halaka kar sakati hon. lekin tum ulate unhin ko dosh deti hon. meri samajh men nahin ata ki tum ek din kyon vinod se dil kholakar baten nahin kar leti, sndeh ko jitani jald ho saken, dil se nikal dalana chahie. sndeh vah chot hai, jisaka upach jald n ho, to nasoor pad jata hai aur phir achchha nahin hota. kyon do-char dinon ke lie yahaaun nahin chali atin ? tum shayad kaho, too hi kyon nahin chali ati. lekin mai svatantr nahin hoon, bina sas-sasur se poochhe koee kam nahin kar sakati. tumhen to koee bndhan nahin hai.

bahan, ajakal mera jivan harsh aur shok ka vichitr mishran ho raha hain. akeli hoti hoon, to roti hoon, anand a jate hai to hansati hoon. ji chahata hai, vah haradam mere samane baithe rahate. lekin rat ke barah baje ke pahale unake darshan nahin hote. ek din dopahar ko a gayen, to sasaji ne aisa daaunta ki koee bachche ko kya daauntega. mujhen aisa bhay ho raha hai ki sasaji ko mujhase chidh hain. bahan, main unhen bharasak prasann rakhane ki cheshta karati hoon. jo kam kabhi n kiye the, vah unake lie karati hoon, unake snan ke lie pani garm karati hoon, unaki pooja ke lie chauki bichhati hoon. vah snan kar leti hain, to unaki dhoti chhaauntati hoon, vah letati hain to unake pair dabati hoon; jab vah so jati hai to unhen pnkha jhalati hoon. vah meri mata hain, unhin ke garbh se vah ratn utpann hua hai jo mera pranadhar hai. mai unaki kuchh seva kar sakoon, isase badhakar mere lie saubhagy ki aur kya bat hogi. main keval itana hi chahati hoon ki vah mujhase hnsakar bole, magar n jane kyon vah bat-bat par mujhe kosane diya karati hain. main janati hoon, dosh mera hi hain. haaun, mujhe maloom nahin, vah kya hain. agar mera yahi aparadh hai ki main apani donon nandon se rupavati kyon hoon, padhi-likhi kyon hoon, annad mujhen itana kyon chahate hain, to bahan, yah mere bas ki bat nahi. mere prati sasaji ko bhram hota hoga ki main hi annad ko bharama rahin hoon. shayad vah pachhatati hai ki kyon mujhen bahoo banaya ! unhe bhay hota hai ki kahin main unake baite ko unase chhin n loon. do-ek bar mujhe jadoogarani kahi chuki hain. donon nanaden akaran hi mujhase jalati rahati hai. badi nanadaji to abhi kalor hain, unaka jalana meri samajh men nahin ata. main unaki jagah hoti,to apani bhavaj se kuchh sikhane ki, kuchh padhane ki koshish karati, unake charan dho-dhokar piti, par is chhokari ko mera apaman karane hi men annad ata hain. main janati hoon, thode dinon men donon nanaden lajjit hongi. haaun, abhi ve mujhase bichakati hain. main apani taraph se to unhen aprasann hone ko koee avasar nahin deti.

magar rup ko kya karun. kya janati thi ki ek din is rup ke karan main aparadhini thaharayi jaoongi. main sach kahati hoon bahan, yahan maine siganr karana ek tarah se chhod hi diya hain. maili-kuchaili bani bethi rahati hoon. is bhay se ki koee mere padhane-likhane par nak n sikode, pustakon ko hath nahin lagati. ghar se pustakon ka ek gatathar baaundh layi thi. usamen koee pustaken badi sundar hain. unhen padhane ke lie bar-bar ji chahata hain, magar chharati hoon ki koee tana n de baithe. donon nanaden mujhen dekhati rahati hain ki yah kya karati hain, kaise baithati hai, kaise bolati hai, mano do-do jasoos mere pichhe laga die ge hon. in donon mahilaon ko meri badagoee men kyon itana maja ata hain, nahin kah sakati. shayad ajakal unhe siva doosara kam hi nahin. gussa to aisa ata hain ki ek bar jhidhak doon, lekin man ko samajhakar rok leti hoon. yah dasha bahut dinon nahin rahegi. ek ne adami se kuchh hichak hona svabhavik hi hai, visheshakar jab vah naya adami shiksha aur vichar vyavahar men hamase alag ho. mujhi ko agar kisi phrench ledi ke sath rahana pade, to shayad me bhi usaki harek bat ko alochana aur kutoohal ki drishti se dekhane lagoon. yah kashivasi log pooja-path bahut karate hai. sasaji to roj gnga-snan karane jati hain. badi nanad bhi unake sath jati hai. maine kabhi pooja nahin ki. yad hai, ham aur tum pooja karane valon ko kitana banaya karati thi. agar mai pooja karane valon ka charitr kuchh unnat pati, to shayad ab tak mai bhi pooja karati hoti. lekin mujhe to kabhi aisa anubhav prapt nahin hua, pooja karane valiyaaun bhi usi tarah doosaron ki ninda karati hain, usi tarah apas men ladati-jhagadati hain, jaise ve jo kabhi pooja nahin karatin. khair, ab mujhe dhire-dhire pooja se shraddha hoti ja rahi hain. mere dadiya sasuraji ne ek chhota-sa thakuradvara banava diya tha. vah mere ghar ke samane hi hain. main aksar sasaji ke sath vahaaun jati hoon aur ab yah kahane men mujhe koee snkoch nahin ki un vishal moortiyon ke darshan se mujhe apane atastal men ek jyoti ka anubhav hota hai. jitani ashraddha se main ram aur krishn ke jivan ki alochana kiya karati thi, vah bahut kuchh mit chuki hain.

lekin rupavati hone ka dand yahin tak bas nahin hai. nanaden agar mere rup kon dekhakar jalati hain, to yah svabhavik hain. du:khi to is bat ka hai ki yah dand mujhe us taraph se bhi mil raha hai, jidhar se isaki koee snbhavana n honi chahie—mere anand baboo bhi mujhe isaka dand de rahe hai. haaun, unaki dandaniti ek nirale hi dhag ki hain. vah mere pas nity hi koee-n-koee saugat late rahate hai. vah jitani der mere pas rahate hai. unake man men yah sndeh hota rahata hai ki mujhe unaka rahana achchha nahin lagata. vah samajhate hai ki main unase jo prem karati hoon, yah keval dikhava hai, koshal hai.. vah mere samane kuchh aise dabe-dabayen, simate-simatayen rahate hai ki main mare lajja ke mar jati hoon. unhen mujhase kuchh kahate hue aisa snkoch hota hai, mano vah koee anadhikar cheshta kar rahe hon. jaise maile-kuchaile kapade pahane hue koee adami ujjval vastr pahanane valon se door hi rahana chahata hai, vahi dasha inaki hai. vah shayad samajhate hain ki kisi rupavati stri ko roopahin purush se prem ho hi nahin sakata. shayad vah dil men pachhataten hai ki kyon isase vivah kiya. shayad unhen apane oopar glani hoti hai. vah mujhe kabhi rote dekh lete hai, to samajhate hai. main apane bhagy ko ron rahi hoon, koee patr likhate dekhate hain, to samajhate hai, main unaki rupahinata hi ka rona ro rahi hoon. kya kahoon bahan, yah saundary meri jan ka gahak ho gaya. anand ke man se shnka ko nikalane aur unhen apani or se ashvasan dene ke lie mujhe aisi-aisi baten karani padati hain, aise-aise acharan karane padate hain, jin par mujhe ghrina hoti hain. agar pahale se yah dasha janati, to brahma se kahati ki mujhe kuroopa hi banana. bade asamnjas men padi hoon! agar sasaji ki seva nahin karati, badi nanadaji ka man nahin rakhati, to unaki aaunkhon se girati hoon. agar anand baboo ko nirash karati hoon, to kadachith mujhase virakt hi ho jayn. mai tumase apane hriday ki bat kahati hoon. bahan, tumase kya parda rakhana hai; mujhe anand baboo se utana prem hai, jo kisi stri ko purush se ho sakata hai, unaki jagah ab agar indr bhi samane a jayn, to mai unaki or aaukh uthakar n dekhoon. magar unhen kaise vishvas dilaoon. mai dekhati hoon, vah kisi n kisi bahane se bar-bar ghar me ate hai aur dabi huee, lalachaee huee najaron se mere kamare ke dvar ki or dekhate hai, to ji chahata hai, jakar unaka hath pakad loon aur apane kamare men khinch le aoon. magar ek to dar hota hai ki kisi ki aaunkh pad gayi, to chhati pitane lagegi, aur isase bhi bada dar yah ki kahin anand ise bhi kaushal hi n samajh baithe. abhi unaki amadani bahum kam hai, lekin do-char rupaye saugaton me roj udate hain. agar premopahar-svaroop vah dhele ki koee chiz den, to main use aaunkhon se lagaoon, lekin vah kar-svaroop dete hain, mano unhen eeshvar ne yah dand diya hain. kya karoon, ab mujhe bhi prem ka svaaung karana padega. prem-pradarshan se mujhe chidh hain. tumhen yad hoga, maine ek bar kaha tha ki prem ya to bhitar hi rahega ya bahar hi rahega. saman roop se vah bhitar aur bahar donon jagah nahin rah sakata. savaaung veshyaon ke lie hai, kulavnti to prem ko hriday hi men snchit rakhati hain!

bahan, patr bahut lamba ho gaya, tum padhate-padhate oob gayi hogi. main bhi likhate-likhate thak gayi. ab shesh baten kal likhoongi. parason yah patr tumhare pas pahunchega.

bahan, kshama karana; kal patr likhane ka avasar nahin mila. rat ek aisi bat ho gayi, jisase chitt ashant utha. badi mushkilon se yah thoda-sa samay nikal saki hoon. maine abhi tak anand se ghar ke kisi prani ki shikayat nahin ki thi. agar sasaji ne koee bat ki di ya nanadaji ne koee tana de diya; to ise unake kanon tak kyon pahunchaoon. isake siva ki grih-kalah utpann ho, isase aur kya hath ayega. inhin jara-jara si baton ko n pet men dalane se ghar bigadate hain. apas men vaimanasy badhata hain. magar snyog ki bat, kal anayas hi mere munh se ek bat nikal gayi jisake liye mai ab bhi apane ko kos rahin hoon, aur eeshvar se manati hoon ki vah age n badhe. bat yah huee ki kal annad baboo bahut der karake mere pas aye. main unake intar men baithi ek pustak padh rahi thi. sahasa sasaji ne akar poochha—kya abhi tak bijali jal rahi hai? kya vah rat-bhar n ayen, to tum rat-bhar bijali jalati rahogi?

mainen usi vakt batti thandi kar di. anand baboo thodi hi der me ayen, to kamara andhera pada tha n-jane us vakt meri mati kitani mand ho gayi thi. agar maine unaki ahat pate hi batti jala di hoti, to kuchh n hota, magar main andhere men padi rahin. unhonne poochha—kya so gayin? yah adhera kyon pada hua hai?

hay! is vakt bhi yadi maine kah diya hota ki maine abhi bati gul kar di to bat ban jati. magar mere munh se nikala—‘sansaji ka hukm hua ki batti gul kar do, gul kar di. tum rat-bhar n ao, to kya ratabhar batti jalati rahen?’

‘to ab to jala do. mai roshani ke samane se a raha hoon. mujhe to kuchh soojhata hi nahin.’

‘maine ab batan ko hath se chhoone ki kasam kha li hai. jab zaroorat padagi; to mom ki batti jala liya karoongi. kaun muft men ghudakiyaaun sahen.’

annad ne bijali ka batan dabate hue kaha—‘aur maine kasam kha li ki rat-bhar batti jalegi, chahe kisi ko bura lage ya bhala. sab kuchh dekhata hoon, andha nahin hoon. doosari bahoo akar itani seva karegi to dekhoonga; tum nasib ki khoti ho ki aise praniyon ke pale padi. kisi doosari sas ki tum itani khidamat karatin, to vah tumhen pan ki tarah pherati, tumhen hathon par lie rahati, magar yahaaun chahe pran hi de de, kisi ke munh se sidhi bat n nikalegi.’

mujhe apani bhool saf maloom ho gayi. unaka krodh shant karane ke irade se boli—galati bhi to meri hi thi ki vyarth adhi rat tak batti jalayen baithi rahi. ammaaunji ne gul karane ko kaha, to kya bura kaha ? mujhe samajhana, achchhi sikh dena, unaka dharm hain. mera dharm yahi hai ki yathashakti unaki seva karoon aur unaki shiksha ko girah bandhoon.

annad ek kshan dvar ki or takate rahe. phir bole—mujhe maloom ho raha hai ki is ghar men mera ab gujar n hoga. tum nahin kahatin, magar mai sab kuchh sunata rahata hoon. sab samajhata hoon. tumhen mere papon ka prayashchit karana pad raha hain. mai kal ammaaunji se saph-saph kah doonga—‘agar apaka yahi vyavahar hai, to ap apana ghar lijie, mai apane lie koee doosari rah nikal loonga.’

mainne hath jodakar gidagidate hue kaha—nahin-nahin. kahin aisa gajab bhi n karana. mere munh men ag lage, kahaaun se kahan batti ka jikar kar baithi. main tumhare charan chhookar kahati hoon, mujhe n sasaji se koee shikayat hai, n nanadaji se, donon mujhase badi hai, meri mata ke tuly hain. agar ek bat kadi bhi kah den, to mujhe sabr karana chahie! tum unase kuchh n kahana nahin to majhe bada du:kh hoga.

anand ne rundhe knth se kaha—tumhari-jaisi bahoo pakar bhi ammaaunji ka kaleja nahin pasijata, ab kya koee svarg ki devi ghar men ati? tum daro mat, main khvahamakhvah ladoonga nahin. magar haaun, itana avashy kah doonga ki jara apane mizaj ko kaboo men rakhen. aj agar mai do-char sau rupayen ghar men lata hota, to koee choon n karata. kuchh kamakar nahin lata, yah usi ka dand hai. sach poochhon, to mujhe vivah karane ka koee adhikar hi n tha. mujh-jaise mand buddhi ko, jo kaudi kama nahin sakata, use apane sath kisi mahila ko dubane ka kya hak tha! bahanaji ko n-jane kya soojhi hai ki tumhare pichhe padi rahati hain. sasural ka saphaya kar diya, ab yahaaun bhi ag lagane par tuli huee hai. bas, pitaji ka lihaz karata hoon, nahin inhen to ek din men thik kar deta.

bahan, us vakt to maine kisi tarah unhin shant kiya, par nahin kah sakati ki kab vah ubal pade. mere lie vah sari duniya se ladaee mol le legen. mai jin paristhitayon men hoon, unaka tum anuman kar sakati ho. mujh par kitani hi mar pade mujhe rona n chahie, jaban tak n hilana chahie. main royi aur ghar tabah hua. anand phir kuchh n sunege, kuchh n dekhegen. kadachit is upay se vah apane vichar me mere hriday men apane prem ka ankur jamana chahate ho. aj mujhe maloom hua ki yah kitane krodhi hain. agar maine jara-sa puchar de diya hota, to rat hi ko vah sasaji ki khopadi par ja pahunchate. kitani yuvatiyaaun isi adhikar ke garv men apane ko bhool jati hain. mai to bahan, eeshvar ne chaha to kabhi n bhooloongi. mujhe is bat ka dar nahin hai ki anand alag ghar bana legen, to gujar kaise hoga. mai unake sath sab-kuchh jhel sakati hoon. lekin ghar to tabah ho jayega.

bas, pyari padma, aj itana hi. patr ka javab jald dena.

tumhari,

chanda

11

dilli

5-2-26

pyari chanda,

kya likhoon, mujh par to vipatti ka pahad toot pada! hay, vah chale ge. mere vinod ka tin din se pata nahin—nirmohi chala gaya, mujhe chhodakar bina kuchh kahe-sune chala gaya—abhi tak royi nahin. jo log poochhane ate hain, unase bahana kar deti hoon ki—do-char din men ayenge, ek kam se kashi gaye hain. magar jab rooongi to yah sharir un aaunsuon men doob jayega. pran usi me visarjit ho jaynge. chhaliyen ne mujhase kuchh bhi nahin kaha, roj ki tarah utha, bhojan kiya, vidyalay gaya; niyat samay par lauta, roj ki tarah musakarakar mere pas aya. ham donon ne jalapan kiya, phir vah dainik patr padhane laga, main tenis khelane chali gayi. idhar kuchh dino se unhen tenis se kuchh prem n raha tha, main akeli hi jati. lauti, to roj hi ki tarah unhen baramade men tahalate aur sigar pite dekha. mujhe dekhate hi vah roj ki tarah mera ovarakot laye aur mere oopar dal diya. baramade se niche utarakar khule maidan me ham tahalane lage. magar vah zyada bole nahin, kisi vichar men doobe rahen. jab os adhik padane lagi, to ham donon phir andar chale ayen. usi vakt vah bngali mahila a gayi, jinase maine vina sikhana shuroo kiya hai. vinod bhi mere sath hi baithe rahe. sngit unhen kitana priy hai, yah tumhen likh chuki hoon. koee nayi bat nahin huee. mahila ke chale jane ke bad hamane sath-hi-sath bhojan yika phir mai apane kamare men letane ayi. vah roj ki tarah apane kamare me likhane-padhane chale gayen! main jald hi so gayi, lekin bekhabar padi rahoon, unaki ahat pate hi ap-hi-ap aaunkhe khul gayin. maine dekha, vah apana hara shal odhe khade then. maine unaki or hath badhakar kaha—aon, khade kyon ho, aur phir so gayi. bas, pyari bahan! vahi vinod ke antim darshan the. kah nahin sakati, vah pnlag par lete ya nahin. in aaukhon men n-jane kaun-si mahanidra samayi huee thi. prat: uthi to vinod ko n paya. main unase pahale uthati hoon, vah pade sote rahate hain. par aj vah palng par n then. shal bhi n tha. maine samajha, shayad apane kamare men chale gaye hon. snan-grih men chali gayi. adh ghnten me bahar ayi, phir bhi vah n dikhayi diye. unake kamare men gayi, vahaaun bhi n then. ashchary hua ki itane sabare kahaaun chale gayen. sahasa khoonti par padi—kapade ne the. kisi se milane chale gaye? ya snan ke pahale sair karane ki thani. kam-se-kam mujhase kah to dete, snshay me to ji n padata. krodh aya—mujhe laundi samajhate hain…

hajiri ka samay aya. baira mej par chay rakh gaya. vinod ke itnjar men chay thndi ho gayi. mai bar-bar jhunjhalati thi, kabhi bhitar jati, kabhi bahar ati, than li thi ki aj jyohi mahashay ayenge, aisa latadoongi ki vah bhi yad karenge. kah doongi, ap apana ghar lijie, apakon apana ghar mubarak rahen, mai apane ghar chali jaoongi. is tarah to rotiyaaun vahaaun bhi mil jayengi. jade ke nau bajane men der hi kya lagati hai. vinod ka abhi pata nahin. jhallayi huee kamare me gayi ki ek patr likhakar mej par rakh doon—saph-saph likh doon ki is tarah agar rahana hai, to ap rahie me nahin rah sakati. mai jitana hi tarah deti jati hoon, utana hi tum mujhe chidhate hon. bahan, us krodh me santapt bhavon ki nadi-si man men umad rahi thi. agar likhane baithati, to pannon-ke-panne likh dalati. lekin ah! mai to bhag jan ki dhamaki hi de rahi thi, vah pahale hi bhag chuke the. jyonhi mej par baithi, mujhe paidi me unaka ek patr mila. maine turant us patr ko nikal liya aur sarasari nigah se padha—mere hath kaaunpane lage, paaunv tharatharane lage, jan pada kamara hil raha hai. ek thandi, lambi, hriday ko chirane vali ah khinchakar main koch par gir padi. patr yah tha—

‘priyen ! nau mahine hue, jab mujhe pahali bar tumhare darshanon ka saubhagy hua tha. us vakt maine apane ko dhany mana tha. aj tumase viyog ka durbhagy ho raha hai phir bhi main apane ko dhany manata hoon. mujhe jane ka loshamatr bhi du:kh nahin hai, kyoki mai janata hoon tum khush hogi. jab tum mere sath sukhi nahin rah sakati; to main tabaradasti kyon pada rahoon. isase to yah kahin achchha hai ki ham aur tum alag ho jayn. mai jaisa hoon, vaisa hi rahoonga. tum bhi jaisi ho, vaisi hi rahogi. phir sukhi jivan ki sambhavana kahan? mai vivah ko atm-vikas ka poori ka sadhan samajhata hoon. stri purush ke sambandh ka agar koee arth hai, to yahi hai, varna mai vivah ki koee jarurat nahin samajhata. manav santan bina vivah ke bhi jivit rahegi aur shayad isase achchhe roop men. vasana bhi bina vivah ke poori ho sakati hai, ghar ke prabandh ke lie vivah karane ki kaee jarurat nahin. jivika ek bahut hi gaun prashn hai. jise eeshvar ne do hath diye hai vah kabhi bhookha nahin rah sakata. vivah ka uddeshy yahi aur keval yahi hain ki stri aur purush ek-doosare ki atmonnati men sahayak hon. jahaaun anurag hon, vaha vivah hai aur anurag hi atmonnati ka mukhy sadhan hai. jab anurag n ho, to vivah bhi n raha. anurag ke bina vivah ka arth nahin.

jis vakt maine tumhen pahali bar dekha tha, tum mujhe anurag ki sajiv moorti-si najar ayi thin. tumame saundary tha, shiksha thi, prem tha, sphoorti thi, umng thi. main mugdh ho gaya. us vakt meri andhi aaunkhon ko yah n soojha ki jahaaun tumamen itane gun the, vahaaun chnchalata bhi thi, jo in sab gunon par parda dal deti. tum chnchal ho, gajab ki chnchal, jo us vakt mujhe n soojha tha. tum thik vaisi hi ho, jaisi tumhari doosari bahanen hoti hai, n kam, n zyada. maine tumako svadhin banana chaha tha, kyonki meri samajh me apani poori oonchaee tak pahunchane ke lie isi ki sabase adhik zaroorat hai. snsar bhar men purushon ke viruddh kyon itana shor macha hua hai? isilie ki hamane auraton ki azadi chhin li hai aur unhen apani ichchhaon ki laundi bana rakha hai. maine tumhen svadhin kar diya. mai tumhare oopar apana koee adhikar nahin manata. tum apani svamini ho, mujhe koee chinta n thi. ab mujhe maloom ho raha hai, tum svechchha se nahin, snkoch ya bhay ya bandhan ke karan rahati ho. do hi char din pahale mujh par yah bat khuli hai. isilie ab mai tumharen sukh ke marg men badha nahin dalana chahata. mai kahin bhagakar nahin ja raha hoon. keval tumhare raste se hata ja raha hoon, aur itani door hata ja raha hoon, ki tumhen meri or se poori nishchintata ho jay. agar mere bagair tumhara jivan adhik sundar ho sakata hai, to tumhen jabaran nahin rakhana chahata. agar mai samajhata ki tum mere sukh ke marg badhak ho rahi hon, to maine tumase saph-saph kah diya hota. mai dhairy aur niti ka dhong nahin manata, keval atmaka sntosh chahata hoon—apane lie bhi, tumhare lie bhi. jivan ka tatv yahi hai; mooly yahi hai. maine desk men apane vibhag ke adhyaksh ke nam ek patr likhakar rakh diya hain. vah unake pas bhej dena. rupaye ki koee chinta mat karana. mere ekaunt me abhi itane rupaye hain, jo tumhare lie kee mahine ko kafi hain, aur us vakt tak milate rahegen, jab tak tum lena chahogi. mai samajhata hoon, maine apana bhav spasht kar diya hai. isase adhik spasht mai nahin karana chahata. jis vakt tumhari ichchha mujhase milane ki ho, baink se mera pata poochh lena. magar do-char din ke bad. ghabarane ki koee bat nahin. mai stri ko abala ya apng nahin samajhata. vah apani raksha svayn kar sakati hain—agar karana chahen. agar ab ya ab se do-char mahina, do-char sal pichhen tumhe meri yad ae aur tum samajhon ki mere sath sukhi rah sakati ho, to mujhe keval do shabd likhakar dal dena, mai turant a jaoonga, kyonki mujhe tumase koee shikayat nahin hain. tumhare sath mere jivan ke jitane ke jitane din kate hain, vah mere lie svarg-svapn ke din hain. jab tak jiungi, is jivan ki anand-smritiyon kon hriday men snchit rakhoonga. ah! itani der tak man ko roke rahane ke bad aaunkhon se ek boond aaunsoo gir hi pada. kshama karana, mainen tumhen ‘chnchal’ kaha hain. achnchal kaun hai? janata hoon ki tumane mujhe apane hriday se nikalakar phenk diya hain, phir bhi is ek ghnte men kitani bar tumako dekh-dekhakar laut aya hoon! magar in baton ko likhakar main tumhari daya ko ukasana nahin chahata. tumane vahi kiya, jisaka meri niti men tumako adhikar tha, hai aur rahegan. main vivah men atma ko sarvopari rakhana chahata hoon. stri aur purush men mai vahi prem chahata hoon, jo do svadhin vyaktiyon men hota hain. vah prem nahin jisaka adhar paradhinata hain.

bas, ab aur kuchh n likhoonga. tumako ek chetavani dene ki ichchha ho rahi hai par doonga nahin; kyonki tum apana bhala aur bura khud samajh sakati ho. tumane salah dene ka hak mujhase chhin liya hai. phir bhi itana kahe bagair nahin raha jata ki snsar men prem ka svaaung bharane vale shohadon ki kami nahin hai, unase bachakar rahana. eeshvar se yahi prarthana karata hoon ki tum jahaaun raho, anand se rahon. agar kabhi tumhen meri zaroorat pade, to yad karana. tumhari ek tasvir ka apaharan kiye jata hoon. kshama karana, kya mera itana adhikar bhi nahin? hay! ji chahata hai, ek bar phir dekh aoon, magar nahin aoonga.’

—tumhara thukaraya hua,

vinod

bahan, yah patr padhakar mere chitt ki jo dasha huee, usaka tum anuman kar sakati ho. royi to nahin; par dil baitha jata tha. bar-bar ji chahata tha ki vish khakar so rahoon. das bajane men ab thodi hi der thi. main turant vidyalay gayi aur darshan-vibhag ke adhyaksh ko vinod ka patr padhakar bole—apako maloom hai, vah kahaaun gaye aur kab tak ayengen? isamen to keval ek mas ki chhutati maaungi gayi hai. mainen bahana kiya—vah ek avashyak kary se kashi gaye hai. aur nirash hokar laut ayi. meri antaratma snhasron jihava banakar mujhe dhikkar rahi thi. kamare men unaki tasvir ke samane ghutane tekakar maine jitane pashchatap–poorn shabdon men kshama mangi hai, vah agar kisi tarah unake kanon tak pahunch sakati, to unhen maloom hota ki unhen meri or se kitana bhroom hua! tab se ab tak mainen kuchh bhojan nahin kiya aur n ek minat soyi. vinod meri kshudha aur nidra bhi apane sath lete gaye aur shayad isi tarah das-paaunch din unaki khabar n mili, to pran bhi chale jayengen. aj main baink tark gayi thi, yah poochhane ki himmat n padi ki vinod ka koee patr ayan. vah sab kya sochate ki yah unaki patni hokar hamase poochhane ayi hain!

bahan, agar vinod n aye, to kya hoga? main samajhati thi, vah meri taraph se udasin hain, meri parava nahin karate, mujhase apane dil ki baten chhipate hain, unhen shayad main bhari ho gayi hoon. ab maloom hua, mai kaise bhaynkar-bhram men padi huee thi. unaka man itana komal hai, yah main janati, to us din kyon bhuvan ko munh lagati? main us abhage ka munh tak n dekhati. is vakt jo use dekh paoon, to shayad goli mar doon. jara tum vinod ke patr ko phir padhon, bahan—ap mujhe svadhin banane chale the. agar svadhin banate then, to bhuvan se jara der mera batachit kar lena kyon itana akhara? mujhen unaki avichalit shanti se chidh hoti thi. vastav men unake hriday men is rat-si bat ne jitani ashanti paida kar di, shayad mujhamen n kar sakati. main kisi ramani se unaki ruchi dekhakar shayad munh phula leti, tane deti, khud roti, unhen rulati; par itani jald bhag n jati. mardon ka ghar chhodakar bhagana to aj tak nahin suna, auraten hi ghar chhodakar maike bhagati hai, ya kahin doobane jati hain, ya atmahatya karati hain. purush nirdvandv baithe moonchhon par tav dete hain. magar yahaaun ulti gnga bah rahi hain—purush hi bhag khada hua! is ashanti ki thah kaun laga sakata hain? is prem ki gaharaee ko kaun samajh sakata hain? mai to agar is vakt vinod ke charanon par pade-pade mar jaoon to samajhoon, mujhe svarg mil gaya. bas, isake siva mujhe ab aur koee ichchha nahin hain. is agadh-prem ne mujhe tript kar diya. vinod mujhase bhage to, lekin bhag n sake. vah mere hriday se, meri dharana se, itane nikat kabhi n the. main to ab bhi unhen apane samane baitha dekh rahi hoon. kya mere samane philasaphar banane chale the? kahaaun gayi apaki vah darshanik gnbhirata? yon apane ko dhokha dete ho? yon apani atma ko kuchalate hon ? abaki to tum bhage, lekin phir bhagana to dekhoongi. mai n janati thi ki tum aise chatur bahuroopiye ho. ab maine samajha, aur shayad tumhari darshanik gnbhirata ko bhi samajh me aya hoga ki prem jitana hi sachcha jitana hi hardik hota hai, utana hi komal hota hen vah vapatti ke unmatt sagar men thaped kha sakata hai, par avahelana ki ek chot bhi nahin sah sakata. bahin, bat vichitr hai, par hai sachchi, mai is samay apane antastal men jitani umng, jitane anand ka anubhav kar rahi hoon, yad nahin ata ki vinod ke hriday se lipatakar bhi kabhi paya ho. tab parda bich men tha, ab koee parda bich men nahin raha. mai unako prachalit prem vyapar ki kasauti par kasana chahati thi. yah phaishan ho gaya ki purush ghar me ayen, to stri ke vaste koee tohapha laye, purush rat-din stri ke lie gahane banavane, kapade silavane, bel, phite, les kharidane men mast rahe, phir stri ko usase koee shikayat nahin. vah adarsh-pati hai, usake prem men kise sndeh ho sakata hai? lekin usaki preyasi ki mrityu ke tisare mahine vah phir naya vivah rachata hai. stri ke sath apane prem ko bhi chita me jala ata hai. phir vahi svaaung is nayi preyasi se hone lagate hain, phir vahi lila shuroo ho jati hai. mainne yahi prem dekha tha aur isi kasauti par vinod kas rahi thi. kitani mandabuddhi hoon ! chhichhorepan ko prem samajhe baithi thi. kitani striyan janati hain ki adhikansh aise hi gahane, kapade aur hnsane-bolane men mast rahane vale jiv lampat hote hain. apani lampatata ko chhipane ke lie ve yah svaaung bharate rahate hain. kutte ko chup rakhane ke lie usake samane haddi ke tukade phenk dete hain. bechari bholi-bhali use apana sarvasv dekar khilaune pati hai aur unhin men magn rahati hai. main vinod ko usi kaaunte par taul rahi thi—hire ko sag ke tarajoo par rakh deti thi. main janati hoon, mera dridh vishvas aur vah atal hai ki vinod ki drishti kabhi kisi par stri par nahin pad sakati. unake lie mai hoon, akeli mai hoon, achchhi hoon ya buri hoon, jo kuchh hoon, mai hoon. bahan, meri to mare garv aur anand se chhati phool uthi hai. itana bada samrajy—itana achal, itana svarakshit, kisi hridayeshvari ko nasib hua hai ! mujhe to sandeh hai. aur main is par bhi asantusht thi, yah n janati thi ki oopar baboole tairate hain, moti samudr ki tah me milate hain. hay! meri is moorkhata ke karan, mere pyare vinod ko kitani manasik vedana ho rahi hai. mere jivan-dhan, mere jivan-sarvasv n jane kahaaun mare-mare phirate hongen, n jane kis dasha men hogen, n-jane mere prati unake man men kaisi-kaisi shnkaऍn uth rahi hongi—pyare ! tumane mere sath kuchh kam anyay nahin kiya. agar maine tumhen nishthur samajha, to tumane to mujhe usase kahin badatar samajha—kya ab bhi pet nahin bhara? tumane mujhe itani gayi-gujari samajh liya ki is abhage bhuvan… mai aise-aise ek lakh bhuvanon ko tumhare charanon par bhent kar sakati hoon. mujhe to snsar men aisa koee prani hi nahin najar ata, jis par meri nigah uth sake. nahin, tum mujhe itani nich, itani kalnkini nahin samajh sakate—shayad vah naubat ati, to tum aur main do men se ek bhi is snsar men n hota.

bahan, mainne vinod ko bulane ki, khinch lane ki, pakad mngavane ki ek tarakib sochi hai. kya kahoon, pahale hi din yah tarakib kyon n soojhi ? vinod ko dainik patr padhe bina chain nahin ata aur vah kaun-sa patr padhate hain, main yah bhi janati hoon. kal ke patr men yah khabar chhapegi—‘padma mar rahi hai’, aur parason vinod yahaaun honge—ruk hi nahin sakate. phir khoob jhagade honge, khoob ladaiyaaun hongi.

ab kuchh tumhare vishay men. kya tumhari budhiya sachamuch tumase isalie jalati hai ki tum sundar ho, shikshit ho ? khoob ! aur tumhare anand bhi vichitr jiv maloom hote hain. maine suna hai ki purush kitana hi kuroop ho, usaki nigah apsaraon hi par jakar padati hai. phir annad baboo tumase kyon bichakate hai? jara gaurase dekhana, kahin radha aur krishn ke bich men koee kubja to nahin? agar sasaji yon hi nak men dam karati rahen, to main to yahi salah doongi ki apani jhopadi alag bana lo. magar janati hoon, tum meri yah salah n manogi, kisi tarah n manegi. is sahishnuta ke lie main tumhen badhaee deti hoon. patr jald likhana. magar shayad tumhara patr ane ke pahale hi mera doosara patr pahunche.

tumhari,

padma

12


kashi

10-2-26

priy padma,

kee din tak tumhare patr ki pratiksha karane ke bad aj yah khat likh rahi hoon. main ab bhi asha kar rahi hoon ki vinod baboo ghar a gaye hogen, magar abhi vah n aye hon aur tum ro-rokar apani aaunkhe phode dalati ho, to mujhe jara bhi du:kh n hoga! tumane unake sath jo anyay kiya hai, usaka yahi dand hai. mujhe tumase jara bhi sahanubhooti nahin hai. tum grihini hokar vah kutil krida karane chali thin, jo prem ka sauda karane vali striyon ko hi shobha deti hai. main to jab khush hoti ki vinod ne tumhara gala ghont diya hota aur bhuvan ke kusnskaron ko sada ke lie shant kar dete. tum chahe mujhase rooth hi kyon n jao par main itana zaroor kahoongi ki tum vinod ke yogy nahin ho. shayad tumane angreji kitabon me padha hoga ki striyan chhaile rasikon par hi jan deti hain aur yah padhakar tumhara sir phir gaya hai. tumhen nity koee sanasani chahie, anyatha tumhara jivan shushk ho jayega. tum bharat ki patiparayana ramani nahin, yoorop ki amodapriy yuvati ho. mujhe tumhare oopar daya ati hai. tumane ab tak roop ko hi akarshan ka mool samajh rakha hai. roop men arkashan hai, manati hoon. lekin us akarshan ka nam moh hai, vah sthayi nahin, keval dhokhe ki tatti hai. prem ka ek hi mool mntr hai, aur vah hai seva. yah mat samajho ki jo purush tumhare oopar bhramar ki bhaaunti mndaraya karata hai, vah tumase prem karata hai. usaki yah roopasakti bahut dinon tak nahin rahegi. prem ka ankur roop men hai, par usako pallavit aur pushpit karana seva hi ka kam hai. mujhe vishvas nahin ata ki vinod ko bahar se thake-maaunde, pasine me tar dekhakar tumane kabhi pnkha jhala hoga. shayad tebul-phain lagane ki bat bhi n soojhi hogi. sach kahana, mera anuman thik ya nahin? batalao, tumane ki unake pairon men chnpi ki hai? kabhi unake sir men tej dala hai? tum kahogi, yah khidamatagaron ka kam hai, lediyan yah maraj nahin palatin. tumane us anand ka anubhav hi nahin kiya. tum vinod ko apane adhikar men rakhana chahati ho, magar usaka sadhan nahin karatin. vilasani manornjan kar sakati hai, chirasngini nahin ban sakati. purush ke gale se lipati huee bhi vah usase koson door rahati hai. manati hoon, roopamoh manushy ka svabhav hai, lekin roop se hriday ki pyas nahin bujhati, atma ki tripti nahin hoti. sevabhav rakhane vali roop-vihin stri ka pati kisi stri ke roop-jal me phns jay, to bahut jald nikal bhagata hai, seva ka chaska paya hua man keval nakharon aur chochalon par lattoo nahin hota. magar main to tumhen upadesh karane baith gayi, halaaunki tum mujhase do-char mahine badi hogi. kshama karo bahan, yah upadesh nahin hai. ye baten ham-tum sabhi janate hain, keval kabhi-kabhi bhool jate hain. mainne keval tumhen yad dila diya hain. upadesh me hriday nahin hota, lekin mera upadesh mere man ki vah vyatha hai, jo tumhari is nayi vipatti se jagarit huee hai.

achchha, ab meri ramakahani suno. is ek mahine men yahaaun badi-badi ghatanaऍn ho gayin. yah to main pahale hi likh chuki hoon ki anand baboo aur ammaaunji men kuchh manamutav rahane laga. vah ag bhitar-hi-bhitar sulagati rahati thi. din men do-ek bar maaun bete men chonchen ho jati thi. ek din meri chhoti nanadaji mere kamare se ek pustak utha le gayin. unhen padhane ka rog hai. mainne kamare men kitab n dekhi, to unase poochha. is jara-si bat par vah bhale-manas bigad gayi aur kahane lagi—tum to mujhe chori lagati ho. ammaaun ne unhin ka paksh liya aur mujhe khoob sunayi. snyog ki bat, ammaaunji mujhe kosane hi de rahi thin ki annad baboo ghar men a gaye. ammanji unhen dekhate hi aur zor se bakane lagin, bahoo ki itani majal! vah toone sir par chadha rakha hai aur koee bat nahin. pustak kya usake bap ki thi? ladaki layi, to usane kaun gunah kiya? jara bhi sabr n hua, daudi huee usake sir par ja pahunchi aur usake hathon se kitab chhinane lagi.

bahan, main yah svikar karati hoon ki mujhe pustak ke lie itani utavali n karani chahie thi. nanadaji padh chukane par ap hi de jatin. n bhi detin to us ek pustak ke n padhane se mera kya bigada jata tha. magar meri shamat ki unake hathon se kitab chhinane lagi thi. agar is bat par anand baboo mujhe dant batate, to mujhe jara bhi du:kh n hota magar unhonne ulte mera paksh liya aur tyoriyan chadhakar bole—kisi ki chiz koee bina poochhe laye hi kyon? yah to mamooli shishtachar hai.

itana sunana tha ki ammaaun ke sir par bhoot-sa savar ho gaya. anand baboo bhi bich-bich me phulajhadiyaaun chhodate rahe aur main apane kamare men baithi roti rahi ki kahaaun-se-kahaaun mainne kitab maaungi. n ammaaunji hi ne bhojan kiya, n anand baboo ne hi. aur mera to bar-bar yahi ji chahata tha ki zahar kha loon. rat ko jab ammaauji leti to main apane niyam ke anusar unake paaunv pakrad liye. main paintane ki or to thi hi. ammaaunji ne jo pair se mujhe dhakela to main charapaee ke niche gir padi. zamin par kee katoriyaaun padi huee thin. main un katoriyon par giri, to pith aur kamar men badi chot ayi. main chillana n chahati thi, magar n jane kaise mere munh se chikh nikal gayi. anand baboo apane kamare men a gaye the, meri chikh sunakar daude pade aur ammaaunji ke dvar par akar bole—kya use mare dalati ho, ammaaun? aparadhi to main hoon; usaki jan kyon le rahi ho? yah kahate hue vah kamare men ghus gaye aur mera hath pakad kar jabaradasti khinch le gaye. mainne bahut chaha ki apana hath chhuda loon, par annad ne n chhoda! vasvat men is samay unaka ham logon ke bich men kood padana mujhe achchha nahin lagata tha. vah n a jate, to mainne ro-dhokar ammaaunji ko mana liya hota. mere gir padane se unaka krodh kuchh shant ho chala tha. anand ka a jana gajab ho gaya. ammaaunji kamare ke bahar nikal ayin aur munh chidhakar boli—haaun, dekho, maraham-patti kar do, kahin kuchh toot-phoot n gaya ho !

anand ne aaungan men rookakar kaha—kya tum chahati ho ki tum kisi ko mar dalo aur main n boloon ?

‘haaun, main to dayan hoon, adamiyon ko mar dalana hi to mera kam hai. tajjub hai ki mainne tumhen kyon n mar dala.’

‘to pachhatava kyon ho raha hai, dhele ki snkhiya men to kam chalata hai.‘

‘agar tumhen is tarah aurat ko sir chadhakar rakhana hai, to kahin aur le jakar rakho. is ghar men usaka nirvah ab n hoga.’

‘main khud isi phrik men hoon, tumhare kahane ki zaroorat nahin.’

‘main bhi samajh loongi ki mainne ladaka hi nahin jana.’

‘main bhi samajh loonga ki meri mata mar gayi.’

main anand ka hath pakadakar zor se khinch rahi thi ki unhen vahaaun se hata le jaoon, magar vah bar-bar mera hath jhatak dete the. akhir jab ammaaunji apane kamare men chali gayin, to vah apane kamare men aye aur sir thamakar baith gaye.

mainne kaha—yah tumhen kya soojhi ?

anand ne bhoomi ki or takate hue kaha—ammaaun ne aj notis de diya.

‘tum khud hi ulajh pade, vah bechari to kuchh boli nahin.’

‘main hi ulajh pada !’

‘aur kya. mainne to tumase phariyad n ki thi.’

‘pakad n lata, to amman ne tumhen adhamara kar diya hota. tum unaka krodh nahin janati.’

‘yah tumhara bhram hai. unhonne mujhe mara nahin, apana pair chhuda rahi thin. main patti par baithi thi, jara-sa dhakka khakar gir padin. ammaaun mujhe uthane hi ja rahi thin ki tum pahunch gaye.’

‘nani ke age nanihal ka bakhan n karo, main ammaaun ko khoob janata hoon. main kal hi doosara ghar le loonga, yah mera nishchay hai. kahin-n-kahin naukari mil hi jayegi. ye log samajhate hain ki main inaki rotiyon par pada hua hoon. isi se yah mizaj hai !’

main jitana hi unako samajhati thi, utana vah aur bapharate the. akhir mainne jhunjhalakar kaha—to tum akele jakar doosare ghar men raho. main n jaoongi. mujhe yahin padi rahane do.

anand ne meri or kathor netron se dekhakar kaha—yahi laten khana achchha lagata hai?

‘han, mujhe yahi achchha lagata hai.’

‘to tum khao, main nahin khana chahata. yahi fayada kya thoda hai ki tumhari durdasha aaunkhon se n dekhoonga, n pida hogi.’

‘alag rahane lagoge, to duniya kya kahegi.’

‘isaki paravah nahin. duniya andhi hai.’

‘log yahi kahenge ki stri ne yah maya phailayi hai.‘

‘isaki bhi paravah nahin, is bhay se apana jivan snkat men nahin dalana chahata.’

mainne rokar kaha—tum mujhe chhod doge, tumhen meri jara bhi muhabbat nahin hai. bahan, aur kisi samay is prem-agrah se bhare hue shabdon ne n jane kya kar diya hota. aise hi agrahon par riyasaten mitati hain, nate tootate hain, ramani ke pas isase badhakar doosara astr nahin. mainne anand ke gale men banhen dal di thin aur unake kandhe par sir rakhakar ro rahi thi. magar is samay anand baboo itane kathor ho gaye the ki yah agrah bhi un par kuchh asar n kar saka. jis mata n janm diya, usake prati itana rosh ! ham apani mata ki ek kadi bat nahin sah sakate, is atmabhiman ka koee thikana hai. yahi ve ashaऍn hain, jin par mata ne apane jivan ke sare sukh-vilas arpan kar diye the, din ka chain aur rat ki nind apane oopar haram kar li thi ! putr par mata ka itana bhi adhikar nahin !

anand ne usi avichalit kathorata se kaha—agar muhabbat ka yahi arth hai ki main is ghar men tumhari durgati karaoon, to mujhe vah muhabbat nahin hai.

prat:kal vah uthakar bahar jate hue mujhase bole—main jakar ghar thik kiye ata hoon. taaunga bhi leta aoonga, taiyar rahana.

mainne daravaza rokakar kaha—kya abhi tak krodh shant nahin hua?

‘krodh ki bat nahin, keval doosaron ke sir se apana bojh hata lene ki bat hai.’

‘yah achchha kam nahin kar rahe ho. socho, mata ji ko kitana du:kh hoga. sasuraji se bhi tumane kuchh poochha ?’

‘unase poochhane ki koee zaroorat nahin. karta-dharta jo kuchh hain, vah ammaaun hain. dadaji mitti ke londe hain.’

‘ghar ke svami to hain ?‘

‘tumhen chalana hai ya nahin, saf kaho.’

‘main to abhi n jaoongi.’

‘achchhi bat hai, lat khao.’

main kuchh nahin boli. anand ne ek kshan ke bad phir kaha—tumhare pas kuchh rupaye ho, to mujhe do.

mere pas rupaye the, magar mainne inakar kar diya. mainne samajha, shayad isi asamnjas men padakar vah rook jayn. magar unhonne bat man men than li thi. khinn hokar bole—achchhi bat hai, tumhare rupayon ke bagair bhi mera kam chal jayaga. tumhen yah vishal bhavan, yah sukh-bhog, ye naukar-chakar, ye that-bat mubarak hon. mere sath kyon bhookhon marogi. vahaaun yah sukh kahaaun ! mere prem ka mooly hi kya !

yah kahate hue vah chale gaye. bahan, kya kahoon, us samay apani bebasi par kitana du:kh ho raha tha. bas, yahi ji men ata tha ki yamaraj akar mujhe utha le jayen. mujhe kal-kalnkini ke karan mata aur putr men yah vaimanasy ho raha tha. jakar ammaaunji ke pairon par gir padi aur ro-rokar anand baboo ke chale jane ka samachar kaha. magar mataji ka hriday jara bhi n pasija. mujhe aj maloom hua ki mata bhi itani vajr-hridaya ho sakati hai. phir anand baboo ka hriday kyon n kathor ho. apani mata hi ke putr to hain.

mataji ne nirdayata se kaha—tum usake sath kyon n chali gayi ? jab vah kahata tha tab chala jana chahie tha. kaun jane, yahaaun main kisi din tumhen vish de doon.

mainne gidagidakar kaha—ammaaunji, unhen bula bhejie, apake pairon padati hoon. nahin to kahin chale jayenge.

ammaaun usi nirdayata se bolin—jay chahe rahe, vah mera kaun hai. ab to jo kuchh ho, tum ho, mujhe kaun ginata hai. aj jara-si bat par yah itana jhalla raha hai. aur meri ammanji ne mujhe saikadon hi bar pita hoga. main bhi chhokari n thi, tumhari hi umr ki thi, par majal n thi ki tumhare dadaji se kisi ke samane bol sakoon. kachcha hi kha jatin ! mar khakar rat-bhar roti rahati thi, par is tarah ghar chhodakar koee n bhagata tha. ajakal ke launde hi prem karana nahin janate, ham bhi prem karate the, par is tarah nahin ki maaun-bap, chhote-bade kisi ko kuchh n samajhen.

yah kahati huee mataji pooja karane chali gayi. main apane kamare men akar nasibon ko rone lagi. yahi shnka hoti thi ki anand kisi taraph ki rah n len. bar-bar ji masosata tha ki rupaye kyon n de diye. bechare idhar-udhar mare-mare phirate honge. abhi hath-munh bhi nahin dhoya, jalapan bhi nahin kiya. vakt par jalapan n karenge to, jukam ho jayega, aur unhen jukam hota hai, to hararat bhi ho jati hai. mahari se kaha—jara jakar dekh to babooji kamare men hain? usane akar kaha—kamare men to koee nahin, khoonti par kapade bhi nahin hai.

mainne poochha—kya aur bhi kabhi is tarah ammaaunji se roothe hain? mahari boli—kabhi nahin bahoo aisa sidha to mainne ladaka hi nahin dekha. malakin ke samane kabhi sir nahin uthate the. aj n-jane kyon chale ge.

mujhe asha thi ki dopahar ko bhojan ke samay vah a jayenge. lekin dopahar kaun kahe; sham bhi ho gayi aur unaka pati nahin. sari rat jagati rahi. dvar ki or kan lage hue the. magar rat bhi usi tarah gujar gayi. bahan, is prakar poore tin bit gaye. us vakt tum mujhe dekhatin, to pahachan n sakatin. rote-rote ankhen lal ho gayi thin. in tin dinon men ek pal bhi nahin soyi aur bhookh ka to zikr hi kya, pani tak n piya. pyas hi n lagati thi. maloom hota tha, deh men pran hi nahin hain. sare ghar men matam-sa chhaya hua tha. ammaaunji bhojan karane donon vakt jati thin, par munh jootha karake chali ati thi. donon nanadon ki hnsi aur chuhar bhi gayab ho gayi thi. chhoti nanadaji to mujhase apana aparadh kshama karane ayi.

chauthe din sabere rasoiye ne akar mujhase kaha—babooji to abhi mujhe dashashvamedh ghat par mile the. main unhen dekhate hi lapakakar unake pas a pahuncha aur bola—bhaiya, ghar kyon nahin chalate? sab log ghabadaye hue hain. bahooji ne tin din se pani tak piya. unaka hal bahut bura hai. yah sunakar vah kuchh soch men pad gaye, phir bole—bahooji ne kyon dana-pani chhod rakha hai? jakar kah dena, jis aram ke lie us ghar ko n chhod saki, usase kya itani jald ji-bhar gaya !

ammaaunji usi samay angan men a gayi. maharaj ki baton ki bhanak kanon men pad gayi, boli—kya hai alagoo, kya anand mila tha ?

maharaj—han, badi bahoo, abhi dashashvamedh ghat par mile the. mainne kaha—ghar kyon nahin chalate, to bole—us ghar men mera kaun baitha hua hai?

ammaaun—kaha nahin aur koee apana nahin hai, to stri to apani hai, usaki jan kyon lete ho?

maharaj—mainne bahut samajhaya badi bahoo, par vah tas-se-mas n hue.

ammaaun—karata kya hai?

maharaj—yah to mainne nahin poochha, par chehara bahut utara hua tha.

ammaaun—jyon-jyon tum boodhe hote ho, shayad sathiyate jate ho. itana to poochha hota, kahaaun rahate ho, kahaaun khate-pite ho. tumhen chahie tha, usaka hath pakad lete aur khinchakar le ate. magar tum nakamaharamon ko apane halave-mande se matalab, chahe koee mare ya jiye. donon vakt badh-badhakar hath marate ho aur moonchhon par tav dete ho. tumhen isaki kya paravah hai ki ghar men doosara koee khata hai ya nahin. main to paravah n karati, vah aye ya n aye. mera dharm palana-posana tha, pal pos diya. ab jahaaun chahe rahe. par is bahoo ka kya karoon, jo ro-rokar pran diye dalati hai. tumhen eeshvar ne ankhe di hain, usaki halat dekh rahe ho. kya munh se itana bhi n phoota ki bahoo ann jal tyag kiye padi huee.

maharaj—bahooji, narayan janate hain, mainne bahut tarah samajhaya, magar vah to jaise bhage jate the. phir main kya karata.

ammaaun—samajhaya nahin, apana sir. tum samajhate aur vah yonhi chala jata. kya sari lachchhedar baten mujhi se karane ko hai? is bahoo ko main kya kahoon. mere pati ne mujhase itani berookhi ki hoti, to main usaki soorat n dekhati. par, is par usane n-jane kaun-sa jadoo kar diya hai. aise udasiyon ko to kulata chahie, jo unhen tigani ka nach nachaye.

koee adh ghnte bad kahar ne akar kaha—babooji akar kamare men baithe hue hain.

mera kaleja dhak-dhak karane laga. ji chahata tha ki jakar pakad laoon, par ammaaunji ka hriday sachamuch vajr hai. boli—jakar kah de, yahaaun unaka kaun baitha hua hai, jo akar baithe hain !

mainne hath jodakar kaha—ammaaunji, unhen andar bula lijie, kahin phir n chale jaऍn.

ammaaun—yahaaun unaka kaun baitha hua hai, jo ayega. main to andar qadam n rakhane doongi.

ammaaunji to bigad rahi thi, udhar chhoti nanadaji jakar anand baboo ko layi. sachamuch unaka chehara utara hua tha, jaise mahinon ka mariz ho. nanadaji unhen is tarah khichen lati thi, jaise koee ladaki sasural ja rahi ho. ammaaunji ne muskarakar kaha—ise yahaaun kyon layin? yahaaun isaka kaun baitha hua hai?

anand sir jhukaye aparadhiyon ki bhaaunti khade the. jaban n khulati thi. ammaaunji ne phir poochha—char din se kahaaun the?

‘kahin nahi, yahin to tha.’

‘khoob chain se rahe hoge.’

‘ji haaun, koee takaliph n thi.’

‘vah to soorat hi se maloom ho raha hai.’

nanadaji jalapan ke lie mithaee layin. anand mithaee khate is tarah jhenp rahe the manon sasural aye hon, phir mataji unhen lie apane kamare men chali gayin. vahaaun adh ghnte tak mata aur putr men baten hoti rahi. main kan lagaye hue thi, par saf kuchh n sunayi deta tha. haaun, aisa maloom hota tha ki kabhi mataji roti hain aur kabhi annad. mataji jab pooja karane nikalin, to unaki ankhen lal thin. anand vahaaun se nikale, to sidhe mere kamare men aye. main unhen ate dekh chatapat munh dhaaunpakar charapaee par rahi, mano bekhabar so rahi hoon. vah kamare men aye, mujhe charapaee par pade dekha, mere samip akar ek bar dhire pukara aur laut pade. mujhe jagane ki himmat n padi. mujhe jo kasht ho raha tha, isaka ekamatr karan apane ko samajhakar vah man-hi-man du:khi ho rahe the. mainne anuman kiya tha, vah mujhe uthayenge, main man karoongi, vah manayenge, magar sare mnsoobe khak men mil ge. unhen lautate dekhakar mujhase n raha gaya. main hakabakakar uth baithi aur charapaee se niche utarane lagi, magar n-jane kyon, mere pair ladakhadaye aur aisa jan pada main giri jati hoon. sahasa anand ne pichhe phir kar mujhe snbhal liya aur bole—let jao, let jao, main kurasi par baitha jata hoon. yah tumane apani kya gati bana rakhi hai?

mainne apane ko snbhalakar kaha—main to bahut achchhi tarah hoon. apane kaise kasht kiya?

‘pahale tum kuchh bhojan kar lo, to pichhe main kuchh bat karoonga.’

‘mere bhojan ki apako kya fikr padi hai. ap to sair sapate kar rahe hain !’

‘jaise sair-sapate mainne kiye hain, mera dil janata hai. magar baten pichhe karoonga, abhi munh-hath dhokar kha lo. char din se pani tak munh men nahin dala. ram ! ram !’

‘yah apase kisane kaha ki mainne char din se pani tak munh men nahin dala. jab apako meri paravah n thi, to main kyon dana-pani chhodati?’

‘vah to soorat hi kahe deti hain. phool se… murajha gaye.’

‘jara apani soorat jakar aine men dekhie.’

‘main pahale hi kaun bada sundar tha. thoonth ko pani mile to kya aur n mile to kya. main n janata tha ki tum yah anashan-vrat le logi, nahin to eeshvar janata hai, ammaaun mar-marakar bhagatin, to bhi n jata.’

mainne tiraskar ki drishti se dekhakar kaha—to kya sachamuch tum samajhe the ki main yahan keval aram ke vichar se rah gayi?

anand ne jaldi se apani bhool sudhari—nahin, nahin priye, main itana gadha nahin hoon, par yah main kadapi n samajhata tha ki tum bilakul dana-pani chhod dogi. badi kushal huee ki mujhe maharaj mil gaya, nahin to tum pran hi de deti. ab aisi bhool kabhi n hogi. kan pakadata hoon. ammaaunji tumhara bakhan kar-karake roti rahi.

mainne prasann hokar kaha—tab to meri tapasya saphal ho gayi.

‘thoda-sa doodh pi lo, to baten hon. jane kitani baten karani hai.

‘pi loongi, aisi kya jaldi hai.’

‘jab tak tum kuchh kha n logi, main yahi samajhoonga ki tumane mera aparadh kshama nahin kiya.’

‘main bhojan jabhi karoongi, jab tum yah pratigya karo ki phir kabhi is tarah roothakar n jaoge.’

‘main sachche dil se yah pratigya karata hoon.’

bahan, tin din kasht to hua, par mujhe usake lie jara bhi pachhatava nahin hai. in tin dinon ke anashan ne dilon me jo saphaee kar di, vah kisi doosari vidhi se kadapi n hoti. ab mujhe vishvas hai ki hamara jivan shanti se vyatit hoga. apane samachar shighr, ati shighr likhana.

tumhari

chanda

13


dilli

20-2-26

pyari bahan,

tumhara patr padhakar mujhe tumhare oopar daya ayi. tum mujhe kitana hi bura kaho, par main apani yah durgati kisi tarah n sah sakati, kisi tarah nahin. mainne ya to apane pran hi de diye hote, ya phir us sas ka munh n dekhati. tumhara sidhapan, tumhari sahanashilata, tumhari sas-bhakti tumhen mubarak ho. main to turant anand ke sath chali jati aur chahe bhikh hi kyon n mangani padati us ghar men qadam n rakhati. mujhe tumhare oopar daya hi nahin ati, krodh bhi ata hai, isalie ki tumamen svabhiman nahin hai. tum-jaisi striyon ne hi sason aur purushon ka mizaj asaman chadha diya hai. ‘jahannum men jay aisa ghar—jahaaun apani ijjat nahin.’ main pati-prem bhi in damon n loon. tumhen unnisavi sadi men janm lena chahie tha. us vakt tumhare gunon ki prashnsa hoti. is svadhinata aur nari-svatv ke navayug men tum keval prachin itihas ho. yah sita aur damayanti ka yug nahin. purushon ne bahut dinon tak rajy kiya. ab stri-jati ka rajy hoga. magar ab tumhen adhik n kosoongi.

ab mera hal suno. mainne socha tha, patron men apani bimari ka samachar chhapava doongi. lekin phir khyal aya; yah samachar chhapate hi mitron ka taaunta lag jayega. koee mizaj poochhane ayega. koee dekhane ayega. phir main koee rani to hoon nahin, jisaki bimari ka buletin rojana chhapa jay. n jane logon ke dil men kaise-kaise vichar utpann hon. yah sochakar mainne patr men chhapavane ka vichar chhod diya. din-bhar mere chitt ki kya dasha rahi, likh nahin sakati. kabhi man men ata, zahar kha loon, kabhi sochati, kahin ud jaoon. vinod ke sambandh men bhaaunti-bhaaunti ki shnkaऍn hone lagin. ab mujhe aisi kitani hi baten yad ane lagin, jab mainne vinod ke prati udasinata ka bhav dikhaya tha. main unase sab kuchh lena chahati thi; dena kuchh n chahati thi. main chahati thi ki vah athon pahar bhramar ki bhaaunti mujh par mndarate rahen, patng ki bhaaunti mujhe ghere rahen. unhen kitabo aur patron men magn baithe dekhakar mujhe jhunjhalahat hone lagati thi. mera adhikansh samay apane hi banav-singar men katata tha, unake vishay men mujhe koee chinta hi n hoti thi. ab mujhe maloom hua ki seva ka mahatv roop se kahin adhik hai. roop man ko mugdh kar sakata hai, par atma ko anand pahunchane vali koee doosari hi vastu hai.

is tarah ek haphta gujar gaya. main prat:kal maike jane ki taiyariyan kar rahi thi—yah ghar phade khata tha—ki sahasa dakiye ne mujhe ek patr lakar diya. mera hriday dhak-dhak karane laga. mainne kaaunpate hue hathon se patr liya, par siraname par vinod ki parichit hastalipi n thi, lipi kisi stri ki thi, isamen sandeh n tha, par main usase sarvatha aparichit thi. mainne turant patr khola aur niche ki taraph dekha to chaunk padi—vah kusum ka patr tha. mainne ek hi sans men sara patr padh liya. likha tha—‘bahan, vinod baboo tin din yahaaun rahakar bambee chale gaye. shayad vilayat jana chahate hain. tin-char din bambee rahenge. mainne bahut chaha taki unhen dilli vapas kar doon, par vah kisi tarah n raji hue. tum unhen niche likhe pate se tar de do. mainne unase yah pata poochh liya tha. unhonne mujhe takid kar di thi ki is pate ko gupt rakhana, lekin tumase kya parada. tum turant tar de do, shayad rook jaya. vah bat kya huee ! mujhase vinod ne to bahut poochhane par bhi nahin bataya, par vah du:khi bahut the. aise adami ko bhi tum apana n bana saki, isaka mujhe ashchary hai; par mujhe isaki pahale hi shnka thi. roop aur garv men dipak aur prakash ka sambandh hai. garv roop ka prakash hai.’…

mainne patr rakh diya aur usi vakt vinod ke nam tar bhej diya ki bahut bimar hoon, turant ao. mujhe asha thi ki vinod tar dvara javab denge, lekin sara din gujar gaya aur koee javab n aya. bngale ke samane se koee saikil nikalati, to main turant usaki or takane lagati thin ki shayad tar ka chaparasi ho. rat ko bhi main tar ka intajar karati rahi. tab mainne apane man ko is vichar se shant kiya ki vinod a rahe hain, isalie tar bhejane ki zaroorat n samajhi.

ab mere man men phir shakaen uthane lagi. vinod kusum ke pas kyon gaye, kahin kusum se unhen prem to nahin hain? kahin usi prem ke karan to vah mujhase virakt nahin ho gaye? kusum koee kaushal to nahin kar rahi hain? use vinod ko apane ghar thaharane ka adhikar hi kya tha? is vichar se mera man bahut kshubdh ho utha. kusum par krodh ane laga. avashy donon men bahut dinon se patr-vyavahar hota raha hoga. mainne phir kusum ka patr padha aur abaki usake pratyek shabd men mere lie kuchh sochane ki samagri rakhi huee thi. nishchay kiya ki kusum ko ek patr likhakar khoob kosoon. adha patr likh bhi dala, par use phad dala. usi vakt vinod ko ek patr likha. tumase kabhi bhent hogi, to vah patr dikhalaoongi; jo kuchh munh men aya bak dala. lekin is patr ki bhi vahi dasha huee jo kusum ke patr ki huee thi. likhane ke bad maloom hua ki vah kisi vikshapt hriday ki bakavad hai. mere man men yahi bat baithati jati thi vah kusum ke pas hain. vahi chhalini un par apana jadoo chala rahi hai. yah din bhi bit gaya. dakiya kee bar aya, par mainne usaki or aaunkh bhi nahin uthayi. chanda, main nahin kah sakati, mera hriday kitana tilatamila raha tha. agar kusum is samay mujhe mil jati, to main n-jane kya kar dalati.

rat ko lete-lete khyal aya, kahin vah yoorop n chale gaye hon. ji baichen ho utha. sir men aisa chakkar ane laga, manon pani men doobi jati hoon. agar vah yoorop chale gaye, to phir koee asha nahin—main usi vakt uthi aur ghadi par najar dali. do baje the. naukar ko jagaya aur tar-ghar ja pahunchi. babooji kurasi par lete-lete so rahe the. badi mushkil se unaki nind khuli. mainne rasidi tar diya. jab babooji tar de chuke, to mainne poochha— isaka javab kab tak ayega?

baboo ne kaha—yah prashn kisi jyotishi se kijie. kaun janata hai, vah kab javab den. tar ka chaparasi jabaradasti to unase javab nahin likha sakata. agar koee aur karan n ho, to ath-nau baje tak javab a jana chahie.

ghabarahat men adami ki buddhi palayan kar jati hai. aisa nirarthak prashn karake main svayn lajjit ho gayi. babooji ne apane man men mujhe kitana moorkh samajha hoga; khair, main vahin ek bench par baith gayi aur tumhen vishvas n ayega, nau baje tak vahin baithi rahi. socho, kitane ghnte hue? poore sat ghnte. saikadon adami aye aur gaye, par main vahin jami baithi rahi. jab tar ka dami khatakata, mere hriday men dhadakan hone lagati. lekin is bhay se ki babooji jhalla n uthen, kuchh poochhane ka sahas n karati thin. jab daftar ki ghadi men nau baje, to mainne darate-darate baboo se poochha—kya abhi tak javab nahin aya.

baboo ne kaha— ap to yahin baithi hain, javab ata to kya main kha dalata? mainne behayaee karake phir poochha—to kya ab n avega? baboo ne munh pherakar kaha—aur—do-char ghnte baithi rahie.

bahan, yah vagban shar ke saman hriday men laga. ankhe bhar ayin. lekin phir main vah tali nahin. ab bhi asha bndhi huee thi ki shayad javab ata ho. jab do ghnte aur gujar gaye, tab main nirash ho gayi. hay ! vinod ne mujhe kahin ka n rakha. main ghar chali, to aaunkhen se ansuon ki jhadi lagi huee thi. rasta n soojhata tha.

sahasa pichhe se ek motar ka harn sunayi diya. main raste se hat gayi. us vakt man men aya, isi motar ke niche let jaaunoo aur jivan ka ant kar doon. mainne aaunkhe ponchhakar motar ki or dekha, bhuvan baitha hua tha aur usaki bagal men baithi thi kusum ! aisa jan pada, agni ki jvala mere pairon se samakar sir se nikal gayi. main un donon ki nigahon se bachana chahati thi, lekin motar rook gayi aur kusum utar kar mere gale se lipat gayi. bhuvan chupachap motar men baitha raha, mano mujhe janata hi nahin. nirdayi, dhoort !

kusum ne poochha—main to tumhare pas jati thi, bahan? vahaaun se koee khabar ayi? mainne bat talane ke lie kaha—tum kab ayin?

bhuvan ke samane main apani vipatti-katha n kahana chahati thi.

kusum—ao, kar men baith jao.

‘nahin, main chali jaungi. avakash mile, to ek bar chali ana.’

kusum ne mujhase agrah n kiya. kar men baithakar chal di. main khadi takati rah gayi ! yah vahi kusum hai ya koee aur? kitana bada antar ho gaya hai?

main ghar chali, to sochane lagi—bhuvan se isaki jan-pahachan, kaise huee? kahin aisa to nahin hai ki vinod ne ise meri toh lene ko bheja ho ! bhuvan se mere vishay men kuchh poochhane to nahin ayi hain?

main ghar pahunchakar baithi hi thi ki kusum a pahunchi. ab ki vah motar men akeli n thi—vinod baithe hue the. main unhe dekhakar thithak gayi ! chahie to yah tha ki main daudakar unaka hath pakad leti aur motar se atar lati, lekin main jagah se hili tak nahin. moorti ki bhanti achal baithi rahi. meri manini prakriti apana uddand-svaroop dikhane ke lie vikal ho uthi. ek kshan men kusum ne vinod ko utara aur unaka hath pakade huye le ayi. us vakt mainne dekha ki vinod ka mukh bilakul pila pad gaya hai aur vah itane ashakt ho gaye hain ki apane sahare khade bhi nahin rah sakate, mainne ghabarakar poochha, kyon tumhara yah kya hal hai?

kusum ne kaha—hal pichhe poochhana, jara inaki chaupaee chatapat bichha do aur thoda-sa doodh mngava lo.

mainne turant charapaee bichhayi aur vinod ko us par leta diya. aur doodh to rakha hua tha. kusum is vakt meri svamini bani huee thi. main usake ishare par nach rahi thi. chanda, is vakt mujhe gyat hua ki kusum par vinod ko jitana vishvas hai, vah mujh par nahin. main is yogy hoon hi nahin. mera dil saikadon prashn poochhane ke lie tadaphada raha tha, lekin kusum ek pal ke lie bhi vinod ke pas se ne talati thi. main itani moorkh hoon ki avasar pane par is dasha men bhi main vinod se prashnon ka taaunta baaundh deti.

vinod ko jab nind a gayi, mainne aaunkho men aaunsoo bharakar kusum se poochha—bahan, inhen kya shikayat hai? mainne tar bheja. usaka javab nahin aya. rat do baje ek zaroori aur javabi tar bheja. das baje tak tar-ghar baithi javab ki rah dekhati rahi. vahin se laut rahi thi, jab tum raste men mili. yah tumhe kahaaun mil gaye?

kusum mera hath pakadakar doosare kamare men le gayi aur boli—pahale tum yah bataon ki bhuvan ka kya muamala tha? dekho, saph, kahana.

mainne apatti karate hue kaha—kusum, tum yah prashn poochhakar mere sath anyay kar rahi ho. tumhen khud samajh lena chahie tha ki is bat men koee sar nahin hai ! vinod ko keval bhram ho gaya.

‘bina kisi karan ke?’

‘haaun, meri samajh men to koee karan n tha.’

‘main ise nahin manati. yah kyon nahin kahatin ki vinod ko jalane, chidhane aur jagane ke lie tumane yah svaaung racha tha.’

kusum ki soojh par chakit hokar mainne kaha—vah to keval dillagi thi.

‘tumhare lie dillagi thi, vinod ke lie vajrapat tha. tumane itane dinon unake sath rahakar bhi unhen nahin samajha ! tumhen apane banav-snvar ke age unhen samajhane ki kahaaun phurasat ? kadachith tum samajhati ho ki tumhari yah mohani moorti hi sab kuchh hai. main kahati hoon, isaka mooly do-char mahine ke lie ho sakata hai. sthayi vastu kuchh aur hi hai.’

mainne apani bhool svikar karate hue kaha—vinod ko mujhase kuchh poochhana to chahie tha?

kusum ne hnsakar kaha—yahi to vah nahin kar sakate. tumase aisi bat poochhana unake lie asambhav hai. vah un praniyon men hai, jo stri ki aaunkhen se girakar jite nahin rah sakate. stri ya purush kisi ke lie bhi vah kisi prakar ka dharmik ya naitik bandhan nahin rakhana chahate. vah pratyek prani ke lie poorn svadhinata ke samarthak hain. man aur ichchha ke siva vah koee bndhan svikar nahin karate. is vishay par meri unase khoob baten huee hain. khair—mera pata unhen maloom tha hi, yahaaun se sidhe mere pas pahunche. main samajh gee ki apas men pati nahin. mujhe tumhin par sandeh hua.

mainne poochha—kyon? mujh par tumhen kyon sandeh hua?

‘isalie ki main tumhe pahale dekh chuki thi.’

‘ab to tumhen mujh par sandeh nahin.’

‘nahin, magar isaka karan tumhara snyam nahin, parampara hai. main is samay spasht baten kar rahin hoon, isake lie kshama karana.’

‘nahin, vinod se tumhen jitana prem hai, usase adhik apane-apase hai. kam-se-kam das din pahale yahi bat thi. anyatha yah naubat hi kyon ati? vinod yahaaun se sidhe mere pas gaye aur do-tin din rahakar bambee chale gaye. mainne bahut poochha, par kuchh batalaya nahin. vahaaun unhonne ek din vish kha liya.’

mere chehare ka rng ud gaya.

‘bambee pahunchate hi unhonne mere pas ek khat likha tha. usamen yahaaun ki sari baten likhi thin aur ant men likha tha—main is jivan se tng a gaya hoon, ab mere lie maut ke siva aur koee upay nahin hai.’

mainne ek thndi sans li.

‘main yah patr pakar ghabara gayi aur usi vakt bambee ravana ho gayi. jab vahaaun pahunchi, to vinod ko maranasann paya. jivan ki koee asha nahin thi. mere ek sambandhi vahaaun daktari karate hain. unhen lakar dikhaya to vah bole—inhonne zahar kha liya hai. turant dava di gayi. tin din tak daktar sahab n din-ko-din aur rat-ko-rat n samajha, aur main to ek kshan ke lie vinod ke pas se n hati. bare tisare din inaki aaunkh khuli. tumhara pahala tar mujhe mila tha, par usaka javab dene ki kise phurasat thi? tin din aur bambee rahana pada. vinod itane kamazor ho gaye the ki itana lamba saphar karinaunake lie asambhav tha. chauthe din mainne jab unase yahaaun ane ka prastav kiya, to bole—main ab vahaaun n jaoonga. jab mainne bahut samajhaya, tab is shart par raji hue taki main pahale akar yahaaun ki paristhiti dekh jaoon.’

mere munh se nikala—‘ha ! eeshvar, main aisi abhagini hoon.’

‘abhagini nahin ho bahan, keval tumane vinod ko samajha n tha. vah chahate the ki main akeli jaoon, par mainne unhen is dasha men vahaau chhodana uchit n samajha. parason ham donon vahaaun chale. yahaaun pahunchakar vinod to veting-room men thahar gaye, main pata poochhati huee bhuvan ke pas pahunchi. bhuvan ko mainne itana phatakara ki vah ro pada. usane mujhase yahaaun tak kah dala ki tumane use buri tarah dutkar diya hai. ankhon ka bura adami hai, par dil ka bura nahin. udhar se jab mujhe santosh ho gaya aur raste men tumase bhent ho jane par raha-saha bhram bhi door ho gaya, to main vinod ko tumhare pas layi. ab tumhari vastu tumhen saupatin hoon. mujhe asha hai, is durghatana ne tumhen itana sachet kar diya hoga ki phir naubat n ayegi. atmasamarpan karana sikho. bhool jao ki tum sundari ho, anandamay jivan ka yahi mool mntr hai. main ding nahin marati, lekin chahoon to aj vinod ko tumase chhin sakati hoon. lekin roop men main tumhare taluon ke barabar bhi nahin. roop ke sath agar tum seva-bhav dharan kar sako, to tum ajey ho jaogi.’

main kusum ke pairon par gir padi aur roti huee boli—bahan, tumane mere sath jo upakar kiya hai, usake lie marate dam tak tumhari rini rahoongi. tumane n sahayata ki hoti, to aj n-jane kya gati hoti.

bahan, kusum kal chali jayagi. mujhe to ab vah devi-si dikhati hai. ji chahata hai, usake charan dho-dhokar pioon. usake hathon mujhe vinod hi nahin mile hain, seva ka sachcha adarsh aur stri ka sachcha karttavy-gyan bhi mila hai. aj se mere jivan ka navayug arambh hota hai, jisamen bhog aur vilas ki nahin, sahridayata aur atmiyata ki pradhanata hogi.

tumhari,

padma

tika tippani aur sndarbh

bahari kadiyan

snbndhit lekh

varnamala kramanusar lekh khoj

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