प्रायश्चित -प्रेमचंद  हिन्दी देवनागरी में पढ़ें।

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

daftar men jara der se ana aphasaron ki shan hai. jitana hi bada adhikari hota hai, uttari hi der men ata hai; aur utane hi sabere jata bhi hai. chaparasi ki hajiri chaubison ghnte ki. vah chhutti par bhi nahin ja sakata. apana evaj dena padata he. khair, jab bareli jila-bord ke hed klark baboo madarilal gyarah baje daftar aye, tab mano daftar nind se jag utha. chaparasi ne daud kar pairagadi li, aradali ne daudakar kamare ki chik utha di aur jamadar ne dak ki kisht mej par la kar rakh di. madarilal ne pahala hi sarakari liphapha khola tha ki unaka rng phak ho gaya. ve kee minat tak ashcharyanvit halat men khade rahe, mano sari gyanendriyaaun shithil ho gayi hon. un par bade-bade aghat ho chuke the; par itane bahadavas ve kabhi n hue the. bat yah thi ki bord ke sekretari ki jo jagah ek mahine se khali thi, sarakar ne subodhachandr ko vah jagah di thi aur subodhachandr vah vyakti tha, jisake nam hi se madarilal ko ghrina thi. vah subodhachandr, jo unaka sahapathi tha, jis jak dene ko unhonne kitani hi cheshta ki; par kabhari saphal n hue the. vahi subodh aj unaka aphasar hokar a raha tha. subodh ki idhar kee salon se koee khabar n thi. itana maloom tha ki vah fauj men bharati ho gaya tha. madarilal ne samajha—vahin mar gaya hoga; par aj vah manon ji utha aur sekretari hokar a raha tha. madarilal ko usaki matahati men kam karana padega. is apaman se to mar jana kahin achchha tha. subodh ko skool aur kalej ki sari baten avashy hi yad hongi. madarilal ne use kalej se nikalava dene ke lie kee bar mntr chalae, jhoothe aroj kiye, badanam kiya. kya subodh sab kuchh bhool gaya hoga? nahin, kabhi nahin. vah ate hi purani kasar nikalega. madari baboo ko apani pranaraksha ka koee upay n soojhata tha.

madari aur subodh ke grahon men hi virodh than donon ek hi din, ek hi shala men bharati hue the, aur pahale hi din se dil men eershya aur dvesh ki vah chinagari pad gayi, jo aj bis varsh bitane par bhi n bujhi thi. subodh ka aparadh yahi tha ki vah madarilal se har ek bat men badha hua than dil-daul,rng-roop, riti-vyavahar, vidya-buddhi ye sare maidan usake hath the. madarilal ne usaka yah aparadh kabhi kshama nahin kiyan subodh bis varsh tak nirantar unake hriday ka kaaunta bana raha. jab subodh digri lekar apane ghar chala gaya aur madari phel hokar is daftar men naukar ho gaye, tab unaka chit shant hua. kintu jab yah maloom hua ki subodh basare ja raha hai, jab to madarilal ka chehara khil utha. unake dil se vah purani phaauns nikal gayi. par ha hatabhagy! aj vah purana nasoor shatagun tis aur jalan ke sath khul gaya. aj unaki kismat subodh ke hath men thi. eeshvar itana anyayi hai! vidhi itana kathor!

jab jara chit shant hua, tab madari ne daftar ke klarko ko sarakari hukm sunate hue kaha—ab ap log jara hath-paaunv snbhal kar rahiega. subodhachandr ve adami nahin hen, jo bhoolo ko ksham kar den?

ek klark ne poochha—kya bahut sakht hai.

madarilal ne muskara kar kaha—vah to ap logon ko do-char din hi men maloom ho jaega. mai apane munh se kisi ki kyon shikayat karoon? bas, chetavani dedi ki jara hath-paaunv snbhal kar rahiega. adami yogy hai, par bada hi krodhi, bada dambhi. gussa to usaki nak par rahata hai. khud hajaron hajam kar jae aur dakar tak n le; par kya majal ki koihr matahat ek kaudi bhi hajam karane jaee. aise adami se eeshvar hi bachaye! men to soch rah hoon ki chhutti lekar ghar chala jaoon. donon vakt ghar par hajiri bajani hogi. ap log aj se sarakar ke naukar nahin, sekratari sahab ke naukar hain. koee unake ladake ko padhayega. koee bazar se sauda-suluph layega aur koee unhen akhabar sunayega. or chaparasiyon ke to shayad daftar men darshan hi n hon.

is prakar sare daftar ko subodhachandr ki taraph se bhadaka kar madarilal ne apana kaleja thnda kiya.

2

isake ek saptah bad subodhachandr gadi se utare, tab steshan par daftar ke sab karmachariyon ko hajir paya. sab unaka svagat karane aye the. madarilal ko dekhate hi subodh lapak kar unake gale se lipat gaye aur bole—tum khoob mile bhaee. yahan kaise aye? oh! aj ek yug ke bad bhent huee!

madarilal bole—yahan jila-bord ke daftar men hed klark hoon. ap to kushal se hai?

subodh—aji, meri n poochho. basara, phrans, mishr aur n-jane kahaaun-kahan mara-mara phira. tum daftar men ho, yah bahut hi achchha hua. meri to samajh hi me n ata tha ki kaise kam chalega. main to bilakul kora hoon; magar jahan jata hoon, mera saubhagy hi mere sath jata hai. basare men sabhi aphasar khoosh the. phans men bhi khoob chain kiye. do sal men koee pachis hazar rupaye bana laya aur sab uda diya. taaun se akar kuchh dinon ko-apareshan daftar men mataragasht karata raha. yahan aya tab tum mil gaye. (klarko ko dekh kar) ye log kaun hain?

madarilal ke hriday men bachhinya-si chal rahi thin. dusht pachis hazar rupaye basare men kama laya! yahan kalam ghisate-ghisate mar gaye aur panch sau bhi n jama kar sake. bole—karmachari hen. salam karane aye hai.

sabodh ne un sab logon se bari-bari se hath milaya aur bola—ap logon ne vyarth yah kasht kiya. bahut abhari hoon. mujhe asha he ki ap sab sajjanon ko mujhase koee shikayat n hogi. mujhe apana aphasar nahin, apana bhaee samajhie. ap sab log mil kar is tarah kam kijie ki bord ki nekanami ho aur main bhi sukharroo rahoon. apake hed klark sahab to mere purane mitr aur lngotiya yar hai.

ek vakachatur klakr ne kaha—ham sab huzoor ke tabedar hain. yathashakti apako asntusht n karenge; lekinah adami hi hai, agar koee bhool ho bhi jae, to huzoor use kshama karenge.

subodh ne namrata se kaha—yahi mera siddhant hai aur hamesha se yahi siddhant raha hai. jahan raha, matahaton se mitron ka-sa bartav kiya. ham aur ap donon hi kisi tisare ke gulam hain. phir rob kaisa aur aphasari kaisi? han, hamen nekaniyat ke sath apana kartavy palan karana chahie.

jab subodh se vida hokar karmachari log chale, tab apas men baten honi lagin—

‘adami to achchha maloom hota hai.‘

‘hed klark ke kahane se to aisa maloom hota tha ki sabako kachcha hi kha jayaga.‘

‘pahale sabhi aise hi baten karate hai.‘

‘ye dikhane ke daaunt hai.‘

3

subodh ko aye ek mahina gujar gaya. bord ke klark, aradali, chaparasi sabhi usake barvav se khush hain. vah itana prasannachit hai, itana namr he ki jo usase ek bar mila he, sadaiv ke lie usaka mitr ho jata hai. kathor shabd to unaki jaban par ata hi nahin. inakar ko bhi vah apriy nahin hone deta; lekin dvesh ki ankhon mengun or bhi bhaynkar ho jata hai. subodh ke ye sare sadagun madarilal ki ankhon men khatakate rahate hen. usake viruddh koee n koee gupt shadayntr rachate hi rahate hen. pahale karmachariyon ko bhadakana chaha, saphal n hue. bord ke membaron ko bhadakana chaha, munh ki khayi. thekedaron ko ubharane ka bida uthaya, lajjit hona pada. ve chahate the ki bhus men ag laga kar door se tamasha dekhen. subodh se yon hns kar milate, yon chikani-chupadi baten karate, manon usake sachche mitr hai, par ghat men lage rahate. subodh men sab gun the, par adami pahachanana n janate the. ve madarilal ko ab bhi apana dost samajhate hain.

ek din madarilal sekratari sahab ke kamare men ge tab kursi khali dekhi. ve kisi kam se bahar chale ge the. unaki mej par paaunch hazar ke not pulidon men bndhe hue rakhe the. bord ke madarason ke lie kuchh lakadi ke saman banavaye gaye the. usi ke dam the. thekedar vasooli ke lie bulaya gaya than aj hi sekretari sahab ne chek bhej kar khazane se rupaye magavaye the. madarilal ne baramade men jhaaunk kar dekha, subodh ka kahin jata nahin. unaki niyat badal gayi. rdarshya men lobh ka sammishran ho gaya. kaaunpate hue hathon se pulinde uthaye; pataloon ki donon jebon men bhar kar turant kamare se nikale or chaparasi ko pukar kar bole—baboo ji bhitar hai? chaparasi ap thekedar se kuchh vasool karane ki khushi men phoola hua than samane vale tamoli ke dookan se akar bola—ji nahin, kachahari men kisi se baten kar rahe hai. abhi-abhi to gaye hain.

madarilal ne daftar men akar ek klark se kaha—yah misil le jakar sekretari sahab ko dikhao.

klark misil lekar chala gaya. jara der men laut kar bola—sekretari sahab kamare men n the. phail mej par rakh aya hoon.

madarilal ne munh sikod kar kaha—kamara chhod kar kahan chale jaea karate hain? kisi din dhokha uthayenge.

klark ne kaha—unake kamare men daphtavalon ke siva aur jata hi kaun hai?

madarilal ne tivr svar men kaha—to kya daftaravale sab ke sab devata hain? kab kisaki niyat badal jae, koee nahin kah sakata. mainne chhoti-chhoti rakamon par achchhon-achchhon ki niyaten badalate dekhi hain.is vakt ham sabhi sah hain; lekin avasar pakar shayad hi koee chooke. manushy ki yahi prakriti hai. ap jakar unake kamare ke donon daravaze band kar dijie.

klark ne tal kar kaha—chaparasi to daravaze par baitha hua hai.

madarilal ne jhunjhala kar kaha—ap se mai jo kahata hoon, vah kijie. kahane lagen, chaparasi baitha hua hai. chaparasi koee rishi hai, muni hai? chaparasi hi kuchh uda de, to ap usaka kya kar lenge? jamanat bhi hai to tin sau ki. yahan ek-ek kagaz lakhon ka hai.

yah kah kar madarilal khud uthe aur daftar ke dvar donon taraph se band kar diye. jab chith shant hua tab noton ke pulinde jeb se nikal kar ek alamari men kagajon ke niche chhipa kar rakh diyen phir akar apane kam men vyast ho gaye.

subodhachandr koee ghnte-bhar men laute. tab unake kamare ka dvar band tha. daftar men akar muskarate hue bole—mera kamara kisane band kar diya hai, bhaee kya meri bedakhali ho gayi?

madarilal ne khade hokar mridu tiraskar dikhate hue kaha—sahab, gustakhi maph ho, ap jab kabhi bahar jaen, chahe ek hi minat ke lie kyon n ho, tab daravaza-band kar diya karen. apaki mej par rupaye-paise aur sarakari kagaj-patr bikhare pade rahate hain, n jane kis vakt kisaki niyat badal jae. mainne abhi suna ki ap kahin gaye hain, jab daravaze band kar diye.

subodhachandr dvar khol kar kamare men gaye or sigar pine lagen mej par not rakhe hue hai, isake khabar hi n thi.

sahasa thekedar ne akar salam kiyan subodh kursi se uth baithe aur bole—tumane bahut der kar di, tumhara hi intajar kar raha tha. das hi baje rupaye mngava liye the. rasid likhava laye ho n?

thekedar—huzoor rasid likhava laya hoon.

subodh—to apane rupaye le jao. tumhare kam se main bahut khush nahin hoon. lakadi tumane achchhi nahin lagayi aur kam men saphaee bhi nahin he. agar aisa kam phir karonge, to thekedaron ke rajistar se tumhara nam nikal diya jayaga.

yah kah kar subodh ne mej par nigah dali, tab noton ke pulinde n the. socha, shayad kisi phail ke niche dab gaye hon. kurasi ke samip ke sab kagaz ulat-pulat dale; magar noto ka kahin pata nahin. ain not kahan gaye! abhi to yahi mene rakh diye the. ja kahan sakate hen. phir phailon ko ulatane- pulatane lage. dil men jara-jara dhadakan hone lagi. sari mej ke kagaz chhan dale, pulindon ka pata nahin. tab ve kurasi par baithakar is adh ghnte men hone vali ghatanaon ki man men alochana karane lage—chaparasi ne noton ke pulinde lakar mujhe diye, khoob yad hai. bhala, yah bhi bhoolane ki bat hai aur itani jald! maine noton ko lekar yahin mej par rakh diya, gina tak nahin. phir vakil sahab a gaye, purane mulakati hain. unase baten karata jara us ped tak chala gaya. unhonne pan mngavaye, bas itani hi der rhu. jab gaya hoon tab pulinde rakhe hue the. khoob achchhi tarah yad hai. tab ye not kahan gayab ho gaye? mainne kisi sndook, daraj ya alamari men nahin rakhe. phir gaye to kahan? shayad daftar men kisi ne savadhani ke lie utha kar rakh diye hon, yahi bat hai. main vyarth hi itana ghabara gaya. chhi:!

turant daftar men akar madarilal se bole—apane meri mej par se not to utha kar nahin rakh diy?

madarilal ne bhaunchakke hokar kaha—kya apaki mej par not rakhe hue the? mujhe to khabar hi nahin. abhi pndit sohanalal ek phail lekar gaye the, tab apako kamare men n dekha. jab mujhe maloom hua ki ap kisi se baten karane chale gaye hain, vab daravaze band kara diye. kya kuchh not nahin mil rahe hai?

subodh ankhen phaila kar bole—are sahab, poore paaunch hazar ke hai. abhi-abhi chek bhunaya hai.

madarilal ne sir pit kar kaha—poore panch hajar! ha bhagavan! apane mej par khoob dekh liya hai?

‘aji pndrah minat se talash kar raha hoon.’

‘chaparasi se poochh liya ki kaun-kaun aya tha?’

‘aie, jara ap log bhi talash kijie. mere to hosh ude hue hai.’

sara daftar sekretari sahab ke kamare ki talashi lene laga. mej, alamariyaaun, sndook sab dekhe gaye. rajistaron ke vark ulat-pulat kar denkhe gaye; magar noton ka kahin pata nahin. koee uda le gaya, ab isamen koee shabaha n tha. subodh ne ek lambi saauns li aur kursi par baith gaye. chehare ka rng phak ho gaya. jar-sa munh nikal aya. is samay koee unhe dekhat to samajhata ki mahinon se bimar hai.

madarilal ne sahanubhooti dikhate hue kaha— gajab ho gaya aur kya! aj tak kabhi aisa andher n hua tha. mujhe yahan kam karate das sal ho gaye, kabhi dhele ki chiz bhi gayab n huee. main apako pahale din savadhan kar dena chahata tha ki rupaye-paise ke vishay men hoshiyar rahiega; magar shudani thi, khyal n raha. zaroor bahar se koee adami aya aur not uda kar gayab ho gaya. chaparasi ka yahi aparadh hai ki usane kisi ko kamare men jone hi kyon diya. vah lakh kasam khaye ki bahar se koee nahin aya; lekin men ise man nahin sakata. yahan se to keval pandit sohanalal ek phail lekar gaye the; magar daravaze hi se jhaaunk kar chale aye.

sohanalal ne saphaee di—mainne to andar qadam hi nahin rakha, sahab! apane javan bete ki kasam khata hoon, jo andar qadam rakha bhi ho.

madarilal ne matha sikodakar kaha—ap vyarth men kasam kyon khate hain. koee apase kuchh kahata? (subodh ke kan men)baink men kuchh rupaye hon to nikal kar thekedar ko de liye jaen, varana badi badanami hogi. nukasan to ho hi gaya, ab usake sath apaman kyon ho.

subodh ne karoon-svar men kaha— baink men mushkil se do-char sau rupaye honge, bhaeejan! rupaye hote to kya chinta thi. samajh leta, jaise pachis hazar ud gaye, vaise hi tis hazar bhi ud gaye. yahan to kafan ko bhi kaudi nahin.

usi rat ko subodhachandr ne atmahatya kar li. itane rupayon ka prabandh karana unake lie kathin tha. mrityu ke parade ke siva unhen apani vedana, apani vivashata ko chhipane ki aur koee ad n thi.

4

doosare din prat: chaparasi ne madarilal ke ghar pahunch kar avaz din madari ko rat-bhar nind n ayi thi. ghabara kar bahar ay. chaparasi unhen dekhate hi bola—huzoor! bada gajab ho gaya, sikattari sahab ne rat ko gardan par chhuri pher li.

madarilal ki ankhe oopar chadh gayin, munh phail gaya or sari deh sihar uthi, manon unaka hath bijali ke tar par pad gaya ho.

‘chhuri pher li?’

‘ji han, aj sabere maloom hua. pulisavale jama hain. apake bulaya hai.’

‘lash abhi padi huee hain?’

‘ji han, abhi daktari hone vali hain.’

‘bahut se log jama hain?’

‘sab bade-bad aphasar jama hain. huzoor, lahas ki or takate nahin banata. kaisa bhalamanush hira adami tha! sab log ro rahe hain. chhode-chhote do bachche hain, ek sayani ladaki he byahane layak. bahoo ji ko log kitana rok rahe hain, par bar-bar daud kar lahas ke pas a jati hain. koee aisa nahin he, jo roomal se ankhen n pochh raha ho. abhi itane hi din aye hue, par sabase kitana mel-jol ho gaya tha. rupaye ki to kabhi parava hi nahin thi. dil dariyab tha!’

madarilal ke sir men chakkar ane laga. dvara ki chaukhat pakad kar apane ko snbhal n lete, to shayad gir padate. poochha—bahoo ji bahut ro rahi thin?

‘kuchh n poochhie, huzoor. ped ki pattiyaaun jhadi jati hain. ankh phool gar goolar ho gayi hai.’

‘kitane ladake batalaye tumane?’

‘huzoor, do ladake hain aur ek ladaki.’

‘noton ke bare men bhi batachit ho rahi hogi?’

‘ji han, sab log yahi kahate hen ki daftar ke kisi adami ka kam hai. daroga ji to sohanalal ko giraphtar karana chahate the; par sait apase salai lekar karenge. sikattari sahab to likh ge hain ki mera kisi par shak nahin hai.‘

‘kya sekretari sahab koee khat likh kar chhod gaye hai?’

‘han, maloom hota hai, chhuri chalate bakhat yad ayi ki shubahe men daftar ke sab log pakad lie jaeenge. bas, kalaktar sahab ke nam chitthi likh di.’

‘chitthi men mere bare men bhi kuchh likha hai? tumhen yak kya maloom hoga?’

‘huzoor, ab main kya janoon, muda itana sab log kahate the ki apaki badi tariph likhi hai.‘

madarilal ki saauns aur tej ho gayi. ankhen se ansoo ki do badi-badi boonde gir padi. ankhen

ponchhaten hue bole—ve or main ek sath ke padhe the, nandoo! ath-das sal sath raha. sath uthate-baithate, sath khate, sath khelate. bas, isi tarah rahate the, jaise do sage bhaee rahate hon. khat men meri kya tariph likhi hai? magar tumhen kya maloom hoga?

‘ap to chal hi rahe hai, dekh lijiega.’

‘kafan ka intajam ho gaya hai?’

‘nahin huzoor, kah n ki abhi lahas ki daktari hogi. muda ab jaldi chalie. aisa n ho, koee doosara adami bulane ata ho.’

‘hamare daftar ke sab log a gaye honge?’

‘ji han; is muhallevale to sabhi the.’

‘madarilal jab subodhachandr ke ghar pahunche, tab unhen aisa maloom hua ki sab log unaki taraph sndeh ki ankhen se dekh rahe hain. pulis inspektar ne turant unhen bula kar kaha—ap bhi apana bayan likha den aur sabake bayan to likh chuka hoon.’

madarilal ne aisi savadhani se apana bayan likhaya ki pulis ke aphasar bhi dng rah gaye. unhen madarilal par shubaha hota tha, par is bayan ne usaka ankur bhi nikal dala.

isi vakt subodh ke donon balak rote hue madarilal ke pas aye aur kaha—chalie, apako ammaaun bulati hain. donon madarilal se parichit the. madarilal yahan to roj hi ate the; par ghar men kabhi nahin gaye the. subodh ki stri unase parda karati thi. yah bulava sun kar unaka dil dhadak utha—kahi isaka mujh par shubaha n ho. kahin subodh ne mere vishay men koee sndeh n prakat kiya ho. kuchh jhijhakate aur kuchh darate hue bhitar ge, tab vidhava ka karun-vilap sun kar kaleja kaaunp uthaa. inhen dekhate hi us abala ke ansuon ka koee doosara srot khul gaya aur ladaki to daud kar inake pairon se lipat gee. donon ladako ne bhi gher liya. madarilal ko un tinon ki ankhen men aisi athah vedana, aisi vidarak yachana bhari huee maloom huee ki ve unaki or dekh n sake. unaki atma anhen dhikkarane lagi. jin becharon ko un par itana vishvas, itana bharosa, itani atmiyata, itana sneh tha, unhin ki gardan par unhonne chhuri pheri! unhin ke hathon yah bhara-poora parivar dhool men mil gaya! in asahayon ka ab kya hal hoga? ladaki ka vivah karana hai; kaun karega? bachchon ke lalan-palan ka bhar kaun uthaega? madarilal ko itani atmaglani huee ki unake munh se tasalli ka ek shabd bhi n nikala. unhen aisa jan pada ki mere mukh men kalikh puti hai, mera qad kuchh chhota ho gaya hai. unhonne jis vakt not udaye the, unhen guman bhi n tha ki usaka yah phal hoga. ve keval subodh ko jich karana chahate then unaka sarvanash karane ki ichchha n thi.

shokatur vidhava ne sisakate hue kaha. bhaiya ji, ham logon ko ve majhadhar men chhod ge. agar mujhe maloom hota ki man men yah bat than chuke hain to apane pas jo kuchh tha; vah sab unake charanon par rakh deti. mujhase to ve yahi kahate rahe ki koee n koee upay ho jayaga. ap hi ke marphat ve koee mahajan thik karana chahate the. apake oopar unhen kitana bharosa tha ki kah nahin sakati.

madarilal ko aisa maloom hua ki koee unake hriday par nashtar chala raha hai. unhen apane knth men koee chiz phansi huee jan padati thi.

rameshvari ne phir kaha—rat soye, tab khoob hns rahe the. roj ki tarah doodh piya, bachcho ko pyar kiya, thodider haramoniyam chaya aur tab kulla karake lete. koee aisi bat n thi jisase leshmatr bhi sndeh hota. mujhe chintit dekhakar bole—tum vyarth ghabarati hon baboo madarilal se meri purani dosti hai. akhir vah kis din kam ayegi? mere sath ke khele hue hain. in nagar men unaka sabase parichay hai. rupayon ka prabandh asani se ho jayaga. phir n jane kab man men yah bat samayi. main nasibon-jali aisi soyi ki rat ko minaki tak nahin. kya janati thi ki ve apani jan par khele jaऍnge?

madarilal ko sara vishv ankhon men tairata hua maloom hua. unhonne bahut jabt kiya; magar ansuon ke prabhav ko n rok sake.

rameshvari ne ankhe ponchh kar phir kaha—maiya ji, jo kuchh hona tha, vah to ho chuka; lekin ap us dusht ka pata zaroor lagaie, jisane hamara sarvanash kar lidaya hai. yah daftar hi ke kisi adami ka kam hai. ve to devata the. mujhase yahi kahate rahe ki mera kisi par sndeh nahin hai, par hai yah kisi daftaravale ka hi kam. ap se keval itani vinati karati hoon ki us papi ko bach kar n jane dijiega. pulisatale shayad kuchh rishvat lekar use chhod den. apako dekh kar unaka yah hausala n hoga. ab hamare sir par apake siva kaun hai. kisase apana du:kh kahen? lash ki yah durgati honi bhi likhi thi.

madarilal ke man men ek bar aisa ubal utha ki sab kuchh khol den. saf kah den, mai hi vah dusht, vah adham, vah pamar hoon. vidhava ke peron par gir paden aur kahen, vahi chhuri is hatyare ki gardan par pher do. par jaban n khuli; isi dasha men baithe-baithe unake sir men aisa chakkar aya ki ve zamin par gir pade.

5

tisare pahar lash ki pariksha samapt huee. arthi jalashay ki or chali. sara daftar, sare hukkam aur hajaron adami sath the. dah-snskar ladako ko karana chahie tha par ladake nabalig the. isalie vidhava chalane ko taiyar ho rahi thi ki madarilal ne jakar kaha—bahoo ji, yah snskar mujhe karane do. tum kriya par baith jaongi, to bachchon ko kaun snbhalega. subodh mere bhaee the. zindagi men unake sath kuchh salook n kar saka, ab zindagi ke bad mujhe dosti ka kuchh hak ada kar lene do. akhir mera bhi to un par kuchh hak tha. rameshvari ne rokar kaha—apako bhagavan ne bada udar hriday diya hai bhaiya ji, nahin to marane par kaun kisako poochhata hai. daftar ke or log jo adhi-adhi rat tak hath baaundhe khade rahate the jhoothi bat poochhane n aye ki jara dhadhas hota.

madarilal ne dah-snskar kiya. terah din tak kriya par baithe rahe. terahaven din pindadan hua; brahamanon ne bhojan kiya, bhikhariyon ko ann-dan diya gaya, mitron ki davat huee, aur yah sab kuchh madarilal ne apane kharch se kiya. rameshvari ne bahut kaha ki apane jitana kiya utana hi bahut hai. ab mai apako aur jerabar nahin karana chahati. dosti ka hak isase zyada aur koee kya ada karega, magar madarilal ne ek n suni. sare shahar men unake yash ki dhoom mach gayin, mitr ho to aisa ho.

solahaven din vidhava ne madarilal se kaha—bhaiya ji, apane hamare sath jo upakar aur anugrah kiye hen, unase ham marate dam tak urin nahin ho sakate. apane hamari pith par hath n rakha hota, to n-jane hamari kya gati hoti. kahin rookh ki bhi chhaaunh to nahin thi. ab hamen ghar jane dijie. vahan dehat men kharch bhi kam hoga aur kuchh kheti bari ka silasila bhi kar loongi. kisi n kisi tarah vipatti ke din kat hi jaenge. isi tarah hamare oopar daya rakhiega.

madarilal ne poochha—ghar par kitani jayadad hai?

rameshvari—jayadad kya hai, ek kachcha makan hai aur dar-barah bighe ki kashtakari hai. pakka makan banavana shuroo kiya tha; magar rupaye poore n pade. abhi adhoora pada hua hai. das-barah hazar kharch ho gaye aur abhi chhat padane ki naubat nahin ayi.

madarilal—kuchh rupaye baink men jama hen, ya bas kheti hi ka sahara hai?

vidhava—jama to ek paee bhi nahin hain, bhaiya ji! unake hath men rupaye rahane hi nahin pate the. bas, vahi kheti ka sahara hai.

madarilal—to un kheton men itani paidavar ho jayagi ki lagan bhi ada ho jae or tum logo ki gujar-basar bhi ho?

rameshvari—aur kar hi kya sakate hain, bheya ji! kisi n kisi tarah zindagi to katashni hi hai. bachche n hote to mai zahar kha leti.

madarilal—aur abhi beti ka vivah bhi to karana hai.

vidhava—usake vivah ki ab koihr chinta nahin. kisanon men aise bahut se mil jaeenge, jo bina kuchh liye-diye vivah kar lenge.

madarilal ne ek kshan sochakar kaha—agar men kuchh salah doon, to use manengi ap?

rameshvari—bhaiya ji, apaki salah n manoongi to kisaki salah manoongi aur doosara hai hi kaun?

madarilal—to ap upane ghar jane ke badale mere ghar chalie. jaise mere bal-bachche rahengen, vaise hi ap ke bhi rahenge. apako kasht n hoga. eeshvar ne chaha to kanya ka vivah bhi kisi achchhe kul men ho jayaga.

vidhava ki ankhe sajal ho gayin. boli—magar bhaiya ji, sochie.....madarilal ne bat kat kar kaha—main kuchh n sochoonga aur n koee ujr sununga. kya do bhaiyon ke parivar ek sath nahin rahate? subodh ko mai apana bhaee samajhata tha aur hamesha samajhoonga.

vidhava ka koee ujr n suna gaya. madarilal sabako apane sath le gaye aur aj das sal se unaka palan kar rahe hai. donon bachche kalej men padhate hai aur kanya ka ek pratishthit kul men vivah ho gaya he. madarilal aur unaki stri tan-man se rameshvari ki seva karate hain aur unake isharon par chalate hain. madarilal seva se apane pap ka prayashchit kar rahe hain

tika tippani aur sndarbh

bahari kadiyan

snbndhit lekh

varnamala kramanusar lekh khoj

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