भीख में -जयशंकर प्रसाद  हिन्दी देवनागरी में पढ़ें।

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

khaparal dalan men, kambal par minna ke sath baitha hua brajaraj man lagakar baten kar raha tha. samane tal men kamal khil rahe the. us par se bhini-bhini mahak liye hue pavan dhire-dhire us jhopadi men ata aur chala jata tha.

‘‘man kahati thi ...’’, minna ne kamal ki kesaron ko bikharate hue kaha.

‘‘kya kahati thi?’’

‘‘babooji paradesh jaynge. tere liye naipali tattoo laynge.’’

‘‘too ghode par chadhega ki tattoo par! pagal kahin ka.’’

‘‘nahin, main tattoo par chadhoonga. vah girata nahin.’’

‘‘to phir main nahin jaoonga?’’

‘‘kyon nahin jaoge? oon-oon-oon, main ab rota hoon.’’

‘‘achchha, pahale yah batao ki jab tum kamane lagoge, to hamare lie kya laoge?’’

‘‘khoob dher-sa rupaya’’-kahakar minna ne apana chhota-sa hath jitana ooncha ho sakata tha, utha liya.

‘‘sab rupaya mujhako hi doge n!’’

‘‘nahin, man ko bhi doonga.’’

‘‘mujhako kitana doge?’’

‘‘thaili-bhar!’’

‘‘aur man ko?’’

‘‘vahi badi kathavali sandook men jitana bharega.’’

‘‘tab phir man se kaho; vahi naipali tattoo la degi.’’

minna ne jhunjhalakar brajaraj ko hi tattoo bana liya. usi ke kandhon par chadhaqar apani sadh mitane laga. bhitar daravaze men se indo jhankakar pita-putr ka vinod dekh rahi thi. usane kaha-‘‘minna! yah tattoo bada adiyal hai.’’

brajaraj ko yah visamvadi svar ki-si hnsi khatakane lagi. aj hi savere indo se kadi phatakar suni thi. indo apane grihini-pad ki maryada ke anusar jab do-char khari-khoti suna deti, to usaka man virakti se bhar jata. use minna ke sath khelane men, jhagada karane men aur salah karane men hi snsar ki poorn bhavamayi upasthiti ho jati. phir kuchh aur karane ki avashyakata hi kya hai? yahi bat usaki samajh men nahin ati. roti-bina bhookhon marane ki sambhavana n thi. kintu indo ko utane hi se santosh nahin. idhar brajaraj ko nithalle baithe hue malo ke sath kabhi-kabhi chuhal karate dekhakar to vah aur bhi jal uthati. brajaraj yah sab samajhata hua bhi anajan ban raha tha. use to apani khaparail men minna ke sath santosh-hi-santosh tha; kintu aj vah n jane kyon bhinna utha-

‘‘minna! adiyal tattoo bhagate hain, to rukate nahin. aur rah-karah bhi nahin dekhate. teri man apane bhige chane par rob ganthati hai. kahin is tattoo ko hari-hari doob ki chat lagi, to....’’

‘‘nahin minna! rookhi-sookhi par nibha lenevale aisa nahin kar sakate!’’

‘‘kar sakate hain minna! kah do, han!’’

minna ghabara utha tha. yah to baton ka naya dhng tha. vah samajh n saka. usane kah diya-‘‘han, kar sakate hain.’’

‘‘chal dekh liya. aise hi karanevale!’’-kahakar zor se kivad band karati huee indo chali gayi. brajaraj ke hriday men virakti chamaki. bijali ki tarah kaundh uthi ghrina. use apane astitv par sandeh hua. vah purush hai ya nahin? itana kashaghat! itana sandeh aur chatur sanchalan! usaka man ghar se vidrohi ho raha tha. aj tak badi savadhani se kushal mahajan ki tarah vah apana sood badhata raha. kabhi sneh ka pratidan lekar usane indo ko halka nahin hone diya tha. isi ghadi sood-dar-sood lene ke lie usane apani virakti ki thaili ka munh khol diya.

minna ko ek bar god men chipaka kar vah khada ho gaya. jab ganv ke log halon ko kandhon par liye ghar laut rahe the, usi samay brajaraj ne ghar chhodane ka nishchay kar liya.

jalandhar se jo sadak jvalamukhi ko jati hai, us par isi sal se ek sikkh penshanar ne lari chalana arambh kiya. usaka draivar kalakatte se sikha hua phurtila adami hai. sidhe-sade dehati uchhal pade. jinaki manauti kee sal se ruki thi, bail-gadi ki yatra ke karan jo ab tab tal-matol karate the, ve utsah se bharakar jvalamukhi ke darshan ke lie prastut hone lage.

gotedar odhaniyon, achchhi kat ki shalavaron, kimakhvab ki jhakajhak sadariyon ki bahar, aye din usaki lari men dikhalaee padati. kintu vah mashin ka premi draivar kisi or dekhata nahin. apani motar, usaka harn, brek aur madagard par usaka man tika rahata. chakka hath men lie hue jab us pahadi-prant men vah apani lari chalata, to apani dhun men mast kisi ki or dekhane ka vichar bhi n kar pata. usake saman men ek bada-sa kot, ek kambal aur ek lota. han, baithane ki jagah men jo chhipa hua baks tha, usi men kul rupaye-paise bachakar vah phenkata jata. kisi pahadi par oonche vrikshon se lipati huee jngali gulab ki lata ko vah dekhana nahin chahata. usaki koson tak phailanevali sugandh brajaraj ke man ko math deti; parantu vah shighr hi apani lari men man ko ulajha deta aur tab nirvikar bhav se us janaviral prant men lari ki chal tivr kar deta. isi tarah kee baras bit gaye.

boodha sikh usase bahut prasann rahata; kyonki draivar kabhi bidi-tamakhoo nahin pita aur kisi kam men vyarth paisa nahin kharch karata. us din badal umad rahe the. thodi-thodi jhisi pad rahi thi. vah apani lari daudaye pahadi pradesh ke bichonbich nirjan sadak par chala ja raha tha, kahin-kahin do-char gharon ke ganv dikhaee padate the. aj usaki lari men bhid nahin thi. sikh penshanar ki jan-pahachan ka ek parivar us din jvalamukhi ka darshan karane ja raha tha. un logon ne poori lari bhade par kar li thi, kintu abhi tak use yah janane ki avashyakata n huee thi ki usamen kitane adami the. use injin men pani ki kami maloom huee ki lari rok di gayi. brajaraj balti lekar pani lane gaya. use pani late dekhakar lari ke yatriyon ko bhi pyas lag gayi. sikh ne kaha-

‘‘brajaraj! in logon ko bhi thoda pani de dena.’’

jab balti liye vah yatriyon ki or gaya, to usako bhram hua ki jo sundari stri pani ke lie lota badha rahi hai, vah kuchh pahachani-si hai. usane lote men pani undelate hue anyamanask ki tarah kuchh jal gira bhi diya, jisase stri ki odhani ka kuchh ansh bhig gaya. yatri ne jhidakakar kaha-

‘‘bhaee, jara dekhakar.’’

kintu vah stri bhi use kanakhiyon se dekh rahi thi. ‘brajaraj!’ shabd usake bhi kanon men goonj utha tha. brajaraj apani sit par ja baitha.

boodhe sikh aur yatri donon ko hi usaka yah vyavahar ashisht-sa maloom hua; par koee kuchh bola nahin. lari chalane lagi. kangada ki taraee ka yah pahadi drishy, chitrapaton ki tarah kshan-kshan par badal raha tha. udhar brajaraj ki ankhe kuchh doosare hi drishy dekh rahi thin.

ganv ka vah tal, jisamen kamal khil rahe the, minna ke nirmal pyar ki tarah tarngayit ho raha tha. aur us pyar men vishram ki lalasa, bich-bich men use dekhate hi, malati ka pair ke angoothon ke chandi ke mote chhallon ko khatakhatana, sahasa usaki stri ka sandigdh bhav se usako bahar bhejane ki prerana, sadharan jivan men balak ke pyar se jo sukh aur santosh use mil raha tha, vah bhi chhin gaya; kyon sandeh ho n! indo ko vishvas ho chala tha ki brajaraj malo ko pyar karata hai. aur ganv men ek hi sundari, chanchal, hnsamukh aur manachali bhi thi, usaka byah nahin hua tha. han, vahi to malo?-aur yah odhanivali! ain, pnjabi men? asambhav! nahin to-vahi hai-thik-thik vahi hai. vah chakka pakade hue pichhe ghoomakar apani smritidhara par vishvas kar lena chahata tha. oh! kitani bhooli huee baten is mukh ne smaran dila din. vahi to-vah apane ko n rok saka. pichhe ghoom hi pada aur dekhane laga.

lari takara gee ek vriksh se. kuchh adhik hani n hone par bhi, kisi ko kahin chot n lagane par bhi sikh jhalla utha. brajaraj bhi phir lari par n chadha. kisi ko kisi se sahanubhooti nahin. tanik-si bhool bhi koee sah nahin sakata, yahi n! brajaraj ne socha ki main hi kyon n rooth jaoon? usane naukari ko namaskar kiya.

-- --

brajaraj ko vairagy ho gaya ho, so to bat nahin. han, use garhasthy-jivan ke sukh ke arnbh men hi thokar lagi. usaki sidhi-sadi grihasthi men koee vishesh anand n tha. keval minna ki atapati baton se aur rah chalate-chalate kabhi-kabhi malati ki chuhal se, halake sharabat men, do boond hare niboo ke ras ki-si sugandh taravat men mil jati thi.

vah sab gaya, idhar kalakatte ke kolahal men rahakar usane draivari sikhi. pahadiyon ki god men use ek prakar ki shanti mili. do-char gharon ke chhote-chhote-se ganvon ko dekhakar usake man men viragapoorn dular hota tha. vah apani lari par baitha hua upeksha se ek drishti dalata hua nikal jata. tab vah apane ganv par mano pratyaksh roop se pratishodh le leta; kintu naukari chhodakar vah kya jane kaisa ho gaya. jvalamukhi ke samip hi pandon ki basti men jakar rahane laga.

pas men kuchh rupaye bache the. unhen vah dhire-dhire kharch karane laga. udhar usake man ka nishchint bhav aur sharir ka bal dhire-dhire kshin hone laga. koee kahata, to usaka kam kar deta; par usake badale men paisa n leta. log kahate-bada bhalamanus hai. usase bahut-se logon ki mitrata ho gayi. usaka din dhalane laga. vah ghar ki kabhi chinta n karata. han, bhoolane ka prayatn karata; kintu minna? phir sochata ‘ab bada ho gaya hoga hi, jisane mujhe kam karane ke lie paradesh bhej diya, vah minna ko thik kar legi. kheti-bari se kam chal hi jayaga. main hi grihasthi men atirikt vyakti tha aur malati! n, n! pahale usake karan sndigdh banakar mujhe ghar chhodऩa pada. usi ka phir se smaran karate hi main naukari se chhudaya gaya. kahan se us din mujhe phir usaka sandeh hua. vah pnjab men kahan ati! usaka nam bhi n loon!’’

‘‘indo to mujhe paradesh bhejakar sukh se nind legi hi.’’

par yah nasha do-hi-tin barason men ukhad gaya. is arthayug men sab sambal jisaka hai, vahi uththi bol gaya. aj brajaraj akinchan kngal tha. aj hi se use bhikh mangana chahie. naukari n karega, han bhikh mang lega. kisi ka kam kar dega, to yah dega vah apani bhikh. usaki manasik dhara isi tarah chal rahi thi.

vah savere hi aj mandir ke samip hi ja baitha. aj usake hriday se bhi vaisi hi ek jvala bhakh se nikal kar bujh jati hai. aur kabhi vilamb tak lapalapati rahati hai; kintu kabhi usaki or koee nahin dekhata. aur udhar to yatriyon ke jhund ja rahe the.

chaitr ka mahina tha. aj bahut-se yatri aye the. usane bhi bhikh ke lie hath phailaya. ek sajjan god men chhota-sa-balak liye age badh gaye, pichhe ek sundari apani odhani samhalati huee kshanabhar ke lie ruk gayi thi. striyan svabhav ki komal hoti hain. pahali hi bar pasara hua hath khali n rah jay, isi se brajaraj ne sundari se yachana ki.

vah khadi ho gayi. usane poochha-‘‘kya tum ab lari nahin chalate?’’

are, vahi to thik malati ka-sa svar!

hath batorakar brajaraj ne kaha-‘‘kaun, malo?’’

‘‘to yah tumhin ho, brajaraj!’’

‘‘han to’’-kahakar brajaraj ne ek lambi sans li.

malati khadi rahi. usane kaha-‘‘bhikh mangate ho?’’

‘‘han, pahale main sukh ka bhikhari tha. thoda-sa minna ka sneh, indo ka pranay, das-panch bighon ki kamachalaoo upaj aur kahe janevale mitron ki chikani-chupadi baton se santosh ki bhikh mangakar apane chithadon men bandhakar main sukhi ban raha tha. kngal ki tarah jan-kolahal se door ek kone men use apani chhati se lagaye pada tha; kintu tumane bich men thoda-sa prasann-vinod mere oopar dhal diya, vahi to mere lie...’’

‘‘oho, pagal indo! mujh par sandeh karane lagi. tumhare chale ane par mujhase kee bar ladi bhi. main to ab yahan a gayi hoon.’’-kahate-kahate vah bhay se age chale janevale sajjan ko dekhane lagi.

‘‘to, vah tumhara hi bachcha hai n! achchha-achchha!’’ ‘hoon’ kahati huee malo ne kuchh nikala use dene ke lie! brajaraj ne kaha-‘‘malo! tum jao. dekho, vah tumhare pati a rahe hain!’’ bachche ko god men liye hue malo ke pnjabi pati laut aye. malati us samay anyamanask, kshubdh aur chanchal ho rahi thi. usake munh par kshobh, bhay aur kutoohal se mili huee karuna thi. pati ne dantakar poochha-‘‘kyon, vah bhikhamnga tng kar raha tha?’’

pandaji ki or ghoomakar malo ke pati ne kaha-‘‘aise uchchakon ko ap log mandir ke pas baithane dete hain.’’

dhani jajaman ka apaman vah panda kaise sahata! usane brajaraj ka hath pakadakar ghasitate hue kaha-

‘‘uth be, yahan phir dikhaee pada, to teri tang hi lngadi kar doonga!’’

bechara brajaraj yahan dhakke khakar sochane laga-‘‘phir malati! kya sachamuch mainne kabhi usase kuchh....aur mera durbhagy! yahi to aj tak ayachit bhav se vah deti ayi hai. aj usane pahale din ki bhikh men bhi vahi diya.

tika tippani aur sndarbh


bahari kadiyan

snbndhit lekh

varnamala kramanusar lekh khoj

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