लैला -प्रेमचंद  हिन्दी देवनागरी में पढ़ें।

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

yah koee n janata tha ki laila kaun hai, kahan se ayi hai aur kya karati hai. ek din logon ne ek anupam sundari ko teharan ke chauk men apane daph par hafij ki yah gajal jhoom-jhoom kar gate suna-

rasid muzara ki aiyame gam n khvahad mand,

chunan n mand, chunin niz ham n khvahad mand.

aur sara teharan us par phida ho gaya. yahi laila thi.

laila ke roop-lality ki kalpana karani ho to oosha ki praphull lalima ki kalpana kijie, jab nil gagan svarn-prakash se rnjit ho jata hai; bahar ki kalpana kijie, jab bag men rng-rng ke phool khilate hain aur bulabulen gati hain.

laila ke svar-lality ki kalpana karani ho, to us ghnti ki anavarat dhvani ki kalpana kijie jo nisha ki nistabdhata men oonton ki garadanon men bajati huee sunayi deti hai; ya us bansuri ki dhvani ki jo madhyahn ki alasyamayi shanti men kisi vriksh ki chhaya men lete hue charavahe ke mukh se nikalati hai.

jis vakt laila mast hokar gati thi, usake mukh par ek svargiy abha jhalakane lagati thi. vah kavy, sngit, saurabh aur sushama ki ek manohar pratima thi, jisake samane chhote aur bade, amir aur garib sabhi ke sir jhuk jate the. sabhi mntramugdh ho jate the, sabhi sir dhunate the. vah us anevale samay ka sndesh sunati thi; jab desh men sntosh aur prem ka samrajy hoga, jab dvndv aur sngram ka ant ho jayaga. vah raja ko jagati aur kahati, yah vilasita kab tak, yah aishvary-bhog kab tak ? vah praja ki soyi huee abhilashaon ko jagati, unaki hrittntriyon ko apane svar se kampit kar deti. vah un amar viron ki kirti sunati jo dinon ki pukar sunakar vikal ho jate the; un vidushiyon ki mahima gati jo kul-maryada par mar miti thin. usaki anurakt dhvani sunakar log dilon ko tham lete the, tadap jate the.

sara teharan laila par fida tha. daliton ke lie vah asha ka dipak thi, rasikon ke lie jannat ki hoor, dhaniyon ke lie atma ki jagriti aur sattadhariyon ke lie daya aur dharm ka sndesh. usaki bhaunhon ke ishare par janata ag men kood sakati thi. jaise chaitany jad ko akarshit kar leta hai, usi bhanti laila ne janata ko akarshit kar liya tha.

aur yah anupam saundary sudha ki bhanti pavitr, him ke saman nishkalnk aur nav kusum ki bhanti anindy tha. usake lie prem-kataksh, ek bhedabhari muskan, ek rasili ada par kya n ho jata- knchan ke parvat khade ho jate, aishvary upasana karata, riyasaten pair ki dhool chatatin, kavi kat jate, vidvan ghutane tekate; lekin laila kisi ki or ankh uthakar bhi n dekhati thi. vah ek vriksh ki chhanh men rahati, bhiksha mangakar khati aur apani hridayavina ke rag alapati thi. vah kavi ki sookti ki bhanti keval annd aur prakash ki vastu thi, bhog ki nahin. vah rishiyon ke ashirvad ki pratima thi, kalyan men doobi huee, shanti men rngi huee, koee use sparsh n kar sakata tha, use mol n le sakata tha.

2

ek din sndhya samay teharan ka shahajada nadir ghode par savar udhar se nikala. laila ga rahi thi. nadir ne ghode ki bag rok li aur der tak atm-vismrit ki dasha men khada sunata raha. gajal ka pahala sher yah tha-

mara dardest andar dil, agar goyam javan sozad;

bagair dam darakasham, tarasan ki magazo ustakhvan sozad.

phir vah ghode se utarakar vahin zamin par baith gaya aur sir jhukaye rota raha. tab vah utha aur laila ke pas jakar usake kadamon par sir rakh diya. log adab se idhar-udhar hat gaye.

laila ne poochha- tum kaun ho ?

nadir- tumhara gulam.

laila- mujhase kya chahate ho ?

nadir- apaki khidamat karane ka hukm. mere jhonpade ko apane kadamon se roshan kijie.

laila- yah meri adat nahin.

shahajada phir vahin baith gaya aur laila phir gane lagi. lekin gala tharrane laga, mano vina ka koee tar toot gaya ho. usane nadir ki or karun netron se dekhakar kaha- tum yahan mat baitho.

kee adamiyon ne kaha- laila, hamare huzoor shahajada nadir hain.

laila beparavahi se boli- badi khushi ki bat hai. lekin yahan shahajadon ka kya kam? unake lie mahal hai, mahaphilen hain aur sharab ke daur hain. main unake lie gati hoon, jinake dil men dard hai; unake lie nahin jinake dil men shauq hai.

shahajada ne unmatt bhav se kaha- laila, tumhari ek tan par apana sabakuchh nisar kar sakata hoon. main shauq ka gulam tha, lekin tumane dard ka maja chakha diya.

laila phir gane lagi; lekin avaz kaboo men n thi, mano vah usaka gala hi n tha.

laila ne daph kndhe par rakh liya aur apane dere ki or chali. shrota apane-apane ghar chale. kuchh log usake pichhe-pichhe us vriksh tak aye, jahan vah vishram karati thi. jab vah apani jhonpadi ke dvar par pahunchi, tab sabhi adami vida ho chuke the. keval ek adami jhonpadi se kee hath par chupachap khada tha.

laila ne poochha- tum kaun ho ?

nadir ne kaha- tumhara gulam nadir !

laila- tumhen maloom nahin ki main apane aman ke goshe men kisi ko nahin ane deti ?

nadir- yah to dekh hi raha hoon.

laila- phir kyon baithe ho ?

nadir- ummid daman pakade hue hai.

laila ne kuchh der ke bad phir poochha- kuchh khakar aye ho ?

nadir- ab to n bhookh hai, n pyas.

laila- ao, aj tumhen garibon ka khana khilaoon. isaka maja bhi chakh lo.

nadir inakar n kar saka. aj use bajare ki rotiyon men abhootapoorv svad mila. vah soch raha tha ki vishv ke is vishal bhavan men kitana annd hai. use apani atma men vikas ka anubhav ho raha tha.

jab vah kha chuka tab laila ne kaha- ab jao. adhi rat se zyada gujar gayi.

nadir ne ankhon men ansoobhar kar kaha- nahin laila, ab mera asan bhi yahin jamega.

nadir din-bhar laila ke nagame sunata; galiyon men, sadakon par jahan vah jati usake pichhe-pichhe ghoomata rahata. rat ko usi ped ke niche jakar pad rahata. badashah ne samajhaya, malaka ne samajhaya, umara ne minnaten kin, lekin nadir ke sir se laila ka sauda n gaya. jin halon laila rahati thi un halon vah bhi rahata tha. malaka usake lie achchhe se achchhe khane banakar bhejati, lekin nadir unaki or dekhata bhi n tha-

lekin laila ke sngit men ab vah kshudha n thi. vah toote hue taron ka rag tha jisamen n vah loch tha, n vah jadoo, n vah asar. vah ab bhi gati thi, sunanevale ab bhi ate the; lekin ab vah apana dil khush karane ko nahin, unaka dil khush karane ko gati thi aur sunanevale vihval hokar nahin, usako khush karane ke lie ate the.

is tarah chhah mahine gujar gaye.

ek din laila gane n gayi. nadir ne kaha- kyon laila, aj gane n chalogi ?

laila ne kaha- ab kabhi n jaoongi. sach kahana, tumhen ab bhi mere gane men pahale hi ka-sa maja ata hai ?

nadir bola- pahale se kahin zyada.

laila- lekin aur log to ab nahin pasnd karate.

nadir- han, mujhe isaka tajjub hai.

laila- tajjub ki bat nahin. pahale mera dil khula hua tha, usamen sabake lie jagah thi, vah sabake dilon men pahunchati thi. ab tumane usaka daravaza bnd kar diya. ab vahan sirph tum ho, isilie usaki avaz tumhin ko pasnd ati hai. yah dil ab tumhare siva aur kisi ke kam ka nahin raha. chalo, aj tak tum mere gulam the; aj se main tumhari laundi hoti hoon. chalo, main tumhare pichhe-pichhe chaloongi. aj se tum mere malik ho. thodi-si ag lekar is jhonpade men laga do. is daph ko usi men jala doongi.

3

teharan men ghar-ghar anndotsav ho raha tha. aj shahajada nadir laila ko byah kar laya tha. bahut dinon ke bad usake dil ki murad poori huee thi. sara teharan shahajade par jan deta tha aur usaki khushi men sharik tha. badashah ne to apani taraph se munadi karava di thi ki is shubh avasar par dhan aur samay ka apavyay n kiya jay, keval log masajidon men jama hokar khuda se dua mangen ki var aur vadhoo chirnjivi hon aur sukh se rahen. lekin apane pyare shahajade ki shadi men dhan aur dhan se adhik moolyavanh samay ka munh dekhana kisi ko gavara n tha. reeson ne mahaphilen sajayin, chirag jalaye, baje bajavaye, garibon ne apani daphaliyan snbhalin aur sadakon par ghoom-ghoomakar uchhalate-koodate phire.

sndhya ke samay shahar ke sare amir aur rees shahajade ko badhaee dene ke lie divane-khas men jama hue. shahajada itron se mahakata, ratnon se chamakata aur manollas se khilata hua akar khada ho gaya.

qazine arj ki- huzoor par khuda ki barakat ho.

hajaron adamiyon ne kaha- amin !

shahar ki lalanaen bhi laila ko mubarakabad dene ayin. laila bilakul sade kapade pahane thi. abhooshanon ka kahin nam n tha.

ek mahila ne kaha- apaka sohag sada salamat rahe.

hajaron knthon se dhvani nikali- amin !

4

kee sal gujar gaye. nadir ab badashah tha aur laila usaki malaka. eeran ka shasan itane sucharu roop se kabhi n hua tha. donon hi praja ke hitaishi the, donon hi use sukhi aur sampann dekhana chahate the. prem ne ve sabhi kathinaiyan door kar din jo laila ko pahale shnkit karati rahati thin. nadir rajasatta ka vakil tha, laila praja-satta ki; lekin vyavaharik roop se unamen koee bhed n padata tha; kabhi yah dab jata, kabhi vah hat jati. unaka dampaty-jivan adarsh tha. nadir laila ka rukh dekhata tha, laila nadir ka. kam se avakash milata to donon baithakar gate-bajate, kabhi nadiyon ki sair karate, kabhi kisi vriksh ki chhanh men baithe hue haphij ki gajalen padhate aur jhoomate. n laila men ab utani sadagi thi, n nadir men ab utana takalluph tha. nadir ka laila par ekadhipaty tha jo sadharan bat thi. jahan badashahon ki mahalasara men begamon ke muhalle basate the, darjanon aur kaudiyon se unaki ganana hoti thi, vahan laila akeli thi. un mahalon men ab shaphakhane, madarase aur pustakalay the. jahan mahalasaron ka varshik vyay karodon tak pahunchata tha, vahan ab hajaron se age n badhata tha. shesh rupaye praja-hit ke kamon men kharch kar diye jate the. yah sari katar-byont laila ne ki thi. badashah nadir tha, par akhtiyar laila ke hathon men tha.

sabakuchh tha, kintu praja sntusht n thi. usaka asntosh din-din badhata jata tha. rajasattavadiyon ko bhay tha ki agar yahi hal raha to badashahat ke mit jane men sndeh nahin. jamashed ka lagaya hua vriksh, jisane hajaron sadiyon se andhi aur toofan ka mukabila kiya, ab ek hasina ke najuk, par katil hathon jad se ukhada ja raha hai. udhar praja-sattavadiyon ko laila se kitani ashaen thin, sabhi durashaen siddh ho rahi thin. ve kahate, agar eeran is chal se taraqqi ke raste par chalega to isase pahale ki vah mnjile-makasood par pahunche, kayamat a jayagi. duniya havaee jahaz par baithi udi ja rahi hai aur ham abhi thelon par baithate bhi darate hain ki kahin isaki harakat se duniya men bhoochal n a jay. donon dalon men aye din ladaiyan hoti rahati thin. n nadir ke samajhane ka asar amiron par hota tha, n laila ke samajhane ka garibon par. samnt nadir ke khoon ke pyase ho gaye, praja laila ki jani dushman.

5

rajy men to yah ashanti phaili huee thi, vidroh ki ag dilon men sulag rahi thi aur rajabhavan men prem ka shantimay rajy tha, badashah aur malaka donon praja-sntosh ki kalpana men magn the.

rat ka samay tha. nadir aur laila aramagah men baithe hue shatarnj ki bazi khel rahe the. kamare men koee sajavat n thi, keval ek jajim bichhi huee thi.

nadir ne laila ka hath pakadakar kaha- bas, ab yah jyadati nahin, tumhari chal ho chuki. yah dekho, tumhara ek pyada pit gaya.

laila- achchha yah shah ! apake sare paidal rakhe rah gaye aur badashah par shah pad gayi. isi par dava tha.

nadir- tumhare sath harane men jo maja hai, vah jitane men nahin.

laila- achchha, to goya ap dil khush kar rahe hain ! shah bachaie, nahin doosari chal men mat hoti hai.

nadir- (ardab dekar) achchha ab snbhalakar jana, tumane mere badashah ki tauhin ki hai. ek bar mera pharji utha to tumhare pyadon ka saphaya kar dega.

laila- basnt ki bhi khabar hai ! yah shah, laie. pharji ab kahie. abaki main n manoongi, kahe deti hoon. apako do bar chhod diya, abaki hargij n chhodoongi.

nadir- jab tak mera dilaram (ghoda) hai, badashah ko koee gam nahin.

laila- achchha yah shah ? laie apane dilaram ko ! kahie, ab to mat huee ?

nadir- han janeman, ab mat ho gayi. jab main hi tumhari adaon par nisar ho gaya, tab mera badashah kab bach sakata tha.

laila- baten n banaie, chupake se is pharaman par dastakhat kar dijie. jaisa apane vada kiya tha.

yah kahakar laila ne pharaman nikala, jise usane khud apane moti ke-se aksharon men likha tha. isamen ann ka ayat-kar ghatakar adha kar diya gaya tha. laila praja ko bhooli n thi, vah ab bhi unaki hitakamana men snlagn rahati thi. nadir ne is shart par pharaman par dastakhat karane ka vachan diya tha ki laila use shatarnj men tin bar mat kare. vah siddhahast khiladi tha ise laila janati thi; par yah shatarnj ki bazi n thi, keval vinod tha. nadir ne muskarate hue pharaman par hastakshar kar diye. kalam ke ek chihn se praja ki panch karod varshik kar se mukti ho gayi. laila ka mukh garv se arakt ho gaya. jo kam barason se andolan se n ho sakata tha, vah prem-katakshon se kuchh hi dinon men poora ho gaya.

yah sochakar vah phooli n samati thi ki jis vakt yah pharaman sarakari patron men prakashit ho jayaga aur vyavasthapika ke logon ko isake darshan honge, us vakt prajavadiyon ko kitana annd hoga. log mera yash gayenge aur mujhe ashirvad denge.

nadir premamugdh hokar usake chndramukh ki or dekh raha tha, aur mano usaka vash hota to saundary ki is pratima ko hriday men bitha leta.

6

sahasa raj-bhavan ke dvar par shor machane laga. ek kshan men maloom hua ki janata ka tiddi dal, astr-shastr se susajjit, rajadvar par khada divaron ko todane ki koshish kar raha hai. pratikshan shor badhata jata tha aur aisi ashnka hoti thi ki krodhonmatt janata dvaron ko todakar bhitar ghus jayegi. phir aisa maloom hua ki kuchh log sidhiyan lagakar divar par chadh rahe hain. laila lajja aur glani se sir jhukaye khadi thi. usake mukh se ek shabd bhi n nikalata tha. kya yahi vah janata hai, jinake kashton ki katha kahate hue usaki vani unmatt ho jati thi ? yahi vah ashakt, dalit, kshudha-pidit, atyachar ki vedana se tadapati huee janata hai, jis par vah apane ko arpan kar chuki thi.

nadir bhi maun khada tha; lekin lajja se nahin, krodh se usaka mukh tamatama utha tha, ankhon se chinagariyan nikal rahi thin, bar-bar onth chabata aur talavar ke kabje par hath rakhakar rah jata tha. vah bar-bar laila ki or sntapt netron se dekhata tha. jara se ishare ki der thi. usaka hukm pate hi usaki sena is vidrohi dal ko yon bhaga degi jaise andhi patton ko uda deti hai; par laila se ankhen n milati thin.

akhir vah adhir hokar bola- laila, main raj-sena ko bulana chahata hoon. kya kahati ho ?

laila ne dinatapoorn netron se dekhakar kaha- jara thahar jaie, pahale in logon se poochhie ki chahate kya hain.

yah adesh pate hi nadir chhat par chadh gaya, laila bhi usake pichhe-pichhe oopar a pahunchi. donon ab janata ke sammukh akar khade ho gaye. mashalon ke prakash men logon ne in donon ko chhat par khade dekha, mano akash se devata utar aye hon; sahasro knthon se dhvani nikali- vah khadi hai, vah khadi hai, laila vah khadi hai ! yah vah janata thi jo laila ke madhur sngit par mast ho jaya karati thi.

nadir ne uchch svar se vidrohiyon ko sambodhit kiya- ai eeran ki badanasib riaya. tumane shahi mahal ko kyon gher rakha hai ? kyon bagavat ka jhnda khada kiya hai ? kya tumako mera aur apane khuda ka bilakul khauph nahin ? kya tum nahin janate ki main apani ankhon ke ek ishare se tumhari hasti khak men mila sakata hoon ? main tumhen hukm deta hoon ki ek lamhe ke andar yahan se chale jao, varana kalame-pak ki kasam, main tumhare khoon ki nadi baha doonga.

ek adami ne, jo vidrohiyon ka neta maloom hota tha, samane akar kaha- ham us vakt tak n jaynge, jab tak shahi mahal laila se khali n ho jayaga.

nadir ne bigadakar kaha- o nashukro, khuda se daro ! tumhen apani malaka ki shan men aisi beadabi karate hue sharm nahin ati ! jab se laila tumhari malaka huee hai, usane tumhare sath kitani riayaten ki hain ! kya unhen tum bilakul bhool gaye ? jalimo, vah malaka hai; par vahi khana khati hai, jo tum kutton ko khila dete ho; vahi kapade pahanati hai, jo tum fakiron ko de dete ho. akar mahalasara men dekho, tum ise apane jhonpadon hi ki tarah takalluph aur sajavat se khali paoge. laila tumhari malaka hokar bhi fakiri ki zindagi basar karati hai, tumhari khidamat men hamesha mast rahati hai. tumhen usake kadamon ki khak mathe par lagani chahie, ankhon ka surama banana chahie. eeran ke takht par kabhi aisi garibon par jan denevali, unake dard men sharik hone vali, garibon par apane ko nisar karane vali malaka ne qadam nahin rakhe aur usaki shan men tum aisi behooda baten karate ho ! afasos ! mujhe maloom ho gaya ki tum jahil, insaniyat se khali aur kamine ho ! tum isi kabil ho ki tumhari garadanen kund chhuri se kati jayn, tumhen pairon tale raunda jay ...

nadir ne bat bhi poori n kar payi thi ki vidrohiyon ne ek svar se chillakar kaha- laila, laila hamari dushman hai, ham use apani malaka ki soorat men nahin dekh sakate.

nadir ne zor se chillakar kaha- jalimo, jara khamosh ho jao; yah dekho vah pharaman hai, jis par laila ne abhi-abhi mujhase jabaradasti dastakhat karaye hain. aj se galle ka mahasool ghatakar adha kar diya gaya hai aur tumhare sir se mahasool ka bojh panch karod kam ho gaya hai.

hajaron adamiyon ne shor machaya- yah mahasool bahut pahale bilakul maph ho jana chahie tha. ham ek kaudi nahin de sakate. laila, laila, ham use apani malaka ki soorat men nahin dekh sakate.

ab badashah krodh se kanpane laga. laila ne sajal netr hokar kaha- agar riaya ki yahi maraji hai ki main phir daph baja-bajakar gati phiroon to mujhe koee ujr nahin, mujhe yakin hai ki main apane gane se ek bar phir inake dil par hukoomat kar sakati hoon.

nadir ne uttejit hokar kaha- laila, main riaya ki tunukamizajiyon ka gulam nahin. isase pahale ki main tumhen apane pahaloo se juda karoon, teharan ki galiyan khoon se lal ho jayngi. main in badamashon ko inaki shararat ka maja chakhata hoon.

nadir ne minar par chadhakar khatare ka ghnta bajaya. sare teharan men usaki avaz goonj uthi; par shahi fauj ka ek adami bhi n najar aya.

nadir ne dobara ghnta bajaya, akash mndal usaki jhnkar se kampit ho gaya, taragan kanp uthe; par ek bhi sainik n nikala.

nadir ne tab tisari bar ghnta bajaya, par usaka bhi uttar keval ek kshin pratidhvani ne diya, mano kisi maranevale ki antim prarthana ke shabd hon.

nadir ne matha pit liya. samajh gaya ki bure din a gaye. ab bhi laila ko janata ke duragrah par balidan karake vah apani rajasatta ki raksha kar sakata tha, par laila use pranon se priy thi. usane chhat par akar laila ka hath pakad liya aur use liye hue sadar phatak se nikala. vidrohiyon ne ek vijay-dhvani ke sath unaka svagat kiya; par sab-ke-sab kisi gupt prerana ke vash raste se hat gaye.

donon chupachap teharan ki galiyon men hote hue chale jate the. charon or andhakar tha. dookanen bnd thin. bazaron men sannata chhaya hua tha. koee ghar se bahar n nikalata tha. fakiron ne bhi masajidon men panah le li thi. par in donon praniyon ke lie koee ashray n tha. nadir ki kamar men talavar thi, laila ke hath men daph tha. yahi unake vishal aishvary ka vilupt chihn tha.

7

poora sal gujar gaya. laila aur nadir desh-videsh ki khak chhanate phirate the. samaraknd aur bukhara, bagadad aur halab, kahira aur adan ye sare desh unhonne chhan dale. laila ki daph phir jadoo karane lagi, usaki avaz sunate hi shahar men halachal mach jati, adamiyon ka mela lag jata, avabhagat hone lagati; lekin ye donon yatri kahin ek din se adhik n thaharate the. n kisi se kuchh mangate, n kisi ke dvar par jate. keval rookha-sookha bhojan kar lete aur kabhi kisi vriksh ke niche, kabhi parvat ki gupha men aur kabhi sadak ke kinare rat kat dete the. snsar ke kathor vyavahar ne unhen virakt kar diya tha, usake pralobhan se koson door bhagate the. unhen anubhav ho gaya tha ki yahan jisake lie pran arpan kar do, vahi apana shatru ho jata hai; jisake sath bhalaee karo, vahi buraee par kamar bandhata hai; yahan kisi se dil n lagana chahie. unake pas bade-bade reeson ke nimntran ate, unhen ek din apana mehaman banane ke lie log hajaron minnaten karate, par laila kisi ki n sunati. nadir ko ab tak kabhi-kabhi badashahat ki sanak savar ho jati thi, vah chahata tha ki gupt roop se shakti-sngrah karake teharan par chadh jaoon aur bagiyon ko parast karake akhnd raj karoon; par laila ki udasinata dekhakar use kisi se milane-julane ka sahas n hota tha. laila usaki praneshvari thi, vah usi ke isharon par chalata tha.

udhar eeran men bhi arajakata phaili huee thi. janasatta se tng akar reeson ne bhi faujen jama kar li thin aur donon dalon men aye din sngram hota rahata tha. poora sal gujar gaya aur khet n jute, desh men bhishan akal pada hua tha; vyapar shithil tha, khazana khali. din-din janata ki shakti ghatati jati thi aur reeson ka zor badhata jata tha. akhir yahan tak naubat pahunchi ki janata ne hathiyar dal diye aur reeson ne rajabhavan par apana adhikar jama liya. praja ke netaon ko phansi de di gayi, kitane hi kaid kar liye gaye aur janasatta ka ant ho gaya. shaktivadiyon ko ab nadir ki yad ayi. yah bat anubhav se siddh ho gayi thi ki desh men prajatntr sthapit karane ki kshamata ka abhav hai. pratyaksh ke lie praman ki zaroorat n thi. is avasar par rajasatta hi desh ka uddhar kar sakati thi. yah bhi mani huee bat thi ki laila aur nadir ko janamat se vishesh prem n hoga. ve sinhasan par baithakar bhi reeson hi ke hath men kathaputali bane rahenge aur reeson ko praja par manamane atyachar karane ka avasar milega. atev apas men logon ne salah ki aur pratinidhi nadir ko mana lane ke lie ravana hue.

8

sndhya ka samay tha. laila aur nadir damishk men ek vriksh ke niche baithe hue the. akash par lalima chhayi huee thi aur usase mili huee parvatamalaon ki shyam rekha aisi maloom ho rahi thi mano kamal-dal murajha gaya ho. laila ullasit netron se prakriti ki yah shobha dekh rahi thi. nadir malin aur chintit bhav se leta hua samane ke sudoor prant ki or trishit netron se dekh raha tha, mano is jivan se tng a gaya hai.

sahasa bahut door gard udati huee dikhaee di, aur ek kshan men aisa maloom hua ki kuchh adami ghodon par savar chale a rahe hain. nadir uth baitha aur gaur se dekhane laga ki ye kaun adami hain. akasmath vah uthakar khada ho gaya. usaka mukh-mndal dipak ki bhanti chamak utha, jarjar sharir men ek vichitr sphoorti daud gayi. vah utsukata se bola- laila, ye to eeran ke adami hai, kalame-pak ki kasam, ye eeran ke adami hain. inake libas se saf zahir ho raha hai.

laila ne bhi un yatriyon ki or dekha aur sachet hokar boli- apani talavar snbhal lo, shayad usaki zaroorat pade.

nadir- nahin laila, eeran ke log itane kamine nahin hain ki apane badashah par talavar uthayen.

laila- pahale main bhi yahi samajhati thi.

savaron ne samip akar ghode rok liye aur utarakar bade adab se nadir ko salam kiya. nadir bahut jabt karane par bhi apane manoveg ko n rok saka, daudakar unake gale se lipat gaya. vah ab badashah n tha, eeran ka ek musaphir tha. badashahat mit gayi thi; yah eeraniyat rom-rom men bhari huee thi. ve tinon adami is samay eeran ke vidhata the. inhen vah khoob pahachanata tha. unaki svamibhakti ki vah kee bar pariksha le chuka tha. unhen lakar apane boriye par baithana chaha, lekin ve zamin hi par baithe. unaki drishti se vah boriya us samay sinhasan tha, jis par apane svami ke sammukh ve qadam n rakh sakate the. baten hone lagin. eeran ki dasha atynt shochaniy thi. loot-mar ka bazar garm tha, n koee vyavastha thi n vyavasthapak the. agar yahi dasha rahi to shayad bahut jald usaki garadan men paradhinata ka jua pad jay. desh ab nadir ko dhoondh raha tha. usake siva koee doosara us doobate hue bede ko par nahin laga sakata tha. isi asha se ye log usake pas aye the.

nadir ne virakt bhav se kaha- ek bar ijjat li, kya abaki jan lene ki sochi hai ? main bade aram se hoon ! ap mujhe dik n karen.

saradaron ne agrah karana shuroo kiya- ham huzoor ka daman n chhodenge, yahan apani garadanon par chhuri pherakar huzoor ke kadamon par jan de denge. jin badamashon ne apako pareshan kiya tha, ab unaka kahin nishan bhi n raha, ham log unhen phir kabhi sir n uthane denge, sirph huzoor ki ad chahie.

nadir ne bat katakar kaha- sahabo, agar ap mujhe is irade se eeran ka badashah banana chahate hain, to maph kijie. mainne is saphar men riaya ki halat ka gaur se mulahaja kiya hai aur is natije par pahuncha hoon ki sabhi mulkon se unaki halat kharab hai. ve raham ke kabil hain. eeran men mujhe kabhi aise mauke n mile the. main riaya ko apane darabariyon ki ankhon se dekhata tha. mujhase ap log yah ummid n rakhen ki riaya ko lootakar apaki jeben bharoonga. yah ajab apani garadan par nahin le sakata. main insaph ka mijan barabar rakhoonga aur isi shart par eeran chal sakata hoon.

laila ne muskarakar kaha- tum riaya ka kasoor maph kar sakate ho, kyonki usaki tumase koee dushmani n thi. usake dant to mujh par the. main use kaise maph kar sakati hoon.

nadir ne gambhir bhav se kaha- laila, mujhe yakin nahin ata ki tumhare munh se aisi baten sun raha hoon.

logon ne samajha, abhi unhen bhadakane ki zaroorat hi kya hai. eeran men chalakar dekha jayaga. do-char mukhabiron se riaya ke nam par aise upadrav khade kara denge ki inake sare khayal palat jaynge. ek saradar ne arj ki- mazallah ! huzoor yah kya pharamate hain ? kya ham itane nadan hain ki huzoor ko insaph ke raste se hatana chahenge ? insaph hi badashah ka jauhar hai aur hamari dili arajoo hai ki apaka insaph nausheravan ko bhi sharminda kar de. hamari mnsha sirph yah thi ki ainda se ham riaya ko kabhi aisa mauqa n denge ki vah huzoor ki shan men beadabi kar sake. ham apani janen huzoor par nisar karane ke lie hajir rahenge.

sahasa aisa maloom hua ki sari prakriti sngitamay ho gayi hai. parvat aur vriksh, tare aur chand, vayu aur jal sabhi ek svar se gane lage. chandani ki nirmal chhata men, vayu ke nirav prahar men, sngit ki tarngen uthane lagin. laila apana daph baja-bajakar ga rahi thi. aj maloom hua, dhvani hi srishti ka mool hai. parvaton par deviyan nikal-nikalakar nachane lagin, akash par devata nrity karane lage. sngit ne ek naya snsar rach dala.

usi din se jabaki praja ne rajabhavan ke dvar par upadrav machaya tha aur laila ke nirvasan par agrah kiya tha, laila ke vicharon men kranti ho gayi thi. janm se hi usane janata ke sath sahanubhooti karana sikha tha. vah rajakarmachariyon ko praja par atyachar karate dekhati thi aur usaka komal hriday tadap uthata tha. tab dhan, aishvary aur vilas se use ghrina hone lagati thi. jisake karan praja ko itane kasht bhogane padate hain. vah apane men kisi aisi shakti ka ahvan karana chahati thi jo atatayiyon ke hriday men daya aur praja ke hriday men abhay ka snchar kare. usaki bal kalpana use ek sinhasan par bitha deti, jahan vah apani nyay-niti se snsar men yugantar upasthit kar deti. kitani raten usane yahi svapn dekhane men kati thin. kitani bar vah anyay-piditon ke sirahane baithakar royi thi; lekin jab ek din aisa aya ki usake svarn-svapn anshik riti se poore hone lage, tab use ek naya aur kathor anubhav hua. usane dekha ki praja itani sahanashil, itani din aur durbal nahin hai, jitana vah samajhati thi. isaki apeksha usamen ochhepan, avichar aur ashishtata ki matra kahin adhik thi. vah sadvyavahar ki kadr karana nahin janati, shakti pakar usaka sadupayog nahin kar sakati. usi din se usaka dil janata se phir gaya tha.

jis din nadir aur laila ne phir teharan men padarpan kiya, sara nagar unaka abhivadan karane ke lie nikal pada. shahar par atnk chhaya hua tha, charon or karun rudan ki dhvani sunaee deti thi. amiron ke muhalle men shri lotati phirati thi, garibon ke muhalle ujade hue the, unhen dekhakar kaleja phata jata tha. nadir ro pada; lekin laila ke onthon par nishthur nirday hasy apani chhata dikha raha tha.

nadir ke samane ab ek vikat samasya thi. vah nity dekhata ki main jo karana chahata hoon vah nahin hota aur jo nahin karana chahata, vah hota hai, aur isaka karan laila hai; par kuchh kah n sakata tha. laila usake har ek kam men hastakshep karati rahati thi. vah janata ke upakar aur uddhar ke lie jo vidhan karata laila usamen koee n koee vighn avashy dal deti, aur use chup rah jane ke siva aur kuchh n soojhata. laila ke lie usane ek bar rajy ka tyag kar diya tha. tab apatti-kal ne laila ki pariksha li thi. itane dinon ki vipatti men use laila ke charitr ka jo anubhav prapt hua tha, vah itana manohar, itana saras tha ki vah laila-may ho gaya tha. laila hi usaka svarg thi, usake prem men rat rahana hi usaki param abhilasha thi. is laila ke lie vah ab kya kuchh n kar sakata tha ? praja ki aur samrajy ki usake samane kya hasti thi.

is bhanti tin sal bit gaye, praja ki dasha din-din bigadati hi gayi.

9

ek din nadir shikar khelane gaya. aur sathiyon se alag hokar jngal men bhatakata phira, yahan tak ki rat ho gayi aur sathiyon ka pata n chala. ghar lautane ka bhi rasta n janata tha. akhir khuda ka nam lekar ek taraph chala ki kahin to koee ganv ya basti ka nam nishan milega ! vahan rat-bhar pada rahoonga. savere laut jaoonga. chalate-chalate jngal ke doosare sire par use ek ganv najar aya, jisamen mushkil se tin-char ghar honge. han, ek masajid alabatta bani huee thi. masajid men ek dipak timatima raha tha; par kisi adami ya adamajat ka nishan n tha. adhi rat se zyada bit chuki thi, isalie kisi ko kasht dena bhi uchit n tha. nadir ne ghode ko ek ped se bandh diya aur usi masajid men rat katane ki thani. vahan ek phati-si chataee padi huee thi. usi par let gaya. din-bhar ka thaka tha, letate hi nind a gayi. maloom nahin, vah kitani der tak sota raha; par kisi ki ahat pakar chaunka to kya dekhata hai ki ek boodha adami baitha namaz padh raha hai. nadir ko ashchary ha ki itani rat gaye kaun namaz padh raha hai. use yah khabar n thi ki rat gujar gayi aur yah phajar ki namaz hai. vah pada-pada dekhata raha. vriddh purush ne namaz ada ki, phir vah chhati ke samane anjali phailakar dua mangane laga. dua ke shabd sunakar nadir ka khoon sard ho gaya. vah dua usake rajyakal ki aisi tivr, aisi vastavik, aisi shikshaprad alochana thi, jo aj tak kisi ne n ki thi. use apane jivan men apana apayash sunane ka avasar prapt hua. vah yah to janata tha ki mera shasan adarsh nahin hai; lekin usane kabhi yah kalpana n ki thi ki vipatti itani asahy ho gayi hai. dua yah thi-

‘ai khuda ! too hi garibon ka madadagar aur bekason ka sahara hai. too is jalim badashah ke julm dekhata hai aur tera kahar us par nahin girata. yah bedin kaphir ek hasin aurat ki muhabbat men apane ko itana bhool gaya hai ki n ankhon se dekhata hai, n kanon se sunata hai. agar dekhata hai to usi aurat ki ankhon se, sunata hai to usi aurat ke kanon se. ab yah musibat nahin sahi jati. ya to too us jalim ko jahannum pahuncha de; ya ham bekason ko duniya se utha le. eeran usake julm se tng a gaya hai aur too hi usake sir se is bala ko tal sakata hai.’

boodhe ne to apani chhadi snbhali aur chalata hua; lekin nadir mritak ki bhanti vahin pada raha, mano us par bijali gir padi ho.

10

ek saptah tak nadir darabar men n aya, n kisi karmachari ko apane pas ane ki agya di. din-ke-din andar pada socha karata ki kya karoon. namamatr ko kuchh kha leta. laila bar-bar usake pas jati aur kabhi usaka sir apani jangh par rakhakar, kabhi usake gale men banhen dalakar poochhati- tum kyon itane udas aur malin ho ! nadir use dekhakar rone lagata; par munh se kuchh n kahata. yash ya laila, yahi usake samane kathin samasya thi. usake hriday men bhishan dvandv rahata aur vah kuchh nishchay n kar sakata tha. yash pyara tha; par laila usase bhi pyari thi. vah badanam hokar jinda rah sakata tha; par laila ke bina vah jivan ki kalpana hi n kar sakata tha. laila usake rom-rom men vyapt thi.

ant ko usane nishchay kar liya- laila meri hai, main laila ka hoon. n main usase alag, n vah mujhase juda. jo kuchh vah karati hai mera hai, jo kuchh main karata hoon usaka hai. yahan mera aur tera ka bhed hi kahan ? badashahat nashvar hai, prem amar. ham annt kal tak ek-doosare ke pahaloo men baithe hue svarg ke sukh bhogenge. hamara prem annt kal tak akash men tare ki bhanti chamakega.

nadir prasann hokar utha. usaka mukh-mndal vijay ki lalima se rnjit ho raha tha. ankhon men shaury tapaka padata tha. vah laila ke prem ka pyala pine ja raha tha. jise ek saptah se usane munh nahin lagaya tha. usaka hriday usi umng se uchhala padata tha, jo aj se panch sal pahale utha karati thi. prem ka phool kabhi nahin murajhata, prem ki nind kabhi nahin utarati.

lekin laila ki aramagah ke dvar bnd the aur usaka daph jo dvar par nity ek khoonti se lataka rahata tha, gayab tha. nadir ka kaleja sann-sa ho gaya. dvar bnd rahane ka ashay to yah ho sakata tha ki laila bag men hogi; lekin daph kahan gaya ? sambhav hai, vah daph lekar bag men gayi ho; lekin yah udasi kyon chhayi hai ? yah hasarat kyon baras rahi hai !

nadir ne kanpate hue hathon se dvar khol diya. laila andar n thi. palng bichha hua tha, shama jal rahi thi, vajoo ka pani rakha hua tha. nadir ke panv tharrane lage. kya laila rat ko bhi nahin soyi ? kamare ki ek-ek vastu men laila ki yad thi, usaki tasavir thi, usaki mahak thi, lekin laila n thi. makan soona maloom hota tha, jyoti-hin netr .

nadir ka dil bhar aya. usaki himmat n padi ki kisi se kuchh poochhe. hriday itana katar ho gaya ki hatabuddhi ki bhanti pharsh par baithakar bilakh-bilakhakar rone laga. jab jara ansoo thame tab usane bistar ko soongha ki shayad laila ke sparsh ki kuchh gndh aye; lekin khas aur gulab ki mahak ke siva aur koee sugndh n thi.

sahasa use takiye ke niche se bahar nikala hua ek kagaz ka purja dikhayi diya. usane ek hath se kaleje ko snbhalakar purja nikal liya aur sahami huee ankhon se use dekha. ek nigah men sabakuchh maloom ho gaya. vah nadir ki kismat ka phaisala tha. nadir ke munh se nikala, hay laila! aur vah moorchhit hokar zamin par gir pada. laila ne purje men likha tha- ‘mere pyare nadir, tumhari laila tumase juda hoti hai- hamesha ke lie. meri talash mat karana, tum mera surag n paoge. main tumhari muhabbat ki laundi thi, tumhari badashahat ki bhookhi nahin. aj ek haphte se dekh rahi hoon, tumhari nigah phiri huee hai. tum mujhase nahin bolate, meri taraph ankh uthakar nahin dekhate. mujhase bejar rahate ho. main kin-kin aramanon se tumhare pas jati hoon aur kitani mayoos hokar lautati hoon isaka tum andaj nahin kar sakate. mainne is saza ke layaq koee kam nahin kiya. mainne jo kuchh kiya hai, tumhari hi bhalaee ke khayal se. ek haphta mujhe rote gujar gaya. mujhe maloom ho raha hai ki ab main tumhari najaron se gir gayi, tumhare dil se nikal di gayi. ah ! ye panch sal hamesha yad rahenge, hamesha tadapate rahenge ! yahi daph lekar ayi thi, vahi lekar jati hoon. panch sal muhabbat ke maje uthakar zindagi-bhar ke lie hasarat ka dag liye jati hoon. laila muhabbat ki laundi thi; jab muhabbat n rahi, tab laila kyonkar rahati ? rukhsat !’

tika tippani aur sndarbh

bahari kadiyan

snbndhit lekh

varnamala kramanusar lekh khoj

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