शान्ति -प्रेमचंद  हिन्दी देवनागरी में पढ़ें।

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

svargiy devanath mere abhinn mitron men the. aj bhi jab unaki yad ati hai, to vah rngareliyan ankhon men phir jati hain, aur kahin ekant men jakar jara der ro leta hoon. hamare aur unake bich men do-dhaee sau mil ka antar tha. main lakhanoo men tha, vah dilli men; lekin aisa shayad hi koee mahina jata ho ki ham apas men n mil pate hon. vah svachchhnd prakriti ke vinodapriy, sahriday, udar aur mitron par pran denevale adami the, jinhonne apane aur paraye men kabhi bhed nahin kiya. snsar kya hai aur yahan laukik vyavahar ka kaisa nirvah hota hai, yah us vyakti ne kabhi n janane ki cheshta ki. unake jivan men aise kee avasar ae, jab unhen age ke lie hoshiyar ho jana chahie tha. mitron ne unaki nishkapatata se anuchit labh uthaya, aur kee bar unhen lajjit bhi hona pada; lekin us bhale adami ne jivan se koee sabak n lene ki kasam kha li thi. unake vyavahar jyon ke tyon rahe- ‘jaise bholanath jiye, vaise hi bholanath mare, jis duniya men vah rahate the vah nirali duniya thi, jisamen sndeh, chalaki aur kapat ke lie sthan n tha- sab apane the, koee gair n tha. mainne bar-bar unhen sachet karana chaha, par isaka parinam asha ke viruddh hua. mujhe kabhi-kabhi chinta hoti thi ki unhonne ise bnd n kiya, to natija kya hoga? lekin vidnbana yah thi ki unaki stri gopa bhi kuchh usi sanche men dhali huee thi. hamari deviyon men jo ek chaturi hoti hai, jo sadaiv aise udaoo purushon ki asavadhaniyon par ‘brek’ ka kam karati hai, usase vah vnchit thi. yahan tak ki vastrabhooshan men bhi use vishesh ruchi n thi. atev jab mujhe devanath ke svargarohan ka samachar mila aur main bhaga hua dilli gaya, to ghar men baratan bhande aur makan ke siva aur koee snpatti n thi. aur abhi unaki umr hi kya thi, jo snchay ki chinta karate. chalis bhi to poore n hue the. yon to ladakapan unake svabhav men hi tha; lekin is umr men pray: sabhi log kuchh bephrik rahate hain. pahale ek ladaki huee thi, isake bad do ladake hue. donon ladake to bachapan men hi daga de gaye the. ladaki bach rahi thi, aur yahi is natak ka sabase karoon drishy tha. jis tarah ka inaka jivan tha usako dekhate is chhote se parivar ke lie do sau rupaye mahine ki zaroorat thi. do-tin sal men ladaki ka vivah bhi karana hoga. kaise kya hoga, meri buddhi kuchh kam n karati thi.

is avasar par mujhe yah bahumooly anubhav hua ki jo log seva bhav rakhate hain aur jo svarth- siddhi ko jivan ka lakshyo nahin banate, unake parivar ko ad denevalon ki kami nahin rahati. yah koee niyam nahin hai, kyonki mainne aise logon ko bhi dekha hai, jinhonne jivan men bahuton ke sath achchhe salook kiye; par unake pichhe unake bal-bachchon ki kisi ne bat tak n poochhi. lekin chahe kuchh ho, devanath ke mitron ne prashnsaniy audary se kam liya aur gopa ke nirvah ke lie sthayi dhan jama karane ka prastav kiya. do-ek sajjan jo rnduve the, usase vivah karane ko taiyar the, kintu gopa ne bhi usi svabhiman ka parichay diya, jo hamari deviyon ka jauhar hai aur is prastav ko asvikar kar diya. makan bahut bada tha. usaka ek bhag kiraye par utha diya. is tarah usako 50 roo mahavar milane lage. vah itane men hi apana nirvah kar legi. jo kuchh kharch tha, vah sunni ki jat se tha. gopa ke lie to jivan men ab koee anurag hi n tha.

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isake ek mahine bad mujhe karobar ke silasile men videsh jana pada aur vahan mere anuman se kahin adhik- do sal-lag gaye. gopa ke patr barabar jate rahate the, jisase maloom hota tha, ve aram se hain, koee chinta ki bat nahin hai. mujhe pichhe gyat hua ki gopa ne mujhe bhi gair samajha aur vastavik sthiti chhipati rahi.

videsh se lautakar main sidha dilli pahuncha. dh‌var par pahunchate hi mujhe bhi rona a gaya. mrityu ki pratidhvani-si chhayi huee thi. jis kamare men mitron ke jamaghat rahate the unake dh‍var bnd the, makadiyon ne charon or jale tan rakhe the. devanath ke sath vah shri lupt ho gayi thi. pahali najar men mujhe to aisa bhram hua ki devanath dh‌var par khade meri or dekhakar muskara rahe hain. main mithyavadi nahin hoon aur atma ki daihikata men mujhe sndeh hai, lekin us vakt ek bar main chaunk zaroor pada hriday men ek knpan-sa utha; lekin doosari najar men pratima mit chuki thi.dh‌var khula. gopa ke siva kholanevala hi kaun tha. mainne use dekhakar dil tham liya. use mere ane ki soochana thi aur mere svagat ki pratiksha men usane nayi sadi pahan li thi aur shayad bal bhi guntha lie the; par in do varshon ke samay ne us par jo aghat kiye the, unhen kya karati? nariyon ke jivan men yah vah avastha hai, jab roop lavany apane poore vikas par hota hai, jab usamen alhadapan chnchalata aur abhiman ki jagah akarshan, madhury aur rasikata a jati hai; lekin gopa ka yauvan bit chuka tha usake mukh par jhurriyan aur vishad ki rekhaen ankit thin, jinhen usaki prayatnashil prasannata bhi n mita sakati thi. keshon par saphedi daud chali thi aur ek ek ang boodha ho raha tha.

mainne karoon svar men poochha- kya tum bimar thin, gopa?

gopa ne ansoo pikar kaha- nahin to, mujhe kabhi sir dard bhi nahin hua.

‘to tumhari yah kya dasha hai? bilkul boodhi ho gayi ho.’

‘to javani lekar karana hi kya hai? meri umr bhi to paintis ke oopar ho gayi!

‘paintis ki umr to bahut nahin hoti.’

‘han unake lie jo bahut din jina chahate hai. main to chahati hoon jitani jald ho sake, jivan ka ant ho jaye. bas sunni ke byah ki chinta hai. isase chhutati pa jaoon; mujhe zindagi ki paravah n rahegi.’

ab maloom hua ki jo sajjan is makan men kirayedar hue the, vah thode dinon ke bad tabdil hokar chale gaye aur tab se koee doosara kirayedar n aya. mere hriday men barachhi-si chubh gayi. itane din in becharon ka nirvah kaise hua, yah kalpana hi duahkhad thi.

mainne virakt man se kaha- lekin tumane mujhe soochana kyon n di? kya main bilakul gair hoon?

gopa ne lajjit hokar kaha- nahin nahin yah bat nahin hai. tumhen gair samajhoongi to apana kise samajhoongi? mainne samajha paradesh men tum khud apane jhamele men pade honge, tumhen kyon sataoon? kisi n kisi tarah din kat hi gaye. ghar men aur kuchh n tha, to thode-se gahane to the hi. ab sunita ke vivah ki chinta hai. pahale mainne socha tha, is makan ko nikal doongi, bis-bais hazar mil jayenge. vivah bhi ho jayega aur kuchh mere lie bacha bhi rahega; lekin bad ko maloom hua ki makan pahale hi rehan ho chuka hai aur sood milakar us par bis hazar ho gaye hain. mahajan ne itani hi daya kya kam ki, ki mujhe ghar se nikal n diya. idhar se to ab koee asha nahin hai. bahut hath panv jodane par snbhav hai, mahajan se do dhaee hazar mil jaye. itane men kya hoga? isi fikr men ghuli ja rahi hoon. lekin main bhi itani matalabi hoon, n tumhen hath munh dhone ko pani diya, n kuchh jalapan layi aur apana dukhada le baithi. ab ap kapade utariye aur aram se baithiye. kuchh khane ko laoon, kha lijie, tab baten hon. ghar par to sab kushal hai?

mainne kaha- main to sidhe bambee se yahan a raha hoon. ghar kahan gaya.

gopa ne mujhe tiraskar-bhari ankhon se dekha, par us tiraskar ki ad men ghanishth atmiyata baithi jhank rahi thi. mujhe aisa jan pada, usake mukh ki jhurriyan mit gayi hain. pichhe mukh par halki-si lali daud gayi. usane kaha-isaka phal yah hoga ki tumhari deviji tumhen kabhi yahan n ane dengi.

‘main kisi ka gulam nahin hoon.’

‘kisi ko apana gulam banane ke lie pahale khud bhi usaka gulam banana padata hai.’

shitakal ki sndhya dekhate hi dekhate dipak jalane lagi. sunni lalaten lekar kamare men ayi. do sal pahale ki abodh aur krishatanu balika roopavati yuvati ho gayi thi, jisaki har ek chitavan, har ek bat usaki gauravashil prakriti ka pata de rahi thi. jise main god men uthakar pyar karata tha, usaki taraph aj ankhen n utha saka aur vah jo mere gale se lipatakar prasann hoti thi, aj mere samane khadi bhi n rah saki. jaise mujhase koee vastu chhipana chahati hai, aur jaise main us vastu ko chhipane ka avasar de raha hoon.

mainne poochha- ab tum kis daraje men pahunchi sunni?

usane sir jhukaye hue javab diya- dasaven men hoon.

‘ghar ka bhi kuchh kam-kaj karati ho?

‘amman jab karane bhi den.’

gopa boli- main nahin karane deti ya khud kisi kam ke nagich nahin jati?

sunni munh pherakar hnsati huee chali gayi. man ki dulari ladaki thi. jis din vah grihasthi ka kam karati, us din shayad gopa ro rokar ankhen phod leti. vah khud ladaki ko koee kam n karane deti thi, magar sabase shikayat karati thi ki vah koee kam nahin karati. yah shikayat bhi usake pyar ka hi ek karishma tha. hamari maryada hamare bad bhi jivit rahati hai.

main bhojan karake leta, to gopa ne phir sunni ke vivah ki taiyariyon ki charcha chhed di. isake siva usake pas aur bat hi kya thi. ladake to bahut milate hain, lekin kuchh haisiyat bhi to ho. ladaki ko yah sochane ka avasar kyon mile ki dada hote to shayad mere lie isase achchha ghar var dhoondhate. phir gopa ne darate darate lala madarilal ke ladake ka zikr kiya.

mainne chakit hokar usaki taraph dekha. madarilal pahale injiniyar the, ab penshan pate the. lakhon rupaya jama kar liye the, par ab tak unake lobh ki bhookh n bujhi thi. gopa ne ghar bhi vah chhanta, jahan usaki rasaee kathin thi.

mainne apatti ki- madarilal to bada durjan manushy hai.

gopa ne danton tale jibh dabakar kaha- are nahin bhaiya, tumane unhen pahachana n hoga. mere oopar bade dayalu hain. kabhi-kabhi akar kushal- samachar poochh jate hain. ladaka aisa honahar hai ki main tumase kya kahoon. phir unake yahan kami kis bat ki hai? yah thik hai ki pahale vah khoob rishvat lete the; lekin yahan dharmatma kaun hai? kaun avasar pakar chhod deta hai? madarilal ne to yahan tak kah diya ki vah mujhase dahej nahin chahate, keval kanya chahate hain. sunni unake man men baith gayi hai.

mujhe gopa ki saralata par daya ayi; lekin mainne socha kyon isake man men kisi ke prati avishvas utpann karoon. snbhav hai madarilal vah n rahe hon, chit ki bhavanaen badalati bhi rahati hain.

mainne ardh sahamat hokar kaha- magar yah to socho, unamen aur tumame kitana antar hai. shayad apana sarvasv arpan karake bhi unaka munh sidha n kar sako.

lekin gopa ke man men bat jam gayi thi. sunni ko vah aise ghar men chahati thi, jahan vah rani banakar rahe.

doosare din prat: kal main madarilal ke pas gaya aur unase meri jo batachit huee, usane mujhe mugdh kar diya. kisi samay vah lobhi rahe honge, is samay to mainne unhen bahut hi sahriday udar aur vinayashil paya. bole bhaee sahab, main devanath ji se parichit hoon. adamiyon men ratan the. unaki ladaki mere ghar aye, yah mera saubhagy hai. ap unaki man se kah den, madarilal unase kisi chiz ki ichchha nahin rakhata. eeshvar ka diya hua mere ghar men sab kuchh hai, main unhen jerabar nahin karana chahata.

mere dil ka bojh utar gaya.ham suni-sunayi baton se dusaron ke snbndh men kaisi mithya dharana kar liya karate hain, isaka bada shubh anubhav hua. maine akar gopa ko badhaee di.yah nishchay hua ki garmiyon men vivah kar diya jay

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ye char mahine gopa ne vivah ki taiyariyon men kate. main mahine men ek bar avashy usase mil ata tha; par har bar khinn hokar lautata. gopa ne apani kul maryada ka n jane kitana mahanh adarsh apane samane rakh liya tha. pagali is bhram men padi huee thi ki usaka utsah nagar men apani yadagar chhod jayega. yah n janati thi ki yahan aise tamashe roj hote hain aur aye din bhula diye jate hain. shayad vah snsar se yah shrey lena chahati thi ki is gayi-biti dasha men bhi, luta hua hathi nau lakh ka hai. pag-pag par use devanath ki yad ati. vah hote to yah kam yon n hota, yon hota, aur tab roti.

madarilal sajjan hain, yah saty hai, lekin gopa ka apani kanya ke prati bhi kuchh dharm hai. kaun usake das-panch ladakiyan baithi huee hain. vah to dil kholakar araman nikalegi! sunni ke lie usane jitane gahane aur jode banavae the, unhen dekhakar mujhe ashchary hota tha. jab dekho kuchh-n-kuchh si rahi hai, kabhi sunaron ki dukan par baithi huee hai, kabhi mehamanon ke adar-satkar ka ayojan kar rahi hai. muhalle men aisa birala hi koee snpann manushy hoga, jisase usane kuchh karz n liya ho. vah ise karz samajhati thi, par dene vale dan samajhakar dete the. sara muhalla usaka sahayak tha. sunni ab muhalle ki ladaki thi. gopa ki ijjat sabaki ijjat hai aur gopa ke lie to nind aur aram haram tha. dard se sir phata ja raha hai, adhi rat ho gayi magar vah baithi kuchh-n-kuchh si rahi hai, ya is kothi ka dhan us kothi kar rahi hai. kitani vatsaly se bhari akanksha thi, jo ki dekhane valon men shraddha utpann kar deti thi.

akeli aurat aur vah bhi adhi jan ki. kya- kya kare. jo kam doosaron par chhod deti hai, usi men kuchh n kuchh kasar rah jati hai, par usaki himmat hai ki kisi tarah har nahin manati.

pichhali bar usaki dasha dekhakar mujhase raha n gaya. bola- gopa devi, agar marana hi chahati ho, to vivah ho jane ke bad maro. mujhe bhay hai ki tum usake pahale hi n chal do.

gopa ka murajhaya hua mukh pramudit ho utha. boli- usaki chinta n karo bhaiya vidhava ki ayu bahut lnbi hoti hai. tumane suna nahin, rand mare n khndahar dhahe. lekin meri kamana yahi hai ki sunni ka thikana lagakar main bhi chal doon. ab aur jikar kya karoongi, socho. kya karoon, agar kisi tarah ka vighn pad gaya to kisaki badanami hogi. in char mahinon men mushkil se ghnta bhar soti hoongi. nind hi nahin ati, par mera chitt prasann hai. main maroon ya jioon mujhe yah sntosh to hoga ki sunni ke lie usaka bap jo kar sakata tha, vah mainne kar diya. madarilal ne apani sajjanata dikhaee, to mujhe bhi to apani nak rakhani hai.

ek devi ne akar kaha - bahan, jara chalakar dekh lo, chashani thik ho gayi hai ya nahin. gopa usake sath chashani ki pariksha karane gayi aur ek kshan ke bad akar boli- ji chahata hai, sir pit loon. tumase jara bat karane lagi, udhar chashani itani kadi ho gayi ki ladadoo danton se ladenge. kisase kya kahoon!

maine chidhakar kaha tum vyarth ka jhnjhat kar rahi ho. kyon nahin kisi halavaee ko bulakar mithaiyon ka theka de deti. phir tumhare yahan mehaman hi kitane avenge, jinake lie yah toomar bandh rahi ho. das panch ki mithaee unake lie bahut hogi.

gopa ne vyathit netron se meri or dekha. meri yah alochana use burilagi. in dinon use bat bat par krodh a jata tha. boli- bhaiya, tum ye baten n samajhoge. tumhen n man banane ka avasar mila, n patni banane ka. sunni ke pita ka kitana nam tha, kitane adami unake dam se jite the, kya yah tum nahin janate, vah pagadi mere hi sir to bndhi hai. tumhen vishvas n ayega nastik jo thahare, par main to unhen sadaiv apane andar baitha pati hoon, jo kuchh kar rahe hain vah kar rahe hain. main mndabuddhi stri bhala akeli kya kar deti. vahi mere sahayak hain vahi mere prakash hain. yah samajh lo ki yah deh meri hai par isake andar jo atma hai vah unaki hai. jo kuchh ho raha hai unake puny adesh se ho raha hai tum unake mitr ho. tumane apane saikadon rupaye kharch kiye aur itana hairan ho rahe ho. main to unaki sahagamini hoon, lok men bhi, paralok men bhi.

main apana sa munh lekar rah gaya.

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joon men vivah ho gaya. gopa ne bahut kuchh diya aur apani haisiyat se bahut zyada diya, lekin phir bhi, use sntosh n hua. aj sunni ke pita hote to n jane kya karate. barabar roti rahi.

jadon men main phir dilli gaya. mainne samajha ki ab gopa sukhi hogi. ladaki ka ghar aur var donon adarsh hain. gopa ko isake siva aur kya chahie. lekin sukh usake bhagy men hi n tha.

abhi kapade bhi n utarane paya tha ki usane apana dukhada shuroo kar diya- bhaiya, ghar dh‌var sab achchha hai, sas-sasur bhi achchhe hain, lekin jamaee nikamma nikala. sunni bechari ro-rokar din kat rahi hai. tum use dekho, to pahachan n sako. usaki parachhayi matr rah gayi hai. abhi kee din hue, ayi huee thi, usaki dasha dekhakar chhati phatati thi. jaise jivan men apana path kho baithi ho. n tan badan ki sudh hai n kapade-late ki. meri sunni ki durgat hogi, yah to svapn men bhi n socha tha. bilkul gumasum ho gayi hai. kitana poochha- beti tumase vah kyon nahin bolata, kis bat par naraz hai, lekin kuchh javab hi nahin deti. bas, ankhon se ansoo bahate hain, meri sunni kuen men gir gayi.

mainne kaha- tumane usake ghar valon se pata nahin lagaya.

‘lagaya kyon nahin bhaiya, sab hal maloom ho gaya. launda chahata hai, main chahe jis rah jaoon, sunni meri pooja karati rahe. sunni bhala ise kyon sahane lagi? use to tum janate ho, kitani abhimani hai. vah un striyon men nahin hai, jo pati ko devata samajhati hain aur usaka durvyavahar sahati rahati hai. usane sadaiv dular aur pyar paya hai. bap bhi us par jan deta tha. main ankh ki putali samajhati thi. pati mila chhaila, jo adhi adhi rat tak mara mara phirata hai. donon men kya bat huee yah kaun jan sakata hai, lekin donon men koee ganth pad gayi hai. n sunni ki paravah karata hai, n sunni usaki paravah karati hai, magar vah to apane rng men mast hai, sunni pran diye deti hai. usake lie sunni ki jagah munni hai, sunni ke lie usaki upeksha hai aur roodan hai.’

mainne kaha- lekin tumane sunni ko samajhaya nahin. us launde ka kya bigadega? isaki to zindagi kharab ho jayegi.

gopa ki ankhon men ansoo bhar ae, boli- bhaiya,kis dil se samajhaoon? sunni ko dekhakar to mer chhati phatane lagati hai. bas yahi ji chahata hai ki ise apane kaleje men aise rakh loon, ki ise koee kadi ankh se dekh bhi n sake. sunni phoohad hoti, katu- bhashini hoti, aramatalab hoti, to samajhati bhi. kya yah samajhaoon ki tera pati gali-gali munh kala karata phire, phir bhi too usaki pooja kiya kar? main to khud yah apaman n sah sakati. stri purush men vivah ki pahali shart yah hai ki donon solahon ane ek-doosare ke ho jayen. aise purush to kam hain, jo stri ko jau-bhar vichalit hote dekhakar shant rah saken, par aisi striyan bahut hain, jo pati ko svachchhnd samajhati hain. sunni un striyon men nahin hai. vah agar atmasamarpan karati hai to atmasamarpan chahati bhi hai, aur yadi pati men yah bat n huee, to vah usase koee snpark n rakhegi, chahe usaka sara jivan rote kat jaye.

yah kahakar gopa bhitar gayi aur ek singaradan lakar usake andar ke abhooshan dikhati huee boli- sunni ise ab ki yahin chhod gayi. isilie ayi thi. ye ve gahane hain jo mainne n jane kitana kasht sahakar banavaye the. isake pichhe mahinon mari mari phiri thi. yon kaho ki bhikh mangakar jama kiye the. sunni ab inaki or ankh uthakar bhi nahin dekhati! pahane to kisake lie? singar kare to kis par? panch sndook kapadon ke diye the. kapade site-site meri ankhen phoot gayi. yah sab kapade uthati layi. in chijon se use ghrina ho gayi hai. bas, kalaee men do choodiyan aur ek ujali sadi; yahi usaka singar hai.

mainne gopa ko santvana di- main jakar kedaranath se miloonga. dekhoon to, vah kis rng dhng ka adami hai.

gopa ne hath jodakar kaha- nahin, bhoolakar bhi n jana; sunni sunegi to pran hi de degi. abhiman ki putali hi samajho use. rassi samajh lo, jisake jal jane par bhi bal nahin jate. jin pairon se use thukara diya hai, unhen vah kabhi n sahalayegi. use apana banakar koee chahe to laundi bana le, lekin shasan to usane mera n saha, doosaron ka kya sahegi.

mainne gopa se us vakt kuchh n kaha, lekin avasar pate hi lala madarilal se mila. main rahasy ka pata lagana chahata tha. snyog se pita aur putr, donon hi ek jagah par mil gaye. mujhe dekhate hi kedar ne is tarah jhukakar mere charan chhue ki main usaki shalinata par mugdh ho gaya. turnt bhitar gaya aur chay, murabba aur mithaiyan laya. itana saumy, itana sushil, itana vinamr yuvak mainne n dekha tha. yah bhavana hi n ho sakati thi ki isake bhitar aur bahar men koee antar ho sakata hai. jab tak raha sir jhukaye baitha raha. uchchhrinkhalata to use chhoo bhi nahin gayi thi.

jab kedar tenis khelane gaya, to mainne madarilal se kaha- kedar baboo to bahut sachcharitr jan padate hain, phir stri purush men itana manomaliny kyon ho gaya hai.

madarilal ne ek kshan vichar karake kaha isaka karan isake siva aur kya bataoon ki donon apane man-bap ke ladale hain, aur pyar ladakon ko apane man ka bana deta hai. mera sara jivan sngharsh men kata. ab jakar jara shanti mili hai. bhog-vilas ka kabhi avasar hi n mila. din bhar parishram karata tha, sndhya ko padakar so jata tha. svasthy bhi achchha n tha, isalie bar- bar yah chinta savar rahati thi ki snchay kar loon. aisa n ho ki mere pichhe bal bachche bhikh mangate phire. natija yah hua ki in mahashay ko muft ka dhan mila. sanak savar ho gayi. sharab udane lagi. phir drama khelane ka shauq hua. dhan ki kami thi hi nahin, us par man-bap ke akele bete. unaki prasannata hi hamare jivan ka svarg thi. padhana-likhana to door raha, vilas ki ichchha badhati gayi. rng aur gahara hua, apane jivan ka drama khelane lage. mainne yah rng dekha to mujhe chinta huee. socha, byah kar doon, thik ho jayega. gopa devi ka paigam aya, to mainne turnt svikar kar liya. main sunni ko dekh chuka tha. socha, aisi roopavati patni pakar inaka man sthir ho jayega, par vah bhi ladali ladaki thi-hathili, abodh, adarshavadini. sahishnuta to usane sikhi hi n thi. samajhaute ka jivan men kya mooly hai, isaki use khabar hi nahin. loha lohe se lad gaya. vah abhiman se parajit karana chahati hai, yah upeksha se, yahi rahasy hai. aur sahab main to bahoo ko hi adhik doshi samajhata hoon. ladake pray manachale hote hain. ladakiyan svabhav se hi sushil hoti hain aur apani zimmedari samajhati hain. usamen ye gun hi nahin. donga kaise par hoga eeshvar hi jane.

sahasa sunni andar se a gayi. bilkul apane chitr ki rekha si, mano manohar sngit ki pratidhvani ho. kundan tapakar bhasm ho gaya tha. miti huee ashaon ka isase achchha chitr nahin ho sakata. ulahana deti huee boli- ap n jane kab se baithe hue hain, mujhe khabar tak nahin aur shayad ap bahar hi bahar chale bhi jate?

mainne ansuon ke veg ko rokate hue kaha- nahin sunni, yah kaise ho sakata tha tumhare pas a hi raha tha ki tum svayn a gayi.

madarilal kamare ke bahar apani kar ki saphaee karane lage. shayad mujhe sunni se bat karane ka avasar dena chahate the.

sunni ne poochha-amman to achchhi tarah hain?

‘han achchhi hain. tumane apani yah kya gat bana rakhi hai.’

‘main achchhi tarah se hoon.’

‘yah bat kya hai? tum logon men yah kya anaban hai. gopa devi pran diye dalati hain. tum khud marane ki taiyari kar rahi ho. kuchh to vichar se kam lo.’

sunni ke mathe par bal pad gaye- apane nahak yah vishay chhed diya chacha ji! mainne to yah sochakar apane man ko samajha liya ki main abhagin hoon. bas, usaka nivaran mere boote se bahar hai. main us jivan se mrityu ko kahin achchha samajhati hoon, jahan apani qadar n ho. main vrat ke badale men vrat chahati hoon. jivan ka koee doosara roop meri samajh men nahin ata. is vishay men kisi tarah ka samajhauta karana mere lie asnbhav hai. natije ki main paravah nahin karati.

‘lekin...’

‘nahin chachaji, is vishay men ab kuchh n kahie, nahin to main chali jaoongi.’

‘akhir socho to...’

‘main sab soch chuki aur tay kar chuki. pashu ko manushy banana meri shakti se bahar hai.’

isake bad mere lie apana munh bnd karane ke siva aur kya rah gaya tha?

5

mee ka mahina tha. main mnsoor gaya hua tha ki gopa ka tar pahuncha- ‘ turnt ao, zaroori kam hai.’ main ghabara to gaya lekin itana nishchit tha ki koee durghatana nahin huee hai. doosare din dilli ja pahuncha. gopa mere samane akar khadi ho gayi, nispnd, mook, nishpran, jaise tapedik ki rogi ho.

‘mainne poochha kushal to hai, main to ghabara utha.‘

usane bujhi huee ankhon se dekha aur boli- sach!

‘sunni to kushal se hai.’

‘han, achchhi tarah hai.’

‘aur kedaranath?’

‘vah bhi achchhi tarah hai.’

‘to phir majara kya hai?’

‘kuchh to nahin.’

‘tumane tar diya aur kahati ho- kuchh to nahin?’

‘dil ghabara raha tha, isase tumhen bula liya. sunni ko kisi tarah samajhakar yahan lana hai. main to sab kuchh karake har gayi.’

‘kya idhar koee nayi bat ho gayi.’

‘nayi to nahin hai, lekin ek tarah men nayi hi samajho, kedar ek aiktres ke sath kahin bhag gaya. ek saptah se usaka kahin pata nahin hai. sunni se kah gaya hai- jab tak tum rahogi ghar men nahin aoonga. sara ghar sunni ka shatru ho raha hai, lekin vah vahan se talane ka nam nahin leta. suna hai kedar apane bap ke dastakhat banakar kee hazar rupaye baink se le gaya hai.

‘tum sunni se mili thin?’

‘han, tin din se barabar ja rahi hoon.’

‘vah nahin ana chahati, to rahane kyon nahin deti.’

‘vahan ghut ghutakar mar jayegi.’

‘main unhin pairon lala madarilal ke ghar chala. halanki main janata tha ki sunni kisi tarah n ayegi, magar vahan pahuncha to dekha kuharam macha hua hai. mera kaleja dhak se rah gaya. vahan to arthi saj rahi thi. muhalle ke saikadon adami jama the. ghar men se ‘hay! hay!’ ki krndan-dhvani a rahi thi. yah sunni ka shav tha.

madarilal mujhe dekhate hi mujhase unmat ki bhanti lipat gaye aur bole-

‘bhaee sahab, main to lut gaya. ladaka bhi gaya, bahoo bhi gayi, zindagi hi garat ho gayi.’

maloom hua ki jab se kedar gayab ho gaya tha, sunni aur bhi zyada udas rahane lagi thi. usane usi din apani choodiyan tod dali thin aur mang ka sindoor ponchh dala tha. sas ne jab apatti ki, to unako apashabd kahe. madarilal ne samajhana chaha to unhen bhi jali-kati sunayi. aisa anuman hota tha-unmad ho gaya hai. logon ne usase bolana chhod diya tha. aj prat:kal yamuna snan karane gayi. andhera tha, sara ghar so raha tha, kisi ko nahin jagaya. jab din chadh gaya aur bahoo ghar men n mili, to usaki talash hone lagi. dopahar ko pata laga ki yamuna gayi hai. log udhar bhage. vahan usaki lash mili. pulis ayi, shav ki pariksha huee. ab jakar shav mila hai. main kaleja thamakar baith gaya. hay, abhi thode din pahale jo sundari palaki par savar hokar ayi thi, aj vah char ke kndhe par ja rahi hai!

main arthi ke sath ho liya aur vahan se lauta, to rat ke das baj gaye the. mere panv kanp rahe the. maloom nahin, yah khabar pakar gopa ki kya dasha hogi. pranant n ho jaye, mujhe yahi bhay ho raha tha. sunni usaki pran thi. usaki jivan ka kendr thi. us dukhiya ke udh‌yan men yahi paudha bach raha tha. use vah hriday rakt se sinch-sinchakar pal rahi thi. usake vasnt ka sunahara svapn hi usaka jivan tha usamen kopalen nikalengi, phool khilenge, phal lagenge, chidiya usaki dali par baithakar apane suhane rag gavengi, kintu aj nishthur niyati ne us jivan sootr ko ukhahdakar phenk diya. aur ab usake jivan ka koee adhar n tha. vah bindu hi mit gaya tha, jis par jivan ki sari rekhaen akar ekatr ho jati thin.

dil ko donon hathon se thame, mainne jnjir khatakhatayi. gopa ek lalaten lie nikali. mainne gopa ke mukh par ek naye annd ki jhalak dekhi.

meri shok-mudra dekhakar usane matrivath prem se mera hath pakad liya aur boli- aj to tumhara sara din rote hi kata. arthi ke sath bahut se adami rahe honge. mere ji men bhi aya ki chalakar sunni ke antim darshan kar loon. lekin mainne socha, jab sunni hi n rahi, to usaki lash men kya rakha hai! n gayi.

main vismay se gopa ka munh dekhane laga. to ise yah shok-samachar mil chuka hai. phir bhi yah shanti aur avichal dhairy! bola- achchha kiya, n gayi rona hi to tha.

‘han, aur kya? royi yahan bhi, lekin tumase sach kahati hoon, dil se nahin royi. n jane kaise ansoo nikal ae. mujhe to sunni ki maut se prasannata huee. dukhiya apani man maryada lie snsar se vida ho gayi, nahin to n jane kya kya dekhana padata. isalie aur bhi prasann hoon ki usane apani an nibha di. stri ke jivan men pyar n mile to usaka ant ho jana hi achchha. tumane sunni ki mudra dekhi thi? log kahate hain, aisa jan padata tha- muskara rahi hai. meri sunni sachamuch devi thi. bhaiya, adami isalie thode hi jina chahata hai ki rota rahe. jab maloom ho gaya ki jivan men du:kh ke siva kuchh nahin hai, to adami jikar kya kare. kisalie jiye? khane aur sone aur mar jane ke lie? yah main nahin kahati ki mujhe sunni ki yad n ayegi aur main use yad karake rooongi nahin. lekin vah shok ke ansoo n honge. bahadur bete ki man usaki viragati par prasann hoti hai. sunni ki maut me kya kuchh kam gaurav hai? main ansoo bahakar us gaurav ka anadar kaise karoon? vah janati hai, aur chahe sara snsar usaki ninda kare, usaki mata sarahana hi karegi. usaki atma se yah annd bhi chhin loon? lekin ab rat zyada ho gayi hai. oopar jakar so raho. mainne tumhari charapaee bichha di hai, magar dekho, akele pade-pade rona nahin. sunni ne vahi kiya, jo use karana chahie tha. usake pita hote, to aj sunni ki pratima banakar poojate.’

main oopar jakar leta, to mere dil ka bojh bahut halka ho gaya tha, kintu rah-rahakar yah sndeh ho jata tha ki gopa ki yah shanti usaki apar vyatha ka hi roop to nahin hai?

tika tippani aur sndarbh

bahari kadiyan

snbndhit lekh

varnamala kramanusar lekh khoj

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