सौत -प्रेमचंद  हिन्दी देवनागरी में पढ़ें।

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

jab rajiya ke do-tin bachche hokar mar gaye aur umr dhal chali, to ramoo ka prem usase kuchh kam hone laga aur doosare vyah ki dhun savar huee. aye din rajiya se bakajhak hone lagi. ramoo ek-n-ek bahana khojakar rajiya par bigadata aur use marata. aur ant ko vah nee stri le hi aya. isaka nam tha dasi. champee rng tha, badi-badi ankhen, javani ki umr. pili, kunshagi rajiya bhala is navayauvana ke samane kya janchati! phir bhi vah jate hue svamitv ko, jitane din ho sake apane adhikar men rakhana chahati thi. tigarate hue chhappar ko thooniyon se samhalane ki cheshta kar rahi thi. is ghar ko usane mar-marakar banaya hai. use sahaj hi men nahin chhod sakati. vah itani besamajh nahin hai ki ghar chhodakar chi jay aur dasi raj kare.

ek din rajiya ne ramoo se kaha—mere pas sadi nahin hai, jakar la do.

ramu usake ek din pahale dasi ke lie achchhi-si chundari laya tha. rajiya ki mang sunakar bola—mere pas abhi rupaya nahin tha.

rajiya ko sadi ki utani chah n thi jitani ramoo aur dasiya ke anand men vighn dalane ki. boli—rupaye nahin the, to kal apani chaheti ke lie chundari kyon laye? chundari ke badale usi dam men do sadiyan late, to ek mere kam n a jati?

ramoo ne svechchha bhav se kaha—meri ichda, jo chahoonga, karoonga, too bolane vali kaun hai? abhi usake khane-khelane ke din hai. too chahati hain, use abhi se non-tel ki chinta men dal doon. yah mujhase n hoga. tujhe odhane-pahanane ki sadh hai to kam kar, bhagavan ne kya hath-pair nahin diye. pahale to ghadi rat uthakar kam dhnghe men lag jati thi. ab usaki dah men pahar din tak padi rahati hai. to rupaye kya akash se girenge? main tere lie apani jan thode hi de doonga.

rajiya ne kaha—to kya main usaki laundi hoon ki vah rani ki tarah padi rahe aur main ghar ka sara kam karati rahoon? itane dinon chhati phadakar kam kiya, usaka yah phal mila, to ab meri bala kam karane ati hai.

‘main jaise rakhoonga, vaise hi tujhe rahana padega.’

‘meri ichchha hogi rahoongi, nahin alag ho jaoongi.’

‘jo teri ichachha ho, kar, mera gala chhod.’

‘achchhi bat hai. aj se tera gala chhodati hoon. samajh loongi vidhava ho gee.’

2

ramu dil men itana to samajhata tha ki yah grihasthi rajiya ki jodi huee hain, chahe usake roop men usake lochan-vilas ke lie akarshan n ho. sambhav tha, kuchh der ke bad vah jakar rajiya ko mana leta, par dasi bhi kootaniti men kushal thi. usane gamr lohe par choten jamana shooroo kin. boli—aj devi ki kis bat par bigad rahi thi?

ramu ne udas man se kaha—teri chundari ke pichhe rajiya mahabharat machaye hue hai. ab kahati hai, alag rahoongi. mainne kah diya, teri jare ichchha ho kar.

dasiya ne aaukhen matakakar kaha—yah sab nakhare hai ki akar hath-panv jode, manavan karen, aur kuchh nahin. tum chupachap baithe raho. do-char din men ap hi garami utar jayegi. tum kuchh bolana nahin, usaka mizaj aur asaman par chadh jayaga.

ramoo ne gambhir bhav se kaha—dasi, tum janati ho, vah kitani ghamandin hai. vah munh se jo bat kahati hai, use karake chhodati hai.

rajiya ko bhi ramoo se aisi kritadhnata ki asha n thi. vah jab pahale ki-si sundar nahin, isalie ramoo ko ab usase prem nahin hai. purush charitr men yah koee asadharan bat n thi, lekin ramoo usase alag rahega, isaka use vishvas an ata tha. yah ghar usi ne paisa-paisa jodekar banavaya. grihasthi bhi usi ki jodi huee hai. anaj ka len-den usi ne shuroo kiya. is ghar men akar usane kaun-kaun se kasht nahin jhele, isilie to ki paurookh thak jane par ek tukada chain se khayagi aur padi rahegi, aur aj vah itani nirdayata se doodh ki makkhi ki tarah nikalakar phenk di gee! ramoo ne itana bhi nahin kaha—too alag nahin rahane payegi. main ya khud mar jaoonga ya tujhe mar daloonga, par tujhe alag n hone doonga. tujhase mera byah hua hai. hnsi-thattha nahin hai. to jab ramoo ko usaki paravah nahin hai, to vah ramoo ko kyon paravah kare. kya sabhi striyon ke purush baithe hote hain. sabhi ke man-bap, bete-pote hote hain. aj usake ladake jite hote, to majal thi ki yah nee stri late, aur meri yah durgati karate? is nidee ko mere oopar itani bhi daya n aee?

nari-hriday ki sari paravashata is atyachar se vidroh karane lagi. vahi ag jo moti lakadi ko sparsh bhi nahin kar sakati, phoos ko jalakar bhasm kar deti hai.

3

doosare din rajiya ek doosare ganv men chali gee. usane apane sath kuchh n liya. jo sadi usaki deh par thi, vahi usaki sari sampatti thi. vidhata ne usake balakon ko pahale hi chhin liya tha! aj ghar bhi chhin liya!

ramoo us samay dasi ke sath baitha hua amod-vinod kar raha tha. rajiya ko jate dekhakar shayad vah samajh n saka ki vah chali ja rahi hai. rajiya ne yahi samajha. is tarah toron ki bhanti vah jana bhi n chahati thi. vah dasi ko usake pati ko aur sare ganv ko dikha dena chahati thi ki vah is ghar se dhele ki bhi chiz nahin le ja rahi hai. ganv valon ki drishti men ramoo ka apaman karana hi usaka lakshy tha. usake chupachap chale jane se to kuchh bhi n hoga. ramoo ulata sabase kahega, rajiya ghar ki sari sampada utha le gee.

usane ramoo ko pukarakar kaha—samhalo apana ghar. main jati hoon. tumhare ghar ki koee bhi chiz apane sath nahin le jati.

ramoo ek kshan ke lie kartavy-bhrasht ho gaya. kya kahe, usaki samajh men nahin aya. use asha n thi ki vah yon jayagi. usane socha tha, jab vah ghar dhokar le jane lagegi, tab vah ganv valon ko dikhakar unaki sahanubhooti prapt karega. ab kya kare.

dasiya boli—jakar ganv men dhindhora pit ao. yahan kisi ka dar nahin hai. tu apane ghar se le hi kya aee thin, jo kuchh lekar jaogi.

rajiya ne usake munh n lagakar ramoo hi se kaha—sanute ho, apani chaheti ki baten. phir bhi munh nahin khulata. main to jati hoon, lekin dasso rani, tum bhi bahut din raj n karogi. eeshvar ke daravar men anyay nahin phalata. vah bade-bade ghamandiyon ko ghamand choor kar dete hain.

dasiya thattha marakar hnsi, par ramoo ne sir jhuka liya. rajiya chali gee.

4

rajiya jis naye ganv men aee thi, vah ramoo ke ganv se mila hi hua tha, atev yahan ke log usase parichit hain. vah kaisi kushal grihini hai, kaisi mehanati, kaisi bat ki sachchi, yah yahan kisi se chhipa n tha. rajiya ko majoori milane men koee badha n huee. jo ek lekar do ka kam kare, use kam ki kya kami?

tin sal ek rajiya ne kaise kate, kaise ek nee grihasthi banaee, kaise kheti shuroo ki, isaka bayan karane baithen, to pothi ho jay. snchay ke jitane mntr hain, jitane sadhan hain, ve rajiya ko khoob maloom the. phir ab use lag ho gee thi aur lag men adami ki shakti ka varapar nahin rahata. ganv vale usaka parishram dekhakar danton ungali dabate the. vah ramoo ko dikha dena chahati hai—main tumase alag hokar bhi aram se rah sakati hoon. vah ab paradhin nari nahin hai. apani kamaee khati hai.

rajiya ke pas bailon ki ek achchhi jodi hai. rajiya unhen keval khali-bhoosi dekar nahin rah jati, roj do-do rotiyan bhi khilati hai. phir unhen ghnton sahalati. kabhi-kabhi unake kndhon par sir rakhakar roti hai aur kahati hai, ab bete ho to, pati ho to tumhin ho. meri jal ab tumhare hi sath hai. donon bail shayad rajiya ki bhasha aur bhav samajhate hain. ve manushy nahin, bail hain. donon sir nicha karake rajiya ka hath chatakar use ashvasan dete hain. ve use dekhate hi kitane prem se usaki or takate lagate hain, kitane harsh se kndha jhulakar par juva rakhavate hain aur kaisa ji tod kam karate hain, yah ve log samajh sakate hain, jinhonne bailon ki seva ki hai aur unake hriday ko apanaya hai.

rajiya is ganv ki chaudharain hai. usaki buddhi jo pahile nity adhar khojati rahati thi aur svachchhand roop se apana vikas n kar sakati thi, ab chhaya se nikalakar praudh aur unnat ho gee hai.

ek din rajiya ghar lauti, to ek adami ne kaha—tumane nahin suna, chaudharain, ramoo to bahut bimar hai. suna das lnghan ho gaye hain.

rajiya ne udasinata se kaha—joodi hai kya?

‘joodi, nahin, koee doosara rog hai. bahar khat par pada tha. mainne poochha, kaisa ji hai ramoo? to rone laga. bura hal hai. ghar men ek paisa bhi nahin ki davadaroo karen. dasiya ke ek ladaka hua hai. vah to pahale bhi kam-dhandha n karati thi aur ab to ladakori hai, kaise kam karane ay. sari mar ramoo ke sir jati hai. phir gahane chahie, nee dulahin yon kaise rahe.’

rajiya ne ghar men jate hue kaha—jo jaisa karega, ap bhogega.

lekin andar usaka ji n laga. vah ek kshan men phir bahar aee. shayad us adami se kuchh poochhana chahati thi aur is andaj se poochhana chahati thi, mano use kuchhad paravah nahin hai.

par vah adami chala gaya tha. rajiya ne poorav-pachchhim ja-jakar dekha. vah kahin n mila. tab rajiya dvar ke chaukhat par baith gee. ise ve shabd yad aye, jo usane tin sal pahale ramoo ke ghar se chalate samay kahe the. us vakt jalan men usane vah shap diya tha. ab vah jalan n thi. samay ne use bahut kuchh shant kar diya tha. ramoo aur dasi ki hinavastha ab eershya ke yogy nahin, daya ke yogy thi.

usane socha, ramoo ko das lnghan ho gaye hain, to avashy hi usaki dasha achchhi n hogi. kuchh aisa mota-taja to pahale bhi n tha, das lnghan ne to bilkul hi ghula dala hoga. phir idhar kheti-bari men bhi tota hi raha. khane-pine ko bhi thik-thik n mila hoga...

padosi ki ek stri ne ag lene ke bahane akar poochha—suna, ramoo bahut bimar hain jo jaisi karega, vaisa payega. tumhen itani bedardi se nikala ki koee apane bairi ko bhi n nikalega.

rajiya ne toka—nahin didi, aisi bat n thi. ve to bechare kuchh bole hi nahin. main chali to sir jhuka liya. dasiya ke kahane men akar vah chahe jo kuchh kar baithe hon, yon mujhe kabhi kuchh nahin kaha. kisi ki buraee kyon karoon. phir kaun mard aisa hai jo aurajon ke bas nahin ho jata. dasiya ke karan unaki yah dasha huee hai.

padosin ne ag n mang, munh pherakar chali gee.

rajiya ne kalasa aur rassi uthaee aur kuen par pani khinchane gee. bailon ko sani-pani dene ki bela a gee thi, par usaki ankhen us raste ki or lagi huee thin, jo malasi (ramoo ka ganv) ko jata tha. koee use bulane avashy a raha hoga. nahin, bina bulaye vah kaise ja sakati hai. log kahenge, akhir daudi aee n!

magar ramoo to achet pada hoga. das lnghan thode nahin hote. usaki deh men tha hi kya. phir use kaun bulayega? dasiya ko kya garaj padi hai. koee doosara ghar kar legi. javan hai. sau gahak nikal avenge. achchha vah a to raha hai. han, a raha hai. kuchh ghabaraya-sa jan padata hai. kaun adami hai, ise to kabhi malasi men nahin dekha, magar us vakt se malasi kabhi gee bhi to nahin. do-char naye adami akar base hi honge.

batohi chupachap kue ke pas se nikala. rajiya ne kalasa jagat par rakh diya aur usake pas jakar boli—ramoo mahato ne bheja hai tumhen? achchha to chalo ghar, main tumhare sath chalati hoon. nahin, abhi mujhe kuchh der hai, bailon ko sani-pani dena hai, diya-batti karani hai. tumhen rupaye de doon, jakar dasiya ko de dena. kah dena, koee kam ho to bula bhejen.

batohi ramoo ko kya jane. kisi doosare ganv ka rahane vala tha. pahale to chakaraya, phir samajh gaya. chupake se rajiya ke sath chala gaya aur rupaye lekar lamba hua. chalate-chalate rajiya ne poochha—ab kya hal hai unaka?

batohi ne atakal se kaha—ab to kuchh samhal rahe hain.

‘dasiya bahut ro-dho to nahin rahi hai?’

‘roti to nahin thi.’

‘vah kyon royegi. maloom hoga pichhe.’

batohi chala gaya, to rajiya ne bailon ko sani-pani kiya, par man ramoo hi ki or laga hua tha. sneh-smritiyan chhoti-chhoti tarikaon ki bhanti man men udit hoti jati thin. ek bar jab vah bimar padi thi, vah bat yad aee. das sal ho ge. vah kaise rat-din usake sirahane baitha rahata tha. khana-pina tak bhool gaya tha. usake man men aya kyon n chalakar dekh hi ave. koee kya kahega? kisaka munh hai jo kuchh kahe. chori karane nahin ja rahi hoon. us adami ke pas ja rahi hoon, jisake sath pandrah-bis sal hi hoon. dasiya nak sikodegi. mujhe usase kya matalab.

rajiya ne kivad band kie, ghar majoor ko saheja, aur ramoo ko dekhane chali, kanpati, jhijhakati, kshama ka dan liye hue.

5

ramoo ko thode hi dinon men maloom ho gaya tha ki usake ghar ki atma nikal gee, aur vah chahe kitana zor kare, kitana hi sir khapaye, usamen sphoorti nahin ati. dasi sundari thi, shaukin thi aur phoohad thi. jab pahala nasha utara, to thany-thayn shuroo huee. kheti ki upaj kam hone lagi, aur jo hoti bhi thi, vah ootapatang kharch hoti thi. rin lena padata tha. isi chinta aur shok men usaka svasthy bigadane laga. shuroo men kuchh paravah n ki. paravah karake hi kya karata. ghar men paise n the. ataiyon ki chikitsa ne bimari ki jad aur mazaboot kar di aur aj das-barah din se usaka dana-pani chhoot gaya tha. maut ke intajar men khat par pada karah raha tha. aur ab vah dasha ho gee thi jab ham bhavishy se nishchint hokar atit men vishram karate hain, jaise koee gadid age ka rasta band pakar pichhe laute. rajiya ko yad karake vah bar-bar rota aur dasi ko kosata—tere hi karan mainne use ghar se nikala. vah kya gee, lakshmi chali gee. main janata hoon, ab bhi bulaoon to daudi ayegi, lekin bulaoon kis munh se! ek bar vah a jati aur usase apane aparadh kshama kara leti, phir main khushi se marata. aur lalasa nahin hai.

sahasa rajiya ne akar usake mathe par hath rakhate hue poochha—kaisa ji hai tumhara? mujh to aj hal mila.

ramoo ne sajal netron se use dekha, par kuchh kah n saka. donon hath jodakar use pranam kiya, par hath jude hi rah gaye, aur ankh ulat gee.

6

lash ghar men padi thi. rajiya roti thi, dasiya chintit thi. ghar men rupaye ka nam nahin. lakadi to chahie hi, uthane vale bhi jalapan karenge hi, kafan ke bagair lash uthegi kaise. das se kam ka kharch n tha. yahan

ghar men das paise bhi nahin. dar rahi thi ki aj gahan aphat aee. aisi kimati bhari gahane hi kaun the. kisan ki bisat hi kya, do-tin nag bechane se das mil jaenge. magar aur ho hi kya sakata hai. usane chodhari ke ladake ko bulakar kaha—devar ji, yah beda kaise par lage! ganv men koee dhele ka bhi vishvas karane vala nahin. mere gahane hain. chaudhari se kaho, inhen giron rakhakar aj ka kam chalaen, phir bhagavanh malik hai.

‘rajiya se kyon nahin mang leti.’

sahasa rajiya ankhen ponchhati huee a nikali. kan men bhanak padi. poochha—kya hai jokhoon, kya salah kar rahe ho? ab mitti uthaoge ki salah ki bela hai?

‘han, usi ka sarnjam kar raha hoon.’

‘rupaye-paise to yahan honge nahin. bimari men kharach ho ge honge. is bechari ko to bich mnjhadhar men lakar chhod diya. tum lapak kar us ghar chale jao bhaiya! kaun door hai, kunji lete jao. mnjoor se kahana, bhndar se pachas rupaye nikal de. kahana, oopar ki patari par rakhe hain.’

vah to kunji lekar udhar gaya, idhar dasiya rajo ke pair pakad kar rone lagi. bahanape ke ye shabd usake hriday men paith ge. usane dekha, rajiya men kitani daya, kitani kshama hai.

rajiya ne use chhati se lagakar kaha—kyon roti hai bahan? vah chala gaya. main to hoon. kisi bat ki chinta n kar. isi ghar men ham aur tum donon usake nam par baithengi. main vahan bhi dekhoongi yahan bhi dekhoongi. dhap-bhar ki bat hi kya? koee tumase gahane-pate mange to mat dena.

dasiya ka ji hota tha ki sir patak kar mar jay. ise usane kitana jalaya, kitana rulaya aur ghar se nikal kar chhoda.

rajiya ne poochha—jis-jis ke rupaye hon, soorat karake mujhe bata dena. main jhagada nahin rakhana chahati. bachcha dubala kyon ho raha hai?

dasiya boli—mere doodh hota hi nahin. gay jo tum chhod gee thin, vah mar gee. doodh nahin pata.

‘ram-ram! bechara murajha gaya. main kal hi gay laoongi. sabhi grihasthi utha laoongi. vahan kaya rakkha hai.’

lash se uthi. rajiya usake sath gee. dahakarm kiya. bhoj hua. koee do sau rupaye kharch ho ge. kisi se mangane n pade.

dasiya ke jauhar bhi is tyag ki anch men nikal aye. vilasini seva ki moorti ban gee.

7

aj ramoo ko mare sat sal hue hain. rajiya ghar sambhale hue hai. dasiya ko vah saut nahin, beti samajhati hai. pahale use pahanakar tab ap pahanati hain use khilakar ap khati hai. jokhoon padhane jata hai. usaki sagaee ki batachit pakki ho gee. is jati men bachapan men hi byah ho jata hai. dasiya ne kaha—bahan gahane banava kar kya karogi. mere gahane to dhare hi hain.

rajiya ne kaha—nahin ri, usake lie naye gahane banavaoongi. ubhi to mera hath chalata hain jab thak jaoon, to jo chahe karana. tere abhi pahanane-odhane ke din hain, too apane gahane rahane de.

nain thakurasohati karake boli—aj jokhoon ke bap hote, to kuchh aur hi bat hoti.

rajiya ne kaha—ve nahin hain, to main to hoon. ve jitana karate, main usaka dooga karoongi. jab main mar jaoon, tab kahana jokhoon ka bap nahin hai!

byah ke din dasiya ko rote dekhakar rajiya ne kaha—bahoo, tum kyon roti ho? abhi to main jiti hoon. ghar tumhara hain jaise chaho raho. mujhe ek roti de do, bas. aur mujhe kya karana hai. mera adami mar gaya. tumhara to abhi jita hai.

dasiya ne usaki god men sir rakh diya aur khoob roee—jiji, tum meri mata ho. tum n hotin, to main kisake dvar par khadi hoti. ghar men to choohe lotate the. unake raj men mujhe du:kh hi du:kh uthane pade. sohag ka sukh to mujhe tumhare raj men mila. main du:kh se nahin roti, roti hoon bhagavanh ki daya par ki kahan main aur kahan yah khushahali!

rajiya muskara kar ro di.

tika tippani aur sndarbh

bahari kadiyan

snbndhit lekh

varnamala kramanusar lekh khoj

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