स्वर्ग के खंडहर 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"

vany kusumon ki jhalaren sukh shital pavan se vikampit hokar charon or jhool rahi thin. chhote-chhote jharanon ki kulyaen katarati huee bah rahi thin. lata-vitanon se dhnki huee prakritik guphaen shilp-rachana-poorn sundar prakoshth banatin, jinamen pagal kar denevali sugandh ki laharen nrity karati thin. sthan-sthan par kunjon aur pushp-shayyaon ka samaroh, chhote-chhote vishram-grih, pan-patron men sugandhit madira, bhanti-bhanti ke susvadu phal-phoolavale vrikshon ke jhuramut, doodh aur madhu ki naharon ke kinare gulabi badalon ka kshanik vishram. chandani ka nibhrit rngamnch, pulakit vriksh-phoolon par madhu-makkhiyon ki bhannahat, rah-rahakar pakshiyon ki hriday men chubhane vali tan, manidipon par latakati huee mukulit malayen. tis par saundary ke chhnte hue jodon-roopavan balak aur balikaon ka hridayahari has-vilas! sngit ki abadh gati men chhoti-chhoti navon par unaka jal-vilas! kisaki ankhen yah dekhakar bhi nashe men n ho jayngi-hriday pagal, indriyan vikal n ho rahengi. yahi to svarg hai.

jharane ke tat par baithe hue ek balak ne balika se kaha-‘‘main bhool-bhool jata hoon mina, han mina, main tumhen mina nam se kab tak pukaroon?’’

‘‘aur main tumako gul kahakar kyon bulaoon?’’

‘‘kyon mina, yahan bhi to ham logon ko sukh hi hai. hai n? aha, kya hi sundar sthan hai! ham log jaise ek svapn dekh rahe hain! kahin doosari jagah n bheje jayn, to kya hi achchha ho!’’

‘‘nahin gul, mujhe poorv-smriti vikal kar deti hai. kee baras bit gaye-vah mata ke saman dular, us upasika ki snehamayi karuna-bhari drishti ankhon men kabhi-kabhi chutaki kat leti hai. mujhe to achchha nahin lagata; bandi hokar rahana to svarg men bhi.....achchha, tumhen yahan rahana nahin khalata?’’

‘‘nahin mina, sabake bad jab main tumhen apane pas hi pata hoon, tab aur kisi akanksha ka smaran hi nahin rah jata. main samajhata hoon ki.....’’

‘‘tum galat samajhate ho......’’

mina abhi poora kahane n paee thi ki titaliyon ke jhund ke pichhe, unhin ke rng ke kaushey vasan pahane hue, balak aur balikaon ki daudati huee toli ne akar mina aur gul ko gher liya.

‘‘jal-vihar ke lie rngili machhaliyon ka khel khela jay.’’

ek sath hi taliyan baj uthin. mina aur gul ko dhakelate hue sab usi kalanadi srot men kood pade. pulin ki hari jhadiyon men se vnshi bajane lagi. mina aur gul ki jodi age-age aur pichhe-pichhe sab balak-balikaon ki toli tairane lagi. tir par ki jhuki dalon ke antaral men luk-chhipakar nikalana, un komal pani-pallavon se kshudr vichiyon ka katana, sachamuch usi svarg men prapt tha.

tairate-tairate mina ne kaha-‘‘gul, yadi main bah jaoon aur doobane lagoon?’’

‘‘main nav ban jaoonga, mina!’’

‘‘aur jo main yahan se sachamuch chali jaoon?’’

‘‘aisa n kaho; phir main kya karoonga?

‘‘kyon, kya tum mere sath n chaloge?’’

itane men ek doosari sundari, jo kuchh pas thi, boli-‘‘kahan chaloge gul? main bhi chaloongi, usi kunj men. are dekho, vah kaisa hara-bhara andhakar hai!’’ gul usi or lakshy karake santaran karane laga. bahar usake sath tairane lagi. ve donon tvarit gati se tair rahe the, mina unaka sath n de saki, vah hatash hokar aur bhi pichhadane ke lie dhire-dhire tairane lagi.

bahar aur gul jal se takarati huee dalon ko pakadakar vishram karane lage. kisi ko samip men n dekhakar bahar ne gul se kaha-‘‘chalo, ham log isi kunj men chhip jayn.’’

ve donon usi jhuramut men vilin ho gaye.

mina se ek doosari sundari ne poochha-‘‘gul kidhar gaya, tumane dekha?’’

mina janakar bhi anajan ban gee. vah doosare kinare ki or lautati huee boli-‘‘main nahin janati.’’

itane men ek vishesh snket se bajati huee siti sunaee padi. sab tairana chhod kar bahar nikale. hara vastr pahane hue, ek gambhir manushy ke sath, ek yuvak dikhaee pada. yuvak ki ankhen nashe men rngili ho rahi thin; pair ladakhada rahe the. sabane us praudh ko dekhate hi sir jhuka liya. ve bol uthe-‘‘mahapurush, kya koee hamara atithi aya hai?’’

‘‘han, yah yuvak svarg dekhane ki ichchha rakhata hai’’-hare vastr vale praudh ne kaha.

sabane sir jhuka liya. phir ek bar nirnimesh drishti se mina ki or dekha. vah pahadi durg ka bhayanak shekh tha. sachamuch use ek atm-vismriti ho chali. usane dekha, usaki kalpana saty men parinat ho rahi hai.

‘‘mina-ah! kitana saral aur nirdosh saundary hai. mere svarg ki sari madhuri usaki bhigi huee ek lat ke bal khane men bndhi huee chhatapata rahi hai.’’-usane pukara-‘‘mina!’’

mina pas akar khadi ho gee, aur sab us yuvak ko gherakar ek or chal pade. keval mina shekh ke pas rah gee.

shekh ne kaha-‘‘mina, tum mere svarg ki ratn ho.’’

mina kanp rahi thi. shekh ne usaka lalat choom liya, aur kaha-‘‘dekho, tum kisi bhi atithi ki seva karane n jana. tum keval us draksha-mandap men baithakar kabhi-kabhi ga liya karo. baitho, mujhe bhi vah apana git suna do.’’

mina gane lagi. us git ka tatpary tha-‘‘main ek bhataki huee bulabul hoon. he mere aparichit kunj! kshan-bhar mujhe vishram karane doge? yah mera krandan hai-main sach kahati hoon, yah mera rona hai, gana nahin. mujhe dam to lene do. ane do basant ka vah prabhat-jab snsar gulabi rng men nahakar apane yauvan men thirakane lagega aur tab main tumhen apani ek tan sunakar keval ek tan is rajani vishram ka mooly chukakar chali jaoongi. tab tak apani kisi sookhi huee tooti dal par hi andhakar bita lene do. main ek path bhooli huee bulabul hoon.’’

shekh bhool gaya ki main eeshvariy sndeh-vahak hoon, achary hoon, aur mahapurush hoon. vah ek kshan ke lie apane ko bhi bhool gaya. use vishvas ho gaya ki bulabul to nahin hoon, par koee bhooli huee vastu hoon. kya hoon, yah sochate-sochate pagal hokar ek or chala gaya.

hariyali se lada hua dhaluvan tat tha, bich men bahata hua vahi kalanadi srot yahan kuchh gambhir ho gaya tha. us ramaniy pradesh ke chhote-se akash men madira se bhari huee ghata chha rahi thi. ladakhadate, hath-se-hath milaye, bahar aur gul oopar chadh rahe the. gul apane ape men nahin hai, bahar phir bhi savadhan hai; vah sahara dekar use oopar le a rahi hai.

ek shila-khand par baithe hue gul ne kaha-pyas lagi hai.

bahar pas ke vishram-grih men gee, pan-patr bhar laee. gul pikar mast ho raha tha. bola-‘‘bahar, tum bade veg se mujhe khinch rahi ho; sambhal sakogi? dekho, main gira?’’

gul bahar ki god men sir rakhakar ankhen band kiye pada raha. usane bahar ke yauvan ki sugandh se ghabarakar ankhen khol din. usake gale men hath dalakar bola-‘‘le chalo, mujhe kahan le chalati ho?’’

bahar us svarg ki apsara thi. vilasini bahar ek tivr madira pyali thi, makarand-bhari vayu ka jhakor akar usamen lahar utha deta hai. vah roop ka urmil sarovar gul unmatt tha. bahar ne hnsakar poochha-‘‘yah svarg chhodakar kahan chaloge?’’

‘‘kahin doosari jagah, jahan ham hon aur tum.’’

‘‘kyon, yahan koee badha hai?’’

saral gul ne kaha-‘‘badha! yadi koee ho? kaun jane!’’

‘‘kaun? mina?’’

‘‘jise samajh lo.’’

‘‘to tum sabaki upeksha karake mujhe-keval mujhe hi-nahin....’’

‘‘aisa n kaho’’-bahar ke munh par hath rakhate hue gul ne kaha.

thik isi samay navagat yuvak ne vahan akar unhen sachet kar diya. bahar ne uthakar usaka svagat kiya. gul ne apani lal-lal ankhon se usako dekha. vah uth n saka, keval mad-bhari angadaee le raha tha. bahar ne yuvak se agya lekar prasthan kiya. yuvak gul ke samip akar baith gaya, aur use gambhir drishti se dekhane laga.

gul ne abhyas ke anusar kaha-‘‘svagat, atithi!’’

‘‘tum devakumar! ah! tumako kitana khoja mainne!’’

‘‘devakumar? kaun devakumar? han, han, smaran hota hai, par vah vishaili prithvi ki bat kyon smaran dilate ho? tum matryalok ke prani! bhool jao us nirasha aur abhavon ki srishti ko; dekho anand-niketan svarg ka saundary!’’

‘‘devakumar! tumako bhool gaya, tum bhimapal ke vnshadhar ho? tum yahan bandi ho! moorkh ho tum; jise tumane svarg samajh rakkha hai, vah tumhare atmavistar ki sima hai. main keval tumhare hi lie aya hoon.’’

‘‘to tumane bhool ki. main yahan bade sukh se hoon. bahar ko bulaoon, kuchh khao-pio....kngal! svarg men bhi akar vyarth samay nasht karana! sngit sunoge?’’

yuvak hatash ho gaya.

gul ne man men kaha-‘‘main kya karoon? sab mujhase rooth jate hain. kahin sahridayata nahin, mujhase sab apane man ki karana chahate hain, jaise mere man nahin hai, hriday nahin hai! prem-akarshan! yah svargiy prem men bhi jalan! bahar tinakakar chali gee; mina? yah pahale hi hat rahi thi; to phir kya jalan hi svarg hai?’’

gul ko us yuvak ke hatash hone par daya a gee. yah bhi smaran hua ki vah atithi hai. usane kaha-‘‘kahiye, apaki kya seva karoon? mina ka gan suniyega? vah svarg ki rani hai!’’

yuvak ne kaha-‘‘chalo.’’

draksha-mandap men donon pahunche. mina vahan baithi huee thi. gul ne kaha-‘‘atithi ko apana gan sunao.’’

ek ni:shvas lekar vahi bulabul ka sngit sunane lagi. yuvak ki ankhen sajal ho geen, usane kaha-‘‘sachamuch tum svarg ki devi ho!’’

‘‘nahin atithi, main us prithvi ki prani hoon-jahan kashton ki pathashala hai, jahan ka du:kh is svarg-sukh se bhi manoram tha, jisaka ab koee samachar nahin milata’’-mina ne kaha.

‘‘tum usaki ek karun-katha sunana chaho, to main tumhen sunaoon!’’-yuvak ne kaha.

‘‘sunaiye’’-mina ne kaha.

bhag 2

yuvak kahane laga-

‘‘vahlik, gandhar, kapisha aur udyan, musalamanon ke bhayanak atnk men kanp rahe the. gandhar ke antim ary-narapati bhimapal ke sath hi, shahivnsh ka saubhagy ast ho gaya. phir bhi unake bache hue vnshadhar udyan ke mngali durg men, suvastu ki ghatiyon men, parvat-mala, him aur jngalon ke avaran men apane din kat rahe the. ve svatantr the.

‘‘devapal ek sahasi rajakumar tha. vah kabhi-kabhi poorv gaurav ka svapn dekhata hua, sindhu tat tak ghooma karata. ek din abhisar pradesh ka sindhu tat vasana ke phoolavale prabhat men saurabh ki laharon men jhonke kha raha tha. kumari lajja snan kar rahi thi. usaka kalasa tir par pada tha. devapal bhi kee bar pahale ki tarah aj phir sahas bhare netron se use dekh raha tha. usaki chanchalata itane se hi n ruki, vah bol utha-

‘‘oosha ke is shant alok men kisi madhur kamana se yah bhikhari hriday hns raha tha. aur manas-nandini! tum ithalati huee bah chali ho. vah re tumhara itarana! isilie to jab koee snan karake tumhari lahar ki tarah taral aur adrr vastr odhaqar, tumhare patharile pulin men phisalata hua oopar chadhऩe lagata hai, tab tumhari laharon men ansuon ki jhalaren latakane lagati hain. parantu mujh par daya nahin; yah bhi koee bat hai!

‘‘to phir main kya karoon? us kshan ki, us kan ki, sindhu se, badalon se, antariksh aur himalay se tahalakar laut ane ki pratigya karoon? aur itana bhi n kahogi ki kab tak? balihari!

‘‘kumari lajja bhiru thi. vah hriday ke spandanon se abhibhoot ho rahi thi. kshudr bichiyon ke sadrish kanpane lagi. vah apana kalasa bhi n bhar saki aur chal padi. hriday men gudagudi ke dhakke lag rahe the. usake bhi yauvan-kal ke svargiy divas the-phisal padi. dhrisht yuvak ne use sambhal kar ank men le liya.

‘‘kuchh din svargiy svapn chala. jalate hue prabhat ke saman tara devi ne vah svapn bhng kar diya. tara adhik roop-shalini, kashmir ki roop-madhuri thi. devapal ko kashmir se sahayata ki bhi asha thi. hatabhagini lajja ne kumar sudan ki tapobhoomi men ashok-nirmit vihar men sharan li. vah upasika, bhikshuni, jo kaho, ban gee.

‘‘gautam ki gambhir pratima ke charan-tal men baithakar usane nishchay kiya, sab du:kh hai, sab kshanik hai, sab anity hai.’’

‘‘suvastu ka puny-salil us vyathit hriday ki malinata ko dhone laga. vah ek prakar se rog-mukt ho rahi thi.’’

‘‘ek sunasan ratri thi, sthavir dharm-bhikshu the nahin. sahasa kapat par aghat hone laga. aur ‘kholo! kholo!’ ka shabd sunaee pada. vihar men akeli lajja hi thi. sahas karake boli-

‘‘kaun hai?’’

‘‘pathik hoon, ashray chahiye’’-uttar mila.

‘‘tusharavrit andhera path tha. him gir raha tha. taron ka pata nahin, bhayanak shit aur nirjan nishith. bhala aise samay men kaun path par chalega? vatayan ka parada hatane par bhi upasika lajja jhankakar n dekh saki ki kaun hai. usane apani kubhavanaon se darakar poochha-‘‘ap log kaun hain?’’

‘‘aha, tum upasika ho! tumhare hriday men to adhik daya honi chahiye. bhagavanh ki pratima ki chhaya men do anathon ko ashray milane ka puny den.’’

lajja ne argala khol di. usane ashchary se dekha, ek purush apane bade labade men ath-nau baras ke balak aur balika ko liye bhitar akar gir pada. tinon mumoorsh ho rahe the. bhookh aur shit se tinon vikal the. lajja ne kapat band karate hue agni dhadhakakar usamen kuchh gandh-dravy dal diya. ek bar dvar khulane par jo shital pavan ka jhonka ghus aya tha, vah nirbal ho chala.

‘‘atithi-satkar ho jane par lajja ne usaka parichay poochha. agantuk ne kaha-‘mngali-durg ke adhipati devapal ka main bhrity hoon. jagaddahak chngej khan ne samast gandhar pradesh ko jalakar, loot-patakar ujad diya aur kal hi is udyan ke mngali durg par bhi un logon ka adhikar ho gaya. devapal bandi hue, unaki patni taradevi ne atmahatya ki. durgapati ne pahale hi mujhase kaha tha ki is balak ko ashok-vihar men le jana, vahan ki ek upasika lajja isake pran bacha le to koee ashchary nahin.

‘‘yah sunate hi lajja ki dhamaniyon men rakt ka tivr sanchar hone laga. shitadhiky men bhi use sved ane laga. usane bat badalane ke lie balika ki or dekha. agantuk ne kaha-‘yah meri balika hai, isaki mata nahin hai, lajja ne dekha, balika ka shubhr sharir malin vastr men damak raha tha. nasika mool se kanon ke samip tak bhroo, yugal ki prabhav-shalini rekha aur usaki chhaya men do uninde kamal snsar se apane ko chhipa lena chahate the. usaka viragi saundary, sharad ke shubhr ghan ke avaran men poornima ke chandr-sa ap hi lajjit tha. cheshta karake bhi lajja apani manasik sthiti ko chanchal hone se n sambhal saki. vah-‘achchha, ap log so rahiye, thake honge’-kahati huee doosare prakoshth men chali gee.

‘‘lajja ne vatayan kholakar dekha, akash svachchh ho raha tha, parvaty pradesh ke nistabdh gagan men taron ki jhilamilahat thi. un prakash ki laharon men ashok nirmit stoop ki chooda par laga hua svarn ka dharmachakr jaise hil raha tha.

‘‘doosare din jab dharm-bhikshu aye, to unhonne in agantukon ko ashchary se dekha, aur jab poore samachar sune, to aur bhi ubal pade. unhonne kaha-‘raj-kutumb ko yahan rakhakar kya is vihar aur stoop ko bhi tum dhvast karana chahati ho? lajja, tumane yah kis pralobhan se kiya? chngez khan bauddh hai, sngh usaka virodh kyon kare?’

‘‘sthavir! kisi ko ashray dena kya gautam ke dharm ke viruddh hai? main spasht kah dena chahati hnoo ki devapal ne mere sath bada anyay kiya, phir bhi mujh par usaka vishvas tha, kyon tha, main svayn nahin jan saki. ise chahe meri durbalata hi samajh len, parantu main apane prati vishvas ka kisi ko bhi durupayog nahin karane dena chahati. devapal ko main adhik-se-adhik pyar karati thi, aur bhi ab bilkul nishshesh samajh kar us pranay ka tiraskar kar sakoongi, isamen sandeh hai.’’-lajja ne kaha.

‘‘to tum sngh ke siddhant se chyut ho rahi ho, isaliye tumhen bhi vihar ka tyag karana padega.’’-dharm-bhikshu ne kaha.

lajja vyathit ho uthi thi. balak ke mukh par devapal ki spasht chhaya use bar-bar uttejit karati, aur vah balika to use chhodऩa hi n chahati thi.

‘‘usane sahas karake kaha-‘tab yahi achchha hoga ki main bhikshuni hone ka dhong chhodakar anathon ke sukh-du:kh men sammilit hooon.’

‘‘usi rat ko vah donon balak-balika aur vikramabhrity ko lekar, nissahay avastha men chal padi. chhadmavesh men yah dal yatra kar raha tha. ise bhiksha ka avalamb tha. vahlik ke girivraj nagar ke bhagn panth-nivas ke toote kone men in logon ko ashray lena pada. us din ahar nahin jut saka, donon balakon ke santosh ke lie kuchh bacha tha, usi ko khilakar ve sula diye gaye. lajja aur vikram, anahar se mriyaman, achet ho gaye.

‘‘doosare din ankhe khulate hi unhonne dekha, to vah rajakumar aur balika, donon hi nahin! un donon ki khoj men ye log bhi bhinn-bhinn disha ko chal pade. ek din pata chala ki kekay ke pahadi durg ke samip kahin svarg hai, vahan roopavan balakon aur balikaon ki atyant avashyakata rahati hai....

‘‘aur bhi sunogi prithvi ki du:kh-gatha? kya karogi sunakar, tum yah janakar kya karogi ki us upasika ya vikram ka phir kya hua?’’

ab mina se n raha gaya. usane yuvak ke gale se lipatakar kaha-‘‘to....tumhin vah upasika ho? aha, sach kah do.’’

gul ki ankhon men abhi nashe ka utar tha. usane angadaee lekar ek jnbhaee li, aur kaha-‘‘bade ashchary ki bat hai. kyon mina, ab kya kiya jay?’’

akasmath svarg ke bhayanak rakshiyon ne akar us yuvak ko bandi kar liya. mina rone lagi, gul chupachap khada tha, bahar khadi hns rahi thi.

sahasa pichhe se ate hue prahariyon ke pradhan ne lalakara-‘‘mina aur gul ko bhi.’’

ab us yuvak ne ghoomakar dekha; ghani dadhi-moochhon vale pradhan ki ankhon se ankhen milin.

yuvak chilla utha-‘‘devapal.’’

‘‘kaun! lajja? are!’’

‘‘han, to devapal, is apane putr gul ko bhi bandi karo, vidharmi ka kartavy yahi agya deta hai.’’-lajja ne kaha.

‘‘oh!’’-kahata hua pradhan devapal sir pakadakar baith gaya. kshan bhar men vah unmatt ho utha aur daudakar gul ke gale se lipat gaya.

savadhan hone par devapal ne lajja ko bandi karane vale prahari se kaha-‘‘use chhod do.’’

prahari ne bahar ki or dekha. usaka goodh snket samajhakar vah bol utha-‘‘mukt karane ka adhikar keval shekh ko hai.’’

devapal ka krodh sima ka atikram kar chuka tha, usane khadg chala diya. prahari gira. udhar bahar ‘hatya! hatya! chillati huee bhagi.

bhag 3

snsar ki vibhooti jis samay charanon men lotane lagati hai, vahi samay pahadi durg ke sinhasan ka tha. shekh kshamata ki aishvary-mandit moorti tha. lajja, mina, gul aur devapal bandi-vesh men khade the. bhayanak prahari door-door khade, pavan ki bhi gati janch rahe the. jitana bhishan prabhav sambhav hai, vah shekh ke us sabhagrih men tha. shekh ne poochha-‘‘devapal tujhe is dharm par vishvas hai ki nahin?’’

‘‘nahin!’’- devapal ne uttar diya.

‘‘tab tumane hamako dhokha diya?’’

‘‘nahin, chngez ke bandi-grih se chhudane men jab samar-khand men tumhare anucharon ne meri sahayata ki aur main tumhare utkoch ya mooly se krit hua, tab mujhe tumhari agya poori karane ki svabhavat: ichchha huee. apane shatru chngez ka eeshvariy kop, chngez ka nash karane ki ek vikat lalasa man men khelane lagi, aur mainne usaki hatya ki bhi. main dharm manakar kuchh karane gaya tha, vah samajhana bhram hai.’’

‘‘yahan tak to meri agya ke anusar hi hua, parantu us alauddin ki hatya kyon ki?’’-dant pisakar shekh ne kaha.

‘‘yah mera usase pratishodh tha!’’ avichal bhav se devapal ne kaha.

‘‘tum janate ho ki is pahad ke shekh keval svarg ke hi adhipati nahin, pratyut hatya ke doot bhi hain!’’ krodh se shekh ne kaha.

‘‘isake janane ki mujhe utkantha nahin hai, shekh. prani-dharm men mera akhand vishvas hai. apani raksha karane ke lie, apane pratishodh ke lie, jo svabhavik jivan-tatv ke siddhant ki avahelana karake chup baithata hai, use mritak, kayar, sajivata vihin, haddi-mans ke tukade ke atirikt main kuchh nahin samajhata. manushy paristhitiyon ka andh-bhakt hai, isalie mujhe jo karana tha, vah mainne kiya, ab tum apana kartavy kar sakate ho.’’-devapal ka svar dridh tha.

bhayanak shekh apani poorn uttejana se chilla utha. usane kaha-‘‘aur, too kaun hai stri? tera itana sahas! mujhe thagana!’’

lajja apana bahy avaran phenkati huee boli-‘‘han shekh, ab avashyakata nahin ki main chhipaoon, main devapal ki pranayini hoon?’’

‘‘to tum in sabako le jane ya bahakane aee thi, kyon?’’

‘‘avashyakata se prerit hokar jaise atyant kutsit manushy dharmachary banane ka dhong kar raha hai, thik usi prakar main stri hokar bhi purush bani. yah doosari bat hai ki snsar ki sabase pavitr vastu dharm ki ad men akanksha khelati hai. tumhare pas sadhan hain, mere pas nahin, anyatha meri avashyakata kisi se kam n thi.’’-lajja hanph rahi thi.

shekh ne dekha, vah dript saundary! yauvan ke dhalane men bhi ek tivr pravah tha-jaise chandani rat men pahad se jharana gir raha ho! ek kshan ke lie usaki samast uttejana palatoo pashu ke saman saumy ho gee. usane kaha-‘‘tum thik mere svarg ki rani hone ke yogy ho. yadi mere mat men tumhara vishvas ho, to main tumhen mukt kar sakata hoon. bolo!’’

‘‘svarg! is prithvi ko svarg ki avashyakata kya hai, shekh? na, na, is prithvi ko svarg ke thekedaron se bachana hoga. prithvi ka gaurav svarg ban jane se nasht ho jayega. isaki svabhavikata sadharan sthiti men hi rah sakati hai. prithvi ko keval vasundhara hokar manav jati ke lie jine do, apani akanksha ke kalpit svarg ke lie, kshudr svarth ke lie is mahati ko, is dharani ko narak n banao, jisamen devata banane ke pralobhan men padakar manushy rakshas n ban jay, shekh.’’-lajja ne kaha.

shekh patthar-bhare badalon ke saman kadakada utha. usane kaha-‘‘le jao, in donon ko bandi karo. main phir vichar karoonga, aur gul, tum logon ka yah pahala aparadh hai, kshama karata hoon, sunati ho mina, jao apane kunj men bhago. in donon ko bhool jao.’’

bahar ne ek din gul se kaha-‘‘chalo, draksha-mandap men sngit ka anand liya jay.’’ donon svargiy madira men jhoom rahe the. mina vahan akeli baithi udasi men ga rahi thi-

‘‘vahi svarg to narak hai, jahan priyajan se vichchhed hai. vahi rat pralay ki hai, jisaki kalima men virah ka snyog hai. vah yauvan nishphal hai, jisaka hridayavanh upasak nahin. vah madira halahal hai, pap hai, jo un madhur adharon ko uchchhisht nahin. vah pranay vishakt chhuri hai, jisamen kapat hai. isaliye he jivan, too svapn n dekh, vismriti ki nidra men so ja! sushupti yadi anand nahin, to du:khon ka abhav to hai. is jagaran se-is akanksha aur abhav ke jagaran se-vah nidrvndv sona kahin achchha hai mere jivan!’’

bahar ka sahas n hua ki vah mandap men pair dhare, par gul, vah to jaise mook tha! ek bhool, aparadh aur manovedana ke nirjan kanan men bhatak raha tha, yadyapi usake charan nishchal the. itane men halachal mach gee. charon or daud-dhoop hone lagi. maloom hua, svarg par tatar ke khan ki chadhaee hai.

barason ghire rahane se svarg ki vibhooti nishshesh ho gee thi. svargiy jiv anahar se tadap rahe the. tab bhi mina ko ahar milata. aj shekh samane baitha tha. usaki pyali men madira ki kuchh antim boonden thin. jalan ki tivr pida se vyakul aur ahat bahar udhar tadap rahi thi. aj bandi bhi mukt kar diye gaye the. svarg ke vistrit prangan men bandiyon ke dam todane ki katar dhvani goonj rahi thi. shekh ne ek bar unhen hnsakar dekha, phir mina ki or dekhakar usane kaha-‘‘mina! aj antim din hai! is pyali men antim ghoonten hai, mujhe apane hath se pila dogi?’’

‘‘bandi hoon shekh! chahe jo kaho.’’

shekh ek dirgh nishvas lekar uth khada hua. usane apani talavar snbhali. itane men dvar toot pada, tatari ghusate hue dikhalaee pade, shekh ke pap-durbal hathon se talavar gir padi.

draksha ke rookhe kunj men devapal, lajja aur gul ke shav ke pas mina chupachap baithi thi. usaki ankhon men n ansoo the, n othon par krandan. vah sajiv anukampa, nishthur ho rahi thi.

tataron ke senapati ne akar dekha, us davagni ke andhad men trin-kusum surakshit hai. vah apani pratihinsa se andha ho raha tha. kadakakar usane poochha-‘‘too shekh ki beti hai?’’

mina ne jaise moochrchha se ankhen kholin. usane vishvas-bhari vani se kaha-‘‘pita, main tumhari lila hoon!’’

senapati vikram ko us prant ka shasan mila; par mina unhin svarg ke khandaharon men unmukt ghooma karati. jab senapati bahut smaran dilata, to vah kah deti-main ek bhataki huee bulabul hoon. mujhe kisi tooti dal par andhakar bita lene do! is rajani-vishram ka mooly antim tan sunakar jaoongi.’’

maloom nahin, usaki antim tan kisi ne suni ya nahin.

tika tippani aur sndarbh


bahari kadiyan

snbndhit lekh

varnamala kramanusar lekh khoj

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