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bahaadur – a story by Amarkant

sahasa main kaaphee gambheer tha, jaisa ki us vyakti ko ho jaana chaahie, jis par ek bhaaree daayitv aa gaya ho. vah saamane khada tha aur aankhon ko buree tarah mataka raha tha. baarah-terah varsh kee umr, thigana shareer, gora rang aur chapata munh. vah saphed nekar, aadhee baanh kee hee saphed kameej aur bhoore rang ka puraana joota pahane tha. usake gale mein skauton kee tarah ek roomaal bandha tha. usako gherakar parivaar ke any log khade the. nirmala chamakatee drshti se kabhee ladake ko dekhatee aur kabhee mujhako aur apane bhaee ko. nishchay hee vah panch baraabar ho gayee thee.

usako lekar mere saale saahab aaye the. naukar rakhana kaee kaaranon se bahut zarooree ho gaya tha. mere sabhee bhaee aur rishtedaar achchhe ohadon par the aur un sabhee ke yahaan naukar the. main jab bahan kee shaadee mein ghar gaya to vahaan naukaron ka sukh dekha. meree donon bhaabhiyaan raanee kee tarah baithakar chaarapaiyaan todatee theen, jabaki nirmala ko sabere se lekar raat tak khatana padata tha. main eershya se jal gaya. isake baad naukaree par vaapas aaya to nirmala donon joon ‘naukar-chaakar’ kee maala japane lagee. usakee tarah abhaagin aur dukhiya stree aur bhee koee is duniya mein hogee? ve log doosare hote hain, jinake bhaagy mein naukar ka sukh hota hai…

pahale saale saahab se asaadhaaran vistaar se usaka kissa sunana pada. vah ek nepaalee tha, jisaka gaanv nepaal aur bihaar kee seema par tha. usaka baap yuddh mein maara gaya tha aur usakee maan saare parivaar ka bharan-poshan karatee thee. maan usakee badee gussail thee aur usako bahut maaratee thee. maan chaahatee thee ki ladaka ghar ke kaam-dhaam mein haath bataaye, jab ki vah pahaad ya jangalon mein nikal jaata aur pedon par chadhakar chidiyon ke ghonsalon mein haath daalakar unake bachche pakadata ya phal tod-todakar khaata. kabhee-kabhee vah pashuon ko charaane ke lie le jaata tha. usane ek baar us bhains ko bahut maara, jisako usakee maan bahut pyaar karatee thee, aur iseelie usase vah bahut chidhata tha. maar khaakar bhains bhaagee-bhaagee usakee maan ke paas chalee gayee, jo kuchh dooree par ek khet mein kaam kar rahee thee. maan ka maatha thanaka. bechaara bejabaan jaanavar charana chhodakar yahaan kyon aayega? zaroor launde ne usako kaaphee maara hai. vah gusse-se paagal ho gayee. jab ladaka aaya to maan ne bhains kee maar ka kaalpanik anumaan karake ek dande se usakee dugunee pitaee kee aur usako vaheen karaahata hua chhodakar ghar laut aayee. ladake ka man maan se phat gaya aur vah raat bhar jangal mein chhipa raha. jab sabera hone ko aaya to vah ghar pahuncha aur kisee tarah andar choree-chupake ghus gaya. phir usane ghee kee handiya mein haath daal kar maan ke rakhe rupayon mein se do rupaye nikaal liye. ant mein nau-do gyaarah ho gaya. vahaan se chhah meel kee dooree par bas steshan tha, jahaan gorakhapur jaane vaalee bas milatee thee.

‘tumhaara naam kya hai, jee?’ mainne poochha.

‘dil bahaadur, saahab.’

usake svar mein ek meethee jhanajhanaahat thee. mujhe theek-theek yaad nahin ki mainne usako kya hidaayaten dee theen. shaayad yah ki sharaaraten chhodakar dhang se kaam kare aur us ghar ko apana ghar samajhe. is ghar mein naukar-chaakar ko bahut pyaar aur ijzat se rakha jaata hai. agar vah vahaan rah gaya to dhang-shoor seekh jaayega, ghar ke aur ladakon kee tarah padh-likh jaega aur usakee zindagee sudhar jaegee. nirmala ne usee samay kuchh vyaavahaarik upadesh de daale the. is muhalle mein bahut tuchchh log rahate hain, vah na kisee ke yahaan jae aur na kisee ka kaam kare. koee baazaar se kuchh laane ko kahe to vah ‘abhee aata hoon’, kahakar andar khisak jae. usako ghar ke sabhee logon se sammaan aur tameej se bolana chaahie. aur bhee bahut-see baaten. ant mein nirmala ne bahut hee udaarataapoorvak ladake ke naam mein se ‘dil’ shabd uda diya.

parantu bahaadur bahut hee hansamukh aur mehanatee nikala. usakee vajah se kuchh dinon tak hamaare ghar mein vaisa hee utsaahapoorn vaataavaran chhaaya raha, jaisa ki pratham baar tota-maina ya pilla paalane par hota hai. sabere-sabere hee muhalle ke chhote-chhote ladake ghar ke andar aakar khade ho jaate aur usako dekhakar hansate ya tarah-tarah ke prashn karate. ‘ai, tum log chhipakalee ko kya kahate ho?’, ‘ai, tumane sher dekha hai?’, aisee hee baaten. usase pahaadee gaane kee pharaamaishen kee jaateen. ghar ke log bhee usase isee prakaar kee chhedakhaaniyaan karate the. vah jitana uttar deta tha usase adhik hansata tha. sabako usake khaane aur naashte kee badee phikr rahatee.

nirmala aangan mein khadee hokar padosiyon ko sunaate hue kahatee thee- ‘bahaadur aakar naashta kyon nahin kar lete? main doosaree auraton kee tarah nahin hoon, jo naukar-chaakar ko talatee-bhoonatee hain. main to naukar-chaakar ko apane bachche kee tarah rakhatee hoon. unhonne to saaph-saaph kah diya hai ki sau-dedh sau maheenaabaaree us par bhale hee kharch ho jaay, par takaleeph, usako zara bhee nahin honee chaahie. ek nekar-kameej to usee roj laaye the… aur bhee kapade ban rahe hain…’

dheere-dheere vah ghar ke saare kaam karane laga. sabere hee uthakar vah baahar neem ke ped se daatoon tod laata tha. vah haath ka sahaara liye bina kuchh door tak tane par daudate hue chadh jaata. minat bhar mein vah ped kee pulee par najar aata. nirmala chhaatee peetakar kahatee thee- ‘are reechh-bandar kee jaat, kaheen gir gaya to bada bura hoga’. vah ghar kee saphaee karata, kamaron mein ponchha lagaata, angeethee jalaata, chaay banaata aur pilaata. dopahar mein kapade dhota aur bartan malata. vah rasoee banaane kee bhee zidd karata, par nirmala svayan sabjee aur rotee banaatee. nirmala kee usako bahut phikr rahatee thee. usakee un dinon tabeeyat theek nahin rahatee thee, isalie vah kuchh dava le rahee thee. bahaadur usako koee kaam karate dekhakar kahata tha- ‘maata jee, mehanat na karo, takaleeph badh jaayega.’ vah koee bhee kaam karata hota, samay hone par haath dhokar bhaaloo kee tarah daudata hua kamare mein jaata aur davaee ka dibba nirmala ke saamane-laakar rakh deta.

jab main shaam ko daphtar se aata to ghar ke sabhee log mere paas aakar din bhar ke apane anubhav sunaate the. baad mein vah bhee aata tha. vah ek baar meree or dekhakar sir jhuka leta aur dheere-dheere muskaraane lagata. vah koee bahut hee maamoolee ghatana kee riport deta – ‘baaboo jee, bahin jee ka ek sahelee aaya tha’, ya ‘baaboo jee, bhaiya sinema gaya tha’. isake baad vah is tarah hansane lagata tha, goya bahut hee majedaar baat kah dee ho. usakee hansee badee komal aur meethee thee, jaise phool kee pankhudiyaan bikhar gayee hon. main usase baatacheet karana chaahata tha, par aisee ichchha rahate hue bhee main jaan-boojhakar bahut gambheer ho jaata tha aur doosaree or dekhane lagata tha.

nirmala kabhee-kabhee usase poochhatee thee- ‘bahaadur, tumako apanee maan kee yaad aatee hai?’

‘nahin.’

‘kyon?’

‘vah maarata kyon tha?’ itana kahakar vah khoob hansata tha, jaise maar khaana khushee kee baat ho.

‘tab tum apana paisa maan ke paas kaise bhejane ko kahate ho?’

‘maan-baap ka karja to janm bhar bhara jaata hai’, vah aur bhee hansata tha.

nirmala ne usako ek phatee-puraanee daree de dee thee. ghar se vah ek chaadar bhee le aaya tha. raat ko kaam-dhaam karane ke baad vah bheetar ke baraamade mein ek tootee huee bansakhat par apana bistar bichhaata tha. vah bistare par baith jaata aur apanee jeb mein se kapade kee ek gol-see nepaalee topee nikaalakar pahan leta, jo baayeen or kaaphee jhukee rahatee thee. phir vah ek chhota-sa aaina nikaalakar bandar kee tarah usamen apana munh dekhata tha. vah bahut hee prasann nazar aata tha. isake baad kuchh aur bhee cheezen usakee jeb se nikalakar usake bistare par saj jaatee theen- kuchh goliyaan, puraane taash kee ek gaddee, kuchh khoobasoorat patthar ke tukade, bled, kaagaz kee naaven. vah kuchh der tak unase khelata tha. usake baad vah dheeme-dheeme svar mein gunagunaane lagata tha. un pahaadee gaanon ka arth ham samajh nahin paate the, par unakee meethee udaasee saare ghar mein phail jaatee, jaise koee pahaad kee nirjanata mein apane kisee bichhude hue saathee ko bula raha ho.

din maze mein beetane lage. barasaat aa gayee thee. paanee rukata tha aur barasata tha. main apane ko bahut ooncha mahasoos karane laga tha. apane parivaar aur sambandhiyon ke badappan tatha shaan-baan par mujhe sada garv raha hai. ab main muhalle ke logon ko pahale se bhee tuchchh samajhane laga. main kisee se seedhe munh baat nahin karata. kisee kee or theek se dekhata bhee nahin tha. doosare ke bachchon ko maamoolee-see sharaarat par daant-dapat deta. kaee baar padosiyon ko suna chuka tha- ‘jisake paas kaleja hai, vahee aajakal naukar rakh sakata hai. ghar ke savaang kee tarah rahata hai’. nirmala bhee saare muhalle mein shubh soochana de aayee thee- aadhee tanakhaah to naukar par hee kharch ho rahee hai, par rupaya-paisa kamaaya kisalie jaata hai? ye to kaee baar kah hee chuke the ki tumhaare lie duniya ke kisee kone se naukar zaroor laoonga… vahee hua.

nissandeh bahaadur kee vajah se sabako khoob aaraam mil raha tha. ghar khoob saaph aur chikana rahata. kapade chamaacham saphed. nirmala kee tabeeyat bhee kaaphee sudhar gayee. ab koee ek khar bhee na takasaata tha. kisee ko maamoolee-se-maamoolee kaam karana hota to vah bahaadur ko aavaaz deta. ‘bahaadur, ek gilaas paanee’. ‘bahaadur pensil neeche giree hai, uthaana’. isee tarah kee pharamaishen! bahaadur ghar mein phirakee kee tarah naachata rahata. sabhee raat mein pahale hee so jaate the aur sabere aath baje ke pahale na uthate the.

mera bada ladaka kishor kaaphee shaan-shaukat aur rob-daab se rahane ka kaayal tha aur usane bahaadur ko apane kade anushaasan mein rakhane kee aavashyakata mahasoos kar lee thee. phalatah usane apane sabhee kaam bahaadur ko saump diye. sabere usake joote mein paalish laganee chaahie. kolej jaane ke theek pahale saikil kee saphaee zarooree thee. roj hee usake kapadon kee dhulaayee aur istree honee chaahie. aur raat mein sote samay vah nity bahaadur se apane shareer kee maalish karaata aur mukkee bhee lagavaata. par itanee saaree pharamaishon kee poorti mein kabhee-kabhee koee gadabadee bhee ho jaatee. jab aisa hota, kishor garjan-tarjan karane lagata, usako buree-buree gaaliyaan deta aur us par haath chhod deta. maar khaakar bahaadur ek kone mein khada ho jaata- chupachaap.

‘dekh be’, kishor chetaavanee deta- ‘mera kaam sabase pahale hona chaahie. agar ek kaam bhee chhoota to maarate-maarate huliya tait kar doonga. saala, kaamachor, karata kya hai too? baitha-baitha khaata hai’.

roj hee koee-koee aisee baat hone lagee, jisakee riport patnee mujhe detee thee. mainne kishor ko mana kiya, par vah nahin maana to mainne yah sochakar chhod diya ki thoda-bahut to yah chalata hee rahata hai. phir ek haath se taalee kahaan bajatee hai? bahaadur bhee badamaashee karata hoga. par ek din jab main daphtar se aaya to mainne kishor ko ek dande se bahaadur kee pitaee karate hue dekha. nirmala kuchh dooree par khadee hokar ‘haan-haan’ kahatee huee mana kar rahee thee.

mainne kishor ko daant kar alag kiya. kaaran yah tha ki shaam ko saikil kee saphaee karana bahaadur bhool gaya tha. kishor ne usako maara tatha gaaliyaan deen to usane usaka kaam karane se hee inkaar kar diya.

‘tum saikil saaph kyon nahin karate?’ mainne usase kadaee se poochha.

‘baaboojee, bhaiya ne mere baap ko kyon laakar khada kiya?’ vah rote hue bola.

main jaanata tha ki kishor usako aur bhee bhaddee gaaliyaan deta tha, lekin aaj usane ‘sooar ka bachcha’ kaha tha, jo use baradaasht na hua. nissandeh vah gaalee usake baap par padatee thee. mujhe kuchh hansee aa gayee. khair, kishor ke vyavahaar ko achchha nahin kaha ja sakata, par grhasvaamee hone ke kaaran mujh par kuchh aur gambheer daayitv bhee the.

mainne use samajhaaya- ‘bahaadur, ye aadaten theek nahin. tum theek se kaam karoge to tumako koee kuchh bhee nahin kahega. mehanat bahut achchhee cheez hai, jo usase bachane kee koshish karata hai, vah kuchh bhee nahin kar sakata. roothana-phoolana mujhe sakht naapasand hai. tum to ghar ke ladake kee tarah ho. ghar ke ladake maar nahin khaate? ham tumako jis sukh-aaraam se rakhate hain, vah koee kya rakhega? jaakar doosare gharon mein dekho to pata lage. naukar-chaakar bhar pet bhojan ke lie tarasate rahate hain. chalo, sab khatm hua, ab kaam-dhaam karo…’

vah chupachaap sunata raha. phir haath-munh dhokar kaam karane laga. jaldee vah prasann bhee ho gaya. raat mein sote samay vah apanee topee pahan kar der tak gaata raha.

lekin kuchh dinon baad ek aur bhee gadabadee shuroo huee. nirmala bahut patalee-patalee rotiyaan senkatee thee, isalie vah rotee banaane ka kaam kabhee bahaadur se nahin letee thee, lekin muhlle kee kisee aurat ne use yah sikha diya ki parivaar ke lie rotiyaan banaane ke baad vah bahaadur se kahe ki vah apanee rotee khud bana liya kare, nahin to naukar-chaakar kee aadat kharaab ho jaatee hai, maheen khaane se unakee aadat bigad jaatee hai.

yah baat nirmala ko janch gayee thee aur raat mein usane aisa hee prayog kiya. vah apanee rotiyaan banaakar chauke mein se uth gayee. bahaadur ka munh utar gaya. vah choolhe ke paas sir jhukaakar chupachaap khada raha.

‘kya ho gaya, re?’ nirmala ne poochha.

vah kuchh nahin bola.

‘chal, chupachaap bana apanee rotiyaan. too sochata hai ki main tujhe patalee-patalee, naram-naram rotiyaan senkakar khilaoongee? too koee ghar ka ladaka hai? naukar-chaakar to apana banaakar khaate hee rahate hain. teeta to inako isalie lag raha hai ki saare ghar ke lie mainne rotiyaan banaayeen, inako alag karake inake saath bhed kyon kiya? vaah re, isake pet mein to lambee daadhee hai! samajh ja, rotiyaan nahin senkega to bhookha rahega.’

par bahaadur usee tarah khada raha to nirmala ka gusse se bura haal ho gaya. usane lapakakar usake gaal par do-teen thappad jad diye- ‘sooar kaheen ke! iseelie tujhe kishor maarata hai. isee vajah se teree maan bhee maaratee hogee. chal, bana rotee…’

‘main nahin banaoonga… meree maan bhee saare ghar kee rotiyaan banaakar mujhase rotee senkavaatee thee’. vah rone laga tha.

‘to kya main teree maan hoon ki too mujhase jidd kar raha hai? ghar ke ladakon ke baraabar ban raha hai? maarate-maarate muhan rang doongee’.

par usane apane lie rotee nahin banaayee. mujhe bhee bada gussa aaya. mainne usako daanta aur samajhaaya. par vah nahin maana. raat bhar vah bhookha hee raha.

par sabere uthakar vah pahale kee tarah hee hansane laga. usane angeethee jala kar apane lie rotiyaan senkee. apanee banaayee motee aur bhaddee rotiyon ko dekhakar vah khilakhilaane laga. phir raat kee bachee huee sabjee se usane khaana kha liya.

lekin nirmala ka bhee haath khul gaya tha. vah usase kuchh chidh bhee gayee thee. ab bahaadur se koee bhee galatee hotee to vah us par haath chala detee. usako maarane vaale ab ghar mein do vyakti ho gaye the aur kabhee-kabhee ek galatee ke lie usako donon maarate.

barasaat beet gayee thee. aakaash darpan kee tarah svachchh dikhaee deta. mainne bahaadur kee maan ke paas chitthee likhee thee ki usaka ladaka mere paas maje mein hai aur main usakee tanakhvaah ke paise usake paas bhej diya karoonga, lekin kaee maheene ke baad bhee udhar se koee javaab nahin aaya tha. mainne bahaadur se kah diya tha ki usaka paisa yahaan jama rahega, jab vah ghar jaayega to leta jaayega.

par ab bahaadur se bhool-galatiyaan adhik hone lagee theen. shaayad isaka kaaran maarapeet aur gaalee-galauj ho. main kabhee-kabhee isako rokana chaahata, phir yah sochakar chup laga jaata ki naukar-chaakar to maar-peet khaate hee rahate hain.

ek din ravivaar ko meree patnee ke ek rishtedaar aaye. vah beevee-bachchon ke saath the. vah apane kisee khaas sambandhee ke yahaan aaye the to yahaan bhee bhent-mulaakaat karane ke lie chale aaye the. ghar mein badee chahal-pahal mach gayee. main baazaar se rohoo machhalee aur dehaaraadoonee chaaval le aaya. naashta-paanee ke baad baaton kee jalebee chhanane lagee. par isee samay ek ghatana ho gayee.

achaanak us rishtedaar kee patnee neeche pharsh par jhukakar dekhane lagee. phir unhonne chaarapaee ke andar jhaankakar dekha. ant mein kamare ke andar gayeen aur pharsh par pade hue kaagazon ko uthaakar jaanch-padataal karane lageen.

‘kya baat hai?’ mainne poochha.

rishtedaar kee patnee jabaradastee muskaraakar majabooree mein sir hilaate hue bolee- ‘kya bataayen… gyaarah rupaye sari ke khoont se nikaalakar yaheen chaarapaee par rakhe… par ve mil nahin rahe hain…’

‘aapako theek yaad hai na…’

‘haan-haan- khoob achchhee tarah yaad hai. ye rupaye mainne khoont mein baandhakar rakhe the… rikshevaale ko dene ke lie khoont khola hee tha, phir ve rupaye chaarapaee par rakh diye the ki chaar rupaye kee mithaee manga loongee aur kuchh bachchon ke haath par rakh doongee. raaste mein koee dhang kee dukaan nahin milee thee, nahin to udhar se hee laatee. kisee ke yahaan khaalee-haath jaane mein achchha bhee nahin lagata. bataie, ab to main kaheen kee na rahee- phir meree or jhukakar dheeme svar mein kaha tha- zara usase poochhie na! vah idhar aaya tha. kuchh der tak vah yahaan khada raha, phir tezee se baahar chala gaya tha.

‘are- nahin, vo aisa nahin hai’, mainne kaha.

‘yoo doo naat no-deej peepul aar eksapart in dis aart’ rishtedaar ne kaha. mainne bahaadur kee or tirachhee drshti se dekha. vah sir jhuka kar aata goonth raha tha. usake chehare par santushti evan praphullata thee. usane aisa kaam to kabhee nahin kiya, balki jab kabhee usane do-chaar aane idhar-udhar pade dekhe to uthaakar nirmala ke haath mein de diye the. par kisee ke dil kee baat koee kaise jaan sakata hai? na maaloom achaanak mujhe kya ho gaya aur main gusse mein aa gaya.

‘bahaadur!’ -mainne kade svar mein kaha.

‘jee, baaboo jee.’

‘idhar aao.’

vah aakar khada ho gaya.

‘tumane yahaan se rupaye uthaaye the?’

‘jee nahin, baaboojee’, usane nirbhay uttar diya.

‘theek batao… main bura nahin maanoonga.’

‘nahin baaboojee. main leta to bata deta.’

‘tum yahaan khade nahin the?’ -rishtedaar kee patnee ne kaha ‘phir tezee se baahar chale gaye the. dekho bhaiya, sach-sach bata do. mithaee khareedane aur bachchon ko dene ke lie ye rupaye rakhe the. main to buree phansee. ab vaapas jaane ke lie rikshe ke bhee paise nahin.’

‘main to baahar namak lene gaya tha.’

‘sach-sach bata bahaadur! agar nahin bataayega to bahut peetoonga aur pulis ke supurd kar doonga.’ main chilla pada.

‘mainne nahin liya, baaboojee.’ -bahaadur ka munh kaala pad gaya tha.

pata nahin mujhe kya ho gaya. mainne sahasa uchhalakar usake gaal par ek tamaacha jad diya. main aasha kar raha tha ki aisa karane se vah bata dega. tamaacha khaakar vah girate-girate bacha. usakee aankhon se aansoo girane laga.

‘mainne nahin liya…’

isee samay rishtedaar saahab ne ek ajeeb harakat kee- ‘achchha chhodie, isako pulis ke paas le jaata hoon.’ itana kahakar unhonne bahaadur ka haath pakad liya aur usako daravaaje kee or ghaseetakar le gaye. par daravaaje ke paas usase dheere-se bole- ‘dekho, tuma mujhe bata do… main kuchh nahin karoonga, balki tumako inaam mein do rupaye de doonga.’

par bahaadur ne inakaar kar diya. isake baad rishtedaar saahab do-teen baar usako daravaaje kee or kheenchakar le gaye, jaise pulis ko dene hee ja rahe hain. lekin aage badhakar vah ruk jaate aur usase dheeme-dheeme shabdon mein poochh-taachh karane lagate.

ant mein haarakar unhonne usako chhod diya aur vaapas aakar chaarapaee par baithate hue hansakar bole- ‘jaane deejie… ye sab bade ghaagh hote hain. kisee jhaadee-vaadee mein chhipa aaya hoga ya zameen mein gaad aaya hoga. main to in sabon ko khoob jaanata hoon. bhaaloo-bandar se kam thode hote hain ye. chalie, itana nukasaan likha tha.’

isake baad nirmala ne bhee usako daraaya-dhamakaaya aur do-chaar tamaache jad diye, par vah ‘nahin-nahin’ karata raha.

is ghatana ke baad bahaadur kaaphee daant-maar khaane laga. ghar ke sabhee log usako kutte kee tarah duraduraaya karate. kishor to jaise usakee jaan ke peechhe pad gaya tha. vah udaas rahane laga aur kaam mein laaparavaahee karane laga.

ek din main daphtar se vilamb se aaya. nirmala aangan mein chupachaap sir par haath rakhakar baithee thee. any ladakon ka pata nahin tha, lekin ladakee apanee maan ke paas khadee thee. angeethee abhee nahin jalee thee. aangan ganda pada tha. bartan bina male hue rakhe the. saara ghar jaise kaat raha tha.

‘kya baat hai?’ mainne poochha.

‘bahaadur bhaag gaya.’

‘bhaag gaya. kyon?’

‘pata nahin. aaj to kuchh hua bhee nahin tha. sabere se hee bada prasann tha. hamesha maataajee maataajee, kiye raha. dopahar mein khaana khaaya. usake baad aangan se sil-batta lekar baraamade mein rakhane ja raha tha ki sil haath se chhootakar gir gayee aur do tukade ho gayee. shaayad isee dar se vah bhaag gaya ki log maarenge. par main isake lie usako thode kuchh kahatee? kya bataoon, meree kismat mein aaraam hee nahin…’

‘kuchh le gaya?’

‘yahee to aphasos hai. koee bhee saamaan nahin le gaya hai. usake kapade, usaka bistar, usake joote- sabhee chhod gaya hai. pata nahin usane hamen kya samajha? agar vah kahata to main use rokatee thode? balki usako khoob achchhee tarah pahana-odhaakar bhejatee, haath mein usakee tanakhvaah ke rupaye rakh detee. do-chaar rupaye aur adhik de detee. par vah to kuchh le hee nahin gaya…’

‘aur ve gyaarah rupaye?’

‘are vah sab jhooth hai. main to pahale hee jaanatee thee ki ve log bachchon ko kuchh dena nahin chaahate, isalie apanee galatee aur laaj chhipaane ke lie yah prapanch rach rahe hain. un logon ko kya main jaanatee nahin? kabhee unake rupaye raaste mein gum ho jaate hain… kabhee ve galatee se ghar hee chhod aate hain. mere kaleje mein to jaise kuchh haud raha hai. kishor ko bhee bada aphasos hai. usane saara shahar chhaan maara, par bahaadur nahin mila. kishor aakar kahane laga- ‘ammaan, ek baar bhee agar bahaadur aa jaata to main usako pakad leta aur kabhee jaane na deta. usase maaphee maang leta aur kabhee nahin maarata. sach, ab aisa naukar kabhee nahin milega. kitana aaraam de gaya hai vah. agar vah kuchh churaakar le gaya hota to santosh ho jaata…’

nirmala aankhon par aanchal rakhakar rone lagee. mujhe bada krodh aaya. main chillaana chaahata tha par bheetar-hee-bheetar mera kaleja jaise baith raha ho. main vaheen chaarapaee par sir jhuka kar baith gaya. mujhe ek ajeeb-see laghuta ka anubhav ho raha tha. yadi main na maarata to shaayad vah na jaata.

mainne aangan mein nazar daudaayee. ek or stool par usaka bistar rakha tha. alaganee par usake kuchh kapade tange the. stool ke neeche vah bhoora joota tha, jo mere saale saahab ke ladake ka tha. main uthakar alaganee ke paas gaya aur usake nekar kee jeb mein haath daalakar usake saamaan nikaalane laga- vahee goliyaan, puraane taash kee gaddee, khoobasoorat patthar, bled, kaagaz kee naaven…

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By: Amarkant

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