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dopahar ka bhojan – a story by Amarkant

siddheshvaree ne khaana banaane ke baad choolhe ko bujha diya aur donon ghutanon ke beech sir rakh kar shaayad pair kee ungaliyaan ya jameen par chalate cheeten-cheetiyon ko dekhane lagee.

achaanak use maaloom hua ki bahut der se use pyaas nahin lagee hain. vah matavaale kee tarah uthee or gagare se lota-bhar paanee le kar gat-gat chadha gaee. khaalee paanee usake kaleje mein lag gaya aur vah haay raam kah kar vaheen jameen par let gaee.

aadhe ghante tak vaheen usee tarah padee rahane ke baad usake jee mein jee aaya. vah baith gaee, aankhon ko mal-mal kar idhar-udhar dekha aur phir usakee drshti osaare mein adh-toote khatole par soe apane chhah varsheey ladake pramod par jam gaee.

ladaka nang-dhadang pada tha. usake gale tatha chhaatee kee haddiyaan saaph dikhaee detee theen. usake haath-pair baasee kakadiyon kee tarah sookhe tatha bejaan pade the aur usaka pet handiya kee tarah phoola hua tha. usaka mukh khula hua tha aur us par anaginat makkhiyaan ud rahee theen.

vah uthee, bachche ke munh par apana ek phata, ganda blauj daal diya aur ek-aadh minat sunn khadee rahane ke baad baahar daravaaje par ja kar kivaad kee aad se galee nihaarane lagee. baarah baj chuke the. dhoop atyant tej thee aur kabhee ek-do vyakti sir par tauliya ya gamachha rakhe hue ya majabootee se chhaata taane hue phurtee ke saath lapakate hue-se gujar jaate.

das-pandrah minat tak vah usee tarah khadee rahee, phir usake chehare par vyagrata phail gaee aur usane aasamaan tatha kadee dhoop kee or chinta se dekha. ek-do kshan baad usane sir ko kivaad se kaaphee aage badha kar galee ke chhor kee taraph nihaara, to usaka bada ladaka raamachandr dheere-dheere ghar kee or sarakata najar aaya.

usane phurtee se ek lota paanee osaare kee chaukee ke paas neeche rakh diya aur chauke mein ja kar khaane ke sthaan ko jaldee-jaldee paanee se leepane-potane lagee. vahaan peedha rakh kar usane sir ko daravaaje kee or ghumaaya hee tha ki raamachandr ne andar kadam rakha.

raamachandr aa kar dham-se chaukee par baith gaya aur phir vaheen bejaan-sa let gaya. usaka munh laal tatha chadha hua tha, usake baal ast-vyast the aur usake phate-puraane jooton par gard jamee huee thee.

siddheshvaree kee pahale himmat nahin huee ki usake paas aae aur vaheen se vah bhayabheet hiranee kee bhaanti sir uchaka-ghuma kar bete ko vyagrata se nihaaratee rahee. kintu, lagabhag das minat beetane ke pashchaat bhee jab raamachandr nahin utha, to vah ghabara gaee. paas ja kar pukaara – badakoo, badakoo! lekin usake kuchh uttar na dene par dar gaee aur ladake kee naak ke paas haath rakh diya. saans theek se chal rahee thee. phir sir par haath rakh kar dekha, bukhaar nahin tha. haath ke sparsh se raamachandr ne aankhen kholeen. pahale usane maan kee or sust najaron se dekha, phir jhat-se uth baitha. joote nikaalane aur neeche rakhe lote ke jal se haath-pair dhone ke baad vah yantr kee tarah chaukee par aa kar baith gaya.

sidhdeshvar ne darate-darate poochha, ‘khaana taiyaar hai. yaheen lagaoon kya?’

raamachandr ne uthate hue prashn kiya, ‘baaboo jee kha chuke?’

siddheshvaree ne chauke kee or bhaagate hue uttar diya, ‘aate hee honge.’

raamachandr peedhe par baith gaya. usakee umr lagabhag ikkees varsh kee thee. lamba, dubala-patala, gora rang, badee-badee aankhen tatha hothon par jhurriyaan.

vah ek sthaaneey dainik samaachaar patr ke daphtar mein apanee tabeeyat se proophareedaree ka kaam seekhata tha. pichhale saal hee usane intar paas kiya tha.

siddheshvaree ne khaane kee thaalee saamane la kar rakh dee aur paas hee baith kar pankha karane lagee. raamachandr ne khaane kee or daarshanik kee bhaanti dekha. kul do rotiyaan, bhar-katora paniyaee daal aur chane kee talee tarakaaree.

raamachandr ne rotee ke pratham tukade ko nigalate hue poochha, ‘mohan kahaan hain? badee kadee dhoop ho rahee hai.’

mohan siddheshvaree ka manjhala ladaka tha. umr aththaarah varsh thee aur vah is saal haeeskool ka praivet imtahaan dene kee taiyaaree kar raha tha. vah na maaloom kab se ghar se gaayab tha aur siddheshvaree ko svayan pata nahin tha ki vah kahaan gaya hai.

kintu sach bolane kee usakee tabeeyat nahin huee aur jhooth-mooth usane kaha, ‘kisee ladake ke yahaan padhane gaya hai, aata hee hoga. dimaag usaka bada tej hai aur usakee tabeeyat chaubees ghante padhane mein hee lagee rahatee hai. hamesha usee kee baat karata rahata hai.’

raamachandr ne kuchh nahin kaha. ek tukada munh mein rakh kar bhara gilaas paanee pee gaya, phir khaane lag gaya. vah kaaphee chhote-chhote tukade tod kar unhen dheere-dheere chaba raha tha.

siddheshvaree bhay tatha aatank se apane bete ko ekatak nihaar rahee thee. kuchh kshan beetane ke baad darate-darate usane poochha, ‘vahaan kuchh hua kya?’

raamachandr ne apanee badee-badee bhaavaheen aankhon se apanee maan ko dekha, phir neecha sir karake kuchh rukhaee se bola, ‘samay aane par sab theek ho jaega.’

siddheshvaree chup rahee. dhoop aur tej hotee ja rahee thee. chhote aangan ke oopar aasamaan mein baadal mein ek-do tukade paal kee naavon kee tarah tair rahe the. baahar kee galee se gujarate hue ek khadakhadiya ikke kee aavaaj aa rahee thee. aur khatole par soe baalak kee saans ka khar-khar shabd sunaee de raha tha.

raamachandr ne achaanak chuppee ko bhang karate hue poochha, ‘pramod kha chuka?’

siddheshvaree ne pramod kee or dekhate hue udaas svar mein uttar diya, ‘haan, kha chuka.’

‘roya to nahin tha?’

siddheshvaree phir jhooth bol gaee, ‘aaj to sachamuch nahin roya. vah bada hee hoshiyaar ho gaya hai. kahata tha, badaka bhaiya ke yahaan jaoonga. aisa ladaka..’

par vah aage kuchh na bol sakee, jaise usake gale mein kuchh atak gaya. kal pramod ne revadee khaane kee jid pakad lee thee aur usake lie dedh ghante tak rone ke baad soya tha.

raamachandr ne kuchh aashchary ke saath apanee maan kee or dekha aur phir sir neecha karake kuchh tejee se khaane laga.

thaalee mein jab rotee ka keval ek tukada shesh rah gaya, to siddheshvaree ne uthane ka upakram karate hue prashn kiya, ‘ek rotee aur laatee hoon?’

raamachandr haath se mana karate hue hadabada kar bol pada, ‘nahin-nahin, jara bhee nahin. mera pet pahale hee bhar chuka hai. main to yah bhee chhodanevaala hoon. bas, ab nahin.’

siddheshvaree ne jid kee, ‘achchha aadhee hee sahee.’

raamachandr bigad utha, ‘adhik khilaa kar beemaar kar daalane kee tabeeyat hai kya? tum log jara bhee nahin sochatee ho. bas, apanee jid. bhookh rahatee to kya le nahin leta?’

siddheshvaree jahaan-kee-tahaan baithee hee rah gaee. raamachandr ne thaalee mein bache tukade se haath kheench liya aur lote kee or dekhate hue kaha, ‘paanee lao.’

siddheshvaree lota le kar paanee lene chalee gaee. raamachandr ne katore ko ungaliyon se bajaaya, phir haath ko thaalee mein rakh diya. ek-do kshan baad rotee ke tukade ko dheere-se haath se utha kar aankh se nihaara aur ant mein idhar-udhar dekhane ke baad tukade ko munh mein is saralata se rakh liya, jaise vah bhojan ka graas na ho kar paan ka beeda ho.

manjhala ladaka mohan aate hee haath-pair dho kar peedhe par baith gaya. vah kuchh saanvala tha aur usakee aankhen chhotee theen. usake chehare par chechak ke daag the. vah apane bhaee hee kee tarah dubala-patala tha, kintu utana lamba na tha. vah umr kee apeksha kaheen adhik gambheer aur udaas dikhaee pad raha tha.

siddheshvaree ne usake saamane thaalee rakhate hue prashn kiya, ‘kahaan rah gae the beta? bhaiya poochh raha tha.’

mohan ne rotee ke ek bade graas ko nigalane kee koshish karate hue asvaabhaavik mote svar mein javaab diya, ‘kaheen to nahin gaya tha. yaheen par tha.’

siddheshvaree vaheen baith kar pankha dulaatee huee is tarah bolee, jaise svapn mein badabada rahee ho, ‘badaka tumhaaree badee taareeph kar raha tha. kah raha tha, mohan bada dimaagee hoga, usakee tabeeyat chaubeeson ghante padhane mein hee lagee rahatee hai.’ yah kah kar usane apane manjhale ladake kee or is tarah dekha, jaise usane koee choree kee ho.

mohan apanee maan kee or dekh kar pheekee hansee hans pada aur phir khaane mein jut gaya. vah parosee gaee do rotiyon mein se ek rotee katore kee teen-chauthaee daal tatha adhikaansh tarakaaree saaph kar chuka tha.

siddheshvaree kee samajh mein nahin aaya ki vah kya kare. in donon ladakon se use bahut dar lagata tha. achaanak usakee aankhen bhar aaeen. vah doosaree or dekhane lagee.

thodee der baad usane mohan kee or munh phera, to ladaka lagabhag khaana samaapt kar chuka tha.

siddheshvaree ne chaunkate hue poochha, ‘ek rotee detee hoon?’

mohan ne rasoee kee or rahasyamay netron se dekha, phir sust svar mein bola, ‘nahin.’

siddheshvaree ne gidagidaate hue kaha, ‘nahin beta, meree kasam, thodee hee le lo. tumhaare bhaiya ne ek rotee lee thee.’

mohan ne apanee maan ko gaur se dekha, phir dheere-dheere is tarah uttar diya, jaise koee shikshak apane shishy ko samajhaata hai, ‘nahin re, bas, avval to ab bhookh nahin. phir rotiyaan toone aisee banaee hain ki khaee nahin jaateen. na maaloom kaisee lag rahee hain. khair, agar too chaahatee hee hai, to katore mein thodee daal de de. daal badee achchhee banee hai.’

siddheshvaree se kuchh kahate na bana aur usane katore ko daal se bhar diya.

mohan katore ko munh laga kar sud-sud pee raha tha ki munshee chandrika prasaad jooton ko khas-khas ghaseetate hue aae aur raam ka naam le kar chaukee par baith gae. siddheshvaree ne maathe par sari ko kuchh neeche khisaka liya aur mohan daal ko ek saans mein pee kar tatha paanee ke lote ko haath mein le kar tejee se baahar chala gaya.

do rotiyaan, katora-bhar daal, chane kee talee tarakaaree. munshee chandrika prasaad peedhe par paalathee maar kar baithe rotee ke ek-ek graas ko is tarah chubhala-chaba rahe the, jaise boodhee gaay jugaalee karatee hai. unakee umr paintaalees varsh ke lagabhag thee, kintu pachaas-pachapan ke lagate the. shareer ka chamada jhoolane laga tha, ganjee khopadee aaeene kee bhaanti chamak rahee thee. gandee dhotee ke oopar apekshaakrt kuchh saaph baniyaan taar-taar latak rahee thee.

munshee jee ne katore ko haath mein le kar daal ko thoda sudakate hue poochha, ‘badaka dikhaee nahin de raha?’

siddheshvaree kee samajh mein nahin aa raha tha ki usake dil mein kya ho gaya hai – jaise kuchh kaat raha ho. pankhe ko jara aur jor se ghumaatee huee bolee, ‘abhee-abhee kha kar kaam par gaya hai. kah raha tha, kuchh dinon mein naukaree lag jaegee. hamesha, baaboo jee, baaboo jee kie rahata hai. bola, baaboo jee devata ke samaan hain.’

munshee jee ke chehare par kuchh chamak aaee. sharamaate hue poochha, ‘ain, kya kahata tha ki baaboo jee devata ke samaan hain? bada paagal hai.’

siddheshvaree par jaise nasha chadh gaya tha. unmaad kee roginee kee bhaanti badabadaane lagee, ‘paagal nahin hai, bada hoshiyaar hai. us jamaane ka koee mahaatma hai. mohan to usakee badee ijjat karata hai. aaj kah raha tha ki bhaiya kee shahar mein badee ijjat hotee hain, padhane-likhanevaalon mein bada aadar hota hai aur badaka to chhote bhaiyon par jaan deta hain. duniya mein vah sab kuchh sah sakata hai, par yah nahin dekh sakata ki usake pramod ko kuchh ho jae.’

munshee jee daal-lage haath ko chaat rahe the. unhonne saamane kee taak kee or dekhate hue hans kar kaha, ‘badaka ka dimaag to khair kaaphee tej hai, vaise ladakapan mein natakhat bhee tha. hamesha khel-kood mein laga rahata tha, lekin yah bhee baat thee ki jo sabak main use yaad karane ko deta tha, use barraak rakhata tha. asal to yah ki teenon ladake kaaphee hoshiyaar hain. pramod ko kam samajhatee ho?’ yah kah kar vah achaanak jor se hans pade.

munshee jee dedh rotee kha chukane ke baad ek graas se yuddh kar rahe the. kathinaee hone par ek gilaas paanee chadha gae. phir khar-khar khaans kar khaane lage.

phir chuppee chha gaee. door se kisee aate kee chakkee kee puk-puk aavaaj sunaee de rahee thee aur paas kee neem ke ped par baitha koee pandook lagaataar bol raha tha.

siddheshvaree kee samajh mein nahin aa raha tha ki kya kahe. vah chaahatee thee ki sabhee cheejen theek se poochh le. sabhee cheejen theek se jaan le aur duniya kee har cheej par pahale kee tarah dhadalle se baat kare. par usakee himmat nahin hotee thee. usake dil mein jaane kaisa bhay samaaya hua tha.

ab munshee jee is tarah chupachaap dubake hue kha rahe the, jaise pichhale do dinon se maun-vrat dhaaran kar rakha ho aur usako kaheen ja kar aaj shaam ko todane vaale hon.

siddheshvaree se jaise nahin raha gaya. bolee, ‘maaloom hota hai, ab baarish nahin hogee.’

munshee jee ne ek kshan ke lie idhar-udhar dekha, phir nirvikaar svar mein raay dee, ‘makkhiyaan bahut ho gaee hain.’

siddheshvaree ne utsukata prakat kee, ‘phoopha jee beemaar hain, koee samaachaar nahin aaya.’

munshee jee ne chane ke daanon kee or is dilachaspee se drshtipaat kiya, jaise unase baatacheet karanevaale hon. phir soochana dee, ‘gangaasharan baaboo kee ladakee kee shaadee tay ho gaee. ladaka em.e. paas hai.’

siddheshvaree hathaat chup ho gaee. munshee jee bhee aage kuchh nahin bole. unaka khaana samaapt ho gaya tha aur ve thaalee mein bache-khuche daanon ko bandar kee tarah been rahe the.

siddheshvaree ne poochha, ‘badaka kee kasam, ek rotee detee hoon. abhee bahut-see hain.’

munshee jee ne patnee kee or aparaadhee ke samaan tatha rasoee kee or kanakhee se dekha, tatpashchaat kisee chhante ustaad kee bhaanti bole, ‘rotee? rahane do, pet kaaphee bhar chuka hai. ann aur namakeen cheejon se tabeeyat oob bhee gaee hai. tumane vyarth mein kasam dhara dee. khair, kasam rakhane ke lie le raha hoon. gud hoga kya?’

siddheshvaree ne bataaya ki handiya mein thoda sa gud hai.

munshee jee ne utsaah ke saath kaha, ‘to thode gud ka thanda ras banao, peeoonga. tumhaaree kasam bhee rah jaegee, jaayaka bhee badal jaega, saath-hee-saath haajama bhee duroost hoga. haan, rotee khaate-khaate naak mein dam aa gaya hai.’ yah kah kar ve thahaaka maar kar hans pade.

munshee jee ke nibatane ke pashchaat siddheshvaree unakee joothee thaalee le kar chauke kee jameen par baith gaee. bataloee kee daal ko katore mein udel diya, par vah poora bhara nahin. chhipulee mein thodee-see chane kee tarakaaree bachee thee, use paas kheench liya. rotiyon kee thaalee ko bhee usane paas kheench liya. usamen keval ek rotee bachee thee. motee-bhaddee aur jalee us rotee ko vah joothee thaalee mein rakhane ja rahee thee ki achaanak usaka dhyaan osaare mein soe pramod kee or aakarshit ho gaya. usane ladake ko kuchh der tak ekatak dekha, phir rotee ko do baraabar tukadon mein vibhaajit kar diya. ek tukade ko to alag rakh diya aur doosare tukade ko apanee joothee thaalee mein rakh liya. taduparaant ek lota paanee le kar khaane baith gaee. usane pahala graas munh mein rakha aur tab na maaloom kahaan se usakee aankhon se tap-tap aansoo choone lage.

saara ghar makkhiyon se bhanabhan kar raha tha. aangan kee alaganee par ek gandee sari tangee thee, jisamen paiband lage hue the. donon bade ladakon ka kaheen pata nahin tha. baahar kee kotharee mein munshee jee aundhe munh ho kar nishchintata ke saath so rahe the, jese dedh maheene poorv makaan-kiraaya-niyantran vibhaag kee klarkee se unakee chhantanee na huee ho aur shaam ko unako kaam kee talaash mein kaheen jaana na ho.

dopahar ka bhojan

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By: Amarkant

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