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praayashchit – a story by Amritlal Nagar

jeevan vaatika ka vasant, vichaaron ka andhad, bhoolon ka parvat, aur thokaron ka samooh hai yauvan. isee avastha mein manushy tyaagee, sadaachaaree, desh-bhakt evan samaaj-bhakt bhee banate hain, tatha apane khoon ke josh mein vah kaam kar dikhaate hain, jisase ki unaka naam sansaar ke itihaas mein svarnaaksharon mein likh diya jaata hai, tatha isee aayu mein manushy vilaasee, lolupee aur vyabhichaaree bhee ban jaata hai, aur is prakaar apane jeevan ko do kaudee ka banaakar patan ke khadd mein gir jaata hai, ant mein pachhataata hai, praayashchit karata hai, parantu pratyancha se nikala hua baan phir vaapas nahin lautata, khoee huee sachchee shaanti phir kaheen nahin milatee.

manidhar sundar yuvak tha. usake pars (jeb) mein paisa tha aur paas mein tha naveen umangon se poorit hrday. vah bhola-bhaala susheel yuvak tha. bechaara seedhe maarg par ja raha tha, yaaron ne bhataka diya – deen ko path-heen kar diya. use nity-prati kothon kee sair karaee, naee-naee pariyon kee baankee jhaankee dikhaee. usake uchchavichaaron ka, usakee mahatvakaakshaanon ka atyant nirdayata ke saath gala ghont daala gaya. banaavatee roop ke baajaar ne bechaare manidhar ko bharama diya. pita se paisa maangata tha vah, anaathaalayon mein chanda dene ke bahaane aur use aankhen band kar bahaata tha, gandee naaliyon mein, paap kee sarita mein, ghrnit veshyaalayon mein. aisee niraalee thee usakee leela.

pandit jee vrddh the. anek kanyaon ke shikshak the. vaatsaly prem ke avataar the. kisee bhee baalika ke ghar khaalee haath na jaate the. mithaee, phal, kitaab, notabuk aadi kuchh na kuchh le kar hee jaate the tatha nityaprati paath sunakar pratyek ko paaritoshik pradaan karate the. baalikaen bhee unase atyant hil-mil gaee theen. unake sanrakshakagan bhee pandit jee kee vaatsalyata dekh gadagad ho jaate the. gharavaalon ke baad pandit jee hee apanee chhaatraon ke nireekshak the, sanrakshak the. baalikaen inake ghar jaateen, haaramoniyam bajaatee, gaatee, hansatee, khelatee, koodatee theen. panditajee isase gadagad ho jaate the tatha baaharavaalon se premaashru dharakaate hua kaha karate, “inheen ladakiyon ke kaaran mera budhaapa katata chala ja raha hai. anyatha akele to is sansaar mein mera ek divas bhee kaatana bhaaree pad jaata.” samast sansaar panditajee kee ek munh se prashansa karata tha.

baaharavaalon ko is prakaar thaat dikhaakar panditajee doosare hee prakaar ka khel khela karate the. vah apanee navayauvana sundar chhaatraon ko any vishayon ke saath-saath prem ka paath bhee padhaaya karate the, parantu vah prem, vishuddh prem nahin, varan prem kee aad mein bhogalipsa kee shiksha thee, sateetv vikray ka paath tha. kaam-vaasana ka paath padhaakar bholee-bhaalee baalikaon ka jeevan nasht karaakar dalaalee khaane kee chaal thee, tattee kee aad mein shikaar khela jaata tha. panditajee ke aas-paas yunivarsitee tatha kaalej ke chhaatr is prakaar bhinabhinaaya karate the, jis prakaar ki gud ke aas paas makkhiyaan. vichitr the panditajee aur adbhut thee unakee maaya.

raayabahaadur do. shankaralaal agnihotree ka sthaan samaaj mein bahut ooncha tha. sabha-sosaitee ke haakim-hukkaam mein aadar kee drshti se dekhe jaate the vah. unake thee ek kanya – mukta. vah hajaaron mein ek thee – sundarata aur susheelata donon mein. durbhaagyavash vrddh panditajee use padhaane ke lie niyukt kie gae. bholee-bhaalee baalika apane aadarsh ko bhoolane lagee. pandit jee ne usake nirmal hrday mein apane kutsit mahaamantr ka beejaaropan kar diya tha. any yuvatee chhaatraon kee bhaanti mukta bhee pandit jee ke yahaan ‘haaramoniyam’ seekhane jaane lagee.

panditajee mukta ke roop laavany ko kirae par uthaane ke lie koee manachala paise vaala dhoondhane lage. ant mein manidhar ko aapane apana paatr chun liya. naee-naee kaliyon kee khoj mein bhatakane vaala milind is apoorv kalee ka madapaan karane ke lie aakulit ho utha. is avasar par panditajee kee mutthee garm ho gaee. doosare hee divas manidhar ko pandit jee ke yahaan jaana tha. vah sandhya atyant hee ramaneek thee. mani ne use badee prateeksha karane ke pashchaat paaya tha. aaj vah atyant prasann tha. aaj use panditajee ke yahaan jaana tha. …vah lambe-lambe pag rakhata hua chala ja raha tha panditajee ke paapaalay kee or. aaj use rupayon kee vedee par vaasana-devee ko prasann karane ke lie bali chadhaanee thee.

mukta panditajee ke yahaan baithee haaramoniyam par ungaliyaan nacha rahee thee, aur panditajee use pulakit netron se nihaar rahe the. vah baaja bajaane mein vyast thee. sahasa manidhar ke aa jaane se haaramoniyam band ho gaya. lajeelee mukta kursee chhodakar ek or khadee ho gaee. panditajee ne kitana hee samajhaaya, “betee! inase lajja na kar, yah to apane hee hain. ja, baja, baaja baja. abhyaagat sajjan ke svaagat mein ek geet ga.”

parantu mukta ko abhee lajja ne na chhoda tha. vah apane sthaan par avichal khadee thee, usake sukomal manohaaree gaal lajjaavash ‘angooree’ kee bhaanti laal ho rahe the, alaken aa-aakar usaka ek madhur chumban lene kee cheshta kar rahee theen. manidhar us par mar mita tha. vah us samay baahy sansaar mein nahin rah gaya tha. yah sab dekh panditajee khisak gae. ab us prakoshth mein keval do hee the.

manidhar ne mukta ka haath pakadakar kaha, “aaie, khadee kyon hain. mere sameep baith jaie.”

manidhar dhrsht hota chala ja raha tha. mukta jhijhak rahee thee, parantu phir bhee maun thee. manidhar ne kaha – “kya panditajee ne is prakaar aatithy satkaar karana sikhalaaya hai ki ghar par koee paahun aave aur gharavaala chupachaap khada rahe… shubhe, mere sameep baith jaie.”

prem kee vidyut kala donon ke shareer mein pravesh kar chukee thee. mukta is baar kuchh na bolee. vah mantr-mugdh-see mani ke peechhe-peechhe chalee aaee tatha usase kuchh hatakar palang par baith gaee.

“aapaka shubh naam?” mani ne jara mukta ke nikat aate hue kaha.

“mukta.” lajeelee mukta ne dheeme svar mein kaha.

baaton ka pravaah badha, dheere-dheere samast hichak jaatee rahee. aur… aur !! thodee der ke pashchaat mukta neeras ho gaee, usakee aab utar gaee thee.

“hijaabe naun uruma rahabare shauhar nabee maanad, agar maanad shabe-maanad shabe deegar nabeen maanad.”

hichak khul gaee thee. mani aur mukta ka prem kramashah badhane laga tha. mani milindtha, pushp par usaka prem tabhee hee thahar sakata hai, jab tak usamen mad hai, parantu mukta ka prem nirmal aur nishkalank tha. vah paap kee sarita ko pavitr prem kee ganga samajhakar berok-tok bahatee hee chalee ja rahee thee. achaanak thokar lagee. usake netr khul gae. ek din usane tatha samast sansaar ne dekha ki vah garbh se thee.

samaaj mein halachal mach gaee. shankaralaal jee kee naak to kat hee gaee. vah kisee ko munh dikhaane ke yogy na rah gae the – aisa hee logon ka vichaar tha. astu. jaati-biraadaree jutee, panch-sarapanch aae. panchaayat ka kaary aarambh hua. mukta ke bayaan lie gae. usane aansuon ke beech sisakiyon ke saath-saath samaaj ke saamane sampoorn ghatana aadyopaant suna daalee – panditajee ka usake bhole-bhaale svachchh hrday mein kaam-vaasana ka beejaaropan karana, tatpashchaat usaka manidhar se parichay karaana aadi samast ghatana usane suna daalee. panditajee ne gidagidaate apanee saphaee pesh kee tatha mukta se apanee vrddhaavastha par taras khaane kee praarthana kee. parantu manidhar shaant bhaav se baitha raha.

panchon ne salaah dee. boodhon ne haan mein haan mila diya. sarapanch mahoday ne apana nirnay suna daala. saara dosh mukta ke maathe madha gaya. vah jaatichyut kar dee gaee. raayabahaadur ke pita kee bhee vahee raay thee, jo panchon kee thee. manidhar aur panditajee ko sachcharitrata ka sartiphiket de nirdoshee karaar de diya gaya. keval ‘abala’ mukta hee dukh kee dhadhakatee huee agni mein jhulasane ke lie chhod dee gaee. ant mein atyant kaatar bhaav se nissahaay mukta ne sarapanch kee dohaee dee – usake charanon mein gir padee. sarapanch ghabarae. haay, bhrashta ne unhen sparsh kar liya tha. krodhit ho unhonne us garbhinee, nissahaay, aashray-heena yuvatee ko dhakke maar kar nikaal dene kee anumati de dee. unakee aagya ka paalan karane ke lie hindoo samaaj ko vaastav mein patan ke khadd mein giraane vaale, nararaakshas, khushaamadee tattoo ‘peer bavarchee, bhistee, khar’ kee kahaavat ko charitaarth karane vaale is kalank ke sachche aparaadhee panditajee tatkshan uthe, use dhakka maarakar nikaalane hee vaale the – achaanak aavaaj aaee – “thaharo. anyaay kee seema bhee parimit hotee hai. tum logon ne usaka bhee ullanghan kar daala hai.”

logon ne netr ghumaakar dekha, to manidhar uttejit ho nishchal bhaav se khada kah raha tha, “hindoo samaaj andha hai, atyaachaaree hai evan usake sarvesarva arthaat hamaare ‘maananeey’ panchagan anapadh hain, ganvaar hain, aur moorkh hain. jinhen khare evan khote, saty aur asaty kee parakh nahin vah kya to nyaay kar sakate hain aur kya jaati-upakaar? isaka vaastavik aparaadhee to main hoon. isaka dand to mujhe bhogana chaahie. is susheel baala ka sateetv to mainne nasht kiya hai aur mujhase bhee adhik neech hai yah bagula bhagat bana hua neech pandit. is duraachaaree ne apane svaarth ke lie na maaloom kitanee baalaon ka jeevan nasht karaaya hai – unhen pathabhrasht kar diya hai. jis aadaraneey drshti se is neech ko samaaj mein dekha jaata hai vaastav mein yah neech usake yogy nahin, varan yah nar pashu hai, lolupee hai, lampat hai. sinh kee khaal odhe hue tuchchh geedad hai – ranga siyaar hai.”

sab log manidhar ke ojasvee mukhamandal ko nihaar rahe the. manidhar ab mukta ko sambodhit kar kahane laga, “mainne bhee paap kiya hai. samaaj dvaara dandit hone ka vaastavik adhikaaree main hoon. main bhee samaaj evan lakshmee ka parityaag kar tumhaare saath chaloonga. tumhen sarvada apanee dharmapatnee maanata hua apane is ghor paap ka praayashchit karoonga. bhadre, chalo ab is anyaayee evan neech samaaj mein ek kshan bhee rahana mujhe pasand nahin… chalo.”

manidhar mukta ka kar pakadakar ek or chal diya, aur janata jaadoogar ke acharaj bhare tamaashe kee naee is drshy ko dekhatee rah gaee.

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By: Amritlal Nagar

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