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kahaan desh hai – a poem by Nirala

‘abhee aur hai kitanee door tumhaara pyaara desh?’–
kabhee poochhata hoon to tum hansatee ho
priy, sanbhaalatee huee kapolon par ke kunchit kesh!

mujhe chadhaaya baanh pakad apanee sundar nauka par,
phir samajh na paaya, madhur sunaaya kaisa vah sangeet
sahaj-kamaneey-kanth se gaakar!

milan-mukhar us sone ke sangeet raajy mein
main vihaar karata tha,–
mera jeevan-shram harata tha;

meethee thapakee kshubdh hrday mein taan-tarang lagaatee
mujhe god par lalit kalpana kee vah kabhee jhulaatee,
kabhee jagaatee;

jagakar poochha, kaho kahaan main aaya?
hansate hue doosara hee gaana tab tumane gaaya!

bhala batao kyon keval hansatee ho?–
kyon gaatee ho?
dheere dheere kis videsh kee or liye jaatee ho?

(2)
jhaanka khidakee khol tumhaaree chhotee see nauka par,
vyaakul theen nisseem sindhu kee taal-tarangen
geet tumhaara sunakar;
vikal hrday yah hua aur jab poochha mainne
pakad tumhaare strast vastr ka chhor,
maun ishaara kiya utha kar ungalee tumane
dhansate pashchim saandhy gagan mein peet tapan kee or.

kya vahee tumhaara desh
urmi-mukhar is saagar ke us paar–
kanak-kiran se chhaaya astaanchal ka pashchim dvaar?
batao–vahee?–jahaan saagar ke us shmashaan mein
aadikaal se lekar pratidivasaavasaan mein
jalatee prakhar divaakar kee vah ek chita hai,
aur udhar phir kya hai?

jhulasaata jal taral anal,
galakar girata sa ambaratal,
hai plaavit kar jag ko aseem rodan laharaata;
khadee digvadhoo, nayanon mein dukh kee hai gaatha;
prabal vaayu bharatee hai ek adheer shvaas,
hai karata anay pralay ka sa bhar jalochchhvaas,
yah chaaron or ghor sanshayamay kya hota hai?
kyon saara sansaar aaj itana rota hai?
jahaan ho gaya is rodan ka shesh,
kyon sakhi, kya hai vaheen tumhaara desh?

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