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ubaal – a story by Upendranath Ashk

jab doodh ubal-ubal kar koyalon par girane laga aur shaan… shaan kee aavaaz ke saath ek tez see boo uthee to chandan ne hadabada kar pateelee kee taraf haath badhaaya. koyalon kee tapish se surkh ho rahee thee. be-basee ke andaaz mein chandan ne jald-jald idhar-udhar dekha… koee kapada paas na tha. usane chaaha, paanee ka chheenta hee de-de, lekin lote ke paanee mein abhee-abhee usane aate vaale haath dhoe the. doodh ubal raha tha aur jalee huee jhaag kee boo kamare mein phailane lagee thee. andar usake maalik aur maalkin aapas mein aahista-aahista baaten kar rahe the. be-basee ke is lamhe mein chandan ke badhe hue haath aur aage badh gae aur lahaza bhar mein tapatee-jalatee pateelee khat se farsh par aa gaee. chandan kee ungaliyon kee pooren jal gaeen, ubalata hua doodh usake haathon par gir gaya aur jalan kee vajah se usake honton se be-saakhta ek see nikal gaee.

pateelee ko khat se farsh par rakhate hue thoda sa doodh farsh par bhee gir gaya tha. usee aate ke paanee se usane use dho daala aur ungaliyon kee jalan ko jaise jhatak kar utaarata hua vo gusl-khaane kee taraf bhaaga. paanee kee dhaar ke neeche haath rakhe-rakhe usane sar ko halka sa jhataka diya aur muskuraaya. jab bhee kabhee usase koee bevaqoofee sarazad ho jaatee thee, vo usee tarah sar hila kar honton ke baen kone mein muskuraaya karata tha aur hont kate hone ke bais usake daant dikhaee dene lagate the. baat yoon huee ki doodh ko angethee par rakh kar vo apane maalik aur maalkin kee baaten sunane mein mahv ho gaya tha. din kaafee chadh aaya tha aur chandan ne dopahar ke khaane ke lie aata tak goondh liya tha. lekin vo donon abhee bistar hee mein the aur kuchh hee der pahale usake maalik ne vaheen se chandan ko chaay banaane ka hukm diya tha.

isne doodh kee pateelee ko angeethee par rakh diya tha aur daravaaze kee taraf kaan lagae apane maalik aur maalkin kee baaten sunane laga tha. jab se usake maalik kee shaadee huee thee vo der se uthata tha. isase pahale vo alassubah uthane ka aadee tha. noor ke tadake uth kar vo chandan ko uthaata. maalish karavaata. varzish karata. baaraha sair ko bhee jaata. lekin ab vo apanee is naee beevee ke saath din chadhe tak soya rahata. jab jaagata to vaheen lete-lete use chaay banaane ka hukm de kar arsa tak beevee se baaten karane mein masaroof rahata. chandan ko in baaton mein ras aane laga tha. vo bistar par lete-lete aahista-aahista baaten kar rahe hote, vo baitha unhen sunane kee koshish kya karata. aanch kee tezee ke bais pateelee mein doodh be-tarah bal kha raha tha aur chandan us taraf se be-khabar hama-tan gosh apane maalik aur maalkin kee baaten sunane kee koshish mein masaroof tha.

mein majaboor ho jaata hoon. tumhaare gaal hee aise hain…

aapke haathon ka to koee qasoor nahin.

itne achchhe hain tumhaare gaal ki…

jalane lage hain aapakee chapaton se.

lo main unhen thanda kar deta hoon.

aur chandan ko aisa mahasoos hua, jaise narm-o-naazuk phool resham ke farsh par ja pada ho. tasavvur hee tasavvur mein usane dekha ki usake maalik ne apane hont apanee beevee ke gaalon se chipaka die hain. vaheen baithe-baithe usaka jism garm hone laga. usake aa’za tan gae aur tasavvur hee tasavvur mein apane maalik kee jagah usane le lee. haath dhokar usane sar ko phir jhataka diya aur honton ke baen kone se muskuraata hua vo andar godaam mein gaya. usane zara-sa sarason ka tel lekar apane haathon kee mailee, siyaah jalatee huee pusht par is jagah lagaaya jahaan jalan ho rahee theen. phir ja kar vo baavarchee-khaane mein baith gaya aur usane chaay kee ketalee angeethee par rakh dee. lekin haath jalaane aur apanee us mahviyat par dobaara sar hilaakar muskuraane ke baavajood usake kaan phir kamare kee taraf ja lage aur usaka tasavvur apanee tamaam yak-sooee ke saath usake saamea kee madad par ho gaya aur usakee aankhon ke saamane phir kaee tasveeren banane aur mitane lageen.

chandan! usake aaqa ne cheekh kar aavaaz dee aur phir kaha, vaheen mar gaya kya? aaqa kee aavaaz sun kar vo chaunka. jald-jald chaay aur tos taiyaar karake andar le gaya. usakee maalkin aur maalik hasb-e-dastoor bistar par pade the. vo donon ham-aagosh to na the, lekin phir bhee donon ek-doosare se lage, takiye ke sahaare lete hue the. lihaaf in donon ke seene tak tha aur maalik ka baazoo abhee tak maalkin kee gardan ke neeche tha.

udhar rakh do!

chandan ne tre tapaee par rakh dee. ek nazar dekh kar maalik ne kaha, tumhen ho kya gaya hai? doodh ka jag kahaan hai?

jee abhee laaya. aur sar ko ek-baar jhataka de kar honton ke baen kone se muskuraata hua vo rasoee ghar kee taraf bhaaga. doosare lamhe usane doodh ka bartan laakar rakh diya. lekin use phir gaaliyaan sunana padeen. kyonki dobaara dekhane par maalik ko maaloom hua ki chhalanee bhee nahin hai. chandan ne chhalanee laakar rakh dee aur lamhe bhar ke lie vaheen khada raha. usakee dabee huee nigaah apanee maalkin ke chehare par ja padee… khoobasoorat lambe khule baalon kee laten usakee goree peshaanee par bikharee huee theen. hont sookhe hone ke baavajood geele-geele the. muskuraatee see aankhon mein khumaar kee baareek see lakeer thee aur chehare par halka sa izmihalaal chhaaya hua tha. usake maalik ne bade pyaar se kaha, chaay bana do na jaan! lekin jaan ne roothe hue karavat badal lee.

main kahata hoon chaay na piyogee. use manaate hue maalik ne kaha.

mujhe nahin peenee chaay. gaal ko masalate hue maalkin ne javaab diya. gardan ke neeche ka baazoo utha aur maalkin apane maalik kee aagosh mein bhinch gaee.

kya karte ho sharm nahin aatee. chandan ka dil dhak-dhak karane laga aur uske maalik ka qahqaha kamare mein goonj utha.

utho na bana do chaay. maalik ne badee mulaayamiyat se haath ko dheela chhodate hue kaha, tumhaare gaal hee aise pyaare hain ki khvaah-makhvaah un par chapaten lagaane ko jee chaahata hai. tadap kar maalkin ne phir karavat badal lee.

chandan tum banao chaay. shiddat-e-ehasaas se kaanpate hue haathon se chandan ne chaay kee pyaalee banaee. pyaalee utha kar apanee jaan ko aagosh mein bheenche hue usake maalik ne pyaalee usake honton se laga dee. ye jaan ka lafz tha, ya usake maalik ka, usake saamane beevee ko aagosh mein lene ka tareeqa ki jab dopahar ko chandan kaam-kaaj se faarig hokar apanee kotharee mein ja leta to usake saamane zohara jaan kee tasveer kheench gaee aur usane iztiraaree taur par sarason ke tel aur mittee mein sune hue be-gilaaf ke khasta aur boseeda takie ko apanee aagosh mein bheench liya.

achaanak ubal kar oopar aajaane vaale doodh kee tarah, na jaane zohara kee ye tasveer kis tarah usake bachapan ke gahare dabe gaaron se nikal kar usake saamane aa gaee… vahee boota sa qad. bhara-bhara sa gudaaz jism. badee-badee chanchal aankhen. paan kee laalee se range hont. bhare koolhe. vahee seene ka ubhaar aur vahee muskuraahat jisake mamba ka pata hee na chalata tha ki aaya pahale usakee aankhon mein shuroo hotee hai ya honton par. vo us vaqt bahut chhota tha aur maan-baap ke mar jaane kee vajah se apanee mausee ke paas raha karata tha. usakee ye mausee ek seth ke bachchon kee daaya thee. ye seth chaavadee baazaar mein graamofon aur doosare saazon kee dukaan karata tha. usee dukaan ke saath zohara ka chaubaara tha aur seth kee dukaan ke baaje aahista-aahista chaandee ke sikke ban kar vahaan pahuncha karate the.

chandan apne bade bhaee aur pandit jee ke bade ladake ke saath kabhee-kabhee zohara ke chaubaare par chala jaata tha. zohara pandit jee ke ladake ko pyaar kiya karatee thee. mithaee vagaira detee thee aur usaka kuchh jootha hissa un donon bhaiyon ko bhee mila karata tha. kaee baar vo doosare bachchon ke saath chaubaare ke baahar aangan mein khel raha hota aur seth jee zohara ke paas ja baithate. use aagosh mein le lete ya usake zaanuon par sar rakh kar let jaate. usakee ye maalkin bhee to zohara se milatee-julatee thee. vaisa hee boota sa qad. vaise hee bhare-bhare koolhe. umadee huee chhaatiyaan. gol-gol ras bhare gaal. badee-badee aankhen aur geele hont… kaun kah sakata hai ki us ek lamhe mein maalik ke pahaloo mein use lete hue dekh kar hee use zohara kee yaad na aa gaee hotee.

tasavvur hee tasavvur mein chandan zohara ke baala-khaane par pahunch kar seth kee tarah usake zaanuon par let gaya aur zohara pyaar se usake baalon par haath pherane lagee… vo bhool gaya ki usake takhanon tak mail chadhee huee hai. khushkee ke baes taangon kee jild ghutanon tak papadee see ban gaee hai. usaka neela nekar, jo usake maalik ne muddat huee diya tha, mail se kaala ho gaya hai. usakee qameez kaee jagah se phatee huee hai. usake saanvale maathe par chot ka ek nihaayat badanuma daag hai. usaka nichala hont kata hua hai aur usake sar ke baal chhote-chhote, khade-khade aur rookhe hain… vo mast leta raha aur zohara usake baalon par haath pheratee rahee… vaheen usake zaanuon par lete-lete usane karavat badalee aur pyaar se kahana chaaha, zohara tum kitanee achchhee ho… lekin usakee kamar mein koee sakht see cheez chubhee aur us vaqt use maaloom hua ki vo nange farsh par leta hua hai. vo cheez jis par usaka sar rakha hai zohara ka zaanoo nahin balki ek boseeda sada-gala takiya hai.

chandan ne sar ko jhataka diya, lekin vo muskuraaya nahin. uth kar deevaar ke saath peeth laga kar baith gaya. baithe-baithe usakee aankhon ke saamane pichhale kaee baras udate hue se guzar gae. seth jee to apanee sab jaayadaad chaubaaron ke husn kee nazar karake apane naana ke gaanv chale gae the, jo vasat-e-panjaab mein kaheen apanee saadagee, galaazat aur na-khvaandagee kee god mein leta hua tha. chandan kee mausee alavar apane gaanv chalee gaee thee aur chandan is chhotee umr hee mein teen roopaye maahavaar par un seth saahab ke ek dost ke haan naukar ho gaya tha. usake baad usakee zindagee us kambal kee tarah thee jise ek jagah se rafoo kiya jae to doosaree jagah se phat jae, doosaree jagah se siya jae to teesaree jagah se chaak ho jae. apane us maalik ke haan pahunch kar usane sukh ka saans liya tha… aur mahasoos kiya tha ki aisa zinda-dil, khush-mizaaz… aur khulee tabiyat ka maalik guzashta baarah saal kee naukaree mein use nahin mila. lekin usake maalik kee ye khulee tabiyat usake lie museebat ban gaee thee. usaka maalik usake saamane hee apanee beevee ko pyaar karane mein zara bhee na jhijhakata tha. jaise chandan gosht-post ka insaan na hava-mittee ka londa ho.

chandan ne socha us shaadee se pahale vo kitane itmeenaan se rahata tha. ye be-chainee see, ye garmee-garmee see, ye aa’za ka tanaav sa, ye shab-bedaaree see, usane kabhee mahasoos na kee thee. pahale vo sota tha to use deen-duniya ka hosh na rahata tha. lekin jab se usake maalik ne shaadee kee thee aur usakee ye naee maalkin aaee thee, usakee neend ud see gaee thee. use ajeeb-ajeeb tarah ke khvaab aate the… raat usane kaasanee ko dekha tha. kaasanee usake pahale maalik kee ladakee thee. kachchee naashapaatiyon kee see usakee chhaatiyaan theen. takhanon se ooncha lahanga aur bandee pahane vo nange sar ghooma karatee thee. yahee ladakee khvaab mein usake saath aa letee thee kaise? kahaan? use kuchh yaad nahin, lekin vo jaag utha tha. usaka jism garm tha. usake aasaab tane hue the. use paseena aa gaya tha… phir vo so na saka tha. kuchh bhee samajh mein na aane se apanee bevaqoofee par usane sar hilaaya, lekin vo muskuraaya nahin. usaka maalik daftar gaya hua tha. maalkin andar kamare mein gaharee neend soee huee thee. vo utha aur pados mein raay saahab ke naukar baitho kee kotharee kee taraf chal pada.

chait kee poornamaashee ka chaand bad ke peechhe se aahista-aahista nikal raha tha. nau-umr kekaree ke patte usakee kiranon ke lams se chamak uthe the. chandan aahista-aahista apanee kotharee se nikala. saamane kothee ke porch par phaile hue vogan beliya ke surkh gul-anaaree phool chaandanee mein halke siyaahee-mael maaloom hote the. ek taraf gul-mor ka puraana darakht jisaka tana paarasaal daramiyaan mein se kaat diya gaya tha apanee chand ek shaakhon ke saron par patton aur phoolon ke guchchhe lie jhoom raha tha. door se ye guchchhe baadalon ke nanhe-nanhe paare se maaloom hote the. kakaraunde aur karane ke phoolon kee khushaboo fiza mein basee huee thee. agarache abhee tak vo sab andar kamare mein sote the, lekin aamad-e-bahaar ke bais sardee ziyaada na rahee thee. chandan ek aalam-e-mahviyat mein goondanee ke darakht ke paas ja khada hua. usane be-khyaalee mein ek-do nanhee-nanhee goondaniyaan tod kar munh mein daal leen. pooree tarah pakkee na theen. usaka munh be-maza ho gaya. ek lamhe tak vo shash-o-panj kee see haalat mein vaheen khada raha. phir vo baraamade mein gaya aur usane badee ehatiyaat se deevaan-khaane ka daravaaza khola.

sone ka kamara mardaane ke saath hee tha aur deevaan-khaana aam taur par khula rahata tha. usaka ek daravaaza vo baahar se band kar liya karata tha aur ek usake maalik andar se band kar lete the. usane aahista se daravaaza khola. maalik ke sone ke kamare mein halkee see raushanee thee. usaka aks daravaaze ke sheeshe par pada tha. aisa maaloom hota tha jaise kisee ne gadalee raushanee ka barash daravaaze ke sheeshon par pher diya ho. aahista-aahista daree par paanv rakhata hua chandan badha aur ja kar daravaaze ke saath panjon ke bal khada ho gaya. andar chhat mein laal rang ka balb raushan tha. usakee maddhim raushanee mein vo aankhen phaad-phaad kar dekhane laga. lekin doosare hee lamhe mein vo bhaaga. usaka jism garm hone laga tha. aa’za tanne lage the. usaka gala aur hont khushk ho gae the aur usakee nason mein jaise doodh ubalane laga tha. panjon ke bal bhaag kar vo baahar aaya. aahista se usane daravaaza band kiya aur baahar chaandanee mein aa khada hua. saamane gul mor ka tana khada tha. usake jee mein aaee ki apane seene kee ek hee zarb se vo tane ko gira de.

kothee ke saamane lon mein favvaare ke gird suramee mail peele-peele phoolon ke be-shumaar paude lahara rahe the, jinake chaude-chaude patton par paanee kee boonden phisal pada karatee theen. kakaraunde kee khushboo aur bhee teekhee ho kar fiza mein bas gaee thee. chandan ne jaakar favvaare kee tontee ghuma dee. pharar-pharar ek meethee see phuhaar us par padane lagee. vo jethoo ke haan kyon gaya? vo sochane laga… dopahar ke vaqt ird-gird kee kothiyon ke naukar jethon kee kotharee mein jama hote the. kabhee taash khelate kabhee choosar kee baazee lagaate. kabhee apane-apane maalikon aur maalakinon kee naqlen utaarate. kabhee kabhaar jethoo apane chacha se ek puraana graamofon maang laata jo usane kabhee ek kabaadee kee kliyaring sel mein khareeda tha. usakee aavaaz aisee thee jaise asahaal ka mareez bachcha riraya raha ho. lekin vo sab maze se us par goree tere gore gaal pa, ya to se laagee najariya re suna karate. haal hee mein jethoo chaarlee ka ek naya rikord le aaya tha aur dopahar usakee kotharee mein teree nazar ne maara… teree nazar ne maara… ek. do. teen-chaar. paanch-chhah. saat-aath. nau-das-gyaarah… teree nazar ne maara… hota rahata. lekin chandan kabhee udhar na gaya tha. use vaqt hee na milata tha. subah-savere hee usaka maalik use jaga diya karata tha. vo usake maalish karata. usake lie nahaane ka paanee taiyaar karata. chaay banaata. usake daftar chale jaane ke baad dopahar ke khaane ka intizaam karata. khaana banaakar daftar le jaata. aakar nahaata, khaata aur so jaata… aisee gaharee neend sota ki baaraha guroob-e-aafataab tak sota rahata aur usake maalik ko thokaren maar-maar kar use jagaana padata. lekin aaj apanee be-khvaabee se haar kar jab vo dopahar ko jethoo kee kotharee mein gaya to usane aisee baaten suneen ki usakee rahee-sahee neend bhee haraam ho gaee.

phuhaar ke padate hee usake jism mein jhurajhuree see uthee, vo zara chaunka. kaheen use bukhaar to nahin ho gaya. rut badal rahee hai aur vo paanee ke neeche khada bheeg raha hai. agar use nimoniya ho gaya to! usane sar ko ek-baar jhataka diya lekin muskuraaya nahin aur favvaare ko khula chhod kar hee apanee kotharee mein jaakar let gaya. lekin jald hee usakee aankh khul gaee. usaka sar bhaaree-bhaaree tha. jism par bukhaar kee see kaifiyat taaree thee aur aankhen kuchh ubalatee huee mahasoos ho rahee theen. usane phir ek khvaab dekha tha. kachchee naashapaatiyon ke guchchhe usake sar ke gird ghoom rahe hain. vo ek veeraan se makaan mein khada unhen pakadane kee koshish kar raha hai. paas hee paanee ka nal chal raha hai aur usake paas ek bachcha khada chilla-chilla kar kah raha hai mera khilauna mat todo, mera khilauna mat todo! vo sar uthaakar udhar dekhata hai. vo bachcha kaasanee ban jaata hai aur vo sunata hai, meree naashapaatiyaan mat todo. meree naashapaatiyaan…

chandan paagalon kee tarah utha. jethoo ke alafaaz usake kaanon mein goonj gae. usane kurta pahana. mittee ke ek puraane maile kooze mein se khasta sa batua nikaal kar jeb mein rakha. kotharee ko kundee lagaee aur aahista-aahista kothee se baahar nikal gaya. chaandanee ek vasee shaamiyaane kee tarah pred-graund par phailee huee thee aur sadakon ke niyam jaise us shaamiyaane ko thaame khade the. unake ghane patton mein se bijalee ke qumaqume timatima uthate the aur door se dekhane par aisa maaloom hota tha jaise un darakhton ke pare koee alaav jal raha ho. chandan kuin meree rod par ho liya. daeen taraf kothee se kakaraunde, karane, gul shyo aur maulasiree kee milee-julee mahak ka ek jhonka aaya aur sadak par darakhton ke neeche bichhe hue raushanee aur saay ke jaal hile.

tees hazaaree ke chauraste par vo ruka ki shaayad koee traam aatee huee mil jae. lekin shaayad gyaarah kabhee ke bach chuke the. sadak bilkul sunsaan thee. gandagee kee ek gaadee ufoonat phailaatee huee usake paas se guzar gaee. chandan ka dimaag bhanna gaya. bhaag kar vo mithaee ke pul par ho liya. jis chabootare par sipaahee khada rahata hai vo toota hua tha. shaayad kisee motar vaale ne sipaahee kee karakhtagee ka badala us maasoom chabootare se liya tha. pul par bilkul sannaata tha. oopar chaand chamak raha tha aur pul ke neeche gaharaee aur taareekee mein rel kee lainen aur saamane kuchh door laal signal chup-chaap timatima rahe the. chandan pul kee deevaar ke saath sar lagae lamha bhar tak mabahoot saakit un naaginon see lainon aur un timatimaate hue signalon ko dekhata raha. phir vo aage chal pada.

sadak bilkul sunsaan thee. donon taraf kee dukaanen band theen aur pataree par kaheen-kaheen maile se lihaaf lie dukaanadaar soe hue the… mailee-kuchailee dhotiyon mein unake zard-zard aa’za poornamaashee ke chaand kee us raushanee mein saaf dikhaee de rahe the. telee-baade ke saamane pataree par ek toota hua taanga pada tha, aur kooda uthaane vaalee do teen khaalee gaadiyaan khadee theen. baeen taraf door tak ek safed see deevaar chalee jaatee thee, jisake peechhe kabhee kisee gaadee ke tez-tez guzarane kee aavaaz aa jaatee thee aur daeen taraf dukaanon ke baahar kaheen baanson ke gatthe pade the. kaheen chaarapaiyaan aur kaheen lakadee kee khaalee petiyaan!

chandan chup-chaap apane khyaalaat mein mahv qutub rod ke chauraste par aa gaya. sadar baazaar bilkul band ho chuka tha. sirf kone ke halavaee kee dukaan khulee thee. chandan kee bhadakee huee tabiyat yahaan tak aate qareeb-qareeb thandee ho gaee thee. sirf usake dil mein ek halka sa ishtiyaaq ka jazba maujood tha aur isee ke maatahat usane halavaee kee dukaan se aadh ser garm-garm doodh piya. phir jaise ek naee umang paakar vo aur aage badha. donon taraf kee dukaanen band theen. baeen taraf ke maashaallaah hotal mein hotal ka ek mulaazim baitha rotee kha raha tha. daen-baen kaheen-kaheen kisee panavaadee ya hajaam kee dukaan khulee thee. ek dukaan mein ek mazadoor (jise din mein shaayad fursat na milatee thee) baitha sar par ustura phirava raha tha.

kaath baazaar ke sire par chandan ek lamhe ke lie ruka, taangon ke tave par ek-do taange vaale abhee ghoom rahe the. taanga shed ke ‘ain oopar chaand chamak raha tha aur us chaandanee mein gard aur dhuen ka halka sa gubaar bhee mila hua tha. vo kaath baazaar mein daakhil hua aur hairaan sa ek chaubaare kee taraf dekhane laga jisamen gais kee raushanee ke saamane ek khoobasoorat ladakee baithee thee. chandan kee maree huee umang phir jaag uthee. lekin yahaan abhee tak kaee aadamee khade the. itane aadamiyon ke saamane itanee raushanee mein usake lie ma’male kee baat karana mushkil tha. usane neeche kee kothariyon kee taraf dekha. har kotharee ke aage ek laimp latak raha tha aur ek aurat khadee ya baithee thee. kabhee-kabhee kisee kotharee ka daravaaza band ho jaata aur kisee shakhs ke peechhe laimp uthae us kotharee kee aurat ek maile se parde ke andar chalee jaatee thee. lamhe bhar ke lie ubharee huee umang chandan ko phir doobatee huee mahasoos hotee. vo zara aage badh kar ek lohe kee kursee par baith gaya, jo ‘ain chauk mein bichhee huee thee aur jisake paas ek mez par rang-birangee botalen rakhe ek do champee karane vaale baithe the.

champee karaoge? chandan ne gair-iraadee taur par sar hila diya. paas hee ek aur aisee dukaan thee aur usake saath bichhe hue bench par ek shakhs baitha champee karava raha hai. usake pare ek lambe baraamade mein apanee-apanee kothariyon ke saamane auraten khadee apane graahakon ko bula rahee theen. thak jaane ya seene ka ubhaar dikhaane ke khyaal se unhonne chhat se rassiyaan lataka rakhee theen, jinake sahaare vo khadee theen. chandan ke sar mein tel ke girane se bijalee kee see sarasaraahat huee aur phir hajaam ladaka champee karane laga. champee karane ke baad usane chandan kee peshaanee aur gardan ko ek maile se taulie se ponchh kar usake baal bana die.

chandan jab vahaan se utha to use naak mein saste khushaboodaar tel kee teekhee see boo aa rahee thee aur usakee umang phir jaise bedaar ho gaee thee. chauk chhod kar vo ek galee mein ho gaya. yahaan log kam the aur raushanee bhee itanee ziyaada na thee. vo ek galee ke doosare sire tak jaakar mud aaya. usakee samajh mein na aata tha ki vo kaise baat-cheet shuroo kare. vo to unase aankhen bhee na mila sakata tha. mahaz khyaal hee se usaka dil dhak-dhak karane lagata tha. usane socha vaapas chala jae. use jethoo ke saath aana chaahie tha. usane faisala kiya ki galee mein se hota hua doosaree taraf se nikal jaega. magar itanee door aakar vo yoon hee vaapas jaana bhee na chaahata tha. usee vaqt ek kotharee ke aage qadre andhere mein baithee huee ek motee see thul-thul pul-pul aurat ne usakee mushkil hal kar dee. usake paas do chhotee-chhotee ladakiyaan farsh par hee daree bichhae letee huee theen. bilkul kaasanee hee ke sin kee.

aao idhar aao. pyaar se isane kaha. chandan badha. saragoshee mein usane kaha, aao sochate kya ho. baarah aane lagenge. ishaara us kotharee ke saamane kursee par baithee huee aurat kee taraf tha, jo sirf ek baniyaan aur kaalee sari pahane baithee thee. jisakee baglon ke baal tak nazar aate the aur jisakee chhaatiyaan murajhaee huee kakadiyon kee tarah latak rahee theen. chandan ne usake paas farsh par aadhee letee aadhee baithee huee ladakee kee taraf hasarat-bharee nazar se dekha, jisakee naak mein ek chhotee-see nath thee. samajh kar motee aurat ne kaha, ye to abhee chhotee hai. ye abhee ye baaten kya jaane. chandan ke dimaag mein kachchee naashapaatiyaan ghoom gaeen. phir kaasanee aur phir kachchee naashapaatiyaan aur motee aurat ne kaha, do rupay lagenge.

chandan chup raha. vo kahana chaahata tha, do roopaye bahut hain. tabhee motee aurat ne kaha, achchha to dedh roopaya hee de do. abhee to nath bhee nahin utaree. chandan kee nason mein doodh ubalane laga. uska jism garm hone laga. doosre lamhe vo us maile parde ke andar chala gaya aur usake peechhe us ladakee ko lie hue vo motee aurat…

ek hafte baad sar par apana boriya bistar uthae chandan porch mein khada tha aur andar kamre mein uska maalik apnee beevee ko hidaayat de raha tha, main abhee doktar ko bhejata hoon. nihaayat moozee maraz sahed liya saale ne. saare makaan ko dis-infect kara lena. sab jagah to jaata raha hai kamabakht!

aur chandan be-basee kee haalat mein khada soch raha tha. lekin ladakee kee umr to terah saal kee bhee na hogee aur usakee to abhee tak nath bhee na utaree thee.

ubaal

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By: Upendranath Ashk

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