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ye mard – a story by Upendranath Ashk

kisee qism ke ehasaas ke bagair gobind ne chupachaap lakshmee kee chaarapaee ke ird gird parde laga diye, parde… jo lakadee ke phrema mein safed kapada laga kar banae gae the aur hasb-e-khvaahish khole ya band kie ja sakate the. tab mis sultaana aur baketee tez-tez chalatee huee aaeen aur unake baad mateen aur sanjeeda daaktar saahab apane bhaaree qadam aahista-aahista uthaate hue pardon ke andar chale gae.

kuchh lamhe tak kamare mein khaamoshee chhaee rahee. sirf chhat par lage hue safed pardon vaale pankhe apanee pooree raftaar se ghar ghar karate rahe aur joon kee taptee dopahar apanee neem-va aankhon se gunoodagee kee see haalat mein chup chaap padee rahee.

yaka yak parde ke peechhe se kuchh ukhadee ukhadee saanson kee aavaaz aaee, phir lakshmee ke bahake-bahake alafaaz aur phir sultaana kee lambee saans! daaktar ne kaha,strechar le aao! aur ye kah kar parde ke peechhe se nikal kar vo jaise aae the, vaise hee chale gae. unake peechhe roomaal se aankhen ponchhatee huee sultaana nikalee. doosaree beemaar auraten tajassus bharee nazaron se usakee taraf dekh rahee theen. usake nikalate hee rasheeda ne poochha… kyon?

khatm ho gaee! bhare gale se sultaana ne javaab diya.

aakhiree vaqt kya kahatee thee? suratee bolee.

sirf ek baar khanna saahab ko yaad kiya aur bas! aur ye kah kar aansoo ponchhatee huee sultaana jald jald strechar lene ke lie chalee gaee.

lakshmee apane khaavind ko khanna saahab, kah kar pukaara karatee thee. vo laahaur hee mein mulaazim the aur har saataven din baaqaayada use dekhane aate the. koee aise khush shakl to na the, magar aise bhee nahin ki badasoorat kahe ja saken. unakee aankhon mein kuchh aisee baat thee ki aadamee besaakhta unakee taraf khinch jaata tha aur phir itanee baaten karate the, itane qahaqahe lagaate the ki jab vo aa jaate to haspataal kee is khaamosh aur saakin fiza mein zindagee see daud jaatee. faqat lakshmee hee unake aane ka intizaar karatee ho ye baat nahin. is khule aur kushaada kamare mein lohe kee sakht, bedard chaarapaiyon par letee huee bukhaar, haraarat, dava, parahez kee baaten sun sunakar aajiz aaee huee doosaree beemaar auraten bhee unake aane kee raah dekha karatee theen. vo baaten chaahe apane rishtedaaron se karatee hon, lekin kaan unake udhar hee lage rahate the aur lakshmee vo to na jaane ye saat din kaise kaatatee thee? hansatee thee, doosaron ko hansaatee thee, lekin is tamaam hansee thatthe mein apane khaavind ka intizaar jaise usake dil ke kisee na maaloom goshe mein chhupa rahata tha aur kaun jaanata hai ki ye hansee qahaqahe, haspataal mein ek baar tooloo ho kar phir guroob hee na hone vaale, dinon ka kaatane ka mahaz bahaana na the. ye baat bhee nahin use apane khaavind se itanee muhabbat is mohalik beemaaree ke dinon mein huee, usee din, jab shaadee ke baad ek maheena guzaar kar vo apane maike vaapas aaee thee to usakee saheliyon ne jaan liya tha ki bastee kee aazaad fiza mein din raat khelane vaalee, galee mohallon ko apane qahaqahon se gunja dene vaalee lakshmee ab muhabbat kee zanjeeron mein jakadee gaee hai.

jab saheliyaan use chaaron taraf se gher kar baith gaee theen to usane fakhr se kaha tha, unakee baat poochhatee ho? vo to mujhe pal bhar ke lie bhee apanee aankhon se ojhal nahin hone dete. kitanee kitanee der meree taraf dekhate rahate hain aur kahate hain…

phart-e-haya se usane apana chehara haathon mein chhupa liya tha aur phir saheliyon ke isaraar par usane gulaab ban-ban kar kaha tha. kahate hain, tum to svarg kee devee ho, main tumhaaree pooja karata hoon.

satya kee rashk bharee aankhon ne tab dekha tha ki usakee ye baat apane khaavind se har hindoo aurat ko jo muhabbat hotee hai, usakee hee mazahar nahin, balki is haqeeqat par mabanee thee jisakee taeed usaka ronvaan ronvaan kar raha tha. tab apane khaavind ke be iltifaatee ka dhyaan aa jaane par ek sard aah usake dil kee gaharaeeyon se nikal gaee.

saavitree ne apane hasad ka izahaar ek doosare hee tareeq par kiya. khisiyaanee see hansee hansate hue bolee… haan bahan, unhen muhabbat kyon na hogee, ek-baar haath se ganva kar hee aadamee kisee cheez kee qadar karana seekhata hai.

is fiqare mein jo tanz pinahaan tha usakee taraf dhyaan die bagair saada lauh lakshmee ne masarrat kee rau mein saheliyon ko apanee is ek maheene kee izadavaajee zindagee kee beesiyon kahaaniyaan suna daalee theen. kis tarah usake shauhar usape jaan chhidakate hain. use aankhon se ojhal karana pasand nahin karate. daftar mein na jaane kaise vaqt guzaarate hain? pahalee beevee… vo kahate hain, vo to ganvaar aur bevaqoof thee. tumhen pa kar to mainne zindagee kee masarraten pa lee hain.

taara ne tab hansate hue kaha… saas ko ye sab kuchh kaise bhaata hoga?

unake dil kee main kya jaanoon. lakshmee ne masarrat bhare lahaje mein javaab diya, lekin meethee to vo aisee hain jaise misree. bolatee hain to ras ghol detee hain. meree to aadat tum jaanatee ho, sote sote din nikal aata hai. magar unhonne isaka kabhee bura nahin maana. vo khud chaar baje alassabaah uthakar naha-dho, pooja paath kar, ghar ka sab kaam khatm kar detee hain. main kuchh karane kee koshish bhee karoon to kahatee hain, tumhen hee to karana hai bahoo, main kab tak baithee rahoongee.

aur us din bastee mein lakshmee kee raham dil aur farz shanaas saas aur muhabbat karane vaale hansamukh khaavind kee kahaanee ghar ghar phail gaee thee aur shaadeeshuda ladakiyon ne dua kee ki unake khaavind aur saasen bhee aisee hee ban jaen aur kunvaaree ladakiyon ne dil hee dil mein kaha, bhagavaan hamen bhee aisa hee ghar-var dena.

rabad ke pahiyon vaala strechar chupachaap mashariqee daravaaze se daakhil hua, gobind use dhakel raha tha aur mis sultaana khaamoshee se usake saath chalee aa rahee thee. usaka hamesha hansane vaala chehara utara hua tha. jaise usee ke kisee qareebee rishtedaar kee maut ho gaee ho. mauten, haspataal mein hamesha hee hua karatee hain aur haspataal ke mulaazim is darja unake khoogar ho jaate hain ki vo apane sab kaam kisee qism ke ehasaas ke bagair kie jaate hain. lekin lakshmee se sultaana ko muhabbat see ho gaee thee. sultaana par hee kya mauqoof, sab ko us se uns ho gaya tha. usane apanee izadavaajee zindagee ke kitane hee vaaqiyaat ek ajeeb saadagee se bayaan kie the. apanee saas ke mutaalliq usake dil mein jo buland khayaalaat the unhen hava hote der nahin lagee. vahee zabaan jo pahale ras kee dhaaren bahaatee thee baad ko zahar bhee ugalane lagee. khanna saahab tab mulaazim nahin hue the. magar ghar kee siyaasiyaat mein vo maahir the. apana kaam chaalaakee se nikaalana jaanate the. maan ke saamane chup rahate lekin tanhaee mein kahate, lakshmee in sab qusooron ke lie main tumase maafee chaahata hoon aur tab use saas kee jhidakiyaan, taane kosane, gaaliyaan bilkul bhool jaateen aur khaavind se usakee aqeedat kaee guna badh jaatee. vo saath hain to phir chaahe saara jahaan khilaaf ho jaaye, vo sabakee mukhaalifat khushee khushee jhel legee. jee na chaahate hue bhee, saas ko khush karane ke lie usane bhagavatee durga kee pooja seekhee aur apanee sahal angaaree ko chhodakar mehanat se kaam karane kee aadat bhee daalee. lekin in sab baaton ke baavajood saas ke tevar na badale. usakee jhidakiyaan, taane, kosane badastoor jaaree rahe magar lakshmee ne sab kuchh hans hansakar sahana seekh liya tha. haan ek baar jab jalata hua ghee gir jaane se usake haath jal gae the aur abhee aaraam bhee na aane paaya tha ki usakee saas ne kapadon kee bharee gathadee usake saamane rakh dee thee, to usakee hamesha muskuraane vaalee aankhen bhar aaee theen. kapade dhote dhote usake chhaale phoot gae the. tab andar kamare mein ja kar vo khoob jee bhar kar roee thee aur jab khanna saahab aae the to usane kaha tha, mujhe is narak se chhutakaara dilao. maan agar dhan vaalee hai to kya iseelie ye narak kee azeeyaten bardaasht kie jaen. tumhaare saath to mujhe sookhee rotee pasand hai. magar ye zulm to ab nahin saha jaata.

khanna saahab ne use tasallee dee thee aur mustaqabil ke tasavvuraat ka thanda phaaha usake jalate hue zakhmon par rakh diya tha. unhonne kya-kya kuchh na kaha tha. jab vo mulaazim ho jaenge to use apane saath laahaur le jaenge. maan to navaan shahar hee mein rahegee aur vahaan laahaur mein… anaarakalee, maal, laurans, baag, sinema, tamaashe, numaishen aur un hee masarrat bakhsh tasavvuraat mein gum ho kar vo apane chhaalon kee tees, apane dil ka dard sab kuchh bhool gaee thee. lekin sangadil qismat! jab vo din aaya aur khanna saahab laahaur hee mein sivil sekretariet mein mulaazim ho gae to vo diq jaisee beemaaree mein mubtala ho gaee.

aahista-aahista chalata hua strechar parde ke peechhe pahuncha aur kuchh lamhe baad safed chaadar mein lipata hua haddiyon ka ek dhaancha lekar donon taraf bichhee huee chaarapaiyon mein se hota hua magaribee daravaaze se baahar nikal gaya. daaktar saahab baraamade hee mein khade the. vaheen se unhonne kaha, murdaakhaane mein le jao. tab tak khanna saahab aa jaenge. lahana sinh to kab ka gaya hua hai.

pal bharake lie beemaar auraton ke dil dhak dhak karane lage.

lakshmee ka naheef va naatavaan diq se murajhaaya hua, maut kee is safed chaadar mein lipata hua madaqooq jism sabakee aankhon ke saamane phir gaya. diq kee in sab mareezaon ka bhee to aakhir yahee hashr hoga. maut se bhee zyaada andohanaak hai, apane hee jaisee beemaaree se kisee ko marate dekhana aur khud til til karake marana bahuton kee aankhon ke saamane andhera sa chha gaya aur baz ke aansoo bahane lage.

parde ke peechhe se nikal kar mis betee guslakhaane mein haath saaf karane chalee gaee to hamesha doosaron ka dukh-dard bataane vaalee raham-dil sultaana ne is gamanaak maahaul ko kuchh badalane kee koshish kee. hamesha yahee hota tha hamesha, jab koee mareeza is bhayaanak beemaaree ke haathon najaat paee thee aur kamare mein maut kee udaas khaamoshee chha jaatee thee to mis sultaana apane meethe, tasallee aamez lahaje mein apanee dilachasp baaton, apane hairat angez qisson se us maut kee khaamoshee ko door karane kee koshish kiya karatee thee. baras dedh baras se lakshmee bhee is kaam mein usaka haath bataatee aaee thee. lekin aaj vo khud hee maut kee gaharee khaamoshee mein sama gaee thee.

ghadee ne tan-tan do bajaaye. temaprechar lene ka vaqt ho gaya tha. dil mein uthate hue aansuon ke toofaan ko zabaradastee rok kar, dava mein pade hue tharmaameetar ko haath mein liye aur muskuraane kee koshish karate hue vo rasheeda kee chaarapaee ke paas pahunchee. lekin aaj saee bisyaar ke baavajood vo lakshmee kee maut ko hansee ke parde mein na chhupa sakee.

rasheeda ne kaha, mis saahib, lakshmee bhee chalee gaee.

tharmaameetar ko rasheeda kee zabaan ke neeche rakhakar sultaana ne ek lambee saans lee aur nabz kee raftaar dekhane ke lie usakee kalaee haath mein thaam lee.

suratee ne kaha, aakhiree vaqt tak apane khaavind ka naam usakee zabaan par raha. kyon mis saahib! khanna saahab bhee usase itana hee pyaar karate honge? honge kya, karate hain. sultaana ne rasheeda kee kalaee ko chhod kar kaha, lakshmee ko marana bhee iseelie sahal ho gaya. main to sochatee hoon, muhabbat karane vaala khaavind jis khushaqismat ke paas hai, maut use kuchh bhee takaleef nahin pahuncha sakatee. behosh hone ke kuchh der pahale jab use maaloom ho gaya ki us ka aakhiree vaqt bas ab nazadeek hee hai to mujhase usane kaha tha… mis saahib jaane vo kyon nahin aae? is baar to unhen aae pandrah din ho gae. is vaqt jee chaahata hai kaash vo mere paas hote. phir khud hee hansakar bolee, mis saahib main bhee kitanee bevaqoof hoon, vo na bhee aaen to vo mujhase door hain kya? mere dil mein to har vaqt unheen kee tasveer rahatee hai aur main hee unase kya door hoon? kaee baar unhonne kaha hai lakshmee! tum to har vaqt mere paas rahatee ho. baaraha kaam karate karate tumhaara khayaal aa jaane se galatee ho jaatee hai, isake baad vo behosh ho gaee thee. marate dam bhee jab use hosh aaya to khaavind ka naam hee usakee zabaan par tha.

ye kahte hue bheegee aankhon ko ponchh, ghadee dekh kar sultaana ne tharmaameetar rasheeda ke munh se nikaal liya aur haraarat not karane ke lie chaart uthaaya.

suratee ne poochha, lekin mis saahab ye gahanon kee baat kya thee. jab bhee khanna saahab aate the. unaka zikr zaroor chhid jaata tha. jab se gahane le gae. bas ek baar hee to phir aae.

tharmaameetar ko dava mein daal kar aur doosara utha kar suratee ko dete hue usane kaha, mainne poochha nahin, lekin jab lakshmee aaee thee to sab gahane saath hee le aaee thee. usakee saas nahin chaahatee thee ki vo ek bhee gahana saath le jaaye. aakhir haspataal mein itane gahanon ka kaam bhee kya hai? baazooband, choodiyaan, maala, loket koee ek gahana ho to ginaoon. na jaane kyon use gahanon se itanee muhabbat thee. saas to marate dam tak na le jaane detee. lekin khanna saahab apanee maan ko samajha bujha kar le aae the. yahaan mareezon ko gahane pahanane kee ijaazat nahin. daaktar saahab ne samajhaaya ki unhen saath nahin laana chaahie tha. ab bhee behatar hai ki unhen khanna saahab ke havaale kar do lekin vo gahane apane paas hee rakhana chaahatee thee. aakhir daaktar saahab ne gahane ek lohe ke sandooqache mein band kar ke chaabee use de dee aur sandooqache ko haspataal ke seph mein rakh diya. us chaabee ko vo lahaza bhar ke lie bhee juda na karatee thee. lekin jab beemaaree badh gaee aur tan-badan ka bhee hosh use na raha aur jab ek din khanna saahab ke kahane par mainne use samajhaaya ki gahane tumhaare hee naam baink mein jama karae ja sakate hain to usane chaabee de dee. yahee ek baat lakshmee mein mujhe ajeeb nazar aaee lekin shaayad unhee ke zariye vo apane aapako zinda samajhatee thee. usee raat usane mujhe paas bula kar kaha tha… mis saahib ab main bahut der tak zinda nahin rahoongee.

suratee kee zabaan tharmaameetar kee vajah se dukhane lagee thee. aakhir usane khud hee use nikaal kar mis sultaana ko de diya. chaunk kar sultaana ne tharmaameetar le liya aur temaprechar dekhane lagee.

suratee ne kaha, ye to theek hai mis saahib, lekin gahane lene ke baad khanna saahab ne har hafta aana kyon chhod diya? do hafte guzar gae unhen aae hue.

rasheeda bolee, beemaar na ho gae hon. nahin to garmee-sardee, baarish-dhoop unhonne kisee baat ka kabhee khayaal nahin kiya. baaqaayada har hafte aate rahe aur main to sochatee hoon mis saahab lakshmee kee maut kee khabar sun kar unake dil par kaisee guzaregee? apanee beevee se kisee ko hee aisee muhabbat hogee.

tab shaayad strechar murda khaane mein pahuncha kar gobind vaapas aaya aur usake peechhe daaktar saahab bhee aae. parde ke paas pahunch kar gobind ne poochha, kapadon ko lapet doon daaktar saahab. daaktar saahab usake paas ja kar khade ho gae. bole, haspataal kee chaadaron ko dis inafekatar mein daal do aur baaqee ka saamaan pada rahane do. abhee shaayad khanna saahab ya unaka aadamee aa jaaye. haan gadde baahar dhoop mein daal do.

usee lamhe baraamade ke paas seedhiyon par se saeekal phenk kar haampata hua paseene se tar lahana sinh andar aaya. daaktar saahab ne aage badhakar poochha,

lahana singh ne sar hilaaya. usakee saans phool rahee thee. javaab na ban padata tha.

zara talkhee se daaktar saahab ne poochha, mile ya nahin? kaha nahin, tumane kaha ki laash ko aaj shaam se pahale le jaen.

thook nigal kar lahana sinh ne kaha, vo to shaadee karane apane ghar chale gae hain.

than se temaprechar ka chaart mis sultaana ke haath se farsh par gir pada aur rasheeda ne jaise ghabara kar cheekhate hue kaha… mis saahib! mis saahib!

ye mard

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By: Upendranath Ashk

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