[सर्वप्रथम 03 जुलाई, 2004 वाराणसी/इलाहाबाद से प्रकाशित सम्मानित दैनिक "आज" में प्रकाशित। ये लेख ऑटोमैटिक रूप से प्रयाग की धरती पर भटकती पूर्णता को प्राप्त रूहों से मिलन के बाद लिखा गया था एक दम फटाफट।]
आज का मनुष्य विरोधाभासों का पुतला बन के रह गया है। जिधर भी देखिये आज ऐसे ही मनुष्यों का समूह पायेंगे। तमाम तरह की विरोधाभासी प्रवृत्तियों को इस तरह अपने में समेटे रहते है कि ऐसा लगता है कि व्यंग्य की कृतियों ने मनुष्य का चोला धारण करना आरम्भ कर दिया है। कुछ उदहारण देने से बात समझ में आ जायेगी। आज के अधिकांश राजनैतिक दल जो क्रन्तिकारी परिवर्तनों की बात करते है अगर हम उनको ध्यान से देखे तो पायेंगे कि गली में घूमने वाले टामियों, मोतियों और शेरूओ और इन दलों के बीच का फर्क बिलकुल समाप्त हो गया है। अब इन कुत्तो को देखिये। दूसरी गली में कोई कुत्ता किसी कारण से भौंक रहा हों तो मेरे दरवाजे के पास बैठे काले कुत्ते को भौकना ना जाने किस वजह से अनिवार्य हो जाता है।
फिर तुरंत ही सारे कुत्ते इकट्ठे होकर सामूहिक रूप से अपनी उर्जा समाप्त करके अपनी अपनी जगह लौट जाते है फिर ऐसी किसी प्रक्रिया को क्षणिक विश्राम के बाद दुहराने के लिए। कोई कुत्ता यदि भिन्नता लिए हो या फिर कोई कुत्ता अजनबी गली से आउटसोर्सिंग की वजह से गुजर रहा हो तो वह अन्य कुत्तो की आलोचना का अर्थात “भौकन क्रिया” का शिकार हो जाएगा। वह आगे आगे और अन्य गलियों के काले, भूरे, सफ़ेद, चितकबरे आदि रंग के तमाम कुत्ते उत्तेजक रूप से भौकते उसे गति पकड़ने पर मजबूर कर देंगे। कुछ इसी बीच नई माडल की गाडियों पर टांग उठाते चलेंगे।
आप संसद या विधानसभा की कार्यवाही पर गौर करे तो लगेगा कि आप ये सब पहले कही देख चुके है! बात निवेश की हो या आर्थिक सुधारो की कुछ लोग जो ऊँघते या अनुपस्थित न होंगे तो आप उन्हें हरदम “साम्प्रदायिक सरकार नहीं चलेगी, नहीं चलेगी” या “फ़ासिस्ट हाय-हाय” आपको नियमित रूप से उच्चारित करते हुए मिलेंगे। अब पता नहीं किन अनुभवों के आधार पर आर्थिक सुधारो को साम्प्रदायिकता से जोड़ लेते है ये तो खैर इनकी प्रोग्रेसिव आत्मा ही बता सकती है। और इस उच्चारण को जब और सारे दल सुर में सुर मिलाते है तो वाकआउट नाम का जिन्न प्रकट होता है जो तत्काल सबको एक बराबरी पर ला पटकता है। और इसके बाद कुछ मुद्दों पर इधर-उधर की कह कर अर्थात टांग उठाकर अपने ठिकाने की तरफ बढ़ चलते है। विरोधाभासों के मंच के सशक्त केंद्र बन गए है संसद आदि स्थल।
अपने इलाहाबाद शहर के एक व्यस्त चौराहे पर अखबार की रसीली दुकान है। विरोधाभासों के कई सशक्त हस्ताक्षर यहाँ दिन भर डेरा डाले रहते है। ऐसे ही एक सज्जन कई अखबारों के पन्नो को यूँ ही उल्टा पल्टी करने के बाद टीका टिपण्णी के बाउन्सर फेकने लगते है। एक दिन मुझसे ये बोले हिंदी में जरा आप लिखे तो कुछ बात बने वर्ना अंग्रेजी लेखन के जरिये तो आप कभी राष्ट की चेतना से सम्बन्ध नहीं बना पायेंगे। पता नहीं अंग्रेज़ क्यों अपनी अंग्रेजी कुछ लोगो के हवाले करके चले गए। अपनी मिसाईल दाग कर वो चलते बने। अफ़सोस इस बात का नहीं था कि अंग्रेजी लेखन को निशाना बनाया गया था पर इस बात का था कि अपनी दिमागी जड़ता को राष्ट्र की चेतना के विकास से जोड़ गए। क्योकि मै अच्छी तरह जानता हूँ कि अगर मै इनसे ये कहता कि मुझे हिंदी की श्रेष्ठ कृतियों से लगाव है तो मुझे ये संस्कृत से जुड़ने की सीख देते, संस्कृत से भी अगर जुड़ा पाते तो फिर ये कहते आप भोजपुरी से क्यों नहीं गठबंधन करते आदि आदि। खैर मै आपको विरोधाभासों के बारे में, विचित्र प्रवृत्तियों के बारे में कुछ बता सा रहा था।
अगले दिन मुझे बड़ा आश्चर्य हुआ जब मैंने इन सज्जन को फेमिना, कास्मोपोलिटन इत्यादि अंग्रेज़ी मैग्जीनों के पन्नो को पलटते देखा। मैंने उनसे कहा कि लगता है आपने अपना पाला पलट लिया है। अभी आप कल ही तो स्वाभिमान वाली बात कर रहे थें। उन्होंने ये सुनकर कहा कि आपको लगता है तो लगे पर मै स्पष्ट कर दूँ कि मै पढ़ नहीं सिर्फ इन्हें सिर्फ देख रहा हूँ। आप की अंग्रेजी पर इतनी पकड़ नहीं तो फिर आप इन्हें देखकर क्या प्राप्त कर रहे है? इस सवाल पर उनका चेहरा तमतमा उठा पर झेंप को छुपाते हुए बोले देखिये निरुत्तर बनकर मुझे अपूर्णता का शिकार तो होना नहीं है। इनके पन्ने पलटने से तो ही मैचोरिटी आती है। संक्षेप में मंत्र इन्होने ये दिया कि राष्ट्र की चेतना का विकास भले हिंदी में लिखने से होता हों पर पूर्णता अंग्रेजी के मैग्जीनों के पलटने से ही आती है।
अगर सेंट्रल लाइब्रेरी में घटी घटना का उल्लेख न करू तो बात अधूरी रह जायेगी। मै वाचनालय में किसी लेख को पढने में पूरी तल्लीनता से रमा हुआ था कि किसी के कदमो की आहट ने मेरा ध्यान भंग कर दिया। देखा कि एक साहब आदिमकाल के मनुष्यों में पाए जाने वाले गुणों को अभिव्यक्त करते हुए चले आ रहे थें। दुर्भाग्य से ये आके मेरे बगल में खड़े हो गए। आँखे इनकी अभी भी दरवाजे की तरफ ही थी पर इनके हाथो में अंग्रेजी का अखबार आ चुका था। फिर जिस तरह कैशिअर नोटों को गिनता है इन्होने इसी अंदाज़ में पन्नो को तेज़ी सें पलटना आरम्भ किया। केवल मुंह की तरफ हाथ थूंक लगाने के लिए उठता था। कुछ ही सेकेण्ड में भारत का नंबर एक अंग्रेजी का राष्ट्रीय दैनिक अखबार पढ़ा जा चुका था।मुझे इनकी शक्ल कुछ जानी पहचानी सी लगी। भाई साहब लगता है मैंने आपको पहले कही देखा है। इन्होने मेरी तरफ देखा फिर अटपटे लहजे में पूछा कि आप क्या करते है? इससें पहले कि मै इनसे कुछ कह पाता ये जिस तरह मेरे पास चल के आये थें उसी तरह से ये दरवाजे की तरफ बढ़ चले थें। चलिए ठीक है अब मै किसी जानी पहचानी शक्ल से मिलूँगा तो यही से शुरुआत करूँगा कि आप क्या करते है ? आप की शक्ल कुछ जानी पहचानी रही है। अब तो ठीक है न। शायद मै परिपक्व और पूर्ण हो चला हूँ।
Carvind, belonged to the world of naughtiest kids. This image of innocence, a pure-hearted spirit, was always found involved in some sort of mess by his parents, who were quite a character in themselves. Naturally, Carvind was natural ally for all disturbing elements. One day, the Lord appeared in his dreams at an unusual hour and said:” My son, I want to visit earth to see how it fares in Kali Age.” “Lord I have heard that you give darshana (appear) at auspicious hours and so I am really surprised to find you at such an odd hour,” said Carvind.
Carvind had slept late in the night. “Vatsa (my dear son), what can I do! You people have given way to strange habits, which defy my system. I waited for you to sleep at proper time but you never did so,” answered the Lord. Carvind felt really embarrassed. “My son, I would come tomorrow and be visible only to you. Though you have often entered in nuisance of all sorts and defied my mode of life as mentioned in the scriptures, it’s quite pleasing to see the temple of innocence prevailing in your heart. I am glad that you find time to remember me.”
Carvind was now fully awake after being in that trance like state. He started recollecting the episodes. How beautiful Lord appeared! The one infinite blue-bodied Narayana was clothed in his “yellow garb”. In his four hands, he carried the conch, the discus, the mace and the lotus. A soft but impressive golden light environed the Lord. He soon became sad as he failed to greet Lord with folded hands and also did not bother to touch his feet.
Carvind decided to rectify his mistake. This morning he extended the duration of his pooja, performing it with greater concentration. He planned to greet Him methodically on His arrival. Carvind got involved in preparations to receive Him and the day soon gave way to evening. He went to bed soon but since he never slept that early, the sleep remained elusive. Anyway, his mind was full of excitement-something that kept sleep at safe distance from the eyes.
He woke up at 3 am. It was dark outside and others were still in deep slumber. Carvind had his bath, which created noise sufficient enough to awaken his mother from deep sleep. She saw Carvind shivering and lost her cool. “So it was not cat but you who were producing such strange sounds in the middle of the night!” “You have become the agent of problems for us” she said before marching towards her bedroom.
Carvind ignored her wrath and sat down for meditation. Today, he attained the divine state very soon. The various zones of his brain got filled with divine consciousness.” Now I have attained a perfect state of mind to receive Him” spoke Carvind to himself as he waited for the Lord’s arrival. He was becoming quite impatient. “Has the Lord forgotten his promise? By now He should have arrived.” Then under the impact of past tendencies, his mind got focused on beautiful girl, whom he had seen at magazine shop near his home.
“Dear son! Please regain your sense. It’s time to break your sahaj yoga (spontaneous attunement), “a familiar voice hit the ear drums of Carvind. The Lord was standing in front of Carvind and His smile said all! Carvind, for a while said nothing, just the way a child gets caught by the mother stealing food from the kitchen. He bent down and touched His Lotus feet, offered some flowers which he had stolen from the garden of his neighbor guarded by a dangerous Doberman, and then washed his feet with holy water, which her mother had warned not to use at all; after all, she had brought it from quite a distance.
The fragrance of His body left him spell bound, rejuvenating his dull senses. “Will Lord, tell me the name of the perfume He uses? If I get hold of this brand of perfume, it would make him instant hit amid his boring girlfriends, always complaining about his choice of clothes and perfume.”
“ Won’t we move out, little angel?” asked the Lord in pleasing voice. “Oh! Definitely Lord” said Carvind, once again found caught on the wrong foot by the Lord. They were now on the road to Sangam(Confluence of three rivers at Allahabad: the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati). The tempo in which they were sitting was nearly chock-a-block with passengers. The record player was on and devotional songs, based on latest chart-busters echoed inside the tempo. “If I am not wrong, these songs in some way seem to be connected with me,” remarked the Lord with displeasure. “Lord, very few people in the world remember you in the ways prescribed by you in ancient times. Human beings of modern times have attained new means of attaining intimacy with you. They are no longer interested in going by your likes and dislikes.”
“My son, I find iron rods on every roof top, connected to strange Chakra (discus) like round object. What purpose do they serve? Are they some sort of safety device, which prevent you people from dangers?” “No Lord! They do not save human beings from dangers; instead, they drown them deeper into ocean of heinous crimes and problems. This is known as dish antenna, which is connected with a device called Television, watched by human beings the way Yogis fix attention on your form during meditation!”
They were now on the banks of the Ganges. The unhygienic condition that prevailed there left Lord in bitter mood. Dead bodies, bones and waste material were floating on the water. “Whom are you trying to locate?” asked Carvind. “Vatsa, in my previous incarnations I always found people meditating and performing tapas at the banks of Ganges. I am really surprised that nobody is engaged in such pious activity. Where have these people disappeared?” “Lord, they are all sleeping. They are all lost in deep sleep after having watched late night movies, and people like my father and mother, who usually work till late hours of the night, and then go to sleep, just cannot leave bed too early.”
The Lord was pleased to find a Shiva temple. They entered inside the temple and found dogs roaming there. One of them was busy in searching leftovers there; another one was comfortably sleeping over the Shivalinga. I looked at the face of Lord to notice His reaction but He seemed to be lost in some different world.
“Lord, it is not the fault of these dogs. These hungry dogs arrived here in search of food, and entered inside the temple” The compassionate Lord produced food and offered them to the hungry dogs. Carvind’s attitude towards animals had please the Lord. After performing pooja there, they moved out of the temple. In the way, they met some cows. The Lord rushed towards them. He was visibly very happy on seeing them. “Do you love cows?” asked the Lord. “Yes, since they remind me of my mother. She has cow like eyes and when she is angry I also notice same pointed thorns on her head as I come to notice in these cows.” These cows had very little fat on their bodies and most of them looked quite weak.
“Don’t you people take care of creatures? Have I not provided you enough resources and, in some cases, more than enough? In fact, the case is that you people have become greedy and do not believe in charity at all.” The cows standing there suddenly vanished. The Lord sent them to unknown destination, having grass and safe water in abundance. The Lord had suggested Carvind to take him to the needy people. They moved towards slums located close to the rail tracks. The Lord was eager to cross these tracks to reach to the other side but Carvind prevented him from doing so.
“But why?“ asked the Lord. “The signal lights are bright green and so let’s wait. Let the train pass.” He thanked Carvind for providing such valuable life-giving information. The train passed and they moved to the other side. Carvind was amazed at the simplicity of the Lord. The Lord was moved to see the bare bodies of the starving children. The labourers living there were getting ready to leave in search of work. It was a noisy scene. The pungent smell of garbage, scattered around us, entered inside our nostrils, which forced us to leave the spot.
The Lord seemed to be lost in some thoughts after witnessing such a scene. “Lord, that‘s the condition which prevails in the whole nation. The wealth has been distributed in an unequal manner. The rich people have got everything; the poor people have been left at the mercy of fate. The poor person always finds himself in all sorts of troubles. Lord, you sound right that greed is cause of sufferings. “Is nobody working for the cause of poor people?” inquired Lord. “Lord, nobody is working sincerely for their cause. Some organizations, which in the beginning worked in whole-hearted manner, became political in their approach, and thus, deviated away from the cause of the poor people.
They had now arrived near a school. God wished to see the activities inside the school. Unfortunately, it was a government-run school. The teachers were nowhere in sight. The blackboard was barren like a dead river. Some senior students were busy in discussion revolving around good and bad points of latest movies running in the theaters of city. The junior ones were seriously trying to make their paper aircraft attain the maximum height, and also attain the perfect aerial route! Some girls have already opened their Tiffin boxes and were in great hurry to finish the lunch! We found one section of boys getting ready for cricket match and so heated discussion regarding the format of the match was in full flow.
They had moved out of the school and now walking on the road in leisurely way. They came to anticipate a large gathering of people and they turned towards it. It was a meeting organized by the rationalists to create awareness in society and motivate people to develop scientific spirit. The chief speaker asked loudly, “Has anyone of us seen God? No. Then why do we believe in His existence? My friend, you people should not waste time in adoring abstractions by strengthening faith in Lord. I request you all to be more realistic by giving way to scientific explanations.”
For a while they listened to him with great attention but they soon gave way to peals of derisive laughter. They said enough is enough and made sure, as they moved away from that spot, that his words fail to hit their ear drums. Carvind was now feeling hungry as he had not eaten anything since morning. The sun was now shining above their heads. Carvind brought two cups of tea and some pieces of bread from nearby tea stall.
“Vatsa, I find its taste unique. I wasn’t offered this flavor during my previous arrivals on earth. I need nothing, and, therefore, I come to taste this drink, sheer out of grace, as an offering on part of little Bhakta (devotee) like you” said the Lord in a hilarious tone.
“Lord, please forgive me! I am ruled by my desires. That‘s why I dared to offer you tea. However, Lord, if tea vanished from our lives, millions of people across the globe would never get out of their beds! We have become slaves of very things we have discovered!”
They did not drink the tea even as the Lord was eager to empty the cup totally. They arrived at a juice corner and sat there on a bench in a relaxed manner. The staff at the juice corner was asked to serve the juice. The person, who was told to serve the juice, was surprised that I needed one extra glass even as I was all alone! At a close distance was a busy bus stand. Some college going girls had been waiting for the arrival of buses. Like previous days, arrived some youths and started making obscene gestures at them. There were many people present at the bus stand but they preferred to remain mute spectator. But toady something unusual happened. Some men in uniform appeared from nowhere and beat these youths black and blue. They were arrested and taken to police station. The girls and others were quite taken aback as they never found men in uniform intervening in such a timely manner. They like, filmy cops, were used to arrive only after the criminals have left the crime scene.
Carvind stared at the face of Lord and a big smile appeared on his cute face. He realized why the cops had appeared all of a sudden. “Lord, these grown up modern youths do not believe in living life based on values and principles. At next corner, you would find girls and boys consuming cigarette and beer. The cut throat competition has murdered their sensitivity.”
“ My son, every age has got its own peculiar tendencies. The cycle of good and bad actions never stops and as it rotates, it unleashes various effects. You are an enlightened soul, Carvind! You must be aware that Gunas(attributes) constitute character of a human being. When Sattva increases, it brings peace and knowledge. The increase in Rajas creates desires, leading to hectic activities and rise of Tamas creates ignorance, bringing pain and misery. One should always try to increase ones sattva portion in the personality. That also ensures peace and stability in the external world. The change is inevitable and so one should not worry too much about particular condition or happening.”
“Vatsa, now I wish to return back to my abode but before I disappear I would love to meet a real devotee. Carvind took him to home of man in late 40s. He had a wife and three daughters. Though he wanted to have a male child, he had only daughters. He had no source of income and yet he and his family were always found smiling. The girls went to government run school and were talented in many ways. Since the person had gone outside, Carvind and Lord were welcomed by his wife and daughters. His wife was always delighted to find Carvind at his door step and sudden visit has surprised them all. Lord had a close look the home. It lacked many articles required for sophisticated living yet the home looked complete. It had traces of bliss in the atmosphere. Meanwhile, his wife told Carvind that his husband is retarded in terms of worldly understanding. He has no idea what it means to live life in practical terms. The people around him treat him to be a fool but it appears he doesn’t feel bad about it. Meanwhile his youngest daughter, Gauri, interrupting the monologue of her mother, sang for us a beautiful devotional song. Her amazing voice left all of us spellbound. What Carvind really liked about her was that she never said no to singing, even in front of strangers. However, she disliked film music unless it had classical base or really sweet melody. His father has now arrived and seeing Carvind became really happy.
Carvind told him that Gauri had just now sung a beautiful bhajan for us. His father seemed to be pleased but said that she was least interested in refining her voice through regular practice sessions. He stated that Lord has given him enough and though he cannot manage all, he is always in a relaxed state of mind. He never felt he is the actual doer. Lord is driving this body and he noticed that instead of me, Lord has taken better care of his family. Lord’s effort brings greater results than his own individual effort. And so whenever he has to leave home all of a sudden for a long distance journey, he leaves leaving everything on Lord’s shoulder and when he returns he finds home in lesser mess. At that point, his wife informed him that, like always, person acting as in-charge of their fields has cheated them by giving less share of the produce! He received the news with smile. At that point, Carvind and Lord left his room after seeking permission from his family. However, before leaving, this man didn’t forget to compliment Carvind about his eyes and smile and told him that today he found him unusually attractive! “My mother called me this morning son of monkey,” said Carvind. Hearing that not even Lord could prevent himself from giving way to loud laughter! Others were naturally in grip of incredulous laughter.
“Before leaving do teach fitting lesson to my mother. No time for me and not even for herself. She all the time works and just works. And my father! He is like you in a sense that he is always lost in some thoughts. When he is not thinking that way, he is always writing something. They are always pretty conscious about my monkey business. Is it a crime to steal guavas from someone’s trees? If I do not steal them, they soon fall on ground and become unfit for eating. I am preventing the fruits from getting wasted and they all perceive it as a monkey business and give me a bad name.”
Lord heard the tale of Carvind with great attention. He noticed that Carvind has become extremely sad on hearing that he was about to leave. “Do not lose heart. I promise to reside in your heart forever. I would always remain one with you. I know everything, and, therefore, such visits do not mean anything to Me. I come on earth to meet extremely cute children like you-monkeys with sensibility found in cows! So promise me that you would not act as monkey with a razor not only for this world but also for your parents!”
“ I had to say something to you. You would never drop me from your memory and your heart as you come to live a life based on virtues. In nutshell, move in this world freely with an unbroken remembrance of mine” said Lord as He embraced Carvind in His divine arms.
Carvind bent down to touch his Lotus feet and soon forgot everything. Carvind regained normalcy after few hours. Carvind desperately looked for Him but in vain. Lord had returned to His abode. As he closed his eyes, Carvind, felt deep peace within his mind and heart. It was sign of His eternal presence. He had vanished to become one with Carvind!
Pic Two (Internet)
I am no party animal. On top of it, the streak of introversion often keeps me at a safe distance from mass gatherings of any type. So when my friends learned about a party from my side, the news generated a sense of disbelief among them. Anyway, the party did turn out to be a reality instead of becoming a figment of imagination. Well, let me tell my friends that I love their company a lot. Few moments spent in their company are some of the most cherished moments in life. After all, life is never kind enough to provide such blissful episodes at a regular interval.
I realize that nature takes just few seconds to shatter all your dreams, shatter the order of things, leading to revelation of shades which one could have hardly conceptualized in the chambers of mind. That’s why I feel one should not miss to be part of some happy moments with near and dear ones if there arises some occasion. That was one of the prime reasons as to why I came to organize this event. My friends treated the event as some sort of occasion organized to celebrate the professional success but the only reason, if they could believe, was to see them together at one place after a long time.
So instead of getting trapped in “to be, or to not to be” dilemma, I decided to make it a reality. One of the participants, who lives in my neighbourhood, Arun Prakash Srivastavaji, District Librarian at Deoria, suggested that restaurant named Bikanervala, situated in the heart of city, Civil Lines, would prove to be an ideal location for such an event. His advice turned out to be perfectly true. I must appreciate him that he not only offered meaningful suggestions but also ensured that party remained above any unpleasant incident. He remained fully involved in happenings at the party besides enjoying the good meal. He deserves special thanks on my part.
Anyway, some of my friends arrived right on appointed time instead of obeying the Indian rule of never arriving on time, especially at parties. I am a disciplinarian when it comes to event management. So I was too happy to see Sudhanshu Pandey, Advocate at Allahabad High Court, and Ashish Nigam, Advocate at Allahabad High Court, right on time. In fact, Sudhanshu covered a long distance to be on time, and that too, when I had informed him barely few hours back. So to see busy professionals making the presence felt on time really made me happy.
Since Asish was on time he found time enough to look at my recently published articles. I respect him for the fact that he really works hard to emerge as a good lawyer at a time when legal profession has been hijacked by blockheads. I remember he was one of the most serious students in our batch. It’s a matter of great satisfaction that he has retained that seriousness until now.
My namesake Arvind Kushwaha, who also happens to be qualified computer professional besides being a lawyer, happily decided to play the role of lensman at the party. The images which grace this post have been clicked by him and Ashish Nigam, who suggested some new angles to have better pictures. Arvind who never misses an opportunity to act as “Hanuman” for me in times of crisis is always seen in the company of Satyadhar Dubeyji, who besides being a lawyer plays several other roles with quite perfection. He is one of the few persons to offer most pragmatic advises in critical times- a reason why I am a frequent visitor to his home.
Few words about Sampanna Kumar “Sangharsha” and Pinto Jaiswal as well. They are the ones who became part of my life the moment I entered in Allahabad after a long stay in Lucknow. In fact, Pinto has been with me since Nursery days. I have shared with them some sweet and sour moments. It’s also a bare truth that both of them bear no resemblance at all to my approach towards life, the principles which form my life, the mannerism I advocate, and still, they happen to be part of my events. It’s mainly because I hate to avoid people who once shared the road with me and partially because nature sometimes dictate the course of events making you move with people diametrically opposite to your views. They also happen to be lawyers but Sangharsha, I must say, is a political lawyer, being more engaged in political activities, and Pintu, the shortcut lawyer at District Court, is always engaged in ensuring that laws do bring money whether or not they ensure justice. Avinash Srivastava, the lawyer flirting with spiritualism, and Rambabu, Advocate, remained silent for most of the time as their common friend Sangharsha’s nonstop chattering left little scope for others!
The sight of Rajesh Pandey, Advocate and Legal Correspondent for The Hindustan Times, at the party provided me great happiness. The get together was organized on working day but Rajeshji ensured that he arrives on time after day long tiring schedule at High Court’s Mediation Center, and later, finishing reporting task at The Hindustan Times office. He was my colleague for a brief period at The Hindustan Times office in Allahabad during my early days of journalism. I left the office soon but our friendship remained intact. He is extremely hard working and always running short of time. So he avoided the dinner and instead enjoyed the big glass of Lassi, which we enjoyed after the dinner but just the half glass since our tummies were already too full.
My parents had a good time with their granddaughters, who luckily did not throw any tantrums that day. Or else, they are genuine versions of naughtiness. They happily watched the sequence of events at Bikanervala in the company of his father and my parents. My brother and parents enjoyed the evening in an alien company which happy expressions on faces their clearly revealed.
The dinner was comprised of typical Indian food served at Indian parties like Dal Makhani, Paneer Curry, Pulaav, Raita, Paranthas, Sweet Dish and etc. Later we all enjoyed Lassi, which was very delicious but quite heavy weight one. I mean there was little space left inside the tummy to enjoy the big glass of Lassi prepared in special way with help of dry fruits.
The party ended on a happy note. It was a matter of great satisfaction for me since I came to share some good moments with my friends. Even in small city like Allahabad, the busy life of ours is not that kind enough to make friends see each other often. Obviously, a get together with close friends proves to be oxygen for relationships. This meeting with my friends shall stay in mind for a long time. As the time passes by, these are the moments which bring smile on our faces when we ever have a look in the olden days.
My association with Vividh Bharati dates back to period when as a kid I was learning to be familiar with contours of the world in which destiny had placed me to play the drama of life. It filled me with joy every time sound of music flowed from it. It made my soul dance with ecstasy when I had little sense to distinguish classical music from film music. It was Vividh Bharati, which with its “tring tring” time check made me realize the worth of life’s precious moments. So it really hurts when I find that this beautiful institution has given way to crude changes with no other plausible explanation other than this that it’s been done to ensure its relevance. Any conscious listener will easily come to pick many holes in such vague defense offered by the Vividh Bharati officials. They forget that what retained its relevance was its ability to remain distinct from other radio channels with its qualitative presentation. Now when they feel that it’s time to make it bray like a donkey as all others are also braying makes little sense!! Such a transformation is simply unacceptable to any conscious listener and no logic shall make such crude changes honourable in the mind of listeners who had seen Vividh Bharati in its true colours during its heyday.
Jingles Are Murdering The Beautiful Songs:
Let’s take note of some very harsh changes, which is bothering all of us but for Vividh Bharati officials all is well. What happens when you are enjoying good food and all of a sudden you come to crunch a small piece of stone, managing to find its place in the delicious meal ? It simply not only corrupts the whole pleasure but also damages your teeth. That’s exactly what happens when a crude jingle all of a sudden pops up in midst of a beautiful song! By the time jingle gets over, I find that diya of K L Saigal has already extinguished!! Most pathetic experience is to listen to the explanation offered by the officials. First they would simply try to ignore it, denying it all together. Then they would let you know that it’s not their problem but it’s problem more related with local radio station. They cite their helplessness as if local radio station is an independent body not in its control! If that’s not enough they come up with hilarious solution. Why not you listeners shift to DTH or shift to shortwave broadcast to be above such distortions? If that’s the case then it’s better to stop medium wave altogether. Why have it at all when we are supposed to make great efforts again and again, all in midst of a beautiful song, to adjust it to shortwave broadcast?
I would like to know are Vividh Bharati officials trying to suggest throw our cute small transistors into Bay of Bengal? That sort of insinuation and insensitivity comes as a huge shock for listeners who are used to treat their cute little Murphy or Phlips Radio no less than Kohinoor diamond!! I request they should keep their mouths shut instead of offering such stupid solutions. Their suggestion is very much like asking cycle lovers to keep their cycles at home since all are driving cars on road!!
Bad Presentation Of Important Programmes:
Next issue deals with bad presentation of important programmes. Most of the new radio announcers who have appeared to make their presence felt on Vividh Bharati are often very casual during programme presentation. They are always in a great hurry while announcing details as if they have to catch flight to Timbuktu after the programme! Sometimes I feel that they consider it some sort of sin to deliver right information. When anyone reminds them about such errors, an usual mechanical reply hits the ear drums: To err is human! Yes, we should learn to forgive others no matter if pain remains alive after such forgiveness! Forgiveness should become a habit but not removal of errors. One of the most respected names in field of journalism from Allahabad has come up with a sound advice: Make announcers repeat basic information related with songs twice. Once at the beginning of the song and the other as the song ends.
One should not forget that creating a song is no joke or, for that matter, any creative work is not possible without grace of Divine. Therefore, we should not be so casual while mentioning the details. May be its out of place but I need to inform the officials that there is one senior announcer at Allahabad’s local radio station who talks in such a rude way during interactive programmes that phone callers often feel very insulted. Just ask him to preach less and respond consciously to listeners. Making a phone call should be a rewarding experience and not some sort of tragedy!
Lack Of Originality On Part Of Vividh Bharati:
Vividh Bharati does not feel the need to be inspired. The “Desh Ki Surili Dhadkan” (Melodious beat of the nation) has utterly failed in coming up with original presentations. One cannot ignore the fact that it has introduced some interesting programmes like “Ujale Unki Yaadon Ke” but it fails to impresses the minds who are interested in its true revival, making it on par with golden days. It’s quite ironical as it has monopoly over some rare songs, rare recordings, rare interviews and , above all, it has largest stock of film music. It’s one of the brands which is quite popular among film personalities but it’s very reluctant in making right efforts to communicate with them. Come important anniversaries all it has to offer repeated telecast of recordings which we have listened umpteen times. It never bothers to delve deep into its archive and present rare songs in fresh perspective. It’s also not interested in honouring unsung heroes related with making of a song like instrumentalists, lyricists or some rare singers who came to sing memorable songs but destiny never allowed them to shine like stars. All it has learnt to promote new songs of flawed actors like Aishwarya and Shah Rukh, making old songs a rarest of rare thing on Vividh Bharati. I fail to accept that it’s listeners who have made Manchahe Geet or Aapki Farmaish prisoner of new songs. There is something more to it than what meets the eye.
Anyway, one really needs to appreciate Radio Ceylon who knows better how to honour our rich film legacy. It’s under no burden to honour our glorious past but look its sincerity in keep coming up with rare songs and rare recordings. Look at the way it honours unsung heroes. I am sure my dear friend Piyush Mehta from Surat, Gujarat, would be lot more excited in revealing the contributions of Radio Ceylon. I wish to know how come Radio Ceylon manages to locate jewels right in time while Vividh Bharati at the same time is beating the bush like always? Does that not speak volume about lethargic attitude of Vividh Bharati ? It appears that it’s more interested in honouring crap from present times than go back in past and dig gold! No one is asking it to ignore the recent trends, latest good numbers and new achievers but that should not serve as a pretext to ignore the moments from past which defines the world of music. Sadly, even the Hawa Mahal has given way to insipid Jhalkis.
Just Stop Rafi Racket That Has Taken Vividh Bharati In Its Grip:
At the very outset, I must say that it’s not at attempt to undermine or tarnish the image of Rafi. Not only as a singer but also as a human being he was pure gold. So one can imagine my state of mind as I dare to unfold this very unfortunate trend dominating the affairs taking place inside the corridors of Vividh Bharati. So the facts I come to state should not be seen as some sort of an allegation but only presentation of collective observation on part of people keeping a close eye on the happenings taking place in world of radio. I wasn’t great believer of such a story but a close look revealed that there is an element of truth. I now believe it more when one of the persons very close to the world of radio came to share this aspect with me in one of the long conversations related with changing face of Vividh Bharati. Sadly, I cannot mention his name as he wishes to remain anonymous.
Let me tell readers and listeners that many years ago I came to sense that something is fishy the way Vividh Bharati promoted death anniversary of Rafi but deliberately pushed the birth anniversary of Kishore Kumar, falling just few days after Rafi’s death anniversary, in no man’s land. I mean it always promoted death anniversary of Rafi with great fanfare from many days before the actual day and on the anniversary day almost all the programmes were dedicated to this singer. On the other hand, there was no promotion of birth anniversary celebration of Kishore Kumar and on the birth anniversary day I could easily sense that mere formality is being done in the name of celebrations. After noticing this trend for several years, I wrote a strict letter to Vividh Bharati in this regard which remain unacknowledged. They did not bother to reply me but I came to sense that things did improve with Kishore gaining some due respect. However, this new revelation of “Rafi Racket” makes me smile. After all, it confirms what I suspected for long but had no concrete evidences to support my suspicion. However, at the back of my mind, I was pretty sure that there was definitely some well planned notorious scheme in action.
In order to sustain this Rafi Racket, informed this very reliable source, there is conscious effort to play Rafi numbers on Vividh Bharati. That’s because some close relatives of Rafi share a portion of royalty each time Rafi number gets played on Vividh Bharati. That makes it essential for Vividh Bharati to carve new pretext to play Rafi numbers on this prestigious channel, which is supposed to be above vested interest. As a result some of the lesser numbers of Rafi also get presented as super duper hit numbers. That’s mockery at its best! Ironically, the same Vividh Bharati which has, of late, become hyper conscious in presentation of Rafi numbers maintained a safe distance from Rafi when he was alive. As a result of this strange love-hate relationship with Rafi, it failed to record interesting interviews with this great singer. Today we find it hyper active in playing his songs- good or bad numbers all are golden numbers in its eyes now.
Just to make my readers/listeners have a glimpse of the Rafi Racket, I wish to inform that some days back a progarmme was presented in ‘ Ek Phankar’ to pay tribute to legendary actress Meena Kumari. I came to notice that in very brief 30 minutes programme two Rafi numbers got played. We all know that some great numbers had been picturised on this great actress but ignoring those numbers room was created to present Rafi numbers. What was the need to do so ? Being a lawyer, I realize that I have not enough concrete material evidences to sustain the argument but the same legal world makes me realize that circumstantial evidences are enough to upheld the doubts in this regard. Often criminals are clever enough to wipe out traces of crime but they forget that come a time when the crime speak of itself in form of circumstantial evidences.
Anyway, I hope Vividh Bharati takes note of its glorious past so that it can move ahead with pride. That means taking care of interests of listeners in a conscious way. That means treating all the creative artists with same degree of respect and attention. It’s my sincere wish that it keeps adding awesome episodes in list of its achievements. To ensure that it needs to embrace new challenges qualitatively with a perfect vision.
Remembering K L Saigal, whose birth anniversary we celebrated on April 11. Listen this song from Zindagi. The details are mentioned in the video.
Who can forget Balraj Sahni ? Very few can reach the level he attained. He was real actor -one who came to portray reality as it is. A rare task in Bollywood, which worships superficiality.
It’s really sad that some known representatives of compassion and love have given way to harsher emotions. It’s strange but true that humanity which expected better virtues from fair sex is now at the receiving end of wrong values as women of our times stand side by side demoniacal tendencies. Though the rise of women in the criminal world doesn’t come as a surprise, it’s still unbelievable that they can be so lethal and cruel. One cannot readily believe that women can commit cold blooded murders with such precision even as such murders are commonplace in Western nations. In one of my earlier news report based articles I had talked about rise of lady criminals in Allahabad but this time the extreme gravity of the crime has left most of us shell shocked.
Some days back a one and half years old baby, who was resting in the arms of her mother was shot dead at point-blank range by none other than another woman in Allahabad. This woman was in dispute with her family over financial matters. This woman had lent some money to her husband on which she collected monthly interest and for past few months the family had entered into default. This time amid heated debates she opened fire targeting the baby who was at that time resting in the arms of her mother. One can imagine the mental state of mother whose very young baby was shot dead this way. She is in state of virtual coma since the happening of this ghastly murder.
Women once considered object of admiration for their heavenly attributes such as extreme tolerance level, compassion and love, to name a few, are now competing with agents of hell. They can go to any extent to satiate their desires. They can, in fact, easily commit any sort of crime as the veneer of innocence which is synonymous with their beings act as a great facilitator. In developed nations, the evolved criminal investigation and prosecution are in tune with this latest change in instincts of women but in third world countries the methodology is still following the beaten track. Reason? It still believes that women are innocent all the time!! I am not saying women are evil nowadays. I am only saying that let’s not suppose that they cannot commit shocking crimes. It’s time to realize that with evolution of our sense and sensibility our affinity with various sorts of never heard criminal instincts has increased and women are no exception in demonstration of such instincts side-by-side their male counterparts.
In present case I am still at my wits’ end as to why the baby was murdered ? Would anyone explain me what was the need to kill the innocent baby ? A life full of potential met an untimely end by another mad woman. No need to tell what a baby means to any married or unmarried woman. There are many couples who despite having lived a long married life are childless. An arrival of baby is cause of celebration in India or elsewhere. Murdering a baby defies any logic. Let me inform you that this lady was criminal in nature but one never imagined that she could go to this extent to shot dead a baby in daylight.
Anyway, let’s the lawmakers grasp the fact that treating a woman as holy cow during the criminal trials would be a great blunder.The times have changed, and thus, it should be kept in mind that criminal instincts have taken bizarre shapes. At personal level, I feel it’s end of innocence now. That in my eyes is a great loss for humanity. It only means future generations would hardly be able to know what innocence is really all about. The sight of woman would no longer evoke poetic appeal but sense of horror!
(A report about beggars including child beggars that I got published in Hindustan Times on Nov.16, 2000. In these past ten years since the publication of this report nothing much has changed. The Child beggars are still present in almost whole Allahabad.)
The beggars are a common sight on the roads of Allahabad. You can locate them almost in any part of the city. Be it railway station,theater halls,hospital, posh residential colonies or busy market you can always find one. As you alight from the train at Allahabad station, the beggars start pestering you. And you are left with no other option but to put a penny on their hand. These beggars cannot be fixed into one fix age group but generally they are between 5 to 45 years. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, when devotees throng in huge number at the Hanuman Temple in Civil Lines,beggars also gather there. It creates a lot of embarrassment for the devotees as the beggars block their way when they want to avoid them.
Here at this temple small children ,who are bare-bodied, get the job done for their families as it is for them to generate sympathy.Their innocent faces melt even the most stony hearts.The child beggars, while facing the odds of the weather, undergo every kind of exploitation. They are often harassed by the police on suspect of being involved in drug pedaling whereas girls are often sexually exploited.
During Kumbh Mela, if one happens to visit Sangam, one notices sea of beggars !! They come here with full preparations since they know that Mela (fair) stretches for more than a month. They stay here for months and slowly leave as the Mela (fair) ends. Sources say that these beggars, who at first sight appear to be victim of vicissitudes of life,in fact, have their own bank accounts. Yet, there are many among them who really need attention and care. Many are handicapped while a few suffer from some incurable diseases which cripple their body movement.
Thus, it becomes a hard task for them to manage two square meals. To meet unnatural death is their fate. Apart from these type of beggars, who somehow manage to survive, there is another class of mentally deranged beggars. In Allahabad you can find them sitting at roadside.
Till now, no social organisation of the city has shown interest in their cause. At the same time, there exists no specific guidelines for rehabilitation of beggars. Unlike in other countries, where begging is an offence and governments pay monthly allowances to put them off the road, in India, it’s still a distant dream.