There exists a bridge between
You and I
And I travel across it
To reach to you each day.
This bridge remains invisible
In the world governed by reality
Glad that it is non-existent!
In a world marred by evil eyes
It remains invisible to naked eyes
In love with concrete images
And I did the right
By not giving it a shape
To a bridge I travel across
Each day to reach to you.
Had it been built by me
Surely it would have collapsed
Facing every passing moment
The rays of eyes dipped in
Evil and falsehood, treachery and crime,
And I would have lost something
Which sustains my earthly existence
There exists a bridge between
You and I
And I travel across it
Through the realities of visible world
To reach to you each day
In every passing moment
To arrive at a world
Where no one exists
Other than you and I.
ये कैसी बिडम्बना है कि अक्सर मुझे बहुत से लोग मुझे मिले बताने वाले कि अहम् बुरी बला है, धन बेकार है इत्यादि इत्यादि। ये बाते सैकड़ो बार नर्सरी स्कूल से लेकर अब तक पढ़, सुन, आत्मसात और जहा तक संभव है जीवन में चरितार्थ भी कर चुका हूँ लेकिन अफ़सोस सिर्फ यही है कि महफ़िलो और तन्हाई में ऐसी बाते करने वाले अक्सर पद और ओहदों के पीछे भागने वाले अहम् के पुतले निकले। वफ़ा के आवरण में लिपटे धूर्त और मक्कार मिले। दोस्त हो या प्रेमिका उनका रंग एक सा ही निकला जैसे चांदी के प्याले में विष।
ताज्जुब है इसके बाद भी ज़िन्दगी मुझे भली भली सी लगती है। इसके बाद भी जीने के मायने उभर के आते है ज़िन्दगी की कैनवास पर। हो सकता है जिंदगी को अपने को और उधेड़ना बचा हो। लेकिन जीवन के शह मात टाइप के समीकरण में अब मेरी दिलचस्पी कहा। पहले भी कहा थी। इसलिए मै बहुत दिलचस्पी से जीवन के तमाशो को नहीं देखता। जो मेरे सामने आता है उसको पूरी तन्मयता से निभा कर आगे बढ जाता हूँ। मेरी नज़र में जीवन में आ जाना ही एक गलती है। एक डिवाइयन मजाक है। सब के लिए हो सकता है ये जीवन के तमाशे जीवन मरण का प्रश्न हो जाए मगर मेरा जीवन के तमाशे में कोई दिलचस्पी नहीं जिसके प्रत्येक अध्याय में छल कपट के नए किस्से हो। सबसे खूबसूरत क्षण के पीछे भी मक्कारी दबे पाँव आके दस्तक दे जाती है। सो कोई जीए मरे इस दर्द में भीं जीवन का खोखलापन एक शान्ति सा भर जाता है जीवन में।
कही पढ़ रहा कि मौत क्यों आती है या इसका आना क्यों जरुरी होता है। वो इसलिए कि ज्यादा जीये जाने से लोगो के वफ़ा के पीछे उनके असल स्वार्थ उभर के सामने आ जाते है। सो मरने से ये भ्रम बचा रह जाता है कि अपने कुछ अपने से थें। इससें बेहतर मौत के पक्ष में बात कुछ नहीं हो सकती। मै तो अक्सर मानता हूँ कि मरने का सुविधाजनक रास्ता हो, कोई सम्मानित शास्त्र सम्मत रास्ता हो तो बहुत से लोग ख़ुशी-2 मौत का वरण कर ले। भगत सिंह को जब फांसी की सजा सुनायी गयी तो वो बहुत खुश थे। उसकी एक वजह ये थी कि उन्हें खुशी थी मौत जल्दी आ गयी। जीते रहते थें तो कितने दाग और लग जाते उन पर। कितनी उनके और अवगुण लोगो के सामने प्रकट हो जाते।
देश के कानून भी गज़ब के है। आत्महत्या को जुर्म मानता है। पर उन परिस्थितयों को लगाम लगाने की कोई जिम्मेदारी नहीं लेता जो किसी को मौत के दरवाजे पर छोड़ जाते है। उनको कोई कसूरवार नहीं ठहराता जिन्होंने किसी को मरने के लिए मजबूर किया। किसी को उकसाना तभी जुर्म बनता है जब तक मामला कोर्ट में ना पहुचे। पर कितने ऐसे केस कोर्ट में पहुचते है। और कितनो को सजा होती है कितने वर्षो में? सही है समाज ही जुर्म करने को मजबूर करता है और समाज ही न्याय का ठेकेदार बन कर सजा देता है। गजब तमाशा है भाई ये।
खैर उन लोगो को जो आग लगा कर तमाशाई बनते है, मेरे मित्र होने का स्वांग करते है और अक्सर मुझसे पूछ लेने की गलती कर बैठते है कि आप लोगो से क्यों कम मिलते जुलते है या कि क्यों उनकी तरह जीवन की तमाम नौटंकी में शामिल क्यों नहीं है तो उनके लिए साहिर की ये पंक्तिया ही काफी है कि
“क्या मिलिए ऐसे लोगो से जिनकी फ़ितरत छुपी रहे,
नकली चेहरा सामने आये असली सूरत छुपी रही
खुद से भी जो खुद को छुपाये क्या उनसे पहचान करे,
क्या उनके दामन से लिपटे क्या उनका अरमान करे,
जिनकी आधी नीयत उभरे आधी नीयत छुपी रहे।”
और रहा जिंदगी के तमाशे की बात तो निदा फाज़ली ने इन कुछ लाइनों में जिंदगी की असलियत बयान कर दी है। मेरी नज़र में तो अपनी खूबसूरती से मुझ सीधे सादे मनई (इंसान) के मन को भरमाती जिंदगी का असली चेहरा यही है। और ऐसे जीवन में मेरी दिलचस्पी कभी नहीं हो सकती। हां जीते रहने सा दिखना एक अलग बात है।
“हर तरफ हर जगह बेशुमार आदमी,
फिर भी तनहाइयों का शिकार आदमी,
सुबह से शाम तक बोझ ढ़ोता हुआ,
अपनी लाश का खुद मज़ार आदमी,
हर तरफ भागते दौड़ते रास्ते,
हर तरफ आदमी का शिकार आदमी,
रोज़ जीता हुआ रोज़ मरता हुआ,
हर नए दिन नया इंतज़ार आदमी,
जिन्दगी का मुक्कदर सफ़र दर सफ़र,
आखिरी साँस तक बेकरार आदमी”
It’s indicative of dark age when righteousness gets marginalized and the glory of real people gets eclipsed by the gestures of fake people. It’s often too late when truth comes to make its presence felt. Often the picture is quite murkier when truth strikes its authority. Let’s realize that promotion of good values cannot take place if we have nothing substantial to offer people dealing in virtues. The customary gestures are not suffice to ensure the survival of good souls. How come people with bad reputation emerge as kingmaker while the people with clean reputation remain trapped in ironies of life as sufferers ? I am going to narrate two grim episodes which highlight this aspect.
The previous week I took short break from my writing, making myself get lost in the beauty of nature. The Ghats of Ganges, the long stretches of fields occupied with wheat crop ready to be harvested, the touch of cool wave flowing under the huge Peepal tree, the smiles of naughty village kids and the scent of green mangoes which fills inside the nostrils as we pass through the mango-laden branches are some of the fascinating scenes still moving inside the corridors of my mind. However, something unwanted happened which tainted the blissful episodes which occurred in short break.
Some kids who were playing on Ghat close to my place of stay in Chunar-my maternal grandmother’s town famous for its ancient fort built by Maharaja Vikrmaditya the King of Ujjain- somehow slipped into the deep waters of Ganges in an attempt to get hold of the cricket ball which had fallen in the river. It was noon time so the Ghat bore a deserted look. When three of them started crying for help once they found themselves trapped and started drowning it was obvious that their cries failed to evoke response. It was sheer luck that one person appeared on the scene and he dared to jump into the deep waters. He made his best efforts to save all the three kids but in the end all he could manage was to save one child from drowning. Two children went deep inside the waters becoming untraceable. When the news spread like wild fire, the Ghat was filled with sea of people in grip of sorrow. The administration acted in swift manner but all in vain. The high police officials and other senior officials were quick in making their presence felt but other than entering in face saving gestures they were no better than mute spectators.
They were supposed to arrive on the scene with proper net to locate the dead bodies. However, they arrived on the scene without any rescue material. They manged to find a fishing net but it was pretty insufficient to trace the dead bodies. Meanwhile, the evening came closer, making tracing of the bodies a remote possibility. The next day swollen dead bodies of the kids were found floating on the surface of the water. The print media like always reported this incident the way it does, mentioning the lackadaisical role of administration and gathered some interviews so that city section does not remain vacant!! Ironically, the dead bodies when reached to the mortuary, the doctors were found missing. The whole scenario is enough to suggest the role which government machinery comes to play in wake of a tragedy. It acts in same heartless manner the way it acted decades ago. We have new generation in the administration but call it design they prefer to act like their worn out predecessors. They find it safe to be coloured in deceptive traits of their previous officers.
Now let me state the actual reason which made me write this article. I didn’t write it to highlight poor administration which is something so commonplace in India. I was really hurt on noticing that man named Ram Bilas who saved life of one the children drowning did’t get any credit for this heroic gesture. What’s worse, he was accused by the relatives of the drowned children that he didn’t make proper efforts in saving life of other two kids. The reality was that this man made valiant efforts to save all the kids even as he found himself trapped in strong currents. One of the kids came to hold him so tightly that he himself started drowning. Meanwhile, the other two kids lost their grip amidst this dangerous struggle for survival. Both media and administration neither bothered to mention the role of Ram Bilas nor they seemed interested in offering him suitable reward. Is that’s the way to honour the saviour?
Look at the flow of money in IPL. Huge money is being distributed as prize money each day. However, we have no money to give to our real hero Ram Bilas who saved precious human life by putting at stake his own life. It really hurts that our real heroes on most occasions remain unsung heroes. And as I end this write-up I need to highlight another gross misrepresentation on part of media. One of the small scale factories operating in my locality caught fire. That made all the residents of my locality took all possible steps to control the fire. Someone promptly informed both fire brigade and police but like always they arrived when we had already nearly extinguished the fire. Media persons also arrived on the scene to click the perfect images. In fact, some of them were frustrated on not arriving on time to get sensational image of huge flames!!!
Anyway, next day the news items in this regard reported that fire brigade officials after battling with flames for few hours managed to extinguish it totally. The role of localites went altogether missing. Doesn’t it raise doubt about the credibility of media ? After this incident, it became very clear to me that media is far away from the truth in our times. It depicts what sells not what really matters. It’s not interested in truth but only crass sensationalism.
The premature death of young promising person always shocks us. It makes us slip into a depressive mood. It also makes us philosophical, making us aware of transitory nature of the earthly happenings. Though the feeling of detachment does not stay with us for long, it still manages to evoke sensitivity that makes us face to face with reality of our vain pursuits.
I am talking about death of Sandeep Banerji, an ex journalist, who died recently when his motorcycle rammed into railing of the Curzon bridge at Phaphamau with full force. His body remained on the bridge in the mutilated state for quite a long time until the police was informed who carried it to the mortuary room. Later, the members of Allahabad Press Club paid customary tribute to the departed. I don’t know is that sufficient enough to calm the pain of his family comprising of her wife, old mother and two year old daughter?
I am really taken aback by the way life comes to deal with bright faces. Two more such deaths flash across in my mind. My one of the aunties who lived in New Delhi had always been my source of inspiration. She had been living there all alone with her daughter for past many years. One day I heard she is no more. A lady who for the most of the time was caught in the struggles of life passed away silently. No news. A good soul passed away but the world around us remained alive to the glamour of life! Similarly, I always admired father of one of the close friends. I never entered in conversation with him but whenever I met him the love and affection in his eyes always made me drawn towards him. One day while taking an early morning walk, I met my friend sitting in pensive mood at one corner of the Khusraubagh. He came to inform me that his father is no more. I don’t know why tears hit my eyes and I remained sad for many days. Such is human life. Good souls pass away and we the survivors remain engaged in petty concerns as if they are life-and-death issues.
Coming back to my friend Sandeep Banerji, I met him a decade ago. I was then involved in contributing articles to national newspapers. A chance meeting with him led to increased friendship with him. That time he was working as crime correspondent in The Times Of India. I used to give my articles to him for publication in the weekend supplement of The Times Of India. I wrote on issues which were not of his taste but then he ensured that they managed to see the light of publication!! From him I came to know how thankless the job of crime correspondent or, for that matter,any correspondent really is. Barring few of them, they are the most exploited lot. Even the most known brands in field of news world are unprofessional in heeding to the monetary needs of the scribes. If that’s the state of people working in top brands, one can easily imagine the plight of stringers working in Hindi newspapers. However, I always found Sandeep smiling amidst the ups and downs of this profession.
Ironically, I was about to meet him in coming days after a long gap. I would have never postponed my meeting had I been aware of the cruel turn of events. I pray for this departed soul. May Lord rest his soul in eternal piece. I shall always remember you Sandeep.
“If man were immortal he could be perfectly sure of seeing the day when everything in which he had trusted should betray his trust, and, in short, of coming eventually to hopeless misery.He would break down, at last, as every good fortune, as every dynasty, as every civilization does. In place of this we have death.” (Charles Sanders Peirce)