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.
हिंदी से गहरा प्रेम बचपन सें है, संस्कृत और उर्दू से भी है. आप मेरे ब्लाग पर फिर से जाए तो ये सही है अंग्रेजी में अधिकतर लेख है क्योकि मुख्यतः वो अंग्रेजी लेखो के लिए बना है एक अंग्रेजी के लेखक के रोल निर्वाहन के कारण. हिंदी में लिखना प्रारंभ इसी हिंदी प्रेम और हिंदी सेवा के खातिर किया. इस के लिए अंग्रेजी के मंचो पर भी विद्वान् लोगो से काफी बहस की. तो बात साफ़ है अंग्रेजी का लेखक होने के बाद भी, समयाभाव होते हुए भी हिंदी में लेख अंग्रेजी के ब्लाग पर लिख ले रहा हूँ, या ऐसे मंचो पे हिंदी लेख पोस्ट कर देता हूँ जहाँ हिंदी पर कुछ कहने सुनने पर प्रतिबन्ध है तो किसी को मेरे हिंदी प्रेम पर कोई शक-सुबहा नहीं होना चाहिए. ये जानकर आपको आश्चर्य होगा किसी अंग्रेजी फोरम पे जहा हिंदी पे पाबन्दी थी उसी मंच पर इन्टरनेट जगत में हिंदी के राष्ट्रभाषा सम्बन्धी सवाल पर एक सबसे लम्बी बहस का आयोजन किया. लिहाजा यथाशक्ति मेरी तरफ से जो हो सकता है वो मेरी तरफ से हो रहा है जबकि ना मेरे पास आर्थिक बल है और ना ही संसाधन. मेरे बहुत से लेखो का लोगो ने जब हिंदी अनुवाद चाहा मैंने उन्हें उपलब्ध करा दिया. कितने हिंदी के पत्रकार बंधुओ के पास अपने ही अंग्रेजी लेख का अपना ही किया अनुवाद पड़ा है जो उनके आग्रह पर मैंने उनको दिया है. अब देखिये आपके ये हिंदी मित्र कब तक इसे पब्लिश कर हरियाली फैलाते है!
लेकिन इसके बाद भी मै रहूँगा अंग्रेजी का लेखक ही. उसके कई कारण है. एक तो हिंदी जगत में व्याप्त गन्दी राजनीति जिससें मुझे घिन्न आती है. एक लेखक होने के नाते मुझे लिखने में दिलचस्पी है ना कि राजनीति में जिसका हिंदी जगत से बड़ा गहरा याराना है. राजनीति मै बेहतर कर सकता हूँ पर तब लिखने के लिए समय कहा मिलेगा? खैर जो सबसे बड़ा कारण है वो आपकी व्यापक पहचान. अंग्रेजी में ना लिखता तो शायद विभिन्न देशों में मुझे इतने प्रतिभवान लेखको, मित्रो का प्रेम मुझे ना मिलता. अंग्रेजी में लिखने का सबसे बड़ा फायदा ये है कि अनुवाद का भय खत्म हो जाता है क्योकि अनुवादित होते ही साहित्य रसहीन हो जाता है ऐसा मेरा मानना है. अनुवादित चीज़े मै केवल मजबूरी में पढता हूँ. सो मेरे साथ ये तो भय नहीं ना रहा कि अपनी बात सही सही लोगो तक पहुच रही है कि नहीं. किसी की इस बात से मै इत्तेफाक मै नहीं रखता कि मेरे लेखो के विषय देश काल से बाधित है. फिर से देखे मेरे लेख और आपको उसमे ग्लोबल मिलेगा लोकल की बाहें थामे.
ये बात भी महत्त्वपूर्ण है कि नीति निर्माता चाहे लोकल स्तर पे हो या ग्लोबल स्तर पर हगते मूतते कैसे भी हो पर समझते अंग्रेजी में ही है. सो जब तक आप इनसे अंग्रेजी में बकैती नहीं करेंगे तब तक ये आप की बात समझने से रहे. ये भी जानना उचित रहेगा कि अंग्रेजी मातृभाषा ना होने के कारण भाव के सम्प्रेषण के लिए कम से कम मेरे लिए तो बहुत सही नहीं लगती और भाषा की शुद्धता को ऊँचे स्तर तक ले जाने के बाद भी भाषा सम्बन्धी गलतियां रह जाती है. इसके बाद भी मुझे बहुत स्नेह मिला है विदेशी भूमि पर गुणीजन लोगो के द्वारा. और ऐसा भी नहीं कि यहाँ राजनीति नहीं हुई. जम के हुई, मेरा विरोध हुआ, भाषा प्रयोग पर कुछ वर्ग विशेष की तरफ से आपत्ति हुई, सम्मान देने के बाद मेरे साईट को ब्लाक करने जैसी अपमानजनक बाते हुई पर ईश्वर की कृपा से पूर्व में अच्छा काम इतना हो चुका था कि मेरी छवि को कुछ नुकसान नहीं पंहुचा. खैर ये सब तो लेखन जगत में आम बात है. मैंने जब डेढ़ दशक पहले लिखना शुरू किया तभी देशी विदेश अखबारों मैग्जीनो में छप चुका था, अच्छे विदेशी संपादको और लेखको से काफी विचार विमर्श कर चुका था, जिसमे जेरेमी सीब्रुक (द स्टेट्समैन, कलकत्ता से सम्बंधित स्तंभकार), रामचंद्र गुहा( द टेलीग्राफ, कलकत्ता) और बिल किर्कमैन ( द हिन्दू, मद्रास) कुछ उल्लेखनीय नाम है इसलिए जब ऑनलाइन हुआ तब ऐसी सतही बातो का मुझ पर कोई ख़ास असर नहीं हुआ. हाँ थोड़ी तकलीफ जरूर हुई.
अब इतना आगे बढ़ चुका हूँ कि पीछे देखनें का कोई मतलब नहीं. अंग्रेजी में लिखना सहज और मधुर लगता है अब. मेरी हिंदी सेवा वाली बात से आप सब निश्चिंत रहे. हिंदी के लिए काम करने वाले सरकारी अफसरों से हम संसाधन विहीन अंग्रेजी के लेखक बेहतर काम कर रहे है बिना नाम-वाम के मोह या मुद्रा के लालच में पड़े. चलते चलते राज की बात सुनते चले कि ईमानदार हिंदी या अंग्रेजी बुद्धिजीवी लेखक कम से कम एक मामले में बराबर है: इनको ढंग का पैसा ना तो हिंदी के प्रकाशक देते है और ना ही अंग्रेजी जगत के प्रकाशक!
The wait for her was proving to be a nasty one. As usual she was late for the meeting, turning me into an impatient kid. Meanwhile, I had a close look around the place I was sitting. It was evening time so I could see old couples walking in the park with pets. Some of them have come with their grandchildren. I can see some of the kids creating scene for cup of ice-cream. Well, the kid inside me compelled me to buy one for myself.
The park was also full of students, who have gathered there to study amidst total silence. In fact, one reason I loved this park was that it had greenery spread everywhere marked with deep stretches of silence. These students were now preparing to go back to their homes. Who knows how was destiny going to reward them for this hard labour of theirs? Some would emerge victorious while others would get lost in sea of life as insignificant creatures. Some would be hailed as bringing good name to their families while others be seen as failures- a blot on the bright family history. One can never rein the movements of time. Anyway, it was time for me to embrace the moon. I saw her coming towards me with the same mysterious smile that was now so commonplace for my eyes. “Hey, what’s the excuse for today? ” Aditya asked.
“That’s okay. You have every reason to be sarcastic. However, I was right on time but last minute reminder from my boss acted as spoilsport. I had to spent some extra moments, which kept on multiplying even as I tried to draft the letter fast and get it typed ” Aparajita replied sounding genuine.
The best thing about Aparajita was that she never concealed her emotions. She loved to unfold the details even about the issues considered taboo. In fact, frankness was her hallmark. Nothing odd if I re-named her Miss. Frank! Today I found her unusually silent. That was bothering me a bit. Quite unusual for a girl who loved to speak like a newsreader reading the news on television.
“Hey, it’s not good for a beautiful lady like you to be lost in deep thoughts this way! It’s ominous” Aditya chuckled as he said that.
That brought a huge smile on face of Aparajita but her eyes remained lost in some grim image. Eyes didn’t match with smile.
“How was your day? Look tired after chasing news and views. I told you so many times to take care of yourself but you are determined to do just the opposite to what I suggest to you” she said.
“Oh! I had just a cup of ice-cream remembering you within with your words that I should eat well ” he said with child like innocence.
Just then I saw vendor selling lai chana (eatable). A regular fellow like both of us in that park. He was happy to hear my call.
“Look I am going to demonstrate how I sincerely follow your advice by buying something to eat. Never say that I ignore your words. Company changes the beliefs. Now I eat well ” he said that as he handed the money to the vendor, who was in all smiles after sensing the state of affairs.
“Oh! You follow my advice quite well. That’s why you are thinner than a skeleton for past so many years” she said.
“The packet is too hot to handle unlike you who is so cool” he said as Aparajita spread her dupatta on the bench.
“You will always remain a kid. A kid who has bypassed the process of evolution” remarked Aparajita in a tone that my ears loved to hear. Aparajita was madly in love with him. Not because love happens in such age. Not because love is necessity in this phase of life when realities of life have yet not wiped out the the thing called life from our beings. She loved only because he was the one of the rarest of rare souls who was far away from the darker elements that give birth to ironies. One who still evoked faith that life is beautiful despite its cruel ups and downs.
“I have been given the eyes by Lord to stare at you. What makes you add new dimensions in your beauty each day? Is there some secret beauty clinic inside your office ? Your clients must be pretty satisfied on finding you on your seat. These days all corporate offices have beautiful ladies even as they are not competent that much.” he said expecting her to exhibit shade of anger. However, she kept on making silence play with her face.
“I am getting engaged the day after. May be it’s our one of the last meeting as lovers. Or, probably the last as intimate friends ” she replied staring into nothingness.
” Wow! Great revelation. Who dared to embrace the tragedy personified? ” he asked.
He said,” I hope that’s a nasty joke. Well, don’t test my patience as I am no woman who is bundle of patience. Is that true ?I am feeling hungry so let’s move to the newly opened restaurant in our city. I have heard they offer wide range of dishes at affordable prices. Let’s taste them before their prices touches the sky.”
She said,” I am not in league with powerful expressions the ones you use in your writings. I am not going to justify my decision with help of those expressions. I have this much guts to say that I am marrying to a rich business tycoon. He proposed to me a day before and I couldn’t say no. We are mismatch in so many ways. He is much older than me just close to age of my boss. That’s okay. I have no problems with such differences. I have conveyed my wishes to my family and they have endorsed it. May be I would be leaving the city as well and settling in foreign landscape.”
She stated all that in one flow. I heard that with usual smile on my face. Hearing such harsh words at regular intervals had been my fate. Nothing new for me to see dreams getting crushed so often. I didn’t react sharply as I used to do in past. I knew Aparajita for quite a long time now. In fact,I had stopped entertaining faith in women. It was she who restored that lost faith of mine by coming in my life in a strong way. In all these years, she was the source of bliss. She never gave me an opportunity to complain. She had a wonderful ability to read the mind. An ability that helped her to walk with ease with a complex soul like me. My thoughts that appeared as intellectual gibberish to the beautiful faces, kept them away from falling in my company. Acting as powerful repellent, the thoughts close to my heart, kept the beautiful faces away from me. A very simple life devoid of show of wealth was another asset that acted as barrier for the pretty face to anticipate me as probable friend.
However, Aparajita was an exception in many ways. She showed no sign of discomfort with my love for grim images that flowed in my life as news and views. On the contrary, her pretty face amidst the naked truths of life helped me to forget the pains and tragedies. She was a whiff of cool breeze in desert.
Breaking the heavy silence that gripped us she said,” You know it’s hard to erase your memories even as I leave you for forever. However, the decision would remain unchanged. You know my family is already dependent on me plus the previous debts on my family are beginning to deepen the crisis. My meager salary is not enough to make both ends meet. May be my marriage with you is going to lead both of us to sorts of catastrophe. And..”. Her speech got interrupted by Aditya’s sombre reflection.
” Wait a minute! If I remember well, you never had problems with our union. The financial issues were never part of plans. Now all of a sudden how come this be the determining factor to close the chapter of our relationship?” he asked.
” I know that. There is no point in remembering the old promises in this regard. In all these ears, the harsh truth that it’s not beauty and intelligence but money that dominates the world is pretty clear to me now. At every stage we need money. If you have money then even death is glorious. Or else, even ceremony to conduct the last journey of death is also no less than another death. I feel if I am going to marry with you, I would only prove to be another sweet burden. Another source of pain, which you would keep locked in your heart always.” she said.
” I need to remind you that we had planned differently. Forget about the plans, I need to ask what would happen to my unfulfilled wishes, my dreams, my desires and my share of happiness which I need just only from you ? Have you lost your senses? In all these years, all the free moments that I had I spent in shaping plans to make our togetherness a reality. Now you are brutally murdering all these dreams right in front of my eyes. There are so many couples, who are living amidst penury with no grudges at all. I see no reason why can’t we follow in the footsteps of these couples unless you have decided to be slut whose hunger for money increases with each passing moment?” he said as disappointment and agony began to rule the roost. He never imagined that she really meant what she uttered just now. However, that’s the way determined and bright ladies behave. They rarely deviate from their line of action. That’s the hallmark of such ladies in league with virtues and principles !!!
Aditya said,” Well, if that’s what you think is right course of actions then go ahead and accomplish your desires in league with your line of action. And please as you move away say nothing as to how I am going to live my life in your absence, how I am going to cope up with haunting images of yours. No lectures in this regard. Just go away silently. ”
“It’s better that one spends time with company of sluts than walk side by side with a thinking beauty like you with loads of dreams and promises. At least, it’s not going to pain that much once they leave you. Not that much as it pains now.”
Tears rolled down her cheeks. ” I am going away from here. In fact, away from your reach, at least, in this life. Anyway, I wish to be in your arms for one more time as we part ways ” said Aparajita as she looked straight into my eyes.
” No. I need not moments of bliss from you, when for rest of the life I have to live without such moments. I refuse to entertain your last wish” said Aditya as he looked at the bright moon playing with dark clouds in the night sky .
Aparajita had a deep look at him as she left the park. All these years she was in deep love with him. He was her world. A world that she was determined to keep above the upheavals of life. She knew well that souls of his type refuse to compromise with life. Had she lived with him, she might have moved side by side him but eventually the money oriented world would have sabotaged her world. She wasn’t sure how were uncertainties going to shape their togetherness in wake of financial shortcomings? It was quite possible that lack of money was going to turn them into icons of mediocrity. As far as she was concerned, she was pretty ordinary girl, which the eyes of lover had granted an unique height. She had nothing special in her as imagined by Aditya. That she knew quite well. However, she was quite aware of the fact that Adityas rarely become part of earthly life. It’s easy to conceive Aparajitas but its difficult to conceive Adityas. Something matters when such souls enter and leave the world.
In all these years, she had realized that what he needed was a stable life and not her company. That was only possible when he had enough money to translate dreams into reality. The man with whom she was about to get married had huge unused wealth going down to drains due to bad utilization. For girl of her intelligence it was quite easy to utilize such wealth in proper way. Now when the destiny had brought her in touch with this rich guy, it was nothing short of boon. May be she would lose his love but in losing was hidden the greatest victory. She realized that he was to become much happier and also much closer to her with this loss. Exactly the same thing happened.
Many years later so-called happy episodes hit the lives of both these separated lovers. She played with her kids in bungalow in some unknown foreign landscape while Aditya owned everything that makes a man hailed as successful. He neither bothered nor he came to know, who enabled him to attain the material heights in that easy way. It was another thing that Aparajita stayed inside her all the time if not in the external world amidst display of wealth. It was hard to tell by having a look at him that he was happy or not even as the world always found him smiling. Who can tell he is happy or not? Who can tell was Aparajita happy in her world or not? In the end it was only the world that was really smiling. Love, like always, was weeping.