Do nainaa...Aur ek kahani
A scream cut across the dark, gloom leaden corridors of Patil Niwas. It was followed by loud crying and sniffles of a child calling for a gentle touch. The ringing of the grandfather clock striking hour past midnight drowned the hiccupping sobs a little. Kishore and Leela rushed to their children's room to soothe them. Pari was sitting up on the bed clutching her doll looking at her brother Anay with terrified eyes. Anay had burried his head in his quilt and was screaming in the folds. Kishore went to pull his son in his arms. His voice soothing as it had been last night and the night before...every night since that dark day for Patil family. Leela scooped her daughter in her arms as she sobbed on her shoulder.
Kishore- Anay,beta..nai dekho papa aa gaye...kya hua?
Anay- mummy chahiye...papa..mummy chahiye..Pari- mummy, dada kyu ro rahe hai?Kishore looked at Leela with defeated eyes, Anay's mother was no mother but still for a child she was "mummy" and no matter how much he loved him, he can never take her place. He felt impotent with rage at the woman who had destroyed everything he had wanted to build for his son. Kishore- beta, mummy kahin gayi hai...naahi aa sakti..aap abhi papake paas so jao..Annay looked angrliy at his father- naii.mujhe mummy chahiye...abhi..abhi..abhi..He threw his spiderman waterbottle at the dresser shattering the mirror. For one moment Kishore saw the flash of anger of his wife's storm grey eyes in his son's features-Annay...He raised his hand to slap him.
"Nakko, KishoreBhau..Nai.."a voice stopped Kishore. He looked up to see Nakkusha standing at the door. She smiled faintly at him,"Aap so jao..main bachoko sula degi..Leelatai..appbhi sojao. Main sambhal legi." Kishore- nahi, nakku...main..but he was interrupted.Nakkusha- bhau, aap jao. Main sambhal legii..he nodded and looked sadly at a still crying Annay before leaving. Leela kissed her daughter's head and gave her to nakku's waiting arms. Nakku cuddled the soft, warm weight of the child in her arms and sat on the edge of the bed looking cautiously at Annay.
"Anay, aapki aai aanetak aap lait jao..main aapko kahani sunau?" he shook his head. "theek hai. To jabtak aai nahi aati tabtak kya kare?" Annay looked at nakkusha with his large intelligent eyes,"Maami, meri mummy nahi aayegi naa? Mujhe mallom hai." Nakkusha's heart went out for confused little child."Nai..annay"Annay shook his head-Jhoot mat bolo,mami..mummy mujhe,papa, aaji ko choddke chali gai hai ..unhe mama pasand nahi hai. Nakkusha- annay, tumhari aai thodi gussa hai tumhare mama se par ekdin sab teek ho jayega. abhi so jao. Annay looked at his sister whose eyes were trained on him, he nodded and layed down while nakku tucked him in. She tried to lay Pari beside him but she held fast to her and refused to let go. So nakku sat on the bed holding her to her chest and moving a hand on Annay's forehead. He reminded her of Sethji...her little brother had said so sweetly,"tai, main jaldi bada ho jayega. Tera, aai,baba sabka khayal rakhega." Today she could see Annay had too grown up in some ways.
Annay- mami, aapko gaana aata hai? Nakku- nai,beta. Annay- koi lori sunao naa.Pari- Haan loori sunni hai..Nakkusha kissed her soft cheek and looked up,a tall shadow was looming near the floor. She turned with a jerk to look at the door but it was empty, she heard residing footsteps. He had been watching her with the kids but he had not come in. She knew he was in so much pain,she wanted to share it but he refused to let her come near him. She looked at the two expectant eyes and remembered the time when at her basti she used to sing a lullaby for Sethji. It was a song from some film which played on the nukkar ka chaiwala's radio-soft and haunting. She began to recollect the soothing words,'Do nainaa aaur yek kahaanee...thodasaa baadal,thodasa paanee..aaur yek kahaanee'
He stopped in his track as the melodious voice wrapped around his feet, entangling him in a web of need. He felt very needy today, needy for her touch. Since the day of his confrontation with tai he had locked himself up in his gloom. He felt guilty for being here when tai was not. No one understood her hatred for him, especially not a loving person like nakku but he understood. He knew how consuming hatred,betrayal,anger and pain was. If nakkusha had not entered his life when she did,maybe he would have been like tai. But it made him hate himself even more. He was here with the people who loved him,supported him and she was not....yet they were so alike, they were both so similar. It was so unfair...A lone tear slipped out of his eyes unheeded as he stood overlooking the swing in the courtyard where he and tai used to have their discussions when the house was asleep at night.As he thought that she had been pretending that love all this time his fists bunched with anger...'Kyun Tai? Kyun? Itni nafarat thi to pyaar ka dekhawa kyun! Chala jaata main aapki zindagi se! Agar bachchpan se itni nafrat thi.itna pyar deke fir peet pe waar kiya...bhau nahi maan saaki to mujhe kyun aapne aapko tai samajhne diya? Agar jaan leneka tha to samane aati. 25Saal kyu intezaar kiya..25saal kyu baandhi mujhe raakhi?'
He walked past leela's room and saw her weeping on bed with her wedding album lying torn littering the floor. Dutta- leelatai? Leela jerked her head up at his approach-bhau? She swiped at the tears ineffectualy. Dutta- ye sab kya hai,tai? Leela gave a weak teary smile- Kuch yaadon ko mittane ki koshish kar rahi thi.jab kissi paudhey mein kirrey lag jaye to unhe kaatna chahiye.Main bhi meri zindagi mein laga keera nikalna chahti hoon. Par wo jaata hi nahi..Dutta looked at her sadly, he was felt inadequate in such situations. What could he say to take away the pain that was inflicted by a husband to his wife? He realized how powerless he was to protect the people he loved. Leela extended a piece of picture towards him-dekho na,bhau. Kitna koshish kiya use, uske sparsh ko aapne aap se durr kar saakoo..par ye jo haath mere kaandhey par hai,isse kaise alag karu? Agar rahne deti hoon to ye hamesha mere kandhey par rahega ye yaad dilayega ki kisska haath hai ,kaun tha is tasveer mein..agar kaat deti hoon to apna kandha kho deti hoon..zindagi bhar apahiz bann jaati hoon..kya karu?..She broke down throwing away the picture in frustration.'.bolo na kya karu?' Dutta shook his head and pulled his sister to his chest. Shhhhh..he whispered in her hair..Kissing her forehead. He held her in his arms as she wept on his chest taking refuge in her brother's arms.
'chhotee see do zeelon mein..wo bahatee rahatee hai...koi sune naa sune..kahatee rahatee hai...kuchh likh ke aaur kuchh jubaanee' As nakkusha's soothing voice wafted around them, Leela gave a tentative smile,'kitni meethi awaz haina vahini ki,bhau? Tu bahut kushnaseeb hai, achcha jeevansaathi milna kismat hi to hai.'He helped her on the bed and tucked her with a blanket dowsing the lights. While leaving he looked back at her tenderly giving a reassuring smile.
He stood outside aaisaheb's room wanting to enter but was unable to face the woman who had long ago lost her husband because of father and now had lost her daughter due to the son. Events of that day came up in his mind like water floods the plains after a dam is burst.
Few days Back'.
Kala stood in the hall of Patil niwas with all the family members standing there looking at the spectacle. He had overcome her army with a handful of his loyal followers. It had astonished Sudarshan how his whole gang was turned to corpses one by one in matter of minutes, single handedly by Dutta. Chaskar was dumfounded-how did a man come back alive and kicking from hell? With nary a scratch he stood tall with a chilling half smile on his face as he evened out the odds he had started with that dawn, his five man with a wounded baaji against their 50 or so men. Now they 7 stood with guns pointed at their skull.
Kala looked like vindictive, deranged queen regal and graceful even in defeat. She pointed her gun at him. He stood looking at her with sad eyes. Aaisaheb- Nai,kala. Bas. Chod de ye khoon ka khel. Kala- chod du,aai. Isse chod du, jo bachpan se jonk ki tarah humara khoon chusta aaya hai.Iske baapne mere pitah ko maara. Ek jhatajke mein rastey pe aagaye hum.
Kala - aai, tu dinbhar logo ke kapade silkar do niwala laati thi. Usmebhi ye kutta hum baheno ka hissa maar leta tha..ek roti ke teen hisse karna mushkil tha us par hume char tukdey karney pardtey the..ye bhul jaun..Meri pariksha thi school mein par raat bhar jaagti thi kyunki isse bukhar tha..aur mujhe iski dekhbhal karni thi kyunki tu doctor lane gayi thi..main iske karan school mein fail huyi ye bhul jaun..Iske school ke admission ke liye kitne diwali bina naye kapado ke kaati ye bhul jaun..
Aai - wah kala..yeh sab yaad hai tujhe..par ye kaise bhul gai.ki yahi bachcha jisse tu kutta kah rahi hai..hamesha apna hissa pahele apni baheno ko khilata tha'Kaise bhul gai ki wo bukhar isse barsaat mein bheegkar sadko par car saaf karke wahi do niwale lane ki koshish mein aaya tha..tujhe apna fail hona yaad hai..iska tumlogo ke liye ghut-ghut jeena yaad nahi'subah school jaate waqt gharo mein akhbaar daalta tha, sham ko saare gharose kachare ka daaba laata tha..raat ko jab tum log so jaate the..tab mera dutta mere saath bait ke saare kameezo ke button taakta tha..ye sab bhul gai..
A soft gasp of sadness escaped nakusha's lips,dutta looked at her face which held pity and sympathy for that child. He hated watching her pity him.
Kala-to kya ehsaan kiya. Yahi wajah tha humare yateem hone ki. Us diwali ki raatne mera bachpann cheen liya. Dutta looked at the woman holding the gun. She looked like his tai but the hatred in those eyes made her a stranger.
Aai- wo hadsaa tha..Aur bachpan? Ye ladka kabhi bacha tha hi nahi'jis umr mein bachche hath mein balla leke gaaliyon mein cricket khelte the..us umr mein unhi gaaliyon mein ye raaton mein ghumtaa tha'haathon mein laati leke..un gandhi naaliyon ke chuhey maarne ke liye..muncipality ke log 2rupiya dete the ek mare huye chuhe ka.un tamam raato ko bhul gai'un 2-3 karke jor ke laye huye raakhi ke toffon ko bhul gai.
Kala-Haan haan bhull gai. Isse itni nafrat hai mujhe ki main sab bhul gai. Apna ghar, pati, bachcha sab chod sakti hoon isse nafrat nahi....She raised her gun to take aim as dutta raised his, thinking of defending himself by aiming at gun in her hand.
A shot rang out in the air as a scream rented the place....Taii..
Dutta snapped back at reality. He opened his eyes to see aaisaheb looking at him tenderly,"kabse kaamre ke bahar khada hai.andar aa."
She sat at the edge of the bed and turned her head to the melodious voice of nakkusha. "thodee sai hain jaanee huyee,thodee see nayee" Aai asked him,"Nakkusha ki awaz hai?" Dutta nodded,"Anay.." he sighed and continued,"Anay apni aai ke liye roo raha tha..Nakku unhe loori suna ke sula rahi hai "Aaisaheb- achcha hai. anay ki apni aai ko to kabhi itni fikar hi nahi huyi. Dutta- aisa mat kahiye,aaisaheb. Aai looked at his pained face- yahan aa dutta, humare pass bait. Dutta sat at her foot near the bed looking away. Aai- humari godh mein sir nahi rakhega,beta. Dutta- aapke godh mein sir rakhne ka haq hai mujhe aaisaheb? Issi haq ke liye to tai'Aai interrupted him- yahi to gum hai, beta. Wo khud aai hoke bhi kabhi aai ko samajh nahi pai.. aai ke godh haq aur saata mein baati nahi hoti. Us par har us bachche ka haq hota hai jisse aaiki jarurat hoti hai. kala kabhi meri godh mein sir rakh kar rooti to kya main use dutkarti..usne kaise maa ki godh ka batwara kar liya, mere pyar ko saata mein tol liya..agar uski ladai mere pyar ya sath ke liye hoti to main samajhti..par ye uski takat ki bhuk thi..tere liye jalan ki aag thi..daulat ki bhuk thi jo use us had tak le gai..apni, maa-behenein,pati sabko kaalkothari mein rakha. Bandook ki nookh par qaid rakha.
Dutta laid his head on her lap- bahut andhera hai chaaro aur aai. ..haar gaya main aai..sab kuch haar gaya..dutta bhau ko haara diya..uske aapno ne.. Sab khatam..ho gaya.
The gun slipped off Kala's hand as she fell on her feet crying out in pain. She raised her venomous eyes at dutta as he rushed to her,"Tai? Tu theek hai?"He tried to hold her when She threw off his arm,"Main tujhse raham lene se pahele maut ko gale lagaungi." She pulled his hand to her chest and pressed his finger on the trigger..
He screamed as he woke from his dream..aai placed her hand on his agitated shoulder. He looked up at her-Aap mujhse pyaar kaise kar sakti hai?Mere karan aaj yahan tai nahi hai. Mujhse'mere in khoon saane haathonse ghinn nahi aati?
Her eyes filled with tears. She lifted his hands to her lips,"jab bachpann mein, subah tu raat ki duty khatam karke aata tha..haaton mein chuho ka gandha khoon saana hota .. tujhe us kaamse nafrat thi. Ghanto tak sabunse haath dhota tha..khoon dhulne ke baad bhi..kahta tha..aai badboo nahi jaati." Dutta smiled," aur aap mera haath chumkar kahte the. Ab ye saaf hai'par aai uss din aur aaj mein farak hai" Aai nodded- farak to hai beta..wo jaanwar the..kala ek samajhdaar insaan thi'tune kala ko nahi maara usne wo goli khud chalai thi'meri betiko haarna manjoor nahi tha...Maa ke liye uske dono bachche uski aankhen hoti hai..Tum dono meri do ankhen thi'ab ek aankh hi dusri aankh ke khilaf kaise ho sakti hai'main kaise ek ke liye dusre ankh ki roshni bujhati. Main duniya ki sabse badnaseeb maa bhi hoon aur khush naseeb bhi..Ek taraf mujhe Kala jaise aulad milli aur dusri taraf tere jaise beta..
'yek khatm ho to,doosaree yaad aa jaatee hai,hothhon pe fir bhoolee huyee,baat aa jaatee hai..do nainon kee hain ye kahaanee.. As voice went quiet , aaisaheb said"Jaa beta.. use teri jarurat hai..aur ussse bhi jayada tujhe uski. Jo hua usey hum bhula nahi sakte,mitta nahi sakte. Hum maa hain..bachche ke liye to hamesha royenge lekin aai jagdambene tujhe nakkusha ke roop mein jo vardaan diya hai use tu sukhi ho, bas is maa ki yahi prathna hai. Jaa, ek nayi shuruwat kar. Nafrat se durr pyaar ke saath..nakushake pyaar ke saath."
She was standing infront of Bappa in his room with her hands folded in prayer. He approached her quietly from behind. She felt his presence the moment he came in. The next moment two large strong arms engulfed her small ones from behind. His hands joined together on her joined hands and he laid his cheeks against hers'she could feel the wetness of his tears. She took his arms and enveloped them around herself. They stood like that infront of God with their eyes closed. Slowly she turned in his arms to look at him. He opened his lips to say something but she placed her hand on his mouth shook her head, she knew what he wanted to say. He removed her hand and kissed it.
Dutta- Meri bikhari hui duniya ko kab tak sametigi,Nakku. Nakku- Aap bas mereko sametey rakho saab, aap meri takat hai..aap nai to nakku nai. Dutta-tu meri zindagi ki roshni hai'kaise nahi dekh paya tera pyar? Pyar ko dhokha aur dhokeko pyar samajhta raha..Nakku-saab, ab umr bhar hum saath rahenge bas,itna kaffi hai.
Dutta- tujhe jab duniya ke samne patni maana tha tab vachan diya tha tujh par,humare rishtey par vishwas karne ka'par ek zatke mein wo vishwas tord diya..tujh par haath uthaya..tera apmaan kiya. Meri har gaali ka jawab tune beinteha pyaar se diya..kaise nakku, itna pyar kaise kar leti hai mujhse?
Nakku- jaise aap mujhse naraz hokar bhi meri har such-dukh ka khayal rakh lete hai..Jab dard hota hai to hath tham ka marham ban jatey hai..jab manzil door hoti hai to rasta aur humsafar dono ban jatey hai..pyaasi hoti hoon to paani ban jaate hai..mere maan-saman ki rakhsha karte hai..thand lage to garmi ka ehsaas ban kar mere badan se lipat jatey hai..mujhse naraz hokar bhi mujhse itna pyar kaise karlete hai saab?
Dutta gave a faint smile- Jab meri aankhon ki roshni chali gai thi..Har pal mera dil us pal ko kosta tha jab maine tujhe manhoos kaha tha..bappa ne saaza di thi mujhe tera apmaan karne ki..tere pyaar ko tukrane ki..Nakku- aur aapko khoney ke darr se jhoot ka sahara leni ki saaza bhi baapa neich mereko di thi..itne dinno tak mujhe aapse durr karke..Saab, mereko aap pyaar mat karo,mat aapnao chalega..pann merese durr jakar mujhe saaza mat do..main..main maar jayegi aapke bina..
Dutta- nahi nakku ab vanwaas bhi khatam hua..aur judaai bhi..ab agar bappa bhi hume dur karne ki koshish karega to Dutta use bhi lard jayega..teri kasam.
Her arms went around his waist to hold him to herself. Love engulfed them.The pain was deep and scar would stay but the tender touch of love and faith would heal it and take away the sting slowly.
She lay in pool of blood in her brother's arms as he cried for her, calling out to her to come back and kill him.The rage was gone from his heart and only love and loss remained. It was apt in a way that she was in the arms of one man whom she had hated more in her life than she had loved anyone else. Atleast, even in her death she was engulfed in his love for her..his Tai..his sister.
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