Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My very first short story.. written in 2004.. In roman Hindi

PatjhaR ka mausam tha. Har tarah raaston par bichhe hue patte, hawa me sansana rahe the. Baaghon me shajar khaali se ho gaye the. Na unpe patte the, na phool. Kuchh ghnsle the.. magar unke waasi kahin aur chale gaye the. Har tarah ek ajab sa sanaata tha, ek ajab sa mahaul, na andhera, na ujaala. Har roz wahi suraj ugta tha.. magar dheere dheere maano uski roshni kum hoti jaa rahi thi.

Isi suraj ki ek bhooli bhatki kiran Yusuf ke kamre ki khiDki ko paar kar, uske chehre tak jaa pohonchi. Jaagne ka waqt ho gaya tha, magar uska man nahi maan raha tha. Jaag kar use milega bhi kya, who aankhein bandh rakh kar sochta raha..

‘Wahi subah uTthna.. wahi nashta karna.. wahi office jaana.. Sharma ji ki sau baatein sunna.. bijli ki raftar se kaam karna.. thake hare khaali ghar me lautna.. ghar ke kuchh kaam karna.. khaana khaana.. nahaana dhona.. phir so jaana.. taaki agli subah, yahi sab phir se kar sako!’ Yusuf ne socha..

’To bhag kyon nahi jaate??!’ Uske zehen me ye awaaz yun gunji ki Yusuf uTh baitha.. yahan wahan nazar phiraii.. magar koi na tha.. aaj kal uska dil kuchh zyada hi zor se bolne laga tha.. Uska zehen ab use nazar-andaaz nahi kar paa raha tha..

Yusuf ne ek lambi saans bhari.. aur apne din ki shurwaat ki..

Office me kaam bohat tha (Humesha ki tarah).. kai baar uske manager, Mr. Sharma ne usse kisi gaRbaR par khoob daNta.. kaii baar ghalati Yusuf ki nahi thi.. Yusuf ko lagta tha ki an tak to use is roz ki tauheen ki aadat ho jaani chahiye.. magar aaj, na jaane kyon, usse ye be wajah ki baatein bardasht nahi ho rahi thi..

”Yaar you tension bohat leta hai!” Gurmez ne kaha..

Gurmez Yusuf ka sabse achha, sabse sachcha aur sabse puraana dost tha. Bachpan se hi dono saath saath the.. PaDosi the.. saath school gaye.. saath college bhi… aur jab Yusuf ko Bombay me naukri lagi, to Gurmez bhi uske saath chala aaya.. aur kismat kuchh aisi rahi, ki use bhi usi daftar me kaam mil gaya.. Ab dono dost saath saath kaam bhi kiya karte the. Agar Yusuf ab tak pagla nahi gaya tha, to who sirf Gurmez ke saath ki wajah se…

”Yaar Guru..” Yusuf ne thak kar kaha… ”Ab bas.. bohat hua.. ye sab main aur nahi she sakta yaar!.. Had hoti hai.. ye zindagi ka sifar ko kabhi khatm na hoga.. kuchh der ruk to sakta hun na.. “

“Yusuf!! Who Shah group ki file tayyar hui ya nahi??” Sharma ki awaaz aate hi dono yaar kaam karne ka naatak karne lage..

”Ji sir!! Abhi laaya!!” Yusuf ne jawaab diya.. aur phir baRbaRate hue, manager ke cabin me gaya.. jab lauta, to Guru dekh kar hi samajh gaya ki kya beeti hogi uspar..

”HAD HO GAYI!!” Yusuf ne itni zor se kaha ki kuzhh der ke liye office me sab kaam chhod kar use dekhne lage.. Main ab ye nahi kar sakta!!” usne zara dheeme se Guru ko kaha..

Kya nahi kar sakte?? Guru ne poochha.. Y

usuf humesha se zara zyada naraaz lag raha tha.. shayad who naraaz nahi, taish me tha.. aur Yusuf aksar taish me nadaani karta tha.. bachpan se hi… Us din Yusuf ne apna istifa de diya.. Iraada tha, magar phir bhi Sharma kuchh bura bhala nahi kaha.. Shaam jab ghar lauta, to ek ajib sa halkapan mehsus kar raha tha.. jaise seene par se koi bojh utar sa gaya ho.. magar thodi der baad hi, phir se mayuusi, akelapan, use gherne laga.. use samajh nahi aa raha tha ki wo aisa kyon mehsus kar raha hai.. Darwaaze par dastak hui.. Gurmez aaya tha…

Dekh!” Gurmez ne kaha, jab Yusuf ne apna haal bayaan kiya.. "Mujhe to lagta hain ki tujhe sheher aana hi nahi chahiye tha.. Jab tune mumbai aane ka faisla kiya tha, tab bhi maine yahi kaha tha ki tu zyada din wahan nahi tik paayega.. ARE!.. saara bachpan humne jis chhoti si basti me guzaara hai, uske muqaable me ye sheher bohat bara hai mere dost!.. Tujhe is sheher ki nahi.. un galiyon ki zaroorat hai jahan humne saath kaii saal guzaare hain…"

“To ab main kya karun?” Yusuf ne dheere se poochha.. jab ki who jaanta tha, ki use ab kya karna chahiye..Subah hote hi, dono dost apne chhote se sheher ke liye rawaana ho gaye.. Raaste me kaii cheezein dikhi.. pehle to wahi bara sa sheher.. kitne saare log, raaston par kitni bheeR.. aur bheeR me har koi akela.. har koi apne roz marra ki zaroorton ko puura karne ke liye bhaag raha.. koi roti ke liye bheek maang raha tha.. to koi five star hotel me akela baith kar five star khaana kha raha tha.. kitni emaartein guzri, lekin bohat kum ghar nazar aaye.. ye sab soch kar Yusuf muskuraaya…

Raat hui… sannaata chha gaya.. andhere me baahar ki duniya chhup gayi.. bus me sab so gaye.. Yusuf bhi so gaya..

Aaj phir wahi suraj ki kiran ne Yusuf ki aankhein kholi.. magar aaj duniya kuchh alag si thi.. Suraj ki kiran, saaf, roshni se bhari hui… pahaaRon ke peeche se dekhta hua suraj, aaj baadshah lag raha tha.. Kuchh jaane pehchaane manzar guzar rahe the.. Hare bhare khet.. jisme kabhi who daura karte tha.. ek puraana sa bangla, yahaan par sab dost darr darr kar raat guzarte the.. who chhote chhote tile, ghaans oRe hue, jis par baith kar who roz baaghon se churaaye hue phal khaate.. maali ka mazaak uRate.. sab dost, ek saath… Pata nahi, who sab kahan honge.. Yusuf ne khud se baat ki..Gurmez ab bhi so raha tha….

"Guru UTH!!" Yusuf ne Guru ko khoob uThaane ki koshish ki thi.. pehle ahista se.. phir zara zor se.. ab usne use ek zor ka chaaNta lagaaya.. "Oye! Kumbhkaran!! Jaldi se uTH.. apne gau apna des aa gaya!! Chal jaldi kar.."

Gurmez bokhlaaya hua utha.. uTHte hi Yusuf ne uska saamaan uske haathon me de diya.. bus conductor kuchh naraaz lag raha tha.. magar Guru ko samajh nahi aaya ki sab use yun gusse se kyon dekh rahe hain…Dono doston ke utarte hi bus chal paRi.. dono par dhool mitti uraati hui… Yusuf ne pehle apne aap ko dekha.. uske kale shirt pat ret bilkul achhi nahi lag rahi thi.. phir Gurmez ko ghuur kar dekha..

"SAB TERI WAJAH SE!!"

“OYE!” Gurmez ne kaha. "Maine kya kiya??

“Yaar tu so jaata hai to uTh bhi jaaya kar!”

“Main aisa hi hun!!” Guru ne kaha, zara hanste hue.. "Saath chalna hai to bol, warna aage jaakar main bus phirse pakaR sakta hun, samjha kya?”

“Who log tujhe waapas lenge hi nahi!” Yusuf ne hanste hue kaha.. Sirf main hi ek bewakuuf hun to tujhe bardaasht karta hun”

“Teri to!…” Gurmez ne apni chappal haath me li aur ek hanste aur dauRte hueYusuf ke peeche nikal paRa…

Jahaan bus ne unhe chhoRa tha.. usse zara si duuri par hi unka chhota sa shehar tha.. Uski galiyon se guzarte hue bachpan ki kaii yaadein taza ho gayi.. yahan to kuchh bhi nahi badla tha.. wahi dukaane thi.. wahin makaan.. wahi ghar.. wahi log.. chalet chalet, dono dost apne puraane ghar ki taraf baRte gaye..

Kuchh der chalne ke baad, Yusuf achaanak ruk gaya.. Uski nazar ek dukaan par aa thehri thi.. ye jagah kuchh badal si gayi thi… Dukan par koi board nahi tha.. magar wahan aam marra ki har cheez mil rahi thi.. puuri dukaan me chaawal gehu, khaane ka saamaan, saabun, namak, masaala, khilone.. aur sabse aage, kaanch ki barniyon me rang bi rangi mithaiyan.. Ek kone me, galle ke paas baitha, ek baniya.. apne khaate me kuchh likh raha tha…

Kal ki baat lagti thi.. yahan Yusuf ke baba ki chhoti si dukaan thi.. khilonon ki.. wahin lakre ke chhote chhote khilone banaate the uske abba.. apne haathon se.. Yusuf ko yaad tha jab who khud uske liye koi khilona bana kar late the.. kitna pyaar hota tha unki aankhon me.. magar bachpan aur nadaani ne kabhi Yusuf ko ye pyaar dekhne hi nahi diya.. use lakRe ke gudda-guddi, haathi-sher nahi chahiye the.. use chahiye thi awaaz karti, jagmagaati remote control waali gaRiyan.. Jo us chhote se sheher me nahi milti thi.. Aur na hi uske baba ke paas utne paise the ki who bare sheher se apne bete ke liye ye khareed sakein.. Yusuf inke liye zidd karta, uske abba use daNt dete.. Yusuf ye sochte hue so jaata, ki uske abba kitne bure hain..

Kaii saalaon ki baat lagti thi.. Apne bare bare sapne puure karne ke liye, Yusuf bare sheher Mumbai aa gaya tha.. wahan achhi naukri mil gayi thi.. aur dheere dheere who ameer hota ja raha tha.. kum se kum use ye to pata tha ki gar usne grahasti basai, to uske bachchon ko lakRe ke khilonon se nahi khelna paRega.. Uske jaane ke kareeban ek saal baad.. uske abba ki dukaan me aag lag gayi thi.. saara saamaan jal gaya tha… Uske abba, jo us waqt dukan me hi the, usi aag me jhhulas gaye.. hospital me unki maut ho gayi thi..

Yusuf wahan nahi tha…

Ab.. usi dukan ke saamne khaRe, Yusuf ki aankh se ek aansu nikal gaya..

"Kya chahiye baabu??" Baniye ki awaaz ne maano Yusuf ko ek sapne se jagaa diya tha..

"Kuchh khareedna hai kya??"Baniye ne phir se poochha..

Yusuf ne chhote chhote se kadam baRaye us jagah ki or, jahan kabhi uske abba baitha karte the.. Uski nazar khilaunon ki taraf gayi.. waha ek lakRe ka haathi, jagmaati gaRiyon, aawaaz karti guRiyaaon ke beech, akela paRa tha..

Muskuraate hue, Yusuf ne use le liya.Us raat, dono dost ek kiraaye ke makaan me thehre.. Gau ki har baat, har moD, har gali, har chauraahe par ek kissa tha, ek yaad thi, ek kahaani thi.. Saari raat, inhi yaadon ki baatein chalti rahi.. Waqt kab kahan guzar gaya pata hi na chala…

"To ab kya karna hai?’ Gurmez ne poochha..

Yusuf uTh kar khiDki ke paas gaya.. Suraj phir ug raha tha.. ek nayi subah janm le rahi thi.. ek naya din, ek naya zamaana saath lekar aa raha tha.. Yahin aane ke liye who kitna betaab tha.. inhi yaadon ki khaatir uska shehar me dum ghuTta tha.. yahan aakar use pata chala, ki use apne maazi me rehne ki zaroorat nahi thi.. aur naahi use bhoolne ki.. use zaroorat thi apne maazi ke saath aage baRne ki.. Ab use sukuun sa tha.. ab use bhaagne ki koi aas nahi thi.. ab who apne maazi ke saath hi apne bhavishya ka saamna karna chahta tha..

"Chal.. shehar waapas chalet hain yaar.." Yusuf ne kaha.. usne muR kar nahi dekha ki Gurmez ka chehra kya keh raha tha.. Kuchh der tak dono doston ne kuchh na kaha.. bas, aas paas ke sannate ko sunte rahe…

Phir Gurmez ne ek thandi saans bhari aur kaha…Sharma BOHAT bhaRkega!”.. aur dono dost hans paRe…

WWF Earth Hour - 8:30pm to 9:30pm - 28 March 2009


We all have an individual responsibility towards our environment, towards our planet. Let us actively participate in such initiatives. Voluntarily switching off power for an hour every week by everyone would make a huge difference, although it would not impact an individual all that much. Make a difference!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Namma Bengaluru.. Namma Auto Fume!

I hope I got that right!

I had the fortune of travelling by an auto (Rickshaw) this morning after a long time. The company cab, though not air conditioned, still protects you a bit from the pollution. A little trip in an auto really jogs your memory!

It is all ok if you have a blocked nose, the you can actually fool yourself by pretending that the diesel smoke is actually the mist of some distant unseen mountain. If you don't have a blocked nose, never fear, it'll be running into the records by the time you get to work! It is terrible for a person with resporatory problems or is allergic to dust.

I don't know if I am just being nostalgic (overly), but it seems to me that it wasn't this bad 3 years ago when I landed here. Seems to me its getting worse every year! And that too with all these trees around.

So, everyone knows its the diesel, the gov says that most auto's are fitted with LPG kits, but the ones that are not seem to be doing enough damage anyway! Try breathing when one such auto is throttling away next to you in traffic. Why can't ALL auto's be fitted with LPG?? AND the government buses! Some of these buses need to be scrapped, seriously.

I know deisel is cheaper that petrol, but I really think we should think about the environment when we purchase a car. We get LPG cars too (Atleast the small ones). Electric scooters should have been ruling the city, but in 8 months I have hardly seen 3-4 on the road. They are cost effect and cause no pollution what so ever! Reva is can still be spotted once a week maybe, but still, not as much as it should be.

We all know the answers - car pool, use elecrtric cars, switch to LPG, blah blah - but no one ACTUALLY follows it.

I wonder why.

The electricity board had to spend a bomb on television and radio ads announcing (Rather obviously) 'Save fuel, yaani, save money'. they had to link saving fuel to financial gain because only that would get the consumer attention. Who cares about the environment anyway right?

I for one have vowed not to use an Auto until and unless my life (or my job) depends on it. And if I get myself a bike, I am getting an electric one. I hope the people who read this will think about it too.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Recession? So what..


Recession... Down turn.. Slow down.. Lay offs... I am sick and tired of hearing it.


Sure, its bad. I certainly wouldn't want to be out of work right now. But I also know that things could be MUCH worse.


After a tumultous day at work, mind ringing with these words and thoughts, tired as hell.. I headed home. There I was, in my company provided cab, worrying and working myself up into a fever. My cabmates were quieter than usual too (We generally talk away to glory, using the transit time to fool around and release stress before we get home). Bangalore traffic was bad and the heat wasn't helping.


We stopped at a traffic signal.


So lost was I in my tought, that I didnt notice the person standing outside my window, hand extended, palm upheld. My first reaction was to jump with a start! Then I laughed at my own reaction... the person standing outside the window did not. I stopped laughing too.


The person was a kid, not more than 7 or 8 years of age. He had the straightest face I had ever seen, on a kid OR a grown up. One hand was extended palm up towards the closed window. The other was held up parallel to his shoulder. It ended in a stub, just beyond the elbow. No forearm, no wrist, no palm. Just a stub, an extended hand and a straight face.


All I could do was roll down the window, pull a 10 rupee note out of my purse and hand it to him. He took, expressionless, and walked on.


I reached home, changed, went into the washroom... and cried my heart out. What the hell was I thinking??!!


All thoughts of the present economic condition took a walk off the map. I kept thinking of the kid outside the window. I knew that his injury was probably not accidental. We know that little kids are often kidnapped or even sold by their parents, then amputated in some way or the other (Cut off hands or feet, eyes burned into hollows, ghastly wounds made on their bodies on a regular basis). Their life was like this not of their own making, they had no choice in it. They earned not for themselves. They degraded themselves before complete strangers everyday and had no other future in sight. And their I was, worrying about recession and whether I would get a pay hike this year.


I know this is a cliched dialogue, count your blessings. But once in a while, I really think we should. We spend hours and days whining and cribbing and complaining and worrying. While that kid faces what he does everyday, with the straightest face in the world.


There is a lesson. Life is shit sometimes, a lot of time and sometimes all the time. If there is nothing you can do about it, then smile and just face it. Think about what you DO have instead of what you don't. Sure, your dreams just took a back seat and you won't be able to progress for a few years, but you still have a life that you have SOME control over. You control you happiness. You can choose to smile.


YOU don't have reason enough to be the straightest faced person in the world.


Think about it.