Sunday, 23 February 2014

Uff !!!! Ye Seriousness

My cell phone started singing in a loud voice, when I was still asleep, somehow I opened left eye and tried to slap the phone without looking at the screen (who the hell is calling me on a sweet Sunday morning). I buried my face once again in the pillow, but the caller tune was in no mood to stop the chorus, so I picked up the call.

“What’s this, now you are not even picking our calls?  You are in love with somebody, who is he? Don’t tell me that you found him on facebook. Are you crazy, how many times I have told you not to spend too much time on net? “

My sweet Ninni was totally destroyed by this bombardment, but still I was unable to understand what is SHE asking to me?

“What are you talking, what love and what facebook, let me sleep.”

“Ok, so you are still in bed, no problem, call me when you are fully awake. It is Urgent, WE NEED TO TALK.”

After an hour or so, I called her back (HER—my best buddy Rashmita; as her name tells, she is always in a Rush, everything and each matter is a call of Rush Hour for her.)

“Tell me who is he and I guess you are going through a “bad phase” as well.”

“Have you gone nuts or what, I am not in love with anyone, who told you so and what is this “bad phase”??”

“Teena, sweaty, your facebook and Gtalk status updates and video posts are revealing everything. Thank god, Amit told me everything on time, but why the hell are you making it public, why didn’t you call me. I would have …”

Now it was more than my appetite, so I almost shouted, “Are you guys have lost your brains. You are judging my personal life from facebook; it’s just for entertainment, not meant for anything else. I AM NOT IN LOVE.”

“And how Amit reached to this conclusion, there would be many people who update lots of things on fb, so what’s so special about it?”

“Well, he has noticed “Many things” and he was worried for you. He said you are feeling lonely and interacting with unknown people on facebook and …”

“Oh really!!! Thanks a lot for this concern.” I dumped the phone.

It was certainly not the end of the great Indian Worry Drama (more effective than any spicy curry). After 3-4 days, a high-spirited Rashmi was at my home and this time she had a wonderful “Marriage Proposal” for me.

“He is running his Own Shop in that Prime market, he is so charming, so cute, such a handsome. Just meet him once and I bet you will fall in love with him.”  Rashmita Spoke while biting a Dairy Milk, her favorite chocolate and passed it on to me. 

“What kind of shop? And how you found him, do you know him personally, what is his qualification, what about his family?” I throw up all my doubts in one go.

“You are such an idiot. He is running a Watch Repairing Shop and you know his voice is so sweet, he speaks with such a style and his smile….ummm just like Dairy Milk, silky, soft and enchanting.”

“Knock-knock seems you are already in love with him, why don’t you propose him.”

“Ohh gosh, you dumbo, I am making ground for you only, I am not interested in him. I reached to his shop in a very sudden manner, my wrist watch was not working properly and then Raju told me about him, they are friends, you know  ...”

“I see, so its Raju’s ideas, now I am getting everything, carry one.” (I thought)

“What you think of me, am I a stupid like you, no I know how to deal such matters. Just for your sake, I went to his shop couple of times and got friendly with him and then asked him about his background and all ( bahut Achhe se baat ki maine). He is a second year college pass out. And guess what, he too loves Cadbury Chocolate, but he likes 5 Star Fruit n Nuts just like you!!!!! I showed him your pictures that were saved in my phone and told him everything about you.”

These last words rang up loud sirens in my brain, “what do you mean by “Everything”?”

“Umm, your qualifications, present job, family (you are a single child) and Very Pretty. He was impressed. Now do one thing, go to his shop with whatever excuse, take any old watch and say it needs repair and tell him your name and … you know how things works.” (She winked)

“Ohh, I forgot to tell you, he have a freezer/storage box for chocolates and cold drinks in the shop. Just imagine, if you both get married, then whenever, I will be in that market, I can go to his shop and enjoy my dairy milk.” She finished the dairy milk bar however; her face was giving the expressions of “Jo Khaaye Wo Kho Jaaye” the Tag line of 5 Star.

I gave her a weird look... “Do you remember, few months back you were saying similar things about Nikhil. That guy who was working in an American Firm, San Francisco things, he was also very Cute and Handsome and Sweet and rest of his traits I forgot. Oh yes!! His Sweet and Simple Mother, his too good and too cool younger brother who gave a Cadbury Celebrations chocolate pack on your birthday and his Papa Ji.”

“Let me remind you,  your Nikhil Raga  went on for months and finally, One Very Fine day, you were informed by that coolest brother and simple mama that Dear Nikhil is just SSC pass and had to come back to India because the “agent was creating some problems”. I stared at her.

“Ok, that time I did not have proper information and let me also remind you that I shared chocolates with you as well as, you ate all 5 Stars.”

“Proper information!!!!!! But you had Proper Information that Mama dear makes very nice coffee.”

“Ok, ok, that’s an old chapter. Moreover, what do you expect, tell me... in your community, boys hardly opt for higher education and thus get indulge with some sort of business. You won’t get a highly educated guy with an impressive job profile here and mom dad will not permit for inter-caste marriage. Therefore, I am trying to find the best for you.”

“If you don’t want to go the shop then I have to do something, I can’t sit ideal. I am sure; he could be a good match for you. (With these words she obtained a thinker’s position)."
I understood, now nothing can stop and after few minutes, I saw her digging my wardrobe, before I could ask, she found what she was looking for. Yes, an Old Watch (The Treasure of Both Worlds).

I made some in vain efforts to stop her, but soon she left my home with that watch. (After all she is RUSHMITA).

Next day

Since I have joined this government job by Meharbani of RPSC, I used to wonder that why people think that we The Government Employees do not work and take salary for no good reason.  Like any other day, I was going through a long list of tasks, digging files in record room and I thought to bring some files into my cabin.

“Meri Files ko jahaan se laaye ho wahin wapis rakhna. Agar meri files gum ho gai ya mujhe vapis apni jagah par nahi mili to main aage se kisi kaam mein hath nahi daalunga.”

 A sharp and harsh voice echoed. That was our Clerk Sahib the Great, Babu SomPrakash. I am sure he firmly believes that it’s His First and Foremost Duty to Take care of Files. He claims that he knows everything about every case and related people.  I don’t want to give him a chance of complaint so I put all the files back into storeroom and that time I wondered, who is the Officer? Me or Him... I guess I don’t want to know the answer.

“Aapke kaam bhi mujhe karne padte hain bade sahib bhi busy rahte hain. Main sabko cooperate karta hun par mujhe koi nahi karta. Koi baat nahi, main akela hi sab sambhaal sakta hun.”

“Aur aap jab bhi field work ke liye jaayein, tab mujhe bataa kar jaayein, kyonki aapse jyada mujhe har file ki latest situation ke baare mein pata hai”. Abhi phone kiya maine do teen chartered accountant ko aur saare kaagaz mangwaaye hain. Aapse to koi maanega nahi, isliye mujhe ye sab karna padta hai.”

Yeah, I know, how much overburdened you are? That’s why plethora of official papers and documents are spread here and there, everywhere; because you don’t have time to organize them. When we need a particular file, it will take months (and weeks if we are lucky) to find it out. And thanks to your extra work that almost every day I am getting complaints from almost every C.A and his clients.

I wanted to say all this in loud voice, but remained calm because I don’t wanted to give a practical demonstration of “Aa Bail Mujhe Maar”. I went to Asmita’s cabin and as she always knows what is “the Problem”, “chill yaar, give him a 5 Star, you know khaayega toh kahin kho jaayega aur tumhaare section ko is unwanted item se chhutti milegi.” She winked at me. 

In evening, Rushmita stormed into our house, with a little sad face.

“I went to that watch shop.”

“Ok, so  ...”

“That idiot, last time he didn’t tell me that he is already Engaged, now when I asked him directly then only he is saying …”

“Oh wait, what you asked him DIRECTLY?”

“I asked whether he would like to take the proposal further, I asked for his parents contact number and residential address. He could have been a perfect match for you, but its really bad luck. But, don’t worry, he told me that he have a cousin brother who is running a Mobile shop and he is also handsome and ….”

“Shut up Rashmi. You need a break from this job”

“How mean you are…” She left with an angry and irritating argument.

After dinner, I switched on my desktop, login to my gmail account and got busy to finish an incomplete story. After a while, my eyes fell on gmail window bar, somebody has sent a chat message.

“Why you never reply on time, I am waiting from last ten minutes. I know it’s your style to make me wait; you enjoy this.”
Meet mister self claimed Big Man Shekhar, a rotten egg imported from JNU campus (Though, I seriously believe that he is a big black spot on the name of JNU).

“You know, I like to spend for charity, even I have donated a fair amount for the CRY foundation. I have decided to give my car to my sister, I will buy another one. God has given me everything.” (It’s the 100th time you are telling me this fact)

“Could you please choose the color of car for me? I am thinking for the new curtains for my house, what color shall I prefer; I am having Own house in this Nice Locality of NCR.”

“I have so many good friends, all IAS, IPS; they are posted in various states. Do let me know if you ever need any help. I CAN DO ANYTHING, I know some politicians as well as. If I decide something, nothing can stop. You know, I believe in helping others.” Why are you publicizing this, have I asked you anything about your contact list.

“Enough of your speech. Now leave, don’t bug me.” And I clicked the “Block this person” option.  

 Mood was completely spoiled and the story remained incomplete. I took a chilled 5 Star crunchy bar from the fridge and slip into my bed, soon I was snoring, but before going to sleep I didn’t forget to switch off my phone and make a weird facebook status update (just to give some more ideas and clues for Rashmita and her spies).

This post is written for the #CONDITIONSERIOUSHAI contest.   

 Image Courtesy : Google

Saturday, 8 February 2014

कहानी का किस्सा

कभी कभी ऐसा होता है कि कोई किताब, कोई कहानी या कोई किस्सा हमारी अपनी ज़िन्दगी के किसी बीते हुए हिस्से को फिर से दोहरा जाता है और तब लगता है कि "अरे ये तो मैं ही हूँ या मेरा भी कुछ ऐसा ही हाल हुआ करता था." सर्दियों की  सुबह की  गुनगुनी धूप  जैसी यादें, बतकहियां और  कहकहे .... सदियों की एक ऐसी ही सुबह और बारिश मे भीगा ऐसा ही एक दिन स्म्रतियों में एक बार फिर से जाग गया. निखिल सचान की  किताब "नमक स्वादानुसार"  (कहानी संग्रह) की पहली कहानी  है "परवाज" ; दो स्कूली बच्चों नानू और सुब्बु की कहानी, उनके साथ साथ देसी कॉमिक्स के सुपर हीरो ध्रुव, अजूबा, जादुई दुनिया के किस्सों, रहस्य रोमांच की कहानियों और कल्पना की  एक ऐसी ऊँची उड़ान की यात्रा  जिसका मज़ा हम बड़े होने (पढ़िए समझदार ) के बाद नहीं ले सकते। 

इस कहानी से मुझे भी कुछ याद आ गया, तीन लडकियां, एक बड़ी बाकी दोनों छोटी, जो बड़ी थी उसे कॉमिक्स पढ़ने का बहुत शौक था, इतना कि उसके तकिये के नीचे, चादर की सलवटों में कॉमिक्स, बालहंस, नंदन वगैरह छुपी हुई मिल जाती थी (ख़ास तौर पर  जब वो बीमार पड़ती थी तब उसके चाचा और पिता उसके लिए ये कॉमिक्स लाया करते थे और चुपके से तकिये के नीचे रख देते थे कि कहीं माँ को पता ना चल जाए).  दोनों छोटी लड़कियों के घर में कॉमिक्स तो दूर किसी किस्म की पत्रिका, पुस्तक का प्रवेश लगभग निषेध ही था.  कॉमिक्स पर तो हर बच्चे का हक़ है, बिल्लू, पिंकी, चाचा  चौधरी और साबू, ताऊ जी और उनका रुमझुम, बालहंस की परी  कथाएं और चम्पक वन के जानवर; ये सबके दोस्त है ना, मेरे, तुम्हारे और  आपके भी तो  ....  और इसलिए वो बड़ी लड़की उन दोनों छोटी लड़कियों  (जो सिर्फ दो कक्षा छोटी थी) को कॉमिक्स में पढ़ी हुई कहानियाँ सुनाया करती थी, सबसे ज्यादा उनको परियों की  कहानिया अच्छी लगती थी, कभी कभी माइथोलॉजी से या राजा रानी और उनके राजकुमार और राजकुमारियों की  भी  कहानिया उठा ली जाती।  कहानियों का सिलसिला चलता ही रहता था.

घर का कोई शांत कोना, जहां बड़े लोगों का आम तौर पर काम नहीं पड़ता और जहां बहुत छोटे बच्चे आकर तंग नहीं करते )अगर करें तो उनको किसी ना किसी बहाने से तुरंत रवाना कर  दिया जाता था ) … ऐसी ही किसी कोने में घुस कर वो तीनो बैठती और कहानियों का सिलसिला चल पड़ता, एक एक कहानी कई दिनों तक चलती, सुबह स्कूल जाते समय कहानी सुनाई जा रही है, लौट रहे हैं तब भी बैग और बोतल सम्भालते कहानी का प्रवाह कायम है. ज़रा दोपहर की धूप  कम हुई नहीं कि कहने वाली और सुन ने वालियां दोनों तयशुदा जगह पर हाज़िर। जब शाम रात में बदलने वाली होती तब दोनों घरों से आवाज़ आने लगती; और तब इंतज़ार होता कि कब "लाइट जायेगी"  जी हाँ, बाकायदा कहीं से एक देवता ढूंढ निकाले गए जिनका काम था रात को लाइट गुल कर देना, उनको प्रार्थनाएं की जाती कि  लाइट जाए और ज्यादा देर तक जाए ताकि वे लोग घर के बाहर गेट पर लटकते हुए अपना कहानियों का सिलसिला आगे बढ़ा सकें।  अक्सर इन कहानियों का कोई विशेष सर पैर, आदि अंत नहीं होता था, कई बार तीन चार कहानियाँ  एक में ही मिक्स कर दी जाती पर फिर भी ना तो कहानी सुनाने वाले को अपनी क्षमता पर कोई वहम हुआ और ना  कभी सुनने वालियां बोर हुईं।  यहाँ तक कि कभी कहानी के तर्कहीन  या बेसिरपैर के गड़बड़ झाले पर भी कोई सवाल नहीं उठता था. श्रोता इतने धीर और एकाग्र  होकर कहानी सुनते कि किसी भी बड़े लेखक या किस्सागो को जलन हो सकती थी. 

उस बड़ी लड़की के इस कॉमिक्स के शौक को शायद ऊपर वाले का भी  मौन समर्थन था क्योंकि  बहुत जल्दी ही उसकी जान पहचान गली में कुछ आगे रहने वाली  दो बहनों से हुई जो उम्र में तो उस से काफी बड़ी थी पर उनके घर के बेसमेंट में एक खज़ाना था. हाँ, उस बच्ची के लिए वो खज़ाना था; उस बड़े से हॉल  में ढेर सारी  बच्चों की पत्रिकाएं, कॉमिक्स, किताबे भरी पड़ी थी. वो अंकल भी उसे ढूंढ ढूंढ के रोज़ नई  कॉमिक्स और पत्रिका देते।  और आखिर एक दिन आया जब उस ख़ज़ाने का हर मोती, सोने चांदी का हर टुकड़ा उसकी आँखों और हाथों  की यात्रा कर चुका  था.  मज़ा तो उस दिन आया जब,  किराए का मकान ढूंढते हुए वो लड़की अपनी माँ और चाची  के साथ जिस घर में पहुंची, उसे सिर्फ इसलिए पसंद किया गया क्योंकि वहाँ एक बड़ा शेल्फ कॉमिक्स से भरा था और मकान  मालिक के बच्चे भी कॉमिक्स का शौक रखते हैं ऐसी खबर मिली। 

पढ़ने का चस्का ऐसा था कि माँ कहती थी कि ये लड़की किताबे हाथ में लेकर पैदा हुई है. 

निखिल सचान की कहानी के नानू और इस लड़की में अंतर सिर्फ यही है कि नानू को सुपर हीरो और उसकी सुपर पावर्स पर पूरा यकीन था लेकिन हमारी ये गुड़िया सुपर हीरो के बजाय चाचा चौधरी और बिल्लू पिंकी को ज्यादा पसंद करती थी; पर ये कहना  मुश्किल है कि (पढ़िए याद करना ) गुड़िया को इनके अस्तित्व का विश्वास था या नहीं।  

और शायद उन्ही कॉमिक्स की दुनिया उस लड़की को एक दिन  पढ़ने के साथ साथ लिखने का नशा भी तोहफे में दे गई.