आज भी मुजे साफ़ साफ़ याद है। सरस्वती पूजा। बसंतपंचमी के दिन का बेसबरी से इंतज़ार करना। इस दिन की तयारी एक हफ्ते पहले से ही शुरू हो जाती थी। बांस काटना, उसके अलग अलग साइज़ के टुकड़े करना, उन टुकड़ो को अच्छे तरीके से साफ़ करना और फिर उसका एक छोटा सा मंडप बनाना। रंग बिरंगे कागज के त्रिकोण काटना, फूल के अलग अलग डिज़ाइन बनाना, फिर आंटे की लेइ बनाना और गली के बच्चों को इकठा कर मंडप को सजाना। आज भी मुझे उस मंडप में लगे तरह तरह के रंग बिरंगे कागज की डिज़ाइन दिखाई देते हैं।
हफ्ता दस दिन पहले माटी के मूर्ति की बुकिंग शुरू हो जाती थी। मुझे याद है मैं महीना दिन पहले से हर दिन शाम में अपने स्कूल से आने के बाद, कपडे बदल कर, गाय से निकला हुआ गरम गरम कच्चा दूध पी कर सबसे पहले अपनी साइकिल उठाता और तिन मिल दूर मूर्ति मेकर्स के पास पहुच जाता। तब मूर्ति मेकर्स मूर्तियों का फ्रेम बनाते थे या कह लीजिये पुआल का ढांचा डिज़ाइन करते थे। मैं मूर्तियों को देखता और मूर्ति मेकर्स से हिसाब से ही सवाल करता ताकि वो गुस्सा न खा जाये। मैं अपने मंडप के साइज़ में फिट होने वाले मूर्ति का साइज़ देखता और सबसे छोटे साइज़ की मूर्ति ही फिट हो पाती। साथ ही साथ दिमाग में हरदिन कुछ रूपये इकठ्ठा करता! सोचता, पिताजी ड्यूटी से वापस आएंगे तो ठीक है, मूर्ति खरीद पाउँगा वरना मम्मी के पास बिस रूपये मूर्ति के लिय प्लस प्रसाद के बिस; कुल चालीस रूपये। सोच कर ही इम्पॉसिबल लगता था।
कल बसंत पंचमी आने को थी। और मैंने पूरी तयारी कर ली थी। मंडप तैयार था। तरह तरह के डिज़ाइन के कागज के फूल और त्रिकोण काटने वाले छ्विलाजी को हमने पांच रूपये में तयार कर लिए थे। उसकी व्यस्तता को देखते हुए हमने प्रॉमिस कर दिया था की आप जितना कहेंगे उतना हम आपको देंगे लेकिन मेरा मंडप इस गाव का सबसे खूबसूरत मंडप होना चाहिए।हमने किसी बड़े की सिफारिश की ज़रूरत नहीं समझी और सात रूपये लग गए। पांच रूपये उनकी फीस और दो रूपये का उनके लिए पान और ज़र्दा जो उन्होंने पुरे दिन चबाये और थूके। पुरे दिन सोचता रहा साला मूर्ति का बयाना दे रखा है। कही से पंद्रह रूपये आ जाये की जा कर मूर्ति ले आउ। मम्मी ने दादी से कहा। दादी ने कहा था की आज के दिन चाचाजी आने वाले हैं। पैसे वही दे सकते है। सूरज की किरणों के घर तक पहुचने से पहले से ही मैं अपने इमेजिनेशन में चाचाजी को ड्यूटी से घर आते हुए देखता, उन्हें कपडे बदलते हुए देखता, फिर वो घर से बहार आ कर वेरंदा पर बैठते और यही सबसे अच्छा समय होता। क्या कहूँगा उनसे? वो तो डाटेंगे, कहेंगे की पढाई लिखाई छोड़ कर अब ये सब धंधा पानी शुरू कर दिया? जो भी हो मूर्ति तो आएगी और धूम धाम से पूजा होगा। मन ही मन सोचता कही से बारह वाल्ट की बैटरी का जुगाड़ हो जाये तो कल पंडित के मंत्र जाप समाप्त होते ही चाचाजी के कमरे से म्यूजिक प्लेयर लगाकर हिंदी के सुपरहिट गाने बजा देता।
शाम ढल ही रही थी की दूर बांस के बागान के बीचो बीच एक पैडिये रस्ते से कोई आता नज़र आया। बगुले की ध्यान से देखा तो ख़ुशी के ठिकाने न रहे। खूब कुदा, नाचा, इधर उधर भगा। वो चाचाजी थे। जैसे जैसे उनका कदम घर के करीब आता, मेरे दिल की धड़कन उतना ही तेज़ होती। ख़ुशी तो थी लेकिन उनसे पैसे कैसे माँगा जाये? जौसे ही वो आये सबसे पहले हमने उनका चरण स्पर्श किये और घर के अंदर जा कर सबको गुड न्यूज़ दे डाली।
चाचाजी आँगन में गए। दादी और मम्मी के चरण स्पर्श करते हुए चाचिजी के पास पहुच गए जो रोटी बेल रही थी। उन्होंने चाचाजी से थोड़ी अठखेलिय की और अपने कमरे में चले गए और थोड़ी देर बाद बहार निकले। उन्होंने लुंगी और बनियान पहन रखा था। फिर वो आँगन में गए और दादी से पुछा "बाहर किस चीज़ का मंडप लगा है?"
"कल सरस्वती पूजा है।"मैंने अपने मन में ही जवाब दे दिया।मैं उन लोगों से थोड़ी दूरी बनाये खड़ा था। दादी ने मुझे देखा और ज़ोर ज़ोर से हँसने लगी। मेरी समझ में कुछ नहीं आ रहा था। सूरज डूब चूका था। और लगा जैसे मेरे सरस्वती पूजा करने का सपना भी। चाचाजी ने दादी के हाथ में कुछ दिए थे। दादी ने बुलाया और मुझे गले से लगा लिया। वैसे तो दादी हमेशा ही डाँटती, पिटाई करती या फिर टिउसन वाले मास्टर से मेरी शिकायत करती। आज का दिन कुछ अलग था। उन्होंने मेरे मुट्ठी में कुछ पैसे रखे। पैसे मुट्ठी में दबाते ही मैं बाहर भगा और जब मुट्ठी खोली तो यकीन नहीं हुआ, मेरे हाथ में साठ रूपये थे।गली से अपने एक दोस्त को लिया और साइकिल से निकल पड़ा।
मिर्ती वाले के यहाँ पंहुचा तो देखा अभी भी लोग मूर्तियां खरीद रहे थे। मैं अपने मूर्ति के पास गया और देख कर विश्वास नहीं हुआ मूर्ति इतनी सूंदर बानी थी। जबकि हमने अभी मूर्ति का चेहरा भी नहीं देखा था। पूजा के दो दिन पहले से मूर्ति का चेहरा ढक दिया जाता था और उसे पूजा क दिन पूजा से बस थोड़ी देर पहले ही हटाना होता था, वो भी बिना पंडितजी के इज़ाज़त के पहले पॉसिबल न हो पाता था।"तीस रूपये निकालो फटाफट और ले जाओ"।पीछे मुड़ा तो देखा एक मेरे उम्र का लड़का खड़ा था।
"मैंने बयाना दे रखा है, अपने बाप को बुलाओ"। कुछ भी! एक्ससिटेमेंट में।
मैंने मूर्ति मेकर के हाथ में पंद्रह रूपये रखे और अपनी मूर्ति बड़े कोमलता से उठाकर साइकिल के पिछले कैरियर पे एडजस्ट किया और उसके लकड़ी से बने बेस को कैरियर से रस्सी के सहारे कस कर बांध दिया! मित्र नें मूर्ति को पीछे से हलके हाथ से पकड़ लिया. साइकिल का स्टैंड छाट्ट्काते हुए निकल लिया!आज बस ये चिंता होती की कुछ छुट्टियों की तरह बसंत पंचमी भी वीकेंड पे न पड़ जाए और हमारी एक छुट्टी बर्बाद न हो जाये!
Author: Anamika Mishra
About the book: Tulip Hill is an obedient and intelligent daughter to her disciplinarian parents. She has been a topper throughout her school, because her parents wanted her to be. Now, they want her to enroll in one of the best colleges. But Tulip harbors the desire to become a singer, for music is her only passion that helps her see through life's miseries.
Then there is Sam-witty, easy - going and flirty. Both Tulip and Sam share their love for music. Yet, both dream of a different life.
What are these dreams? What happens when they meet and enter the biggest duet competition together? Will their love blossom during this emotional roller-coaster?
Join the voiceMates in their musical journey to know more!
Review: Like everybody has passion for something apart from study, Sam and Tupil loved music. Study is most important for parents. Not for kids, generally!
Tulip is a topper, because she has to be. Most of the kids have to be toppers in their class, school, district, state and country when we talk of India!
If you have love and passion for something genuinely, each and everything of this world try to get you that thing. Same happens with Tulip who wants to win a duet music competition. But to participate she needs a partner. She is a kid of very rich parents but she has limited access to things, place and people.
She get it one day. She meets Sam coincidentally when she is singing a song before kids. She loves singing so she sings with her heart. Life become easy for her as her partner looks perfect to win the duet competition.
Like in most of the Bollywood films there are villains. VoiceMates also have it. Tulip's parents who hate music and such talent based reality shows. Tulip anyhow manages to clear the rounds and reaches semifinals which she and Sam clear easily.
For finals they have to perform outside their city for which they have to stay there for a week. Sam convinces Tulip's parents to let her perform. The parents show their love for their only kid and allow.
At the beginning of this musical journey Tulip starts feeling something for Sam but Sam takes her as his singing partner only. At the end just before finals Sam introduces a beautiful girl to Tulip as his fiancée. Just before live final performance. Tulip anyhow controls herself and finishes her lines of the song with full of emotion as the song is based on her present condition so she sings it with her heart and emotion.
They win the show!
Tulip learns that shedding tears for the one who was never hers is useless.
My view: Author has introduced something fresh and new which should be appreciated. Such stories should be penned down. I loved the innocence that the author has maintained in the characters throughout the story. This is her achievement. The story is for all age groups. The author has kept the language plane that attracts vast readers in India. Good effort by the editor who has made the book error free.
I wish Anamika all the best for her next book.
Generally, at eighteen we get into colleges where with our first step inside the college campus, a sense of hope, trust in ourselves, and a passion to do anything in our life generates in our heart.The weight of heavy bags on our shoulders reduces. The uniforms disappear from our views. Suddenly a sense of freedom starts running through each single cell of our body. We forecast a carefree life.During admissions, seniors help us so much that a feeling of love and respect develops for them inside us automatically. We come to know that there are many people other than our parents who have just walked into our life to help us. To guide us. It injects the next level of confidence into our soul.Till then, we don’t have any idea about university election and we also don’t know that the seniors, who have just helped us belong to some party and they would come in groups in our class to make us understand the right of voting! They talk big and small issues which look senseless to us because we have just forecasted a carefree life and now, they try to make us realize that how important the voting is, which actually has nothing to do with what we have dreamt for. They make all efforts to make us understand that we should cast our first vote here only. Or we need to start voting right from there only. At the same time they stay neutral when we ask ‘who to vote for?’ They say ‘it’s your choice.’At this age, our country allows us to vote and our constitution think that we are now ready to take our decisions which will involve us in the selection procedure of leaders.Now, we understand what voting is and its power that shows our importance in our own eyes!But the question is; who to vote for?On what ground we should cast our votes?Which party is clean?How they have been doing since the university was built?The warm air of election generates some interest in knowing more about it, its workers and the college issues at different levels but at the end of the day we try to stay out of it. The party workers, seniors, the nominees and the old veteran leaders (whose political career start and end inside the boundary of college campus) talk big whose major portion cross over our heads.After some dramas, we come to see cops roaming around in our college campus which generates curiosity at one side and on the other side, the fear of facing cops disappears from our heart.The day of voting comes!In the morning of the day, we don’t have any idea or till then we don’t decide which party should we vote for? We call our friends over phone and talk of it. Their situation is similar. We gather and meet outside the voting area and on the spot it is decided which party is the best!Next day, we see the election result on national news channels and read it in newspapers as well and then we come to know which party we’ve voted for. And that’s the beginning when we sit and think of the value of our voting rights.Some lucky guys already know their rights and duties but almost 85% of the kids are not that fortunate to have such parents who could teach them that they are of more use that studies. In place, they suggest their kids to stay out of the election stuffs as they say ‘goliaan chalti hai. Yeh sab gunde mawaliyon ka kaam hai. Maar kaat karte hai!’In the evening some people sit in the studios of different news channels and discuss over the result. Most of them are the politicians at national level. If their party in college wins they pat themselves and talk big. The loosing parties drag the discussion to the right direction and talk of development and other stuff and sing the song of their past when their parties had won some time.
But where are those leaders who win these elections at university level across the country?
It was a fine sunny day. The sun was up in the sky and was shining brilliantly. The air around was hot and calm. Images of flames could be seen at distant. After taking a lunch break, workers had resumed breaking the big loafs of soil into fine sediments.Santo Bai was busy working with her shovel. She was tall and well built woman in her early thirties. Every time she hit the loaves with her shovel, her muscles got tighter and her big breasts bumped first up and then down. She had a broad figure and the muscles had perfectly filled her broad bones and she looked like a lady belonging to the family of a king. It was heard that her mother was a maid in the king’s palace and the king was in love with her. And Santo was the fruit of their love that ended after her mother got pregnant with a baby. She was thrown out of the palace and the state. Since then the maid lived in other village and joined to a group of lady workers but soon she died just after popping Santo out of her womb. She was blessed with the physical features of the great king and was grown up by the other neighboring ladies and was taught farming. She was married to a man of thirty five when she was eleven. She had to join to the fields the day she came to her man’s house.
When she got her full youthfulness, her man was becoming older. Young boys and men would look into her eyes and would ask her to run away with them. She enjoyed the attention she was getting from the sepoys of the king but never let anybody touch her. However she was burning with her desires to make love with someone of her age group but the fear of society inside her never allowed her to do so.***Something wrong was just said into her ears by her co-worker. She looked into her the co worker’s eyes, turned her face and threw her shovel away. She pulled the front boarder of her saree, tucked it on her waist and began running towards the peepul tree which was the only tree in acres of fertile land. She paused for seconds, looked at the bottom of the tree where her lunch box and other belongings were kept and resumed running.When she reached near her house, she found the front verandah occupied by a huge crowd of men. Her heartbeat rose up. Her body shook with fear. She still had some hope and she looked up into the sky and prayed to god, ‘God, please don’t turn my fear into reality’, and she moved on, slicing the crowd. When she crossed the group of men and reached to the other end, she found the ladies sitting surrounding her husband, who was lying on the ground with his eyes closed and mouth opened.As soon as the ladies saw Santo Bai, they jumped up and ran to her, crying strangely. She fell on her husband’s feet and started weeping. The ladies wept with her, hugging each other. They cursed Gods together. They broke her bangles. An old lady wiped the vermilion off her forehead. New ladies from neighboring kept on joining the scene one by one and wept and they wept in such a manner that looked as if they were singing some folk songs. She was becoming unconscious. Her body was falling freely. Some ladies caught her and made her sit. As soon as Bai got to sit, she started scratching her face, pulling her hair and abused everybody.‘She has become mad in pain of losing her husband.’ People thought.Suddenly, she became quiet and wept quietly. All of a sudden, she pushed the ladies away who were sitting holding her and started slapping her forehead then she beat on her chest and abused god as if the god had come down to earth to kill her husband. She pulled her hair and hugged her husband’s dead body and cried, saying, ‘how can you die so early?’ However, she never loved her husband when he was alive. There was a huge gap between their ages and so they never understood each other.She crouched and sat next to her husband’s body and welled liked a small kid. Tears flushed down her cheeks. Men stood around and watched the scene quietly. They looked at each other and talked with their eyes. Some of them were getting the preparations done for the funeral. Some were sent to meet the men who could do preparations for burning the body. Some were sent to call the pundits who could do the final rituals.Four hours had passed. The lady had lost all her energy. She looked lifeless. She was half sitting and half lying next to the dead body which was now placed on a pyre that was made up of dry bamboos in the form of small ladder, suiting perfectly fit with the height of the dead body and was filled with dry clean grass. The body was decorated with new piece of cloth printed with the word ‘Ram’ everywhere and some flower designs. Scented sticks burned before the body’s feet and head. The head pundit along with her four disciples arrived on the site to do the rituals for the final goodbye to the dead body.***The dusk had fallen down. Some men had left to finish their cattle work. It was turning dark. The lady was brought inside the house and was undressed by the other ladies. They bathed her with new soaps and washed her hair with red mud. She was then worn by wedding saree and new undergarments. Vermilion was rubbed all around on her forehead and front part of hair. Kohl was applied around her eyes. Her body was loaded with all the jewelries that she had been gifted at the time of her wedding.She looked perfectly like a new bride. The ladies called for the head pundit. He came in and was marched to the Santo. She was sitting in the middle of the courtyard and a 4X4 sq mm area around her was covered with yellow dhoti that made the lady invisible form outside world. The pundit went inside the covering area. A small kerosene lamp was flickering in the middle of the area covered with the dhoti. The lady was sitting like a bride to be married before the lamp. Pundit kept his elements on the ground and crouched to sit on his asan. The other ladies sat at some distance and sang songs. This was the final ritual that the lady had to go before getting burned with her husband’s dead body.Pundit took little water in his hand and threw some drops on the ladies. He slowly opened his holy book and began chanting mantras. The other ladies picked up a great pace of singing and their voice rose up higher. Santo Bai dropped the part of her wedding saree down her shoulders and stretched her chest outside that made the part of saree fall down. Pundit continued chanting his mantras. She unhooked the topmost button of her blouse. Pundit’s chanting speed got distracted. His eyes stared at her breasts. He stared on her with more intense and chanted mantras with less focus. The ladies continued the songs. Santo unhooked the third and last button. Pundit stopped chanting and stared around. She smiled and blew the flame of kerosene lamp with full might. It died. Pundit resumed chanting mantras in the darkness. The lady jumped and reached to the pundit and caressed him with her soft body and kissed him on his ear.‘Fuck off you unholy woman. I’ll curse you.’She said nothing and continued seducing him.‘What do you want?’‘Don’t let me die. I want to live.’ Her eyes filled with tears.‘It’s impossible now. You’ll have to burn yourself with your husband.’‘Help me escaping from this village. You can find me easily and can fuck me every day.’The ladies stopped singing outside after they discovered the light had died inside the area. One of them took the matchbox and came near the dhoti and asked Santo Bai to show the lamp to her.Santo hooked her buttons and composed herself quickly and followed the lady’s request. The lamp was lit and the mantras continued for some more time. Without focus this time!After some time, the pyre was lifted up by four men on their shoulders and was marched outside, chanting, ‘Ram naam satya hai.’ The crowd trailed behind them with lamp and other belonging. The head pundit was walking with his disciples ahead of the crowd. They were discussing something. Santo was walking with the ladies who kept singing songs.***They arrived on the bank of holy river Ganges. The patromax was lit and the pyre was kept on a heap of dry woods and sandal sticks were put around it. A bucket of ghee was emptied on the dead body. And the other was opened for the lady. The other rituals were done by the pundits. People listened to them and waited for the final words.‘Listen, everybody.’ Pundit began, clearing his throat. He continued, ‘this lady has some faults in her stars. Before putting her on the pyre, she is needed to take 11 holy deeps into the river. And she will have to walk into the water alone.’People followed the holy man’s order and requested Santo to do so.Santo knew there was something for her but she had no clue what it was. She had successfully seduced the pundit and she knew the power of seduction. She walked slowly and entered into the water. The water was cold and calm. Each slap of her feet on water could be heard clearly. The water level rises up from her ankle to her knee and it travelled her body to reach to her neck. She stood and looked behind. She turned her head back to the river and blocked her nostrils with her fingers and dipped her head into water.Someone was already there inside water!Note: The story is a complete work of fiction and there is no resemblance of it with anybody and any place.
The journey of Breaking Up the Shackles which is my first book has dived deep into the international literature market in the category of Crime, Suspense & Thriller.It is swimming in the amazon sea with the suspense thriller masterpieces like the books of John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon, Sherlock Holmes, David Baldacci, Daniel Silva, James Patterson, Lee Child, Jeffrey Archer, Ashwin Sanghi and many more.It really feels great to see my first book with such wonders.This is motivating to write better and more.A special thanks to the readers who have made the book so.Thank you.
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