Baarish ki boondein…

“tin tin tin tin…”, uuhhhnn, ye alarm humesha time pe kyun bajte hain, inhe neend nahi aati kya, wo bhi subh me, subh me to aur achi neend aati hai, kuch sapno ke saath, kuch apno ke saath. Apne, huh, ye shabd to main door apni mitti me saalon pehle chhod aaya tha, shayad apno ke liye hi.
Main uth ke baith gya, palkein jhapkata, halki si angdai, halki si wo subh ki sihran se khud ko sikodte hue se. Subah ke 6:30baj rahe the, khidki se bahar dekha to kuch dhundhla sa bas itna laga ki ab bhi kafi kohra hai, lagta hai aaj bhi lambi wali coat me hi jana padega office. Tabhi darwaza dhire se kholte hue safed satin ki gown me wo kamre me aayi aur mujhe dekh kar boli, “ are aap itni jaldi kyun uth gae? Bhul gaye kya, aaj Sunday hai. Aur bahar bahut thand bhi hai, baarish ke aasaar lag rae hain shayad. Aap so jao abhi, main thodi der mumma se baat kar ke aati hun.” Itna keh kar wo chali gai kamre se, meri biwi thi,are matlab hai.
Main yunhi bed pe baithe kambal odhe khidki ki or dekhne laga, ki tabhi tap tap tap aur fir chhharrrr chhharrrr karti hui baarish ki boondein pure Dubai ki eeton ke saath salsa karne ko tayyar thi. Mitti ki sondhi khushboo mere kamre me failne lagi par inme wo baat nahi thi jo mere desh ki mitti me thi. Main bhi apni khidki se unhe dekh kar apni aankhon me kuch dard aur kuch pyaari yaadein sametne laga, jaise kisi purani movie ki dvd laga di ho.
Khushi naam tha uska, thodi pagal thi. Han bas ye shabd kafi tha uske bare me batane ko. Hum pehli baar baarish me mile the, nahi mile nahi the, maine dekha tha usko. Ek haath me kuch shopping bags pakde hue aur ek haath se apne chhate ko kholne ki nakaam koshish karte hue road cross kar rahi thi. Main aur mere dost cigarette ki ek chhoti si dukaan pe baarish ki chhap chhap me dhuein ke chhalle bana rahe the. Wo jaise jaise sadak ke us paar se is paar aate gai, main apne doston ke aage pichhe hote hue use dekhta gaya. Usne syahi rang ki kurti aur kale rang ka salwar pehna tha jo baarish me bheeg ke uske badan se gale lagae hue tha. Us waqt tobas itna hi dimag me aya ki ahh kaash ki wo nili kurti hota main. Bahut hi awara kism ka, ladka hua karta tha main. College ke suhane din the, padhai to nahi han aur bahut kuch hota tha. Din aur raat ne to jaise “le tu meri jagah pe khade ho ja main teri” kar lia tha. Cigarette aur ladki dono jitne pankh laga ke aati hain na utni hi gati se chali bhi jati hain. Par us din ki baarish to aankhon me koi aur hi rang chhadhane aayi thi. Mere doston ka dhyan bhi uski hi taraf gaya, koi siti bajane laga to kisi ke muh se aahon ki awaaz aane lagi, mann to kia saalon ka muh tod dun, bhala kisi ladki ko dekh ke aise karte hain kya. 2min ruka aur socha ,ye, ye main soch raha hun. Ye mujhe kya ho raha tha. Wo ladki humein cross kar ke aage jane lagi to mere ek dost use ghoorte hue kaha, “haaye ye baarish roz kyun nahi hoti…”. Usne sun ke ansuna kar diya aur aage chali gayi, fir dheere se thoda palti aur boli,
“huhh kutte… baarish hoye meri jooti se, wo bhi tere sir pe”.
Tabhi dubara darwaza khula, meri biwi ne pucha, “coffee piyoge kya??” “Haan, de do, aaj ka newspaper aa gaya hai kya, wo bhi leti aana.” Wo chali gai. Aur main baarish ki chhap chhap me purane bikhre panno ko palatne laga.
Main college padhne to jata nahi tha to kuch khabar nahi rehti thi kya chal raha hai class me. Ek din college ke Director ne hum 9 doston ki calling ki. Shabdon ke jo utha-patak kiye unhone, aisa laga ki wo jo kaala wala electric tape aata hai na, itna chipkaun unke muh pe ki 7pusht goongi niklegi, par shraddha poorvak hum sir neeche jhukae, sorry sir karte rahe. Unhe humare class na karne se professors ne complain ki thi. Wahan se nikalte hi, mere ek dost ne kaha, “yaar, ye itna chillata hai, soch iski beti kitna chillayegi, hehh, huhh..”, aur hum khub hanste huye fir apne adde pe, wahi cigarette ki, chachcha ki shop pe chale gaye.
Agle din hum class me gaye, bina kisi copy-pen ke, bas low waist jeans, shirt ke upar ke 3 button khule, baba re, meri class me itne saare students the pata hi nahi chala kabhi. Kuch kuch ko pehchaan raha tha but kai chehre naye the. Unhi me ek chehra uska bhi tha, wahi baarish wali ladki ka . Muh me pen dabaye book read karte hue apni ungliyon ko baalon ki laton me gol gol se ghumaye ja rahi thi. Main kabhi aage kabhi picche kabhi thoda jhuk ke uski jhalak le raha tha, yaar hansti bade pyaar se thi. Sach me dimag ke khali dhol me nagaade bajane lag gai thi wo.Aur us din to professors ne pani me bhiga bhiga ke jo taano ki barsaat ki thi, kya bataun main. Par fir mujhe class karne ka naya reason mil gaya tha. Main roz use dekhta, aur isi bahane kuch padhaya hua sun leta. Ek din kuch seniors ne class me aake intro lena shuru kia, tab pata chala, Khushi naam tha uska.
Main apne doston ke sath kam rehne laga tha, din bhar to class karne jata fir room pe aake usi ke khayalon me khoya rehta tha. Sari mastiyan, wo raaton ki bike racing, ghoomna, maarna peetna, sab chhoot gaya, cigarette, nahi ye to ikka thi, us din chhootegi jis din rani aa jaegi. Main use hanste dekhta, sab se baatein karte sunta, chhoti chhoti harkatein karte dekhta, bilkul bachchi si lagti mujhko. Fir ek din badi himmat se uske pas gaya, “Excuse me”, “ Main?”, “ Hanji, kya aap mujhe computer organization ke notes de sakti hain?” “Haan, ye rahi, par thik se rakhna.” “ Ya, ya sure, thank you.” Bas itni hi formality kar paya main usse. Fir notes lautane se canteen ki coffee tak baat gai. Padhai se philosophy se likes-dislikes se chhote chhote sapno ki baton pe pahunche hum. Din beette gaye aur uske saath hi meri betaabiyan. Ab roz main usse pehle class me pahunch jata tha. Use impress karne ke naye bahane dhoondhta tha. Hum batchmates se just-friends se good-friends bane. Mere dost uske naam se chhedte mujhe, acha to lagta tha but main unse kehta, “are aisa kuch nahi hai yaar…”
Wo har Sunday kahin jati thi, pata nahi bataya nahi kabhi usne, na uski doston ko pata tha. Ek Sunday maine subah subah hi chupke se peechha kia uska, pata nahi kahan kahan kaisi galiyon me jate jate achanak ek ghar me ghus gai. Mujhe bar bar lag raha tha yhan kya hai, kaise pata karun. Kuch der baad kuch yhi koi 30-35 umra ke kuch aadmiyon ko jate dekha, samajh nahi aya ho kya raha tha. Mann me itna uthal puthal chal raha tha, jab nahi raha gaya to main bina kuch soche andar chala gaya. Main uske saamne tha, “tum??, tum mera peechha kar rahe the??” Kaash ki use bata pata ki gusse me wo aur bhi achi lag rahi thi. “ Khushi tum mujhe galat samajh rahi ho, main bas…” “Kya, huhh, tum ye jaanna chahte the ki main har Sunday kahan jati hun, hai na, aao mere saath.” Keh ke wo mera haath pakad ke le jaane lagi. Pehli baar chhua tha usne mujhe, kuch ho raha tha andar yaar, ladkon ki feelings ladkiyan itna complicated kyun bana deti hain? Wo dekh lein pyaar se ek bar to saans ruk jae, wo muskura de to waqt tham jae, aur kasam se agar chhu de yun zara sa, to… ye ek ladka hi samajh sakta hai.
Andar ek aangan tha, usne jaise darwaza khola, saamne dhher saare chhote bachche the, koi gubbaron ke saath koi foolon ke saath, wo aadmi bhi the, kuch check up karte hue.
Khushi-“ Ye mera ghar hai, 11 saal ki thi jab papa-mumma ki death ho gai thi, meri daai-maa mujhe yhan le aayin thi, tabse yhi mera ghar hai, yhi mera parivaar.” Main sirf use dekhta reh gaya, wo Khushi asli thi jise main itne mahino se jan raha tha ya ye Khushi asli hai jise main ab dekh raha tha. Mann me to aya ki use apne seene se laga lun aur uske saare dard le lun. Wo itni masoom mujhe pehle kabhi nahi lagi. Han pagal hi to thi jo itna kuch sehne ke baad bhi humesha hanste rehti thi. Main khud ko rok nahi paya, aur tabhi mujhe ehsaas hua ki meri aankhon se aansu nikal rahe the aur main wahi pas ki chair pe baith gaya tha. Wo mere bagal me aake baith gai. “Arre nahi ro na please shona, mujhe aadat ho chuki hai in sab cheezon ki.” Uski baton se shayad upar wale ko bhi rona aa gaya, jo badal ghir gaye the aur ek dum se baarish hone lagi. Aisa movies me dekha tha par abhi kaise kyun ho gaya, nahi pata. Uske muh se “shona” acha laga sun ke. Usne mujhe normal karne ke liye baat palat di. “Tumhe baarish kaisi lagti hai?” “Thik thik, jab tak wo koi problem create na kare.” “Baarish koi exam hai kya jo problem karegi, hhmmm?” Kehte hue wo bahar chali gai, saare bachchon ko andar kar ke khud bheegne lagi baarish me, dance karne lagi. “Tumhe pata hai, jab baarish ki boondein mere badan pe padti hain to aisa lagta hai, mera rom rom mujhse baatein karna chahta hai, ve kehte hain ki Khushi tu jhoom, jitna khush hona chahti hai ho, in baarish ki boondo me aansu nahi dikhte hain, so sirf hasna, aaj bhi zindagi bhar bhi.” Main uski baatein sun to raha tha par usse zyada kuch aur acha lag raha tha. Wo puri bheegi hui thi, jhoom rahi thi, hans rahi thi, aur mujhse baatein kar rahi thi, uske khule baalon se pani tapak ke uske adhron pe aa raha tha, bhige kapde uske badan ko jhalka rahe the, kajal thode faile hue se. Mere kadam ruke hi nahi, main uske kareeb gaya, bahut kareeb. “Tum, tum ye kya kar rahe ho.” Wo sehem si gai meri aankhein dekh kar. “Can I dance with you?” Wo muskurai, “Ya sure, but there’s a problem.” “What?” Wo dono anguthe dikhate hilate hue, apni eyebrows uthate hue boli, “I don’t know how to dance.” “Step on my feet” “Okk..” She stepped on my feet, thoda ladkhadate, thoda muskurate, but I was stiff with a short smile. “Tumhe dard to nahi ho raha?” “Agar dard ise kehte hain, to main chahta hun ye mujhe roz ho.” Usne apne arms mere neck ke around rakh lia. Main apne arms uske waistline pe leke gaya, “With your permission?” Usne sir hila dia. Main feet aage pichhe karte raha. That was the day, I loved rains to eternity.
Mujhe laga tha ki pyaar mujhe hua hai sirf abhi par aag dono taraf se thi. I was sure about our future, wo orphan hi thi, mere ghar pe 3 behen me eklauta bhai hun, papa ka acha business chal raha hai,and mumma, she was the next one who met Khushi.
Meri coffee saamne aa gai thi, “Freshen up ho jayiye aap to breakfast saath karenge.”
7:45 ho rahe the, par aaj kambal me apni coffee ke saath baarish ki yaadon, fir kahunga kuch dard ki kuch pyaari, me hi rehne ka dil ho raha tha.
Saal beette gaye, humare beech baatein badhti gai. Actually, baatein humesha wo karti thi, mera kaam tha sunna, aur use jee bhar ke dekhna, bich bich me hunn hunn nikal jata tha muh se. Fir wo kehti, tum meri baat nahi sun rahe the na,kya hunn hunn kar rahe ho,keh ke paer jhatak ke chali jati, fir main use haath pakad ke apne pas khinchta aur “Sorry shona, sorry shona” karta, kyun pata nahi. Main use koi aansu nahi dena chahta tha, na kabhi uska koi mann maarna chahta tha. Koi mujhse ek wish maangne ko kehta agar to wo hoti ki ek subah uthun jab to uske baalon ki ek lat mere lips pe ho, uski saansein meri neck pe, uske haath mere pet pe aur main dheere se uth ke uske forehead pe kiss karun. I could have died to live that moment.
Hum final year me the, again baarish ka mausam. Uska bhutta khane ka mann kar raha tha, to hum sadak ke kinare bhutta khate hue tehel rahe the aur uska all time favourite- baarish me bheeg rahe the. Achanak se wo mere saamne aa ke khadi ho gai.
Me-“Kya hua?”
She-“Can we kiss?”
Hum dono ek dusre ko naughty smiles de rahe the.
Me- “And what makes you feel that we should kiss here?”
She-“ because you love me.”
Me-“ Wow, and who told you this?”
She-“ Tia told me.”
Me-“ Who’s this Tia?”
She-“ Our future daughter…”
Me-“ Whhattt??? You are totally mad Khushi.” I could not help but smile.
She-“ Alright then you kiss the mad girl, and I’ll kiss my Prince of Venice.”
And this was the second time I felt like saying, Rains I love you. Yes we kissed, passionately, in the rains on the road. That’s exactly how beautiful a first kiss should be for any couple.
Me-“ I love you Shona….Be mine forever please…”
She-“ On one condition.”
Me-“ What?”
She-“ If we’d kiss the same way “in the rains, on the roads” on every first rain of the year.”
I just had an option to smile and hug her tightly. Sooner we realized, we were surrounded by hundreds of passer-bys. That was embarrassing when so many eyes have caught you red handed kissing your girl amidst everyone. We actually eloped as fast as possible.
Din jaate gaye aur main jeeta gaya. Han bas jab exams hote to hum thoda sincerely padhte, else to pure time, shona ye shona wo. Humne itne saare chhote chhote sapne bana liye the ki unse nikalna mushkil tha, room kaisa hoga, bed kaisa hoga, diwar pe kya kya lagega, kaun sa colour, sab kuch.
Final year November ka month tha. Humare college me student union ke kuch elections the. Mera ek dost bhi khada ho raha tha, main uske saath elections ki tayyariyon me lag gaya. Shona kuch udaas si rehne lagi thi, par maine usse kaha ki bs kuch din ki baat hai, fir I’ll be with her. She co-operated with me so well. She was my girl, truly.
Yaadein kuch dhundhlane si lagi. Baarish ka dard bhi to aana tha. Bahut thand ho rahi thi, aur halki baarish si bhi ho rahi thi. Election ka din tha. Bahut bheed, sab apne apne dal ko aage advertise karne me lage hue the, line convincing chal rahi thi. Polling booth pe line lagi hui thi. Tabhi wahan kisi baat pe ladaiyan ho gai, puri afra tafri ho gai, 10min me. Opposite party ke ek ne mujhpe pistol taan di, main bhi junoon me tha so use aur gaaliyan dene laga, mere saamne tani pistol bas chal hi di thi us garmagarmi me aur mujhe ye tak sochne ka waqt nahi mila ki hat jaun main. Maut ko itne kareeb se aate hue pehli baar dekh raha tha, zindagi ke saare rang aankhon ke saamne aa gaye, Khushi ka chehra dikhne laga, uske saath ki har baat har pal meri aankhon ke saamne aa gaye,maine aankhein band kar li, aur muh se bas “sorry Khushi” hi nikal paya.
Dhadd… “Aahhh” ki awaaz aayi to aankh khul gai, Jane kab bheed me se Khushi mere saamne aake khadi ho gai thi jisse goli use lag jae. 15sec me kya hote hote kya ho gaya tha. Main samajh nahi paya aur wo meri baahon me gir gai. Pagal kaha tha na maine use, pagal ab bhi muskura rahi thi. “Ye kya kia tumne Khushi?” “Shona, mujhe kuch nahi hoga.” “Chupp, bilkul chupp”
Main use godd me utha ke daudte hue gaya ki koi vehicle kuch bhi mil jae, meri jaan meri baahon me dam tod rahi thi. Kisi ki car mili, hum hospital ja rahe the, par baarish ke karad raaste block the. Meri shona meri godd me saansein gin rahi thi, aur meri dhadkanein mera saath chhod rahi thi. Main uske fingers ko kiss kiye ja raha tha aur roe ja raha tha. Use kho nahi sakta tha, wo bhi apni galti ki wajah se. Usne kaha-“ Shona, apni mumma ko sorry keh dena. Aur kuch kehna tha tumse..” “Haan jaan bolo na” “Mujhe tumhari aankhein bahut bahut pasand hain, inme promise karo kabhi baarish ki boondein nahi aane doge.” Maine use kas ke apne seene se laga lia aur foot foot ke rone laga. Tabhi ehsaas hua ki saansein tham si gai hain aur meri dhadkan ruk si gai hai. Ek pal me mera sab bikhra sa lag gaya mujhe.
Coffee thandi ho gai thi, aur aankhon me baarish bhi aa gayi thi. Sorry shona tumhara promise yunhi aksar toot jaya karta hai mujhse. 6saal ho gaye the is baat ko par ab bhi ghaav gehre the. Isiliye maine India chhod dia, wahan rehta to us haadse se bahar nahi nikal pata kabhi. Main niche kitchen me apni biwi ko coffee ka mug dene gaya. Wo breakfast bana rahi thi. Maine usko dekh ke smile kia. Fir khud ko sambhaalne ke liye use pichhe se waistline ke around pakad lia.
Me-“ I love you, shona.”
She-“Ohh, aaj biwi pe pyaar aa raha hai janab ko.”
Me-“ Bahar chalo na…”
She-“ kyun kya hua shona?”
Me-“Aaj saal ki pehli baarish hai, tumse promise kia tha na “in the rain, on the road”….”
She smiled. We went, I again felt the same intimacy that we had for the first time, and again I said, Rains, I love you…..
She went through 2 surgeries, papa ne Pune se best doctors bulvaye the, they saved her life, no actually they saved ‘my’ life.
Hum ghar me wapas aaye, to saamne se daudti hui 3 ½ saal ki Tia aayi, aadhi aankh kholte hue aur humein dekh kar boli, “awww daddu ne mumma ko fil chhe pyaal tia…” I laughed and hugged my both the worlds.

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