Wednesday, August 22, 2018

परसाई की रचनाओ का रंगमंचीय दृष्टिकोण ’

- अख्तर अली
हरिशंकर परसाई को पढना स्वम को अपडेट करना है | जब हम परसाई जी को पढ़ रहे होते है दर असल उस क्षण हम अपने समय को पढ़ रहे होते है ,अपने आस पड़ाेस  को पढ़ रहे होते है , अपने संस्कार का अध्ययन कर रहे होते है ,अपनी चूक पर दण्डित हो रहे होते है ,अपने गैर जिम्मेदाराना हरकतों को स्वीकार कर कान पकड़ कर उठक बैठक लगा रहे होते है |
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 परसाई जी की कोमल शब्दों की वाणी बहुत कठोर है | वाक्यों में निहित व्यंग्य परसाई जी के तरकश का सबसे अहम् तीर है | कलम तलवार होती है इस कहावत को सही रूप में परसाई जी ने ही साबित किया है |
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परसाई जी ने हिंदी क्षेत्र में वयंग्य को स्थापित किया है , इसके पहले साहित्य में तंजो मजाह शैली/विधा में उर्दू के रचनाकार कृशन चंदर ,फ़िक्र तौस्वी ,शौकत थानवी ,इब्ने इंशा , इब्राहिम जलीस ,मुजतबा हुसैन का ही बोलबाला था ,हरिशंकर परसाई ने हिंदी में वयंग्य को स्थापित किया है |
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मै मूलतः नाटककार हूँ | जब मै लिखता हूँ तब मेरी कल्पना में रंगमंच रहता ही है लेकिन जब मै कुछ पढ़ रहा होता हु तब भी मेरे तसव्वुर में रंगमंच ही घूमता रहता है | लोग कविता में बिम्ब तलाशते है और मै उसमे भी दृश्य तलाशता हूँ | उपन्यास पढ़ते समय उसके नरेशन को दृश्य में ढालता जाता हूँ | ये मेरा स्वभाव है मै निबंध में भी उसके मंचन की संभावना तलाशने लगता हूँ | शायद इसीलिये मै अब तक हरिशंकर परसाई ,शरद जोशी , प्रेमचंद ,मंटो ,राही मासूम रज़ा , सत्यजीत रे , श्री लाल शुक्ल , प्रभाकर चौबे ,लतीफ़ घोंघी ,विनोद शंकर शुक्ल , गिरीश पंकज आदि की रचनाओ का नाट्य रूपांतर कर पाया हूँ |मै चाहता हूँ आप एक बार फिर परसाई जी को मेरे नज़रिये से पढ़िये वह आप को नया मज़ा देगे |
परसाई जी कि जो शब्द संरचना है उस पर ज़रा गौर कीजिये उनके वाक्यों में रिदम है ,लय है , स्पीड है | पढ़ते समय उनके शब्द दृश्य बनते जाते है | उनके पात्र यकायक हरकत करने लगते है | परसाई जी की कोई भी रचना वह चाहे उखड़े खम्बे हो ,एक लड़की पांच दीवाने हो ,ठिठुरता हुआ गणतंत्र हो ,भोला राम का जीव हो ,मातादीन चाँद पर हो या रानी नागफनी की कहानी हो या और कोई भी रचना हो परसाई जी ने बकायदा पात्रो को गढ़ा है , उन्हें एक शेप दिया है , तभी तो पढ़ते पढ़ते पात्र वेशभूषा में नज़र आने लगते है , उनकी चाल ढाल दिखने लगती है | पात्र अपने रूप में रचना से निकल कर हमारे टेबल पर खड़ा हो जाता है | हर रचना गुस्सैल समय की मुस्कुराती रचना है | इनके पात्र के हाथ में हथियार नहीं होता ,इनका पात्र ही इनका हथियार होता है | परसाई जी को पढो तो ये लगता है मानो हम नारे लगाते हुए किसी जुलूस का हिस्सा है | अनेक स्थानों पर कथोप कथन इतना सजीव है कि जो लिखा हुआ है वह पढ़ा हुआ नहीं बल्कि दिखा हुआ लगता है | आपने परसाई जी को जितने भी अंदाज़ में पढ़ा होगा हर बार उसमे एक नये किस्म का अहसास हुआ होगा ,आपसे निवेदन है एक बार फिर उन्ही रचनाओं को अभिनेता बनकर पढ़िये आपको नये किस्म के तेवर का अहसास होगा | आप मेरी इस बात का पुरजोर समर्थन करेगे कि परसाई जी ने लिखा नहीं है उन्होंने बोला है, और कारीगरी ये है कि बोला भी खुद नहीं बल्कि पाठको से बुलवाया है ,आप पढिये तो ,आप भी पढ़ते पढ़ते उसे बोलने लगेगे , आप खुद विसंगति के खिलाफ परसाई जी के पात्र बन भ्रष्टाचार और साम्प्रदायिकता के खिलाफ लड़ने खड़े हो जायेगे |

अखतर अली
आमानाका ,कुकुर बेडा ,
रायपुर ( छ.ग.)
मो.न. 9826126781

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Political Theatre Today and Yesterday: A Conversation

Jagan Shah & Lalit Vachani

Filmmaker Lalit Vachani, and writer, theatre director and architect Jagan Shah have been working on distinct but related projects on Indian theatre. Lalit has made a documentary film on Jan Natya Manch (JANAM), the Delhi-based street theatre group started by the charismatic Safdar Hashmi, which today continues to actively pursue its agenda of doing meaningful political theatre. JANAM grew out of the Delhi chapter of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) in the 1970s.

Jagan Shah, meanwhile, has been putting together the IPTA story—from its formation in 1943 and its heydays in the 1940s and 50s, to its slow decline over the last forty years. Jagan feels that the history of IPTA in some way mirrors the cultural history of the nation—a trajectory “from revolution to acquiescence”.

Lalit’s film, Natak Jari Hai, was released in 2005 and has been very well received. Jagan Shah has completed his documentation and is contemplating using it as the basis of a screenplay for a film on IPTA.

In the following interview Jagan Shah and Lalit Vachani discuss a range of fascinating issues to do with the documentation, portrayal and self-representation of political theatre in India.


Jagan Shah: Lalit, I’d like to start by asking how you got interested in making a film on JANAM. Also, how important did Safdar Hashmi become to the film?
The importance of the Central Assembly session is eclipsed by the Cabinet Mission deliberations and the attendance is falling steadily. Members might imitate I.P.T.A activities and make the session lively.The Hindustan Times, Saturday, April 6, 1946




Lalit Vachani: I’m going to rewind a bit. The original proposal I had written was not really just about JANAM. The film on JANAM was going to be a small part of a larger film. I was going to be doing a fair amount of archival research on IPTA and the live component of the film was going to be on JANAM. To cut a long story short, India Foundation for the Arts really felt that I had two films here. And I think they felt that I wouldn’t be able to do justice to either. Initially I was naturally a little resistant but as I got into the process of making the film on IPTA, I realized that it didn’t really work. It would be very difficult to make that film and I would probably still have been working on it today. Doing archival work on IPTA, the way you are, would have exhausted all my energy and resources.
So eventually we decided to focus on JANAM and this film came out. So I’ll address Safdar later.
But talking about your archival project, I’d like to ask—what are the nodal centres of your research?
When I spoke to Mala Hashmi [of JANAM] about the idea of researching IPTA, she said, “If you are doing something on IPTA, there is a chance that you’ll get lost. Because, which chapter do you pick up? Do you just look at the heydays of movement in the 40s and early 50s?” So was this a problem at all? What are the kinds of decisions you had to make?

Jagan: Well I think the two nodal centres were today and 1943. Certainly a lot of effort was to try and recreate the 1943-49 period. (The last successful IPTA conference was held in 1949.) And then the present is a very important nodal point because there is a need to understand in the contemporary period what the mechanisms of a political theatre are. Does it take the form of a movement? Is it most effective in the form of a movement? Or should the strategy be to create a multitude of minor, singular initiatives? And are the two in opposition at all?

I found in the study of the archive, that the IPTA story had been institutionalized through some key texts, mainly three books by Sudhi Pradhan [three volumes of The Marxist Cultural Movement in India]. But I found that that was a very limited source, because Sudhi Pradhan gives you a single snapshot of the IPTA movement seen from the perspective of one who had assumed a very  radical stance within the debate at that time and who was an extreme believer in the operative use of theatre for propaganda. The movement was made out to be a lot more revolutionary than it perhaps actually was. Whereas oral history archives like the one in the Nehru Museum, especially,

I think, the interview with Govind Vidyarthi, reveal that there was a very ad hoc nature to the so called movement. It was a lot about the Communist Party recruiting people on a daily basis almost. He mentions many cases of a radio play having to be done in the evening. So he calls up people to come and perform that radio play. So there was this whole network of local sympathisers and workers who were not all card carrying party members but who could be recruited for doing, quote-unquote, revolutionary messages. So that gave a totally different light to the material. It made the IPTA movement potentially a much more alive sort of movement. Shifting to the present, one finds that that sort of conflict between the party and the artist is still alive and still needs to be resolved. It is a big question. Does people’s theatre derive from a large, organised Sanghatan which creates people’s theatre across the country or is people’s theatre actually the obverse of that—a nonorganised, completely disseminated representation of the kind of consciousness which manifests itself in many different conflicts? Those to me are the two nodal points and that is where the conflict plays itself out.

Lalit: I was reading up on the IPTA at the time I was applying to IFA; my reading was really based on a little bit of Sudhi Pradhan and a lot of secondary sources. Now what I came across was almost a kind of a romanticisation, a valorisation. We all recognize that it was a very important era in terms of political artistic work. But I also began to think there must have been fissures. Did you come across material that showed up these fissures?
Jagan: The real point of weakness to my mind is the problem of ascription. Because it is such a loose overarching movement it tends to assume the privilege of co-opting anybody into it. That to me is a big fissure because the IPTA movement has also tried to cash in on connections that were not very strong—the Uday Shankar connection, for instance. Built into the received narrative of the IPTA is the idea that Uday Shankar, the great dancer, was somebody who espoused the IPTA cause and became one with it. But there is archival evidence to suggest that Uday Shankar did not give two hoots about the IPTA. He did perform at one large workers’ rally. It was organised by the party and it was then assumed to be an IPTA programme. The archival research, I guess, throws up many such “untruths” which are built into the telling of IPTA.
Another crisis in IPTA, to my mind, was that after a certain period, there was no new content. Whatever had been created was mainly because of Bijon Bhattacharya. Then Utpal Dutt created his revolutionary idea of theatre. And IPTA makes some claims to that as well, whereas it was a complete rebuke to the IPTA point of view. These are not necessarily fissures, but I find a lot of myths that have been created about IPTA and I think the material explodes those myths.

Post-1949, IPTA came under pressure because these cultural workers espoused an ideology which was, obviously, not the right ideology to espouse at that time. It put them outside the fold of the national structure, the Congress party’s view of things. And so post-1949 and in the 1949 conference itself—this is my interpretation—you see evidence of IPTA reaching out—wanting to create ways in which the artists could become part of the national institutional structure. They make a shift from what would be called a voice of dissent to one of oneness or cooptation with the dominant discourse.

And that moment is, to my mind, where IPTA more or less kind of loses that thread of its history. And then it is revived in the 1980s and I think that revival is entirely based on what you said earlier—sentiment. It was a completely sentimental revival—as all revivals are. But it has lacked all the elements of a revolutionary movement since its revival.

I think in your film, something you set out to do and succeed very well in doing, is portraying a little microcosm that is created as an end result of this large movement. I found that very nice and very well captured. I was curious whether the film began by looking at the character of the creator of JANAM—Safdar Hashmi, who came out of the Students’ Federation of India. Or was the idea to look at the group JANAM and its contemporary standing and to find Safdar in the middle of that? What was the trajectory for you?

Lalit: I wanted to look at Safdar in terms of some of the important historical plays of JANAM’s like
Machine and Aurat. I thought him a brilliant playwright and the use of language in these plays was really powerful. The idea initially was to just follow the making of one play from the beginning to the end—from the scripting stage to the rehearsal stage to going out and test-casing a play to coming back, perfecting it.

And this, as it turned out, was absolutely not possible because at the time we started filming JANAM, they were not rehearsing or writing a play, they were going out and performing all the time. So that, in a sense, becomes the shape of the film.

I realised that Safdar would just be much more important in the film than I’d thought—just the very nature of the tragedy of Safdar’s death and what it did to JANAM.

His spirit is so much a part of the group today. Safdar always had a problem getting people to act in the JANAM plays but after his death many more people started coming in.

JANAM came, in a sense, to the forefront and was asked to take a kind of leadership role in the people’s theatre movement. And it is in the way JANAM’s members spoke about him that Safdar’s place really became apparent.

Jagan: It seems to me that the IPTA movement has lost its steam mainly because there are no leaders of this nature—the really active, younger protagonists of the whole story. One of the rewarding things for me has been meeting some of the younger people…sort of quasi-Safdars. One in particular was someone called Tanveer Akhtar in Patna who heads the Bihar IPTA—a very interesting figure. Someone who has spent years doing what he does. It has to be granted that Safdar was unique. He created plays which were also of a certain power. But Tanveer also creates theatre out of issues which are contemporary. And he always has this message which is very much in line with a contemporary understanding of what is subversive or a theatre of dissent. That has been very rewarding for me because I feel that qua movement, a movement is as much its leader as it is its followers.

I felt that in your film the most powerful scene, the most disturbing also at some level for me, is the scene where you finally end up with Sudhanva in the space where Safdar was actually killed. And that was a very disturbing scene because you’ve brought so much emotion to that scene. You have built it up. You are walking through the streets. I had participated in the rally that came out after Safdar’s murder. I remember that day. It was quite an amazing feeling in Delhi that day. I think one brought all that to bear and then one just comes to the emptiness of this space, obviously it is not a monument. And one felt this amazing sense of isolation. I felt that on Sudhanva’s face and I could tell behind the camera that you are feeling this. How do you actually recreate this experience? It’s horror and how do we recreate that horror?

We cannot. That was where one saw the limits of the film as a medium as well. You can’t capture the horror of that man being murdered. It’s tragic. But I’m so glad you made this film because it does fill in what I felt was one of the important gaps that needed to be filled in my project.

Lalit: You have been planning to build a cinematic archive on IPTA. Tell me a little more about an archive that lends itself to the cinematic form.

Jagan: I was a freshly-trained historian when I began thinking about this project. I felt that the creation of a history of something like the IPTA, of which a major component was live action, live performance, could not take place without access to the subjective inputs of these artists.

That, for me, was the driving force in the project—to capture the emotional content of the movement.
The idea of a cinematic narrative meant that one could trace emotional links with the narrative which were not in the realm of ideology necessarily.

It is driven by this sort of visceral experience of protests, dissent and questioning of events as they unfolded. That’s why I chose the metaphor of a cinematic narrative. I did not think any of the dominant modes of writing history that I was trained in could give me access to that. An example is in the story that I heard from Shaukat Azmi, about her getting married to Kaifi Azmi and the whole romance of it. She completely presents it in this romantic mode. And I felt that obviously, if I had taken the dry historiographical stance here that kind of detail doesn’t really matter. It is of no consequence that she was in love with this poet and she asked her barrister father in Hyderabad, can I marry this poet who lives in a commune in Bombay? Which is why I felt that the story could not have been told if one were to simply retrace the events and tell what happened.

I always remember Shaukat and Kaifi in that sense. Today they are upheld as great IPTA people. But, heck, it was just romance. I don’t think it would have mattered to Shaukat that Kaifi was a communist. She was just drawn to this poet living in a commune.

I feel that just this particular dilemma between the artist and the ideologue is to me enough of a conflict to create a whole narrative around. I feel that very strongly. And it is at the heart of the whole business.

What I would like to develop is a screenplay based on this archive, although “develop a screenplay” sounds like a petri-dish kind of activity. But I would like very much for a film to be made on the subject, a feature film.

I had a question about the form you used in your film when you had these figures in the dark and then turned the spotlights on them. Why did you choose that mode?

Lalit: Well, see, the original plan was to do something with the old black and white photographs of Machine and Aurat. Then, increasingly, as I started spending time with JANAM, two things happened. First I realized that Machine and Aurat were JANAM’s most important plays, and
had been performed the most in the street theatre form. Another filmmaker, Sherna Dastoor, had already documented parts of these two plays in her film. So I reverted back to the original idea of doing something as cut points from black and white photographs of these plays.

I also felt that a play like Machine was harking back to the era of Soviet formalism—the films of Eisenstein came to mind. My cameraman Mrinal and I decided to show Machine on stage. Use the advantages of cinema, isolate the action, break up the action and cut it together. Lots of the decisions were made—we didn’t have the time to plan it— they were just made there and then. JANAM showed up having done their lines, we just blocked the stage. We never directed JANAM at any point. That is the only point in the film where we blocked them. The other interesting thing is what happens when you take a group that has been doing these plays in the street theatre form, and place them on a stage.

Interestingly, JANAM liked this stuff. I think part of the motivation was that these were both plays that had been done a lot. So it was as if they were coming from another era. So you say, okay, we’ll do it in a stylized form. It’s almost like a tribute.

Jagan: I found it interesting because you do also have street performances in the film. I particularly liked this one performance in Uttaranchal. The play finishes and you start walking with one of the spectators and you ask him what he has to say and he kind of avoids the question and he walks off. I found that very interesting.

I think something has happened to street performance. An audience which is perhaps knowledgeable
about the background to JANAM and its street work probably won’t get the same stimulation as they would by looking at what you have done—transposing it into a proscenium format. Perhaps because ultimately on film you can’t capture street performance adequately. You have to capture all of these other reactions and only then you get the full experience of it. And yet you can’t. People aren’t forthcoming with reactions.

Lalit: I think you have touched on a very important point. This is something that I was really finding very difficult to do, to capture a street play in its totality. When you are filming, it is always fragmented, you are picking up on little bits. And of course that is the nature of the video film medium, where you take fragments and you put it together. But you still can’t capture the feeling of the street theatre form because somebody is laughing behind you, somebody is reacting. You can hear some of these things and pick up that energy. But to try and film those fragments is inevitably to lose stuff.

The other thing is capturing the audience response to a play. I remember Anjum’s [Hasan of IFA] comments on the film. She said,“What do people really think about JANAM’s plays, that’s something we don’t really get an idea of. ” Sudhanva [Deshpande of JANAM] had a different kind of response. There was a feeling, at least in the beginning when they saw that first rough cut, that maybe JANAM doesn’t look so good. The response from the audience ranged from indifferent to the negative. Indifference mostly, I would say.

The most honest kind of response that I got was when something happened there and then. So if
I was able to capture laughter during a scene, then that was an honest response. The moment you
went to people after the event, everybody just came up with these clichés —“Oh yes, yes! Very good play!

There should be Hindu-Muslim harmony. Politicians should not instigate riots. ”But there was no insight about the play. I was just getting these completely canned, thought-out responses. I’m sure if we had more time we could have gone back a day later and sat quietly and got people to reflect—okay now, what did that play do for you? What are the parts of the play you understood?

What are the parts of the play you didn’t understand? Also, JANAM uses such a diverse range of components. For instance in the play Yeh Dil Maange More Guruji [on the 2002 Gujarat riots], they use text, they use pictures, the photographs of the riots. Then they use these very powerful poems. And then they use a lot of slapstick humour. Now what is the part that is working for audiences in general? Of course there are different responses. But what are the parts that are working and what are the parts that are not working? I think, if you really want to get into audience response and reaction, you will have to go more into details like this.

Jagan: I find it fascinating because the aspect of live performance is again integral to the whole IPTA story and is the most celebrated part of it—Amar Sheikh standing in front of 20,000 farmers and belting out a song without loudspeakers. This is the aura of performance, which perhaps because of the influence of television, we have lost. One almost feels that one is doing children’s theatre when one has to do political theatre in that way. It’s proselytisation of a certain kind, the feeling that you can’t defer that responsibility. You have to educate. What I got from your film was really to see those two things together in one film—the more abstract proscenium mode and the actual live street performance. I’ve got to admit that I found the abstract mode far more communicative in some strange kind of way. And I think that’s got to do with the formation of our own viewership really. I think even the street play needs to be re-invented.

And perhaps it’s got to do with what kind of consciousness one is appealing to. I think we assume that class is an issue for everyone. We assume that a struggle, for instance, is a reality for everyone. And yet perhaps it isn’t. Perhaps it is a projection onto the common mass that we deal with as an audience.

Lalit: I’m going to pick up on something very interesting you just said, which is about the aura of the performance. Now talking about JANAM, I saw their photographs from the late 1970s and 1980s and
there were these incredible photographs, where there are huge audiences, masses, swarms of people, just watching. Obviously we are talking about a time that predated television as it exists now. When I talk to JANAM about it, one aspect that they talk a lot about is how difficult the State has made it to perform in spaces. So you can’t have big performances in Connaught Place, you can’t perform outside embassies, you can’t perform at the Boat Club [in Delhi] anymore. But it’s very interesting how one sees a change in a lot of JANAM’s work in the sense that the plays are now crafted to bring in a television-watching audience. For instance—this is not there in my film—but in the play Yeh Dil Maange More, Guruji the very theme song is based on a Pepsi commercial. The tune is taken from there. And they do this a lot with some of the contemporary plays. It’s sort of drawing in a television audience with a few gags. Now I’m getting back to IPTA. When you talked about the aura of street performance there were these big proscenium productions done for which huge stages were erected, and masses and masses of people came. Did you find photographs of stuff like this? There must have been oral testimonies also of people just talking about the feeling. Can you just tell me a little about that?

Jagan: There is a lot of oral testimony. But there is very little photographic information that I could get out. I found in doing the research— and I think this is a comment on our consciousness really—that there is a high level of appreciation now for the value of an image. And so increasingly I found, as I met more and more people, that they were not as forthcoming with photographic evidence as they were willing to talk. There is the aura to the photograph and there is a value to it. I found that
very interesting—the notion that a photographic image or a photographic record is something that has value and you don’t have to necessarily share it with somebody until you get a certain price. Why it mattered, of course, was that I had hoped to find a lot of photographs and make copies of them. But  people weren’t willing to let me do that.

Lalit: It’s very interesting to me that you say that you came across people who were trying to hold on to the photographs until they got a price.

Because with JANAM, they could have very well turned around and said, “Look, there is a certain set of photographs that we think are relevant that you can film and there is another set of stills. That we are absolutely not sharing with you. ” But there was just this complete openness. Despite the fact that they knew that I was not making a film for them, that I was eventually going to make my film independently. This is a group that is around and performing today and they have that much more at stake.

Jagan: They don’t. What I mean is that the larger IPTA organisation is so loose and so fragmented. There isn’t the oneness. There isn’t the identification with a single IPTA. It’s  become a banner. I mean, it’s become only a banner. And people who are part of the IPTA organisation admit that it’s a banner. Whereas I came in with the view that if it has to be IPTA, then it must have some semblance of connection with what IPTA stood for in the beginning.

Now I find it to be a sort of wishy-washy attitude. I think it’s a chapter that needs to be looked at in a certain way. Some things might need closure and other things might need to be opened up. But I think the IPTA story is certainly not over. But it’s not a story which can be told again and again in the same beaten way.
Courtesy: Art Connect, Volume 1, Number 1 July-December 2007

Maghai Oja: An artiste of the People

IPTA@75

Maghai Oja was closely associated with the IPTA (Indian People’s Theatre Association) movement during his adolescent period and from the very start, he could earn widespread fame by playing the dhol. His great talent was discovered by Hemanga Biswas, legendary artiste and IPTA organizer. Biswas had said of Maghai: “As an organizer of IPTA in Assam, my chief duty is talent scouting and to create an environment to develop the talent of the artistes. A flower blossoms on its own, but the duty of the gardener is to supply water to the plant and protect it from cattle. I am such a gardener and the magnificent wild flower I discovered in Assam is Maghai Oja.”


The meeting with Biswas had provided Maghai the bigger platform of the IPTA. The philosophy of the IPTA had a deep impact on the dhol wizard. A folk artiste who held the people spellbound with his dhol recitals had now transformed into a mass artiste. The basic philosophy of the IPTA lies in mass life and mass art. It propounds that mass art is impossible without the participation of the masses. The principal motto of the IPTA is ‘people’s theatre stars the people’. Embracing this ideology, Maghai strived to use the dhol as an instrument to bring about social change. He played on to create mass awareness against social oppression, injustice, conspiracy and prolonged deprivation.

The Language Movement of the 1960s had created an unwanted chasm between the Assamese and the Bengalis. Widespread hatred and panic originating from rumours gripped the State of Assam. At that juncture, Maghai, the son of a poverty-stricken farmer from Jorhat, made a bid to bring back peace. Around the same time, a group of artistes under the leadership of Biswas and Dr Bhupen Hazarika toured the State to spread the message of peace and brotherhood. The cultural troupe staged programmes in different places of Assam. Before reaching Jorhat, Biswas wrote to Maghai: “Dear comrade Oja, you will have to lead the troupe and your dhol will be the trumpet of victory.”
 On the appointed day, at the Lakshmi Union Bengali Club in Jorhat, Maghai presented a dhol recital that broke away from tradition. He sang:
Raijkhone kandise, deshkhone kandise/Sua dangoria/Raijor bolote tumi bolobonta/Kionu pahori jua…” (People are crying, the country is crying, my lord. But you are not showing any concern to the people who have voted you to power.)

Adopting a satirical tone, he again sang: “Bhai bhai don kore/Pore pai aash/Mota maiki don kore/Ghore banabas…” (When brothers quarrel, enemies get the chance to conspire. Likewise, if husband and wife quarrel, a house is in wilderness.)

Thus, Maghai played the role of an activist artiste. His dhol recitals soothed the frayed nerves of the people. On this performance, Biswas had written: “On that day when the learned and intellectual sections of the society were engrossed in communal hatred, the son of a poor farming family of Assam had evinced cultural conscience with his dhol recitals.”

In the same programme, Biswas and Dr Bhupen Hazarika sang Haradhan-Rongmon. With this song, they spread the message that nobody is above humanity. Caste, creed, community and religion should not hinder peace and harmony. A number of people from the Bengali community who were about to leave Assam reconsidered their decision after attending the programme. The then headmaster of Lakshmi Union Bengali High School, Jorhat, told Biswas with moist eyes: “I was thinking of leaving my job and going away. But your programme has inspired me to work here again.”

Maghai had spent his entire life in utter poverty. But in spite of his poverty, he did not compromise on the ideals of the IPTA. Till his death, he played the role of a responsible artiste. He had dreamt of a society without poverty, oppression casteism, communalism and all the other bad elements. On many occasions, he caustically referred to the corruption and nepotism of people’s representatives:
Majuli deshate khowar abhabat/ Pelai porialak kati/Shillong roadate dekhiba raijsakal/Minister sakalar mati…
(In Majuli, people are killing their family members for food, but the indifferent ministers are busy acquiring land in Shillong.)

Maghai was expressing the angst of the individual who had been deprived of food and basic amenities. The mass artiste that he was, he never gave up on his idealism despite penury. Maghai dreamt of a society like Charles Chaplin: “You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then – in the name of democracy – let us use that power – let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world – a decent world that will give men a chance to work – that will give youth a future and old age a security… Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to the happiness of us all.”
Dr Jayanta Madhab Dutta
(Published on the occasion of the great artiste’s birth centenary today.)
THE ASSAM TRIBUNE, GUWAHATI, MONDAY, JANUARY 30, 2017

Monday, August 6, 2018

‘आज के दौर में तटस्थता असांस्कृतिक और अभारतीय हैः अशोक वाजपेयी’

‘‘अतताई को नींद न आये - इतना तो करना ही होगा। आज तटस्थता संभव नहीं है। तटस्थता असांस्कृतिक और अभारतीय है। हमें हिम्मत और हिमाकत की जरूरत है। हमारी सार्थकता इसी में है कि हम आज के समय के विरूद्ध बोल रहे हैं। आवश्यकता है कि इप्टा के इस 75वें साल में सांस्कृतिक अन्तःकरण को फिर गढ़ा जाय। पूरी जिम्मेदारी और साहस के साथ हमें इसे गढ़ें। हमारी अन्तःकरण की बिरादरी बहुलतावादी होगी। इस बिरादरी में वे ही बाहर होंगे जिनका न्याय, समता और बराबरी के मूल्यों में विश्वास नहीं होगा।’’

इप्टा प्लैटिनम जुबली व्याख्यान - 4 के अंतर्गत ‘सांस्कृतिक अन्तःकरण का आयतन’ विषय पर बोलते हुए वरिष्ठ संस्कृतिकर्मी अशोक वाजपेयी ने देश के सांस्कृतिक-सामाजिक स्थितियों पर संस्कृतिकर्मियों की एकजुटता का आह्वान करते हुए ये बाते कहीं। 

पी० सी० जोशी की स्मृति में बिहार इप्टा द्वारा आयोजित प्लैटिनम जुबली व्याख्यान -4 में बोलते हुए अशोक वाजपेयी ने कहा कि "आज धर्म और संस्कृति के नाम पर हत्या हो रही है, लेकिन आश्चर्जनक है कि सारे धार्मिक नेता चुप हैं। कोई भी धार्मिक गुरू, धार्मिक नेता इन हत्यों, भीड़तंत्र हिंसा के खिलाफ बोल नहीं रहा है। आज का हिन्दुस्तान में हर 15 मिनट में एक दलित पर हिंसा हो रही है। रोजाना 6 दलित महिलाओं के साथ बलात्कार हो रहा है। विगत 4 वर्षों में महिलाओं के विरूद्ध होने वाली हिंसा 64 बढ़ गयी है। आज देश के राज्यों की कोई भी राजधानी नहीं बची और कोई प्रमुख नगर और कस्बा नहीं बचा है, जहां हिंसा न हुई हो। यदि मानचित्र में इसे दर्शाएँ तो पूरे देश में सिर्फ़ ख़ून के धब्बे ही नज़र आएँगे। 2017 का साल सबसे खराब साल रहा है। औसतन रोज हिंसा हो रही है। 2019 का साल और खतरनाक होगा। इसे भूलना नहीं चाहिए।

इप्टा के सांस्कृतिक अवदान पर चर्चा करते हुए अशोक वाजपेयी ने कहा कि 1942 में इप्टा भारत में बहुलतावादी सांस्कृतिक आन्दोलन की नींव रखी। इप्टा का ही मंच था, जहाँ बंगाल के अकाल के खिलाफ़  स्वतंत्रता आन्दोलन के गीत बजे। नृत्य हुए। चित्रकारों ने पेंटिंग की और नाटक रचे गये। उन्होंने कहा कि  पी० सी० जोशी लोहिया के अलावा ऐसे राजनेता थें, जिसे राजनीति के साथ संस्कृति की भी समझ थी। बाद के नेता चाहे वे वामपंथी, समाजवादी और अन्य कोई वैचारिकी के हो, संस्कृति में अपनी समझ नहीं रखी। पी०सी० जोशी ने इप्टा और प्रलेस के साथ देश को सांस्कृतिक अन्तःकरण का प्रतीक गढ़ा और फिर से यह जरूरी हो गया है।

देश की स्थिति पर टिप्पणी करते हुए श्री वाजपेयी ने कहा कि देश में हिंसक, आक्रामक एवं भीड़तंत्र की संस्कृति पनप रही है और दुर्भाग्य से इसे लोक सहमति भी मिल रही है। राजनीतिक अन्तःकरण, धार्मिक अन्तःकरण और मीडिया में अन्तःकरण समाप्त हो गया है। कोई आवाज़ सुनाई नहीं देती। ऐसे वक्त में क्या सांस्कृतिक अन्तःकरण संभव है? हिन्दी साहित्य पूरी तरह से अप्रसांगिक होने का मुकाम पर आ गया है क्योंकि हिन्दी साहित्य कहीं से भी आज के समय को पुष्ट नहीं करता है। आज देश में रोजाना ‘दूसरे’ के प्रतिमान गढ़े जा रहे हैं और इनके साथ हिंसा का सलूक हो रहा है। 'दूसरी नागरिकता', 'दूसरे लोग', 'दूसरा धर्म', 'दूसरी संस्कृति' का बोलबाला है।  अहिंसा, विरोध, प्रतिरोध की कोई जगह ही नहीं रही है। झूठ, धर्मान्ध, हिंसा का नया भारत पैदा हो रहा है। ज्ञान, लज्जा, नैतिकता को भूलता भारत पैदा हो रहा है। आज का लोक सेवक ज्ञान से अंधा होकर बेशर्मी से बोलता है। स्वच्छ भारत बनाने के लिए पूरे भारत की गंदगी को यहाँ के नागरिकों के दिमाग में भरा जा रहा है। आज का भारत महाजनी सभ्यता के समाने सेल्फी लेता नजर आ रहा है। 

सरकार की कार्यनीतियों पर टिप्पणी करते हुए श्री वाजपेयी ने कहा कि देश में सिर्फ तोड़ा जा रहा है और देश तोड़ने वाली शक्तियों के चंगुल में है। वे तोड़ने वाले इतने मशगुल हैं कि उनसे राम मंदिर तक नहीं बना पा रहे हैं। तकनीक का इस्तेमाल मानव विरोधी गतिविधियों में हो रहा है। अपने ही संविधान को रौंदता भारत आगे बढ़ रहा है और तमाम लोक सेवक संविधान की नहीं विशिष्ट वैचारिक प्रतिबद्धता के साथ सेवा कर रहे हैं।

इप्टा के 75वें साल पर तमाम संस्कृतिकर्मियों और साहित्यकारों को आह्वान करते हुए अशोक वाजपेयी ने कहा कि अंतर्विरोध छोड़कर केवल न्याय, बंधुत्व, समता और भाईचारा के लिए एक हों। इतिहास गवाह है कि कहीं भी लेखक, कलाकारों, नाटक करने वालों ने सरकार नहीं बनायीं। उन्होंने सच बोलने की हिमाकत और हिम्मत की। आज यही यह देश चाहता है। तमाम वैचारिक अंतर्विरोध छोड़ कम से कम उस जनता के लिए तो हम एक हो जाएँ जिसके लिए हम काम करते हैं। 

अन्तःकरण को सरलीकृत करते हुए श्री वाजपेयी ने कहा कि अन्तःकरण में (1) संवेदना (2) सहकारिता (3) साहस और (4) सक्रियता शामिल है और यह सब हम कर रहे हैं और कर सकते हैं तो एकजुट होकर इस अंतःकरण क्यों नहीं पुनर्स्थापित कर सकते। इप्टा की प्लैटिनम जुबली यही चाहती है। आज का समय इप्टा बनने के समय से भी ज़्यादा दुरूह और चिन्ताजनक है। अभी तक किये ज्ञान अर्जन पर रोज सेंध लग रही है और पूरा अध्यापक संसार चुप है। संगीतकार, नर्तक चुप हैं। समरसता के लिए कोई नहीं बोलता। एक तरह से तमाशे में तब्दील होती संस्कृति है। पहले भी आपातकाल से समय, 1984 के दंगों के समय और गुजरात नरसंहार के दौरान आवाज़े उठी थी पर आज को क्या हो गया है? क्या नए तरह से सत्याग्रह को नहीं गढ़ा जा सकता है? हमें अपने सांस्कृतिक दायरे में ही लड़ाई लड़नी चाहिए। जैसे इप्टा ने आज़ादी के दौरान लड़ी। गीत गाये, नाटक खेले, सिनेमा बनाये, चित्र बनाएं, नृत्य हुए। 

कार्यक्रम की शुरूआत में पटना विश्वविद्यालय के प्राध्यापक प्रो० तरूण कुमार ने कहा है कि आज के दौर वह जब एक विधायक बौद्विक कार्यकर्ताओं को गोली मारने की धमकी देता है और मुक्तिबोध के शब्द एक बार फिर से प्रसांगिक होते हैं कि क्या कभी कभार अंधेरे समय में रोशनी भी होती है?

इस अवसर पर बड़ी संख्या में कवि, लेखक, साहित्यकार, कलाकार और संस्कृमिकर्मी उपस्थित थें। अरूण कमल, आलोक धन्वा, अब्दुस समद, फणीश सिंह, परवेज़ अख़्तर, डेज़ी नारायण, हृषिकेश सुलभ, जावेद अख़्तर खां, श्याम शर्मा, विनय कुमार, शबनम हाशमी, शकील अहमद खां, अरशद अजमल, रूपेश,  नंदकिशोर , ग़ालिब, बी० एन० विश्वकर्मा, मुक्ता सिन्हा, तनवीर अख्तर, फ़ीरोज़ अशरफ खां, सुधीर सिन्हा  आदि प्रमुख थें। इस अवसर पर बिहार इप्टा के संरक्षक अरुण कमल ने इप्टा राष्ट्रीय प्लैटिनम जुबली का प्रतीक चिन्ह दे कर अशोक वाजपेयी को सम्मानित किया। धन्यवाद ज्ञापन  किया। 

Monday, June 25, 2018

प्रभाकर चौबे का कॉलम अब नहीं लिखा जाएगा

- ललित सुरजन

बीते सोमवार याने 18 जून को मैंने कहा- आज तुम्हारा कॉलम छपा है। अगले हफ्ते का कब लिखोगे। रायपुर के एम्स अस्पताल के आपातकालीन चिकित्सा कक्ष में रोगशैय्या पर पड़े उनका जवाब था- तुम्हारी तुम जानो। मैंने अपना काम कर दिया है। इतने सालों में एक बार भी नागा नहीं किया। उन्हें बोलने में तकलीफ हो रही थी, लेकिन तेवर वही थे। अगली सुबह बेटे जीवेश से कहा- पैन-कागज लाकर दो, कॉलम लिखना है। वे मौत से लड़ रहे थे। शायद जानते थे कि जीत नहीं पाएंगे, किंतु आखिरी साँस तक हार मानने के लिए तैयार नहीं थे। चंद दिनों की बीमारी में शरीर कमजोर हो गया था, दवाईयां चल रही थीं, जीवन रक्षक उपकरणों के सहारे जीवन आगे बढ़ रहा था। ऐसे में कॉलम कहां से लिख पाते!

18 जून को प्रकाशित लेख उनका अंतिम लेख सिद्ध हुआ। इसे उन्होंने घर में ही बिस्तर पर लेटे-लेटे जीवेश के सहयोगी दुर्गेश को डिक्टेशन देकर लिखवाया था। इसके पहले के लेख हेतु छोटे बेटे आलोक को डिटेक्शन दिया था। ये प्रभाकर चौबे थे- सच्चे मायनों में कलम के सिपाही। वे यश के लिए, पद के लिए, धन के लिए नहीं लिखते थे। उनका एकमात्र मकसद था कि उनके विचार आम जनता तक पहुंचना चाहिए। लेखनी समाज के प्रति ऋण उतारने का माध्यम थी।

प्रभाकर चौबे देशबन्धु के प्रारंभ काल याने 1959 से ही अखबार के साथ जुड़ गए थे। यह रिश्ता उन्होंने जीवन भर कायम रखा। हरिशंकर परसाई का अस्सी प्रतिशत लेखन देशबन्धु में प्रकाशित हुआ तो प्रभाकर चौबे का पंचानवे प्रतिशत। साठ साल तो नहीं, लेकिन लगभग अठ्ठावन वर्षों तक प्रभाकर का लिखा देशबन्धु में प्रकाशित होता रहा- पत्र, कविताएं, व्यंग्य, लेख, कहानियां, उपन्यास, एकांकी, रिपोर्ताज, निबंध, गरज यह कि हर विधा में उन्होंने लिखा और खूब लिखा। परसाईजी की एक पुस्तक हँसते हैं, रोते हैं का शीर्षक उधार लेकर उन्होंने एक स्तंभ लिखा शुरू किया जो अनेक सालों तक सप्ताह में दो बार प्रकाशित होता रहा। 1988-89 में जबलपुर यात्रा के दौरान प्रभाकर और मैं नगर में प्रतिष्ठित समाजसेवी चिकित्सक डॉ. जे.एन. सेठ से मिलने गए। प्रभाकर चौबे का परिचय पाते ही वे उछल पड़े। अरे भाई, आपका कॉलम तो मैं नियमित रूप से पढ़ता हूं और सबको पढ़वाता हूं। यह थी एक पाठक की प्रथम परिचय में प्रतिक्रिया। ऐसे और भी अनुभव हैं।

एक रात रायपुर के रंगमंदिर से कोई नाटक देखकर हम लौट रहे थे। कोई पंद्रह साल पुरानी बात होगी। हम दोनों रिक्शे में बैठे बात करते चले आ रहे थे। अग्रसेन चौक पर रिक्शे से उतरे। चालक ने पूछा- सर! आप प्रभाकर चौबे हैं। हां में उत्तर मिला तो वह रिक्शे का किराया लेने से मना करने लगा। आपके लेख मैं हमेशा पढ़ता हूं। सोचता हूं कोई तो है जो हमारे जैसे गरीबों के बारे में लिखता है। वह पैसे लेने तैयार नहीं था। मैंने जबरन यह कहकर पैसे थमाए कि इनका किराया मत लेना, मेरा किराया तो ले लो। ये प्रभाकर चौबे थे- मन, वचन, कर्म से एक। जैसा सोचते थे, वैसा ही जीवन जीते थे और वैसा ही लिखते थे। कहीं कोई खोट नहीं, एकदम पारदर्शी सोच; लेकिन राग द्वेष से हीन, न किसी का चरित्र हनन किया, न ओछी टिप्पणी की और न कभी घटिया चुटकुलेबाजी। उनके जैसे बेलाग लिखने वाले लोग, और वह भी जीवन में कभी डगमग हुए बिना, हां, बिना डगमग हुए, हमारे बीच कितने हैं?

व्यंग्य का नियमित स्तंभ लिखते हुए एक समय प्रभाकर के मन में विचार आया।  व्यंजना के बजाय सीधी-सीधी बात कहने का समय आ गया है। उनका सोचना था कि व्यंग्य में अन्तर्निहित तमाम शक्ति के बावजूद लोक शिक्षण के लिए आवश्यक हो गया है कि पाठकों के सामने खुलकर मुद्दे रखे जाएं। इस तरह सोमवार को उनके नियमित स्तंभ की शुरूआत हुई। इस कॉलम का हमने कोई नाम नहीं दिया। लगभग बीस साल लगातार चलने के बाद अब यह स्तंभ सदा के लिए बंद हो गया है।

प्रभाकर चौबे की जन पक्षधरता इन लेखों में बहुत स्पष्टता के साथ व्यक्त होती है। सन् नब्बे के दशक से भारत में जिस तरह से नवसाम्राज्यवादी तथा नवपूंजीवादी ताकतों ने अपने पैर जमाना शुरू किए, उससे प्रभाकर स्वाभाविकत: क्षुब्ध थे। वे जान रहे थे कि उदारीकरण, वैश्वीकरण और निजीकरण का लुभावना नारा देकर ये ताकतें भारत को अघोषित रूप से अपना उपनिवेश बनाने का षड़यंत्र रच रही हैं। देश का सत्ताधारी वर्ग जिस प्रकार लोभ, लालच में पड़ गया है, मदांध हो गया है, उसे भी वे ताड़ चुके थे। अपने साप्ताहिक स्तंभ में उन्होंने सरल-सुबोध भाषा में जनता को आगाह किया। वे एक तरफ रामचरित मानस की चौपाईयां उद्धृत करते थे तो अक्सर मुक्तिबोध की कविता पंक्तियों से अपने तर्क को पुष्ट कर लेख समाप्त करते थे।

मैं पाठकों का ध्यान आकर्षित करना चाहूंगा कि प्रभाकर चौबे हिंदी साहित्य नहीं, बल्कि वाणिज्य के विद्यार्थी थे। पढ़ाई पूरी करने के बाद उन्हें इनकम टैक्स इंस्पैक्टर की नौकरी मिल गई थी। लेकिन यह नौकरी उन्हें उसी तरह रास नहीं आई, जैसे परसाईजी को महकमा-ए-जंगलात में नौकरी करना नहीं जंचा।  प्रभाकर ने स्वाधीनता संग्राम के दौरान स्थापित राष्ट्रीय उच्चतर माध्यमिक विद्यालय में शिक्षक के रूप में काम करना शुरू किया और समय आने पर शाला के प्राचार्य बने और उसी पद से सेवानिवृत्त हुए। प्रभाकर रिटायर हो चुके थे। देशबन्धु में उनका लेखन बदस्तूर चल रहा था।  तभी हमने 1996 में सांध्य दैनिक 'हाईवे चैनल' निकालने की योजना बनाई। मेरे अनुरोध पर प्रभाकर चौबे प्रदेश के इस प्रथम संपूर्ण सांध्यकालीन पत्र के संपादक बने।

उन्होंने पूरी तन्मयता और परिश्रम के साथ अठारह वर्षों से अधिक समय तक यह दायित्व निभाया। वे प्रतिदिन संपादकीय लिखते थे। उनकी पत्नी मालती भाभी 2005 में बीमार पड़ीं तो अस्पताल में उनके सिरहाने बैठकर भी वे अपना काम करते रहे। मुझे अगर ठीक याद है तो 7 सितम्बर 2005 याने जिस दिन भाभी की अंत्येष्टि हुई, सिर्फ उस दिन उन्होंने संपादकीय नहीं लिखा। अगले दिन से वे घर से लिखकर भेजते रहे, जबकि घर में रिश्तेदारों व मातमपुर्सी के लिए आने वालों का तांता लगा रहता था। कोई स्थितप्रज्ञ ही ऐसा कर सकता था!

प्रभाकर चौबे ने इस एकाग्रता, तन्मयता, कर्मनिष्ठा, दायित्वबोध का परिचय जीवन में हर मोड़ पर, हर समय दिया। वे अशासकीय शिक्षकों के संगठन म.प्र. माध्यमिक शिक्षक संघ के महासचिव थे। अध्यक्ष थे स्व. मुरलीधर गनौदवाले।  एक वामपंथी, एक धुर दक्षिणपंथी। लेकिन संगठन के प्रति दोनों ने जिम्मेदारी बहुत समझदारी और ईमानदारी के साथ निभाई। राजनीति को बीच में नहीं आने दिया। उन्होंने अपनी शाला में भी आंदोलन किए, लेकिन प्रबंधन के प्रति कटुता नहीं पाली।

राइस किंग सेठ नेमीचंद प्रबंध समिति के अध्यक्ष  थे, उन्होंने प्रभाकर चौबे को वरिष्ठता के सिद्धांत पर प्राचार्य नियुक्त किया। इस पद पर भी प्रभाकर ने न तो अपने दायित्व में कोताही की और न अपने सिद्धांतों से समझौता किया। उनके साथ काम करने वाला कोई भी व्यक्ति नहीं कह सकता था कि प्रभाकर चौबे ने किसी से अन्याय किया हो, दुराव किया हो, पीठ पीछे बात की हो, काम ठीक से न किया हो। उनकी फितरत में यह सब नहीं था। दरअसल, वे कई मायनों में निस्पृह व्यक्ति थे। जिन जनसंगठनों में वे सक्रिय रहे, वहां वे पहले एक कार्यकर्ता थे, फिर नेता। पद के लिए साथियों को आगे कर दिया, फिर किसी ने मार्गदर्शन मांगा तो ठीक, नहीं तो अपन अपने घर में भले।

प्रभाकर ने जितना विपुल लेखन साठ वर्षों की अवधि में किया, हिन्दी में फिलहाल उसकी मिसाल मिलना असंभव प्रतीत होता है। विभिन्न विषयों पर लिखे संपादकीय व अन्य रचनाओं की संख्या दस हजार के आसपास होगी। यह भी कमाल की बात है कि उन्होंने देशबन्धु के अलावा और किसी पत्र-पत्रिका के लिए लेखन नहीं किया।  एक अखबार और एक लेखक अठ्ठावन साल तक साथ-साथ रहे, यह सचमुच एक विश्व रिकॉर्ड है। लेकिन न उनका लिखना, न देशबन्धु का उन्हें छापना रिकॉर्ड बनाने के उद्देश्य से था।  वे मुक्तिबोध और परसाई के परंपरा के लेखक थे। प्रभाकर जितना लिखते थे, उतना पढ़ते भी थे। उनकी रुचि समकालीन राजनीति, अर्थनीति, दर्शनशास्त्र, इतिहास इन तमाम विषयों में थी। साहित्य की विधाओं में उनकी अधिक रुचि कथा साहित्य पढ़ने में थी। पत्र-पत्रिकाओं में वे सबसे पहले कहानियां ही पढ़ते थे। कोई रचना पसंद आ जाए और रचनाकार का फोन नंबर उपलब्ध हो तो फोन करके बधाई देने में देरी या कंजूसी नहीं करते थे। इस तरह देश के कितने ही नए लेखकों को उन्होंने खासकर प्रोत्साहित किया। वे फिर मुझे बताते थे कि फलानी पत्रिका में फलाने की कहानी छपी है। तुम भी पढ़ लेना।

एक दिलचस्प तथ्य है कि मैंने जब कोई नई कविता लिखी तो सबसे पहले प्रभाकर को ही सुनाई। 1996 में एक रात अचानक मेरी नींद खुली और मैं सात साल बाद लंबे समय से अधूरी पड़ी एक कविता को पूरी करने के लिए टेबल पर बैठ गया। सुबह चार बजे कविता पूरी हुई। अब बेचैनी थी कि प्रभाकर को सुना दूं। सुबह छह बजे नहीं कि मैंने फोन खटखटा दिया। प्रभाकर नींद में ही थे। मैंने कहा- कविता सुनो। लंबी कविता थी। उन्होंने सुनी और सजग प्रतिक्रिया दी- अच्छी है लेकिन आखिरी पैरा में झोल है। मैं निराश हो गया। कहा- यार! इतने साल बाद कविता लिखी पर तुम उसे खारिज कर रहे हो। खैर, मैंने कविता को नए सिरे से पढ़ा। प्रभाकर की राय ठीक लगी। कविता को संशोधित किया। उन्हें दुबारा सुनाई। जब प्रभाकर का अनुमोदन मिल गया तो संतोष हुआ कि वाकई मैंने एक अच्छी कविता लिख ली है। 'तिमिर के झरने में तैरती अंधी मछलियां'  मेरी प्रिय कविता है और उसका श्रेय प्रभाकर को ही है।

साभार: देशबन्धु

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Sunday, June 3, 2018