THE DARK GIRL | Storytelling/ Poetry in hindi | shayarix 2.0

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Chapter 12 – A Trip To Pune

Maine ghadi ki taraf dekha. Subah ke 4 baj rahe the. Maine raat faisla kiya tha ke subah savere jaldi hi Pune ki liye niklunga par ab betha ye faisla nahi kar pa raha tha ke jaoon kaise. Nisha ki kahi baat sach thi. Mumbai mein jagah jagah police check posts honge, meri talash ke liye. Khaas taur se shehar ke bahar jaane wali sadkon par. Ek baar ko maine socha ke Train se chala jaoon par phir ye soch kar irada badal diya ke agar kahin beech mein checking ho gayi toh bura phas jaoonga. Train mein toh kahin bhaagne ke liye bhi jagah nahi milegi aur chalti Train se koodne ka na toh mujhe koi experience tha aur na hi filhal aisa koi tajurba karne ka mera mood tha.

Vaise hi waqt bura chal raha tha, chalti Train se agar kooda toh 100% percent sidha uper ke liye rawana ho jaoonga.

Kaafi der soch vichar ke baad maine apna mann banaya aur kamre se nikal kar neeche us ladke ke paas pahuncha. Vo counter ke pichhe hi neeche zameen par chadar bichhaye gehri neend mein so raha tha. Maine use hila kar jagaya.

Lodge se nikalte nikalte mujhe subah ke 6 baj gaye. Bahar aaya toh yun laga jaise main ek arse se us lodge mein hoon jabki maine vahan sirf ek hi din bitaya tha. Mumbai jitna der se soti hai utna hi jaldi jaag bhi jaati hai. Subah ke 6 baje bhi sadkon par itni chehal pehal thi jaise din ke 12 baj rahe hon. Ek Auto ko maine ishara dekar roka aur Panvel ki taraf chalne ko kaha. Usne jhijhakte hue mujhe sar se paon tak ek baar dekha aur shayad inkaar karne ke liye munh khol hi raha tha ke maine jeb se 100 ke kuchh note nikal kar usko dikhaye. Usne mujhe andar bethne ka ishara kiya aur Auto aage badhaya.

Subah se mere dimag mein kayi baar khyaal aaya tha ke Khan ko phone karne apne jaane ke baare mein bata doon par uska nateeja main achhi tarah se janta tha. Pichhle 3 din se vo mujhe suna hi raha tha ke main kitna bada bevakoof hoon jo apne aapko is janjaal mein phasa liya. Agar ab main use ye kehta ke main uski di hui hidayat ko apni charpai ki neeche chhodkar Pune ki taraf ja raha hoon toh jaane vo gusse mein kya karta. Us waqt main uski ek nahi balki 2 hidayaton ko nazar andaaz kar raha tha. Ek toh ye ke main Saanwli ke case ko filhal ke liye bhool jaoon aur doosra ke apne hotel se bahar na niklun jab tak ke vo na kahe.

Usko batana hi nahi, mere dil mein toh ye bhi khyaal aaya tha ke kyun na main usko saath lekar hi Pune chalun. Ek police ki jeep mein bethkar jaane se zyada safe baat kya ho sakti thi. Na koi checking ka darr aur na kahin pakde jaane ka khatra. Magar phir khyaal ye aaya ke ho na ho, Khan se bhi sawal jawab toh mere baare mein hua hi hoga. Aakhir vo mere bahut kareebi dost tha. Aur yun usko apne saath le jaane ka bolkar shayad main apne saath use bhi khatre mein daalta. Agar kahin 1% bhi pakde jaane ka chance hua toh mere saath saath vo bhi phasega. Vo mere Bhai ki tarah tha aur uske saath main aisa nahi kar sakta tha.

Naam liya shaitan haazir. Main Auto mein betha uske baare mein soch hi raha tha ke mere phone ki ghanti baj uthi. Call Khan ki hi thi. Maine call receive nahi ki aur bell off karke phone vaapis apni jeb mein rakh liya. Main is waqt Auto mein tha, bahar traffic ki shor gul tha. Agar call receive kar leta toh Khan ko ye samjhana mushkil ho jata ke is waqt Hotel se bahar kya kar raha hoon.

Auto mein bethe saamne sadak ki taraf driver se zyada main gaur se dekh raha tha. Kahin bhi agar koi police barrier nazar aata toh mera fauran Auto se utar jaane ka irada tha aur zyada intezaar karna bhi nahi pada. Thoda hi aage chal kar ek jagah Traffic thoda slow ho gaya aur Auto mein bethe bethe door se hi mujhe ek Policewale ki gardan nazar aa gayi.

“Roko” Maine Autowale se kaha.

“Kya?” Usne meri taraf ghoom kar dekha.

“Side laga idhar”

Mere kehne par usne Auto side mein le kar rok liya.

“Kya ho gaya?”

“Kitna hua?” Maine meter ki taraf dekhte hue puchha.

“Tumko Panvel jaane ka tha na? Ye Panvel nahi hai”

“Maalum hai. Idhar kaam hai mujhe kuchh. Tum jao”

Maine meter ki taraf dekha aur usko paise dekar chalta kiya. Auto traffic mein dheere dheere aage badhne laga aur main uspar nazar rakhte hue vahin footpath par neeche beth gaya aur jeb se ek Beedi nikal kar sulgayi.

Mere vahan bethne ka maqsad sirf itna tha ke kahin Auto wala mere yun utar jaane par shak karte hue aage police walo ko kuchh keh na de par aisa hua nahi. Auto dheere dheere aage badhta hua Barrier paar kar gaya. Uske guzar jaane ke baad maine ek aur Beedi sulgayi aur uth kar paidal hi Barrier ki taraf badha.

Us waqt aalam kuchh aisa tha ke dil seene mein dham dham karne laga tha, nabz tez ho gayi thi, maathe par paseena aane laga tha aur dimag cheekh cheekh kar keh raha tha ke palat ja. Halke halke langdate hue main police walo ke kareeb pahuncha. Vo bade dhyaan se har gaadi ko rok kar andar jhaank jhaank kar dekh rahe the. Main chup chap Beedi ke kash lagata hua footpath par chalta unke saamne se nikal gaya. Kisi ka dhyaan meri taraf nahi gaya.

Us waqt mera huliya kuchh aisa tha ke sar poori taraf se ganja, chehre par bhaari daadhi moonchh, purane kisi mazdoor ke jaise kapde, ek haath mein beedi aur daayen paon ki joote ke andar ek akhbaar ke tukde bhare hue jiski vajah se meri chaal main apne aap naturally bina kisi koshish ke langdapan aa raha tha. Bahut pehle maine apna ek kaan chhidvaya tha par kabhi kuchh pehna nahi par is waqt us kaan mein ek moti si baali latak rahi thi.

Ye sab subah maine lodge se nikalne se pehle kiya tha. Jo baali us waqt mere kaan mein thi vo baali nahi ek bada se keychain ka ring tha jise badi mushkil se maine apne kaan mein phasaya tha. Ring maine hotel ke kamre ki chaabi se nikala tha. Purane kapde us ladke ke mama ke the jo jaane kabse nahi dhule the aur buri tarah badbu maar rahe the. Purane thode phate Joote bhi maine use ladke se hi liye the aur ek akhbaar phaad kar ek joote mein ghusa diya tha taaki agar main bhool jaoon toh bhi langdata rahun.

Yahi vajah thi ke vo auto wala mujhe bethane se pehle hichkicha raha tha ke ye Bhikhari auto ke paise de bhi payega ya nahi par jab maine use note nikal kar dikhaye toh usko tasalli ho gayi ke paise hain mere paas.

Aur phir Mumbai se nikal kar bahar tak aane ka safar mera isi tarah kata. Maine 7 alag alag auto kiye aur har baar Police Barrier se thoda pehle utar jata, beedi sulgata aur langdata hua policewalo ke kareeb se hi nikal jata. Unka poora dhyaan aati jaati gaadiyon ki taraf tha. Paas se paidal guzar rahe ek gareeb langde mazdoor ki taraf kisi ne ek nazar dekha tak nahi.
Mumbai se Pune ki taraf jaane wale highway par bane ek dhabe par maine kuchh khaya aur apne aage ke safar ke baare mein socha. Main Mumbai se bahar zaroor tha par khatre se bahar nahi. Ye bahut mumkin tha ke Mumbai police ki tarah Pune police bhi mere intezaar mein aankhen bichhaye bethi ho kyunki ye khyaal toh laazmi policewalo ko aaya hoga ke main jald se jald shehar chhodne ki koshish karunga.Apne Bus se Pune tak jaane ko irade ko badalte hue main khana khatam karke sadak ke kinare aa khada hua aur aate jaate Trucks ko haath dikha kar lift maange laga.

Kismat se zyada intezaar nahi karna pada. Ek Truck wala jo usi dhaabe par khana khane ke liye ruka tha mujhe dekh kar rok gaya.

“Kahan jaoge Bhau?” Mujhe lift maangte dekh usne puchha.

“Pune tak”

“Beth jao”

“Pichhe bethta hoon” Maine kaha aur Truck ke pichhle hisse ki taraf badha. Jis waqt main khana kha raha tha tab ye truck dhabe par aa kar ruka tha aur maine dekh liye tha ke Truck khali tha. Isliye aage driver ke saath bethne se behtar maine pichhe chhup kar bethna munaasib samjha. Aur vaise bhi, aage bethta toh driver mujhe baaten karta, sawal jawab karta jo ke bahut natural si baat hai parr is waqt mera kisi se baat karne ka koi mood nahi tha.

Maine Truck mein chadha toh dekha ke pichhe ek aur aadmi betha hua tha. Main use dekh kar muskuraya aur ek kone mein jakar beth gaya. Truck ko dekh kar andaza ho jata tha ke ye abhi abhi kahin sabziyan utaar kar aaye hain kyunki sabzi ki kuchh boriyan ab bhi pichhe rakhi hui thi.

Pune tak ka mera safar aaram se kata. Koi dikkat nahi hui sivaay ek ke. Raaste mein ek jagah checking ho rahi thi aur vo shayad mere liye nahi balki yun hi normal checking thi par chor ki daadhi mein tinka. Mera ghabrana natural tha. Jab ek policewala Truck mein pichhe jhaank kar dekhne laga toh ek baar phir mere dil ki dhadkan tez hone lagi. Truck mein pichhe ham do log hi bethe the aur jaane kyun mujhe us waqt aisa laga ke agar main apne saath bethe us doosre aadmi se kuchh baat karun toh shayad policewale ko shak na ho. Vo mujhse bhi Truck helper hi samjhe, na ki koi lift lekar betha hua shakhs.

Vo policewala Truck mein chadh kar rakhi hui Boriyan ko check karne laga. Main nervous se andaaz mein apne saath bethe us doosre aadmi ki taraf ghooma par samajh nahi aaya ke kya baat karun. Vo aadmi poora ganja tha, baal ka bageecha tabah ho chuka tha aur saare baal ud chuke the. Maine uske sar par nazar daali aur phir jaane kahan se ek bahut hi bevakoof sawal apne aap hi munh se nikal pada.

“Chacha ek baat batao” Maine muskurate hue kaha, ishara uske sar ki taraf tha “Jab aap subah munh dhote ho toh pata kaise chalta hai ke kahan tak dhona hai?”

Jawab mein usne sirf mujhe ghoor kar dekha aur mere sar ki taraf nazar daali. Tab mujhe dhyaan aaya ke uski tarah main bhi poori tarah ganja hoon par shukar hai ke usne jawab mein kuchh kaha nahi. Bas khamoshi se mujhe ghoorta raha. Policewala apni tasalli karke Truck se utar gaya aur iske baad Pune tak kahin aur koi takleef nahi aayi. Na hi maine us aadmi se phir baat ki.

Main pehle bhi kayi baar Pune aa ja chuka tha isliye shehar se vaakif tha. Maya shehar ke jis hisse mein rehti thi vahan main pehle bhi gaya hua tha. Shehar ke andar ghuste hi sabse pehle maine ek Auto kiya aur phir se Mumbai ki tarah yahan bhi ek 3rd class lodge mein check in kiya. Yahan rukne ka mera koi irada toh nahi tha par phir bhi kahin theharne ka intezaam karna zaroori thi. Pehli vajah toh ye ke main yun Bhikhari jaisi halat mein Maya se milne nahi ja sakta tha. Is huliye mein vo kabhi mujhse baat na karti. Doosri vajah ye ke Pune pahunchne tak mujhe shaam ho chali thi toh bahut mumkin tha ke aaj shayad Maya se mulaqat na ho aur raat yahin guzarni pade. Aur teesri vajah ye ke mujhe phir Mumbai mein ghusne ka plan banana tha. Main yun hi munh utha kar vaapis nahi ja sakta. Jis tarah Dharavi se yahan tak aane mein mushkil hui hai isi tarah vaapis jaane mein bhi pareshani hone wali thi.

Jis lodge mein maine check in kiya, kismat se uske saamne hi ek kapdo ki dukaan bhi thi. Maine apne liye kuchh kapde kharide aur kamre mein pahunch kar Maya ko phone milaya.

Maine pehle hi soch rakha tha ke mujhe kya kehna tha.

“Maya ji mera naam Khan hai. Inspector Khan, Mumbai police” Usne phone uthaya toh maine apne aapko Inspector Khan bata kar introduce kiya.

“Ji kahiye” Doosri taraf se aawaz aayi.

“Shayad aapko khabar ho ke aapki ex room-mate Saanwli Mitra kuchh din se gayab hai”

“Ji haan suna maine. Uski behan ki kisi dost ka phone aaya tha mere paas, Nisha i think her name was”

‘Ji haan aur main officially ye case investigate kar raha hoon. Ummeed kar raha tha ke aapse Saanwli ko lekar do baatein kar sakun taaki uske baare mein kuchh pata chal sake”

“Aapne hostel mein pata kiya?”

“Ji gaya tha main vahan par har kisi ka kehna hai ke agar Saanwli ke baare mein koi bata sakta hai toh sirf aap. Vo sirf aapse hi baat karti thi, baaki aur kisi ke paas use lekar koi information nahi tha”

“Yeah thats true, aisi hi thi vo. Yun toh kisi ke saamne ek shabd bhi nahi bolti thi par akele mein bol bolkar mere kaan kha jaati thi”

“Thats why. I was hoping ke shayad aapse hamein koi aisi baat pata chal jaaye jo is case mein help kar sake”

“Haan puchhiye”

“Ji main ummeed kar raha tha ke mil kar baat ho sake”

Usko shayad laga ke main use police station bula raa hoon.

“Ji police station aana toh…..” Usne sochte hue kaha.

Uska reaction vaisa hi tha jaise ke hamare desh ke har izzat-daar insaan ka hota hai. Police station jana aaj bhi log apni izzat ke khilaff samajhte hain aur agar kisi ko pata chal jaaye ke falana aadmi police station hokar aaya hai toh hazaar baatein hona laazmi hai.

“Koi tension nahi hai. Aapko police station aane ki koi zaroorat nahi. Aap kahen toh main aapke ghar aa sakta hoon” Vo soch mein pad gayi toh maine fauran kaha…

“Nahi ghar par nahi. Kaafi log hote hain” Vo boli toh mujhe uski baat mein dam laga. Vo ek shaadi shuda aurat thi. Yun kisi police wale ka ghar par aakar usse baat karna utna hi bura mana jata jitna ke uska khud police station jana.

“Ek kaam karte hain” Maine kaha “Na aap police station aaiye aur na main aapke ghar. Kahin bahar mil kar baat kar lete hain. Main aapka zyada waqt nahi loonga”

“Ok. Bataiye kahan aana hai?”

Usne puchha toh maine uske ghar se thoda door ek coffee-house ka address bata diya.

“Ok. Kitni der baad aana hai?”

Is baat ke liye main taiyyar nahi tha. Main ummeed kar raha tha ke vo mujhe kal ya parso milne ka kahegi.

“2 ghante baad?” Maine ghadi ki taraf dekhte hue kaha.

“Sure. I will be there”

Phone rakhne ke baad maine chain ki saans li. Mujhe lag raha tha ke Maya se baat karne mein ya information lene mein shayad khaasi mehnat karni pade. Vaise bhi aaj kal policewalo se aasani se koi baat nahi karta aur main toh vo bhi nahi tha. Jis tarah se maine use munh utha kar phone ghuma diya tha, usse mujhe lag raha tha ke vo shayad baat karte hue bhi sochegi, ulta mujhse sawal karegi par aisa hua nahi. Vo kaafi aasani se maan gayi thi.

Khair, main naha dhokar Lodge se nikla. Daadhi moonchh aur kaan se us key-chain ring ko maine nikal diya tha. Yun asli chehre ke saath khule mein aana khatarnaak tha par mere paas aur koi chara bhi nahi tha.

Ek taxi mein beth kar main us coffee-house pahuncha aur Maya ka intezaar karne laga. Vahan us waqt kaafi chehal pehal thi. Ek table par beth kar maine ek cup coffee mangvayi aur darwaze par nazar gadaye Maya ka intezaar karne laga. 2 ghante takreeban poore ho hi chale the.

Vahan us waqt kaafi log the aur koi na koi darwaze se aa ja raha tha jinmein aadhe se zyada ladkiyan aur auraten thi. Mujhe samajh nahi aa raha tha ke use pehchanunga kaise par Thodi hi der baad ek ladki darwaza khol kar andar aayi aur khadi aas paas ki tables ka jaayza lene lagi. Uske kapdon aur haathon ki kalaiyon mein pade choode ko dekh kar koi bhi bata sakta tha ke uski abhi haal filhal mein hi shaadi hui hai. Main fauran samajh gaya ke ho na ho, yahi Maya hai.

Main chair se uth kar khada hua aur haath utha kar usko ishara kiya. Vo fauran muskurati hui meri taraf badhi. Uske saath ek ladka bhi tha.

“Maya ji?” Vo kareeb aayi toh maine apna haath milane ke liye aage badhaya “Inspector Khan”

“Hello” Usne haath milaya aur apne saath aaye aadmi ki taraf palti “My husband Rajesh”

Of course. Koi policewala yun kisi ladki ko phone karke bulaye toh vo akeli toh nahi aane wali thi. Shaadi-shuda thi toh apne husband ko saath laayi.

“Hello Sir” Maine us aadmi se haath milaya aur ham teeno table par beth gaye.

Maya ke bahut hi khobsurat nain-naksh wali ladki thi. Lamba kad, slim body, gora rang, teekhe nain naksh, overall ek pleasant personality. Uske chehre par ek muskurahat jaise har waqt rehti thi. Ek smiling face, jaisa ke kaha jata hai, khuda ne jaise use tohfe mein diya tha.

Usse milte hue sirf ek baat ka mujhe darr tha. Maine chaude mein ye keh toh diya tha ke main Inspector Khan hoon par agar vo mujhse mera ID card dikhane ko bol deti toh mujhe baglen jhaankni padti. Par aisa hua nahi. Maine kaha ke main policewala hoon aur un dono ne maan liya.

“Kya legen aap log?” Maine puchha.

“Regular?” Vo apne pati ki taraf palti aur usne bhi muskurate hue haan mein sar hila diya.

“Ham log yahan aksar aate rehte hain” Vo mujhse mukhaatib hui “Yahan ki cappuccino amazing hai. Aapko bhi try karni chahiye”

“All right then, cappuccino it is” Maine muskurate hue kaha aur ek waiter ko order diya.

“Raghu se baat ki aap logon ne?” Maya ne mujhse sawal kiya.

Main is sawal ka jawab kya doon soch hi raha tha ke usne mera chehra padh liya.

“You guys dont know about him yet?”

“No i am afraid not. Who is he?”

“He was Saanwli’s boyfriend. Kaafi serious thi vo uske baare mein”

“Mujhe is baare mein koi information nahi mili hai ab tak” Maine apni jeb se ek chhota sa notepad aur pen nikala “I didnt even know she had a boyfriend. Raghu you said his name was?”

“Yeah Raghu but i think vo uska pet name tha. Uska real name shayad Pratap tha. Raghu vo usko pyaar se bulati thi”

“Mili thi aap kabhi is Raghu se?” Maine sawal kiya.

“Nahi i never met him, Saanwli uske baare mein batati rehti thi aksar. Kayi baar vo agar bathroom vagerah mein hoti thi toh main uska phone receive kar leti thi tab ek aadhi baar usse baat hui thi, isse zyada nahi”

Tabhi ek waiter ek cup mein 3 cappuccino le aaya toh ham kuchh pal ke liye khamosh ho gaye.

“Vaise aapne mujhe pehchana kaise?” Waiter ke jaane ke baad ham teeno ne apna apna coffe ka cup uthaya aur Maya ne mujhse puchha.

“Kind of easy you know. Mujhe bataya gaya tha ke aapki recently shaadi hui hai jiske baad aap Pune mein shift ho gayi thi. Aapke haathon ka chooda aur aapke kapde is baat ki gawahi de rahe hain. Aur jis tarah se aap aur aapke husband andar aakar chaaron taraf dekh rahe the usse saaf pata chalta tha ke aap kisi ko dhoondh rahe hain. Toh bas maine 2 aur 2 milaye aur 4 ho gaye”

“Nice” Vo muskurati hui boli “Mujhe laga ke shayad aapne meri photo vagerah dekhi ho kahin. Hostel records mein i mean”

“Nahi nahi. It was just a lucky guess when you walked in that door” Maine coffee ka sip lete hue kaha.

“Vaise aap na pehchante toh ham pehchan lete” Is baar uska husband bola “You have that police wala look you know”

Ye nayi baat thi. Aaj tak mujhe kisi ne ye nahi kaha tha. Samajh nahi aaya ke compliment samjhun ya comment.

“Really?” Maine maathe par shikan laate hue kaha.

“Yeah specially that shaved head of yours. Gives that cop look you know” Usne mere ganje sar ki taraf ishara kiya.

Chalo ganja sar kahin toh kaam aaya. At least yahan ID card dikhane ki naubat nahi aayi, vo kaam mere ganje sar ne kar diya.

“I didnt mean it in an offensive way though, just making conversation” Usne fauran safai bhi di ke kahin main bura na maan jaoon.

“Arrey nahi there is no need of that. Ham policewale bhi joke samajh lete hain kabhi kabhi” Maine bhi sur mein sur milata hua bola “Aur kya bata sakti hain aap mujhe Saanwli ke baare mein”

“Sirf utna hi jitna ke usne mujhe bataya. Vo kaafi secretive type ki ladki thi you know, apni baatein kisi se share nahi karti thi. Aur yahi vajah thi ke vo hostel mein mere alawa kisi aur ladki se zyada baat nahi karti thi. She was like a closed book you know, you can never know the content without opening it aur aisa vo lakh koshish ke baad bhi karne nahi deti thi. She was very careful about what she is talking to others”

“Even with you?” Maine puchha

“Yeah even with me. Vaise toh ham kaafi frank ho gaye the ek doosre se but apni personnal life mujhse bhi zyada share nahi karti thi vo aur na hi kabhi meri personnal life ke baare mein zyada puchhti thi. Even jab meri shaadi ki baat chali tab bhi usne mujhse is baare mein koi sawal nahi kiya, jitna maine bataya sunkar chup ho gayi which is very weird for a girl you know”

“Yeah i agree” Maine sehmati jatayi.

“I mean baatein karna toh ham ladkiyon ke nature mein hota hai aur shaadi toh ham logon ka favourite topic hota hai but not for her. Vo mere saath baatein bahut karti thi, ham log hasi mazak bhi karte the par sab idhar udhar ki baatein. Nothin personnal about each other. Uske baare mein jitna maine jana vo ya toh uske munh se suna ya uske saath rehkar uske daily routine ko notice karke jana”

“Ok. Why dont you run me through this, whatever you know i mean. Let me see if i can find anything that can be useful to me” Maine sochte hue kaha.

“Yeah sure. Let us see, Vo Mumbai koi ek saal pehle aayi thi. Aane se pehle hi usne is hostel mein booking kara li thi shayad ya phir use yahan ka pata kaise chala i cant tell you that. Usne kabhi bataya nahi. Shuru ke kuchh din tak hamare beech sirf Hi Hello hi thi, isse zyada kuchh nahi. Aur phir dheere dheere ham dono ki aapas mein baatein hone lagi. Vo kaafi din tak job talash karti rahi aur phir maine hi uski help karke apne ek friend ke through ke office mein as receptionist ki job dila di. Thats when we actually became friends, she was kind of thankful to me you know”

“Kahan job karti thi vo?”

“Ek Private office hai, mera ek friend vahan kaam karta tha. They make some hardware stuff i think, Nails and screws you know. Vahan receptionist ki post open thi toh maine use kaha ke try kar le. Kismat se use job mil bhi gayi”

“Is Office ka address de sakti hain aap mujhe?”

“Sure” Kehte hue usne mujhe Bandra ka ek address likhvaya.

“Ok. What after that?”

“Pehle sab theek raha, vo subah office chali jaati thi aur shaam ko aa jaati thi par phir dheere dheere she satarted changing”

“Changing in terms of?”

“In terms of everything. Pehle sidhe saade kapdon mein rehti thi but then she started dressing up a little fancy which i think was quite natural for an independent girl living in Mumbai. But then she started coming late and by late, i mean really late”

“How late?”

“Like 12 or 1 in the night. Subah 8 ya 9 baje tak nikal jaati thi aur phir raat ko 12 baje tak vaapis aati. Maine sawal kiya ke itna late tak kahan rehti hai toh pehle toh taal gayi phir bataya ke kisi friend ke saath bahar ghoomne chali jaati hai”

“Which is also not quite un-natural i think”

“No its not but then ek raat mujhe neend nahi aa rahi thi aur main hostel ki chhat par tehal rahi thi and i can swear ke use ek police ki gaadi drop karke gayi thi”

Mere dimag ki fauran ghanti baji. Us hostel ke guard na bhi mujhe yahi baat batayi thi.

“Police ki gaadi?”

“Yeah, maine usse puchha bhi tha is baare mein par vo hamesha ki tarah taal gayi. Kehne lagi ki police ki gaadi nahi thi aur mujhe dhokha hua hai”

“Phir?”

“Phir achanak se usne phir se time par aana shuru kar diya. Office se sidha ghar aati aur phir 2-3 ghante ke liye ghoomne nikal jaati. Tab mujhe pata chala uske boyfriend ke baare mein”

“Pratap ya Raghu jo bhi naam hai uska?”

“Yes. Ek din kaafi excited thi vo kisi baat ko lekar. Apne cellphone mein kisi ko message par message kar rahi thi. Maine puchha toh khush hote hue usne mujhe bataya ke uska ek boyfriend hai aur vo office se aane ke baad shaam ko usi ke saath ghoomne phirne nikal jaati hai”

“Is Raghu ke baare mein kuchh bataya usne?”

“Nahi kuchh khaas nahi. Main bataya na ke kaafi secretive thi vo. Ek do baar maine jaanna bhi chaha tha. Specially jab vo ye kehti thi that she will get married to that Raghu guy” Maya ne baat jaari rakhi.

“Married? That serious?” Main bola.

“Oh yeah, she was head over heels in love with that guy. Aksar kehti thi ke vo bhi use utna hi chahta hai aur dono shaadi kar lenge. Ek do baar uske yahi kehne par maine puchha ke vo ladka karta kya hai, kahan ka hai vagerah vagerah par vo har baar haskar taal deti thi. Aur tab tak main bhi uska nature samajh gayi thi toh phir main bhi zyada sawal jawab nahi karti thi”

“Kuchh aisa notice kiya ho aapne kabhi uske baare mein which you think was a little weird?”

“You mean related to Raghu?”

“Related to anything”

“Not something particular. Offhand toh mujhe 2 baatein hi yaad aati hain jo mujhe laga tha ke thodi ajeeb thi aur isse kabhi maine uske baare mein puchhna chaha bhi toh nahi puchha. Ek toh vo vaise hi baatein share nahi karti thi and then ye baatein mujhe thoda awkward bhi lagi toh phir main chup hi reh gayi ke kahin vo bura na maan jaaye”

“Kaun si baatein?” Main apne notepad mein saath saath jo baatein mujhe zaroori lag rahi thi likhta bhi ja raha tha.

“Pehli toh ye ke us ladke ka number uske cell mein saved nahi tha” Maya ne bataya.

“Matlab? Raghu ka number?”

“Yep, Raghu ka number”

“Saved nahi tha matlab?”

“Matlab ke kisi naam se saved nahi tha. Call aati thi toh bas number dikhai deta tha, koi naam nahi”

“Hmmm, thats weird” Maine sochte hue kaha.

“Exactly. Uska number ya toh Saanwli ko yaad raha hoga ya phir call list mein se hi nikalkar phone karti hogi.”

“Aisa karne ki koi khaas vajah aapko lagi ho kabhi koi?”

“I havent got the faintest clue. And ek baar maine usko ek address message kiya tha kahin se, baad mein mujhe us address ki zaroorat padi. Usne mujhe kaha ke main uske cell se le loon. Jab main uske message box mein gayi toh us ladke ke number se kayi saare messages Saanwli ke cell mein the par naam se nahi the, sirf number hi dikhai de raha tha”

“And how do you know ke ye us ladke ka hi number tha?”

“Ek do baar calls receive ki thi maine toh number dikh gaya tha. Uske number ke last 3 digits 000 the toh isliye vo alag hi dikhai de jata tha”

“Do you remember that number?”

“No i am sorry. Bas itna yaad hai ke last mein teen zeroes the”

“Ok” Maine diary mein note banate hue kaha “Aur doosri baat?”

“Doosri baat ye ke i think vo kuchh galat logon ke saath mix up ho gayi thi beech mein. Its just a hunch you know, i cant say for sure” Vo thoda jhijhakti hui boli.

“What makes you say that?”

“Ek baar main shopping ke liye market mein ghoom rahi thi, akeli and then i saw Saanwli with a few girls”

“Girls from the hostel?”

“No, not from the hostel. Girls that i didnt know and i have no idea that how she knew them. She never mentioned them to me as well”

“Maybe her friends from work?”

“Oh no not at all” Maya ne fauran jawab diya “Pehli baat toh ye ke vo jahan kaam karti thi vahan main gayi hui thi, aur mera ek dost bhi vahan kaam karta tha so i knew that those girls are not from there. Aur doosri baat vo ladkiyan thi bhi nahi aisi kahin office mein kaam karne wali lagen”

‘Can you elaborate on that a little?” Maine kaha.

“Ab kaise bataoon” VO sochti hui boli “For example mere husband ko dekhiye”

Usne apne husband ki taraf ishara kiya .

“Suit boot mein well dressed, dekhke lagta hai ke padha likha insaan hai aur achhe ghar se hai. He has that civilized sa well behaved aadmi wala look”

“Oh come on” Uska husband embarass hota hua bola.

“I think she is right” Maine haskar jawab diya.

“Ab sochiye ke aap mere husband ko Mumbai ke kuchh mawali type ladkon ke saath dekhte hain, wouldnt that look a little weird to you?”

“Yes it would. So you saw her with some girls that did not fit the criteria of people she usually would hang out with?”

“Yes you are right. You know us type ki ladkiyan like …..”

“Like Bar Dancers? Mumbai Bar Girls?” Main samajh gaya tha ke use relate karne mein pareshani ho rahi thi isliye baat maine poori kar di.

“Yes” Vo fauran boli “Thats it. Bar Dancer type ladkiyan”

“Hmmm. Thats interesting indeed”

“And this was at the time when she was with Raghu?”

“Nahi ye usse pehle ki baat hai, jab vo office se raat ko 12-1 baje ke kareeb vaapis aati thi. And now since you mentioned Bar Dancer, mujhe ek teesri baat aur yaad aayi”

“And what is that?”

“Uske cell mein maine ek baar ek ladki ka number saved dekha tha jiska naam mujhe thoda offbeat laga, kinda weird?”

“Ok. What was the name?”

“Soch rahi hoon.” Vo dimag par zor daalti hui boli “Champa, pushpa, Basanti …… ”

Vo saare purani filmi style naam ginane lagi jo agar aaj ke zamane mein kisi ladki ke hon toh bechari ka mazak ban jaaye. Achanak vo xxxxxki bajate hue boli.

“Bijli”

“Bijli?” Main chaunk pada.

“Yes, thats it. Bijli. Pehle toh mujhe laga ke shayad electricity office vagerah kahin ka number hai par ek baar maine use phone par us ladki se baat karte hue suna and she clearly said, Haan Bijli bol, tu kitne baje tak aa rahi hai. Thats when i knew ke ye Bijli asal mein kisi ladki ka naam hai”

“Is Bijli ke baare mein aur kuchh jaanti hain aap?” Maine sochte hue sawal kiya.

“No i am afraid not. I just saw that number once” Vo inkaar mein gardan hilati hui boli.

“And uske baad you said ke Saanwli returned to her usual self?”

“Yes, i think it was sometime after she met that Raghu Guy. Then everything went normal, she was a woman in love wanting to get
married and thats actually when i got married and moved out”

Maya ke paas se mujhe ummeed thi ke kuchh na kuchh toh aisa milega jo is case mein meri madad kar sake aur mujhe mayusi nahi hui.

Saanwli Sharafat Bhai ke Bar mein kaam karti thi ye baat toh mujhe pehle hi pata chal gayi thi. Bijli Saanwli ko jaanti thi ye bhi baat main janta tha, khud Bijli ne hi batayi thi par Maya se milkar pata chala ke shayad kuchh baatein aisi bhi thi jo Bijli mujhse chhipa gayi thi. Ye mumkin tha ke Saanwli ke paas uska phone number hona ek aam si baat ho. Vo dono Sharafat ke liye kaam karti thi, ek hi Bar se related thi toh ho sakta tha ke number yun bina kisi gehri jaan pehchan ke ek doosre ko diya ho par jaane kyun mujhe lag raha tha ke mamla isse kuchh zyada tha. Bijli se ek baar phir milne ki zaroorat aan padi thi.

Aur jo sabse zaroori baat pata chali thi vo thi Saanwli ke us mystery boyfriend ka naam jiska number bhi ek fake ID par registered tha.

“Very well” Maine apne notepad band karte hue kaha “I think i have taken enough of you kind people’s time. I wont keep you any further”

“Not a concern at all” Jawab Maya ke pati Rajesh ne diya “Happy to help”

“Can you do me a favor?” Maya mujhse mukhatib hui.

“Sure”

“You have my number already. Can you please just give me a call whenever you find Saanwli. For peace of my mind?”

“Sure why not. Mujhe kuchh bhi pata chalte hi main aapko phone kar doonga” Maine muskurate hue kaha.

“And can i have your number as well? Agar mujhe aur kuchh yaad aata hai toh aapko phone kar doongi”

Ye ek ajeeb situation ho gayi thi. Jo number filhal main use kar raha tha vo main kisi aur ko dena nahi chahta tha. Kuchh sochte hue maine use Nisha ka number diya.

“Actually mere paas filhal koi phone hai nahi. Phone kho gaya tha aur uske baad naya ab tak lene ka time mila nahi. Ek dost ke number se kaam chala raha hoon par aap ye number rakhiye. Ispar call karke agar aap mere baare mein puchhengi toh yahan se aapko mera number mil jaayega”

“All right, thanks” Usne apne cell mein Nisha ka number save karte hue kaha.

“Ek baat aur” Maine uthte uthte sawal kiya “Aakhri baar kab mili thi aap Saanwli se ya aakhri baar baat kab hui thi?”

“Let me think” Maya khadi khadi sochne lagi “Mili toh main aakhri baar usse tab hi thi jab maine apni shaadi se pehle hostel chhoda tha. Uske baad kabhi milne ka mauka mila nahi usse. Aur aakhri baar baat meri shaadi ke agle din hui thi. Usne mujhe congratulate karne ke liye phone kiya tha. Uske baad phir kabhi baat nahi ho paayi”

“Vo aapki shaadi mein nahi aayi? I mean you guys lived together for sometime”

“Actually vo aane wali thi. Meri shaadi se 2 din pehle usne pune aana tha par aayi nahi. Maine phone kiya toh kehne lagi ke kahin kaam mein phasi hui hai, shaadi ke din aayegi par tab bhi nahi aayi. Phir agle din phone karke maafi maang li”

“Aur uske baad itne lambe waqt tak aap dono ki kabhi baat nahi hui? Usne aapko ya aapne use phone nahi kiya?”

“Maine kiya tha par usne apna number badal liya tha shayad. Kabhi call lagi hi nahi. Aur phir meri nayi nayi shaadi hui thi, i had a million things going on in my life toh maine bhi itna koi khaas dhyaan nahi diya”

“I understand” Maine haste hue kaha “Hamare desh mein shaadiyan vaise bhi ek bahut bada hassle hi ban jaati hain”

Un dono se milkar main vaapis hotel aaya. Ye sach tha ke Saanwli ke case ko lekar mere paas kaafi kuchh information ikatthi ho gayi thi par in sabko main aapas mein jod nahi pa raha tha. Kuchh pieces aise ab bhi missing thi jo saari kadiyon ko aapas mein jodkar paheli ko suljha sakte the. Ab tak jo kahani ka tana bana main bun paya tha vo kuchh is prakar tha.

  1. Saanwli Mumbai aayi.
  2. Ek ladies hostel mein room lekar vahan rehne lagi.
  3. Maya ke contacts ke through ek chhoti si company mein job mila.
  4. Chhota sa job yaani ke chhoti si salary jisse Mumbai jaise shehar mein guzara na-mumkin hai.
  5. Kharche shayad poore nahi hue isliye usne ek part time job aur kar li, ek Bar dancer ki.
  6. Vo ek sidhi saadi ladki se Bar dancer banne tak kaise pahunchi, ye filhal ek sawal hi tha.
  7. Padhi likhi thi, nain naksh theek thaak the isliye Sharafat ne use ek high class pub mein as waitress laga diya.
  8. Information ke hisab se vo Sharafat par dore daal rahi thi. Ye baat galat thi ya sahi, ye doosra sawal tha.
  9. Mauke ka fayda utha kar Sharafat ne ek baar usse zabardasti karni chahi. Usne is baat ki mukhalfat ki.
  10. Pub mein maujood koi hero Sharafat ki kanpati par bandook tika kar use vahan se bacha laya. Kya vo Raghu ya Pratap tha? Ek aur sawal.
  11. Uske baad Saanwli ne Pub ki naukri chhod di and she fell in love with someone. Kya ye vahi insaan tha jo use Pub se nikal kar laya tha? Phir se sawal.
  12. Aur iske baad phir kya hua, ye sabse bada aur eham sawal tha.

Aur phir Saanwli ke case ko apne dimag se hata kar maine ye sochna shuru kiya ke kal Mumbai vaapis kaise jaoonga aur filhal jo mere sar par murder case ki talwar latki hui thi, use kaise hataya jaaye.

Vaapis Mumbai main phir vaise hi pahuncha jaise ke Puna gaya tha. Aate hue phir vahi gareeb mazdoor ka bhes dhara, ek truck wale se lift maange aur Mumbai mein daakhil hua. Phir ek auto kiya aur Dharavi pahuncha.

Hairat ki baat thi ke jaate hue mujhe jitni pareshani ka samna karna pada tha, aate hue uske muqable bade aaram se Dharavi tak pahunch gaya. Shayad policewalo ko yahi lag raha tha ke main shehar se bahar nikalne ki koshish hi karunga, vaapis kyun aana chahunga.

Kismet ki baat thi ke main jaise hi lodge mein daakhil hua, mujhe saamne reception par hi Khan khada mil gaya.

“Aa gaya ganja” Mujhe dekhte hi vo mere huliye ke bavajood pal bhar mein pehchan gaya “Kahan mar gaya tha saale?”

Maine uski baat ka jawab dene ke liye munh khola hi tha ke phir khamosh ho gaya aur apne kamre ki taraf chalne ka ishaya kiya.

“Which part of Do not step out was so difficult to understand?” Kamre mein ghuste hi vo mujh par phat pada.

“Arrey yaar ….” Maine bolne ke liye munh khola hi tha ke usne meri baat kaat di.

“Saaf saaf kaha tha maine tujhe ke apne kamre ke bahar jhankna bhi mat. Mumbai police tujhe kutte ki taraf talash karti phir rahi hai aur tu saale sair sapate par nikla hua hai”

“Arrey bhai mujhe bolne ka mauka bhi toh de …..”

“Saale agar nahi jaan pyaari to bata de mujhe, main hi goli maar deta hoon na. Main kyun kutte ki tarah teri jaan bachane ke liye bhaaga phir raha hoon?”

“Mere bhai meri baat sun …..”

“All that you had to do was sit in your room, eat drink and watch TV and let me handle the rest, itna nahi ho raha tujhse?”

“Mujhe bolne dega? Tune kaha tha na ke yahan isi lodge mein mat rehna, badalte rehna chhupne ki jagah toh vahi dekhne gaya tha ke yahan se boriya bistar baandh kar kahan le jakar rakhun” Maine saaf jhooth bol diya.

“Ohhhhh” Meri baat sunkar vo pal ke liye khamosh hua par phir dobara shuru ho gaya “Toh iske liye khud bahar apna noorani chehra lekar nikalne ki kya zaroorat thi. Aur main jo kal se phone par phone mila raha hoon, uthata kyun nahi? Saala mujhe toh fikar ho chali thi ke mar mara toh nahi gaya kahin?”

“Is phone ki halat dekh” Maine apni jeb se vo purana phone nikala jo maine us lodge wale ladke se kharida tha “Marne ki kagar par hai ye. Kal se call receive nahi ho rahi” Maine phir jhooth bola.

“Toh palat kar mujhe call nahi kar sakta tha kya?”

“Do you see another phone in this room?” Maine apne haath phela kar kamre ki taraf ishara kiya “Aur tune kaha tha ke bahar mat jana isliye main bahar gaya nahi. Mujhe lag hi raha tha ke tu aa hi jayega milne agar maine call receive nahi ki toh”

Main pata nahi kyun par jhooth par jhooth bole ja raha tha. Vo shayad uske is tarah ek dam naraz hokar mujhpar chillane lag jaane ki vajah se meri himmat nahi pad rahi thi ke use bata sakun ke main Pune tak ka chakkar laga aaya tha.

Jaane se pehle us lodge wale ladke ko main keh kar gaya tha ke agar Khan aa jaaye toh use na bataye ke main kabse gaya hoon. Bas yahi keh de ke main abhi abhi bahar gaya hoon. Isliye main janta tha ke Khan ko nahi malum ke main kal se gayab tha.

“Hmmmm” Uska gussa thoda thanda pada “Mili koi theharne layak jagah?”

“Nahi yaar. Aas paas kuchh aisa dikha hi nahi jagah ruk sakun 2-3 din” Ye main sach keh raha tha. Dharavo mein badi der tak dhakke khaane ke baad mujhe ye ek lodge dikhai diya tha.

“Koi nahi” Vo table par rakhe jug se ek glass mein pani dalta hua bola “Main karta hoon kuchh intezaam”

“Kuchh pata chala Geetanjali ke case mein?”

“Nahi” Vo pani ke ghoonth bharta hua bola.

“To kya plan hai ab?”

“Plan simple hai bahut. Create an alibi”

“Little more details please” Maine apni jeb mein haath dalkar cigarette ka packet nikala. Khan ne fauran meri taraf ghoor kar dekha.

“Bigger picture please. This is the least of our concern right now” Maine fauran shakal banate hue kaha aur cigarette jala li.

‘Yeah i guess you are right” Vo hathyaar se daalte hue bola.

“Plan kya hai?”

“Plan ye hai dost ke 2 alibi create karne hain tere liye. Aur thoda post mortem walo ko paise khilane hain”

“Abhi bhi samajh nahi aa raha”

“Arrey sidhi si baat hai yaar, 2 log taiyyar karne hain. Ek toh jo ye bole ke khoon ke waqt tu uske saath tha aur doosra jo ye bataye ke tu vahan khoon hone ke baad pahuncha tha”

Actually khoon ke waqt main Bijli ke saath tha par is waqt usse mere liye gawahi dene ki ummeed main kar nahi sakta tha.

“Par is saare jhol jhal mein ek problem hai” Khan ne baat jaari rakhi.

“Kya?”

“Dekh khoon hone aur tere vahan jaane ke beech zyada waqt ka fasla nahi hai toh ye saabit karna mushkil ho jaayega ke tu kahan tha aur vahan kab pahuncha. Toh jis kisi ne bhi post morem report likhni hai use thoda bahut khila pila kar sirf ye karvana hai ke maut ka waqt thoda ek do ghante pichhe kar de aur court mein gawahi de de ke maut ya toh uske bataye waqt par hui thi ya usse pehle. That will increase our time window a bit”

“Hmmmm” Maine sochte hue kaha “Ek chhoti si baat ka dhyaan rakhna bas”

“Kya?”

“Marne se pehle Geetanjali ne mujhe phone kiya tha. Toh maut ka waqt itna pichhe mat khiska dena ke un call records se match na ho paaye”

“That doesnt matter. Koi saboot nahi hai is baat ka ke phone tujhe Geetanjali ne kiya tha. Tune phone uthaya hota toh baat alag thi par uske phone se number toh tera koi bhi dial kar sakta hai”

Main hairat se uski taraf dekhne laga.

“Aise kya dekh raha hai?”

“What happened to that old Khan jise sirf haath chalana aata tha? How did you turn into this?”

“Turn into what?” Use meri baat samajh nahi aayi.

“This man” Maine uski taraf apne dono haathon se ishara kiya “Kal tak mujhe samajh nahi aa raha tha ke is case se niklunga kaise aur yahan tune khade khade is baat ko hawa mein aise uda diya jaise bahut hi fizool si baat ho”

“Aasan hai yaar” Vo taareef sunkar zara jhenpta hua bola “Police mein hoon main, saare jhol jhaal pata hain mere ko. Sab khabar hai ke kaun si chidiya kitna ooncha udti hai aur kis taraf ko jaati hai”

“And who are these 2 alibis?”

“I am working on it par hain do bande meri nazar mein. Khabri hain mere. Ek court mein aakar ye keh dega ke jab khoon hua tab tu uske saath betha daaru pi raha tha aur doosra ye keh dega ke usne tujhe khoon hone ke baad Geetanjali ke ghar mein ghuste dekha tha aur tujhse pehle ek aadmi ghar se nikla tha jiska chehra vo dekh nahi paya”

“Kaun aadmi?” Maine fauran puchha.

“Abe farzi aadmi koi. Asal mein nahi”

“Ohhhh”

“Vaise toh is kahani mein bhi bade jhol jhal hain aur agar vakeel zara sa shana hua toh kapde phaad lega hamare. Isliye zara mujhe filhal har taraf se baat pakki kar lene do so that there is no lose end. Ek baar main saare sire jod doon kahani ke uske baad Sherlock Holmes ki bhi aukaat nahi hogi ke tujhe khooni saabit kar sake. Phir tu surrender kar dena mere police station aakar”

“I owe you man” Maine muskurate hue kaha and i truly meant it. Vo meri jaan ek bahut badi museebat se nikal raha tha.

“You dont owe me shit. Chal nikalta hoon main abhi”

“Theek hai”

“Tere theharne ka intezaam karke phone karunga tujhe aur sun” Kehta kehta vo phir palta.

“Kya?”

“Bahar mat nikalna ab aur apne phone mujhe de”

Maine jeb se phone nikal kar uski taraf badhaya.

“Abe sim nikal kar de” Kehte hue usne apni jeb se apna phone nikal kar apna sim card nikal liya “Ye phone rakh tu taaki dobara kharab na ho aur ye apne wala kachra mujhe de. Filhal ye main rakh leta hoon, baad mein doosra le loonga”

Vo apne phone mujhe dekar chala gaya. Uske jaane ke baad main cigarette ke kash lagata bed par thodi der tak betha raha. Museebat ke jo badal mere sar par mandra rahe the, uski baat sunkar ab chhante hue mehsoos ho rahe the.

Kuchh der tak yun hi bethe rehne ke baad maine Khan ke phone mein apna sim dala aur Chipku ka number dial kiya.

“Kaun hai be?” Call receive hote hi doosri taraf se aawaz aayi.

“Main bol raha hoon” Is taraf se main bola.

“Main kaun?”

“Main tere biwi ka yaar” Main chidte hue bola.

“Ek minute hold kar” Doosri taraf se Chipku ne kaha aur line par khamoshi chha gayi.

“Adi Bhai aap?” Koi 2 minute ke baad uski aawaz aayi.

“Haan. Koi hai toh nahi tere paas?”

“Nahi pehle the par abhi main uthkar idhar akele mein aa gaya. Vo Geetanjali Thakkar ke saath aapka kya rada tha?”

“Koi rada nahi tha yaar” Maine jawab diya.

“Toh kaahe ko maare usko?”

“Arre maine nahi mara. Phasaya ja raha hai mujhe is case mein”

‘Tabhi main sochun ke sala vo TV Akhbaar wale kya bakwaas kar rahe hain. Kaun phasa raha hai?”

“Vahi pata karne ki koshish kar raha hoon. Ek kaam karega tu mera?”

“Kuchh bhi Bhai, aap jo bolo” Vo fauran taiyyar ho gaya.

“Vo Bijli ke baare mein tu bola tha ke zyada jaanta nahi, hai na?”

“Abhi ye Bijli ka is mamle se kya lena dena hai?”

“Jitna puchh raha hoon utna bata” Mere paas use poora kissa samjhane ka na waqt tha, na patience aur na hi aisi koi zaroorat thi.

“Haan zyada janta nahi main usko, bas shakal aur naam se”

“Toh pata karne ki koshish kar”

“Kya pata karun?”

“Kuchh bhi aur sab kuchh. Dekh kisse milti julti hai vo, kahan uththi beththi hai, kiske saath rehti hai vagerah vagerah”

Sach kahun toh mujhe khud ko bhi nahi pata tha ke Bijli ka pichha karwake main kya pata karne ki koshish kar raha tha. Bas yun hi andhere mein teer chala raha tha.

“Theek hai Bhai par jahan tak mujhe pata hai uska zyada uthna bethna idhar Sharafat Bhai ke Bar ke logon ke saath hi hai toh jo milega vo idhar ka hi koi milega. Aap agar batao do ke aankh kis cheez ke liye khuli rakhni hai toh thodi madad mil jaave”

“Yaar sach kahun toh mujhe bhi nahi pata ke kya dhoondhna hai. Bas mujhe uske ek do din ka poora programme aakar bata de. Phir main dekhta hoon ke vahan se kuchh kaam ki baat nikalti hai toh”

“Theek hai Bhai”

“Vaise ek baat aur bata. Kisi Pratap ya Raghu ko janta hai tu?” Ye main isliye puchh raha tha ke jis waqt Saanwli ka is ladke se affair shuru hua tha vo Sharafat ke Bar mein kaam karti thi toh bahut mumkin tha ke vo koi yahin ka ho.

“Kaun vo drug dealer?” Doosri taraf se fauran jawab aaya.

“Drug dealer? Matlab jaanta hai tu?” Maine puchha.

“Naam hi suna hai bhai. Aur poore mumbai underworld mein uska naam har kisi ko malum hai aur sirf naam hi malum hai. Pratap Raghuvanshi. Bahar desh se operate karta hai bolte hain. Akkhi Mumbai mein drug business ka maai-baap hai vo”

“Drug Business?” Maine hairani ke saath puchha.

“Haan bole toh sabse faayde ka business. Asal mein dekha jaaye toh aur bhi kayi dhandhe chalata hai vo par main kaam Drugs ka hi hai” Chipku ne bataya.

Ye jaante hue ke vo Saanwli jaisi ek mamuli ladki ka boyfrind tha, main ye ummeed kar raha tha ke vo khud bhi koi ek mamuli sa ladka hoga jisse vo kahin Bar vagerah mein takra gayi hogi aur dono mein pyaar ho gaya hoga. Sach kahun toh main dil hi dil mein ye theory tak bana chuka tha ke shayad vo Pratap Saanwli ke saath yun hi time pass kar raha hoga par jab Saanwli ne shaadi ke liye zor dalna shuru kiya toh usne use raaste se hata diya, jaisa ke aksar hamari purani hindi films mein hota hai.

Par yahan toh kissa hi doosra tha. Jo mujhe Chipku bata raha tha us hisaab se Pratap Raghuvanshi ek achha khaase drug racket ka sargana tha. Toh us jaise aadmi ko Saanwli jaisi ladki mein kya dilchaspi? Jahan main ye ummeed kar raha tha ke is Pratap ke pata chalnse se mujhe mere sawalon ke jawab mil jaayenge, vahan aur na jaane kitne sawal uth khade hue the.

Aur sabse bada sawal filhal ye tha ke kya ham log ek hi aadmi ki baat kar rahe the? Ya main kisi aur Pratap ki baat kar raha tha aur Chipku kisi aur Pratap ke baare mein bata raha tha?

“Aur kya bata sakta hai mujhe is Pratap Raghuvanshi ke baare mein?” Maine puchha.

“Aapko kaahe ku achanak usmein dilchaspi paida ho gayi?” Vo ulta mujhse hi sawal karne laga.

“Hai kuchh mamla. Tu kya janta hai uske baare mein?”

“Khaas kuchh nahi aur main kya koi nahi janta khaas toh uske baare mein. Koi 4-5 saal pehle tak kahin scene mein nahi tha vo aur phir achanak se aisa aaya ke akkha scene hi badal dala. Abhi kya hai pehle idhar drug business ka dealer log bhi alag the aur supplier log bhi alag. Koi saale Roosi log se kharid kar idhar bechta tha toh koi sala French log se toh koi kahin aur se. Aur isi ka maafik idhar bechne wala bhi sab alag alag tha, har koi bahar se kharid kar apne apne ilaake mein bechta tha.”

“Matlab Mumbai mein?” Maine puchha.

“Arrey Mumbai toh sirf ek shehar hai, main akkhe India ki baat kar rela hoon”

“Poora India?”

“Haan abhi dekho jaise Mumbai ko India ka, vo kya toh bhi bolte na, kaun sa shehar …..” Vo sochne laga.

“Financial Capital” Maine baat poori ki.

“Haan vahich. Theek usi tarah akkhe India mein jo Illegal kaam hota hai uska aadhe se zyada jad idhar Mumbai mein hi hai. India mein jitna drug supply hota hai uska 70% idhar Mumbai ke through hi dealing hota hai. Toh pehle jitna dealer log tha vo sab India ko aapas mein baant rakha tha, state ke hisaab se. Koi Rajasthan mein maal supply karta tha toh koi Assam mein toh koi Kerala mein. Koi kisi ke kaam mein faaltu chonch nahi maarta tha”

“Ok, phir?”

“Phir kahin 4-5 saal pehle kahin se ek naam utha Pratap Raghuvanshi. Kaun hai koi nahi janta. Kaisa hai kisi ko khabar nahi. Kidhar se operate karta hai kabhi kisi ko pata nahi chala par achanak se ek aisa aadmi aaya jo drugs market rate se kam daam par bechne laga aur maal bhi ekdam khara. Koi 3-4 mahine tak aisa hi chalta raha. Sara kaam phone par hi hota tha uska, kabhi vo khud kisi ke saamne nahi aaya”

“Phir?”

“Phir dheere dheere jitne bhi dealer the sabke dhandhe chaupat hone lage. Koi din dahade police encounter mein mara gaya, kisi ke yahan police ki raid pad gayi, kisi ka maal police ne pakad liya aur koi apne hi ghar mein mara pada mila”

“Aur dheere dheere Mumbai mein drug supplier ke naam par ek hi reh gaya”

“Bilkul, Pratap Raghuvanshi. Par phir bhi vo kabhi khud kisi ke saamne nahi aaya. Balki iske baad agla pasa jo usne phenka vo tha Mumbai ke chhote mote Bhai log ko apni taraf karna jaise ke Sharafat Bhai”

“Sharafat Bhai” Main uski baat sunkar has pada “Usko tu chhota mota kehta hai?”

“Arrey dekho toh chhota gunda hi toh hai. Dekho toh hai kya uske paas, kuchh pubs, kuchh chhote mote galat dhandhe aur bandook liye kuchh aas paas khade kiraye ke gunde?”

“To tu ye kehna chahta hai ke Sharafat us Pratap Raghuvanshi ke liye kaam karta hai?”

“Haan. Pehle nahi karta tha par is jaise log jis taraf pani ka bahav ho apni naav bhi usi taraf ghuma dete hain. Vo aisa time tha jab jo bhi Raghuvanshi ke khilaff ja raha tha vo ya toh police ke haathon maara jata tha ya apne ghar mein hi uski laash padi milti thi. Toh aakhir mein aakar ye hua ke jo koi bhi Drugs ke dhandhe mein tha vo ek tarah se Raghuvanshi ki chhatra chhaya mein aa gaya”

“Interesting” Maine kaha.

“Aur phir dheere dheere usne apne paon phelane shuru kiye. Drugs ke baad gair-kanooni hathyaaron ka dhandha, smuggling aur bhi na jaane kya kya. Aur aaj ki tareekh mein ye aalam hai ke agar vo pichhe se supply band kar de toh Mumbai underworld ki saansen ruk jaayengi”

“Aur ye sab usne bina saamne aaye kiya?”

“Arrey aajkal aisa hi chalta hai Adi Bhai. Ab bade bade bhai log jo bahar desh mein bethe hain vo kaun sa idhar Mumbai mein aakar dhandha chalate hain. Vo bhi toh sara kaam apne aadmiyon ko phone par bula kar hi karvate hain. Aisa hi ye Raghuvanshi bhi hai. Bahar kahin chhupke betha hai aur dheere dheere idhar ka sara kaam apne haath mein leta ja raha hai. Aap saal do saal ruko, idhar ka betaaj baadshah hoyenga vo”

“Ek baat bata. Kabhi Sharafat ke Bar vagerah mein bhi aata jata hai vo?”

“Kaisi baat kar rahe aap Adi Bhai. Abhi kya bola main. Vo sala saamne aata hi nahi”

Chipku ke phone rakhne ke baad main hairat mein pad gaya. Mujhe samajh nahi aa raha tha ke kya ye Chipku aur Saanwli wala Raghuvanshi ek hi hai ya ham is waqt do alag alag logon ki baat kar rahe hain. Sharafat Raghu ke liye kaam karta hai, Saanwli Sharafat ke Bar mein kaam karti thi aur Sharafat ki kanpati par bandook tika kar ek ladki ko vahan se nikal le jaaye, aisa gurda kisi aam aadmi mein toh nahi ho sakta. Aisa karne ke liye jo himmat chahiye vo kisi Raghuvanshi jaise aadmi mein hi ho sakti hai.

Jo bhi tha, us waqt soch soch kar mere sar mein dard hone laga tha…

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