romani_editedRomani2Natyadarpan_NanaDRAMA_editedAvarat_Natya_SamAjra_Vishamabhog_editedNOVEL_editedSmaranshakti Front_Sudrudhvins

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Thespian Quotes On The Process Of Writing!

“I love to indulge in the physical process of writing. I enjoy this process even when there is nothing to be said.Give me a piece of paper, any paper, and a pen and I shall write as naturally as bird flies or a fish swims. Left to myself I scribble. And I never get tired of writing. I mean the physical process of writing. Lately I have learnt to work on a Word Processor. But I still prefer to write with my hand. Especially when I write in my mother-language i.e., Marathi. Writing gives me a pleasure which has no substitute. However tired I am, physically or mentally, the moment I pick up the pen and begin running it on a paper-any piece of paper-I feel good. I feel refreshed. I feel as if I am born again. Writing by itself is a luxury for me. When I write I forget myself. I forget my anxieties. I do not care what is around me… And I have written on the sick bed in the hospital in spite of my doctor’s advice not to tax myself. He did not know and would not accept that writing was not taxing to me at all. On the contrary it was soothing. It was a great relief. It was joy…”- Mr.Vijay Tendulkar


त्या खुराड्यातला भटक्या विमुक्त जमातीचा तो एकटाच
रोज सकाळी जीवाची मारामार करून खुराडं त्याला भाकर तुकडा द्यायचं
तो भाकर तुकडा आणि एक रंगीबेरंगी झिरमिळ्या बांधलेलं बोचकं खांद्यावर घेऊन
निघायचा तो घाण्याकडे, बोचकं जणू त्याच्या शरीराचाच एक भाग
अ त्या फिदीफीदी हसायचे
ब आदरयुक्त हसायचे
क कौतुकयुक्त हसायचे
हसणं कॉमन…
घाण्यावर तो मान मोडून काम करायचा
जुंपल्रेले ते आणि हाकणारा कुणी तो
यांत काही फरकच वाटायचा नाही
अर्थातच तिथेही अ ब क ड असायचेच
किंवा हसायचेच…
दमून भागून नंतर तो लखलखणाऱ्या जंगलात शिरायचा
आणि फ्रेश व्हायचा
लाईट गेलेलेच असले तर घाण्यावर तरी टाईमपास करायचा
किंवा शेजारच्या घाण्यावर…
लखलखणाऱ्या जंगलात बोचकेवाल्यांची जत्रा भरे
कुणी म्हणे माझ्याच झिरमिळ्या जास्त लाल
कुणी म्हणे माझ्याच झिरमिळ्या जास्त चमकदार
कुणी खरोखरीचा अगदी अस्सल रेशमी झिरमिळ्यांवाला
तर कुणी चटया विणणारा, शाली, झब्बे बनवणारा
कुणी नुसताच गाठी मारणारा
त्यांच्यात तो रमे
त्याचे बोचकभाऊ कधी मोहाची फुलं, कधी जांभळं आणत
वर्गणी काढून, फुकट, किंवा आपल्यातल्याच कुणालातरी कापून
बोचकी हुसकणं चालूच असायचं त्याचं इमानेइतबारे…
आताश्या जंगलात पेपरवाले यायचे
पेपरातल्या ग्रुप फोटोत एखाद्या कोपऱ्यातल्या स्वत:ला
हा आपल्या हातावरून, पायावरून, कोपरावरून, धडावरून
तसं काही वाईट चाललं नव्हतं
आणे दोन आणे सहज मिळून जायचे
त्याची एखादी झिरमिळ कधीतरी खपायचीच ना?
त्याहीपेक्षा कधीतरी, बऱ्याच वेळा अनपेक्षितपणे
एखादं इंद्रधनुषी बोचकं त्याला बघायला मिळायचं
कधी त्याच्या बारक्याश्या झिरमिळीचं
त्याचे बोचकभाऊच कौतुक करायचे
तो खुष व्हायचा, तृप्त व्हायचा, पण तेवढाच…
हल्ली तो उशीरा बऱ्याचवेळा शेवटच्या बैलगाडीतून
त्या लखलखीत जंगलातून, कसाबसा,
पण खुराड्याची आठवण होऊनच परततो…
त्या दर रात्री त्याला एक स्वप्नं पडतं
ते आख्खं जंगल कोपरा न् कोपरा हिंडून
बोचकी देवाण घेवाण करून
समाधानी झाल्याचं
तृप्तं झाल्याचं
मन:शांती मिळवल्याचं…
सकाळी उठल्यावर लक्षात येतं
अरे, आपण बोचकं खांद्यावर घेऊनच झोपलोय!
खांद्याकडे हात गेल्यावर कळतं
खरोखरंच तो आता शरीराचाच एक अवयव झालाय
एक सुबक कुबड_
एका भटक्या विमुक्त जमातीची निशाणी
किंवा रखरखीत वाळवंटात जगणाऱ्या त्याच्या एका प्राणीमित्राची आठवण…

Sunday, November 23, 2008

And They Lived...

An ancient auditorium like structure in a remote village in India is seen. Its faded walls show the handmade rust colored old paint patterns on it. The walls also show an ancient faded design pattern of arcs in which faded pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses are seen. Walls bear heavy cracks which dissect the arc patterns. Matter scribbled mostly in charcoal is seen overwritten in a shabby manner on these arc patterns. This matter contains written words as well as drawings of various types and of different subjects - the messages of love, obscene statements and advices, uneven shapes of hearts with a zigzag arrow inserted in them, satires of political as well as governmental slogans etc.. The facing wall has a closed door situated somewhere in between the arc patterns and the scribbling. The door has a faded handmade rust color on its huge frame. The door is two fold and every fold of it has three rectangular divisions with heavy borders. These borders have decorative brass flowers nailed on them. On this background are seen a man and a woman. 
At the left side of the stage the woman is sitting on an old wooden chair. The light source from the left wing illuminating her suggests a window in the wing. Woman looks not so fresh, just awaken from her sleep. She is adjusting a big notepad over the wooden hands of her chair. She is deeply concentrating on her writing. She has inserted her left hand in her hair. Her curly hairs are blown and look shabby. She stops writing for a while and starts thinking. Doing this she removes her left hand from her hair and starts concentrating into her nails, searching for something which has traveled from her hairs to her nails. Due to her obesity her movements are dead slow. Her complexion is jet black. Her appearance is much masculine. Her eyes do alternately show traces of her intelligence. She is in her early forties but looks much older than that. 
The man looks anemic and much feminine. He is wearing up to date morning workout costumes. Posing himself as a super active person he is on his showy warm-ups. He is humming a tune. His way of humming is feminine. His jerky movements look strange. It seems that he does not have the sense of rhythm and the jerks tend towards abnormality. He is of the same age as hers but looks much younger.
Two beddings adjacent to each other are lying on the floor between both of them. Her bedding is still spread out and untidy while his bedding is properly rolled and tied. 
During his workouts he gets continuously disturbed by her still spread out untidy bedding. He gets more disturbed by seeing his own properly and extra cautiously rolled bedding near hers. He doesn’t tell her straight away about her bedding. Instead he decides a workout and purposely fumbles on her
She: (fully concentrated in her writing, shocked but slowly) Aye? What is it?
He: (murmurs) what is that...a bedding.

He is leaning with his legs stretched out. His head pops out through the triangle formed by his stretched legs. He is waiting for her next reaction.
She murmurs ‘steady…’ and gets busy in her work again. He becomes serious. His humming stops. He tries to concentrate on his workouts but constantly gets disturbed by her spread out, untidy bedding so as by her presence. This continuous disturbance leads to his rising anger. He realizes it and starts the remedy of deep breathing and becomes normal. He starts humming again. There is a smile on his face now. Then he looks at her and her bedding alternately and starts laughing. His laughter is unusual as if he doesn’t know how to laugh. His laughter does have unusual breaks.

She: (notices his laughter, concentrated in her work, slowly but with a concern) what is it?
He: (unusual laughter with breaks) Change your bedding… at least now!
She: (totally involved in her writing) hum… change… change…exchange…
He: (thinking it as an answer to his command, childishly crying) No! No!
Not at all! N…O! No exchange between my neat bedding and (In a feminine tone of pinch) your archeological one!
She: Hey! Why are you shouting like that?
He: (cries further) what have you said now? - Just now? 
She: (immersed in her work, unaware about her participation in the present dialogue, slowly and peacefully) what is it…? I am busy in my work… What have I said…?

Totally defeated, he laughs. His laughter is a fake one with its unusual breaks. Her untidy, ancient bedding is scorching him now. The remedy of deep breathing becomes useless and he starts spot jogging. Slowly he becomes normal. In a relax state he is jogging and casually looking everywhere but her presence unavoidably catches his eyes. She is busy in her writing and scratching in her hair. Then his eyes fall again on her bedding. He removes his eyes from her bedding, concentrates on spot jogging and decides something. He revolves around himself while spot jogging. Facing all possible directions he turns his back and in a sudden movement leaps towards her ancient bedding. Like a skillful worker peacefully he rolls and ties her bedding perfectly. She has sensed his sudden movement. She attentively observes his act. 

She: Thanks! (Turns towards her business and become busy) Thanks!

Involved in the pleasure of completing a major task he hears her second ‘thanks’ and gets shocked. His face depicts the realization -‘so you were observing me’. Anger mounts on his face. Staring her in anger he gets up.
She is totally unaware of not only his reactions but anything else than her work. He returns to his place continuously staring her. He returns and doesn’t realize what to do further. Then he senses a strong feeling of thirst.
There is another wooden chair near him. His executive bag is down on the floor near the chair. He rests his hand on the chair’s back and leans over the chair to pick up his executive bag. He keeps the bag on the chair and takes out a mineral water bottle from it. He assesses how much water does it hold and for how much period will it last. He calculatedly consumes the water and assesses again. While doing so his face has turned towards the right wing. There is a window in the right wing and he realizes that it is still closed. He heads towards the window holding the bottle in his hand. He enters the right wing and the wing gets illuminated. Thus he opens the window and looking through the window outside he comes out. He stops. He is seeing something unusual outside. Some pungent smell is disturbing him. Still he lingers as if he has been attracted by all that. Freshly he realizes that there is a water bottle in his hand. He involuntarily sips it while looking at her. She is as it is. He gets bit frustrated and his stare returns and gets transfixed on the view outside. As the degree of his frustration increases, he takes a deep breath and concentrates only on the bottle. His calculative ness doesn’t allow him to sip the water further. He then rotates its lid along its neck tightly and opens his bag. He is about to keep the bottle inside it and he realizes that he has forgotten to offer her water. Holding the bottle in his hand he slightly heads towards her with a little smile on his face.

He: water?

She is unaware. He lingers expecting her response. As if an answer to his lingering she shakes her hand in negation. ‘As you please’ -he reacts by his showy gestures. The gestures look more unusual by the eurhythmic and feminine jerks of his neck. Making an unusually raised noise of his deep breath he turns towards his bag and puts the bottle inside it. Forcefully pulling the chain he shuts of the bag. He bangs the bag near his chair. Again with still bigger sound of his deep breath he sits on the chair and stretches his legs in two opposite directions. Then he starts narrating as if there is some utmost important content in it.

He: No water at all in the journey! No! – That means there was- but like -
(Waves his hand towards the right wing window first and then towards the metal jar and glass kept on the left side table - the ancient shaky wooden table adjacent to the left wing near her chair) just because of the bottle inside my bag I was – and once I get utmost thirsty or when the utmost hunger captures– (stops and purposefully looks at her) you very well know my thirst… my hunger…
She: (busy in her writing, slowly) home is home man and you never expect –
He: Exactly! Same thing! Same thing about food! (Gets charged) see! It takes four hours from my office to this place. What a place? One can’t drive
and reach here safely –hence the useless public transportation system- the autos and the garbage state transport buses… and last but not the least the horrible endless walk from the state transport terminal to this- to this - (with a disgusting look in his eyes he looks at the ceiling and elsewhere) what one has achieved by erecting this auditorium in this place? 
She: (as if giving dictation, busy in her writing) A-n-ta-ji Ba-n-a-ji au-dit-orium… for the shep-herd- comm-unity… about- this- A-nta-ji Ba-na-ji… (He utters a disgusting hum but she thinks he wants to know more) An-ta-ji-ba-na-ji- w-as a-
He: (looks at her) Ok! I know! I know… (Concentrates on her and his voice
gets surmounted by an unusual husk) only for you… just to reach up to you… to get you mounted on me- (stops due to a sudden click of an unusual idea, looks through the just opened window. With a cunning expression in his eyes he looks back to her. Looking again at the left window he gets up from his chair and comes towards the window. Looking outside the window his face contracts and he picks his nose between his thumb and his index finger.) Urine…cow dung… garbage…rubbish! - (Shuts the window slowly and gives a sly look to her) -dumped all around this pace… to overcome it and-(Concentrating on her he starts walking towards her. His voice becomes hoarse) dying to come to you… (Murmurs) to get you mounted on… me… on myself… (Laughs with the unusual breaks) and I very well know… you also are waiting for me with the same eagerness …

Continues his murmur in a trance and hauntingly passes behind her chair towards the right wing window. He leans over the old, shaky table and succeeds in shutting the old window after several attempts. All the while he is looking at her with a definite purpose in his eyes. As the light source cuts off suddenly she faces a great trouble in her assignment. She gives an intense, totally unexpected and strong reaction which is totally in contrast with her behavior so far.

She: (intensely fighting with the disturbance in her research writing) Aye!
Aye! What- what is this! What has hap- (By now he has started moving his palms softly over her shoulders, she realizes it and in a reflex action forcefully removes his hands away) what -what is this- what are you doing? Now-At this time-

She raises her head and starts staring at him angrily. He fumbles and moves few paces back. She has forcefully thrown his hands away and he has experienced some jerks to his hands. He is rubbing his forearms and palms, trying to adjust his breath and trying to be normal.

He: What? -what means? Don’t I work for the entire week? - Any thing that comes my way? - As much as I can? (Curses) bloody marketing! (Suddenly changes his stance and attacks her) what you do is the-the (Looks away from her in disgust and murmurs) the research bullshit of the archeological department! Foreign NGO’s spy work smartly converted in a world project to-
She: (Realizes what he is up to, gets up with anger) what? What do you want to say?
He: (Desperate in his anger, oscillates his neck in a feminine manner) Then?
What’s wrong in saying it? Is anything wrong?
She: And you are charging me in this manner for (indicates the closed windows and points what is he up to) this?
He: (folds his hands at his chest and again oscillating his neck in feminine way) Yes!
She: Shit! (Disgusted, in a reflex action looks away from him)
He: (Turns towards her and charges her) what shit? Haven’t we done it in the places like…like… first class coupe and places more irrelevant than that? - At improper times and timings? Have not we?
She: (Helpless and speechless, still tries) but just last night -just here-
He: (Abnormally raged) that’s it! Just last night! Yes! But not now! Today if one needs to–I –I –myself need to–(his expression becomes highly feminine, abruptly parts away with his rage by giving a heavy feminine jerk to his body) forget it!

He gains momentum by the jerk and starts walking towards his chair and helplessly sits on it. She is nervous, not able to assess the unexpected but senses it as . She looks at her notepad which she had thrown on the old shaky table. She then heads towards him as if one goes to a child to solace it.

She: I –truly - I was not at all able to assess- (Again she looks at her chair. Her eyes don’t settle there. They travel along the shaky table, the metal jar and the metal glass. Finally they rest on the closed window for a while and then return to him.) Something like this- (She cautiously stops herself thinking her further explanation will carry blame on him and will arouse his anger. She remains staring at him with no words to utter. Then realizing her speechless state will go against her she continues) I just did not realize- (in the attempts of telling the truth and clear her position her voice becomes intense. It seems that unknowingly she has become too much intense and probably because of that she gently touches his back. He reacts to it as if he had expected the touch. He gives an animal like jerks to his body to throw away her hand, her touch. These jerks are of course feminine. It becomes very much clear to her that his behavior is totally childish but under the influence of the intense emotion of her own truthfulness she is unable to give up. She is in total dilemma. She firmly thinks that he definitely wants her to plea for her reaction. On the other hand she is firm on her own stand that she is not at all wrong, she had never pleaded even her parents for that matter. Finally she suffers from the total compulsion of pleading him.) –I am –I am –extremely –so –sorry! (Deep breath comes out of her. She gets somewhat relaxed. She expects his reaction from the corner of her eyes. He is totally satisfied. He releases a deep breath. She is totally hurt by her plea against her own will. She takes time to become normal and stands as it is. He is successful in having her plea. His calculative mind is still unable to asses what to do next and he keeps mum. She becomes normal and is again looking from the corner of her eyes for his reaction. He is expecting her next reaction with some calculations in his mind. She travels to her own designated place so to say with a compulsion. He realizes it and is unmoved; calculatedly he does not want to react on it. She is about to sit on her chair and she notices her notepad which she has thrown on the old shaky table near the window. Her hand reaches to it involuntarily. While picking it up her attention is grabbed by the closed window-the window which was closed by him before some time. For a moment she stares the window. Then she opens it with an unexpected bang. This time his tightly erected backbone which he is using as a strong resistance against her does not follow his calculative mind’s order and it gets unexpectedly loosen. He has to make some efforts to control the simultaneous deep breath coming out of him. He then attempts some gestures which one involuntarily observes in a lazy state of mind and body. By this he tries to straighten his backbone, tries to regain his resistance. She has by the time concentrated on the view outside the window) mountains… so many secrets do the ranges of mountains hide in them… that is what I used to think when I started studying the subject archeology… (Her unexpected talk causes a remarkable jerk to his neck and he starts looking at her. Then he realizes and tries to subdue the spontaneous reaction. These tries along with the built in feminine behavior result in abnormal expressions. Then he tries to overcome this abnormality) after some time it became clear… to suppress everything and to convert it in to the fossils… the huge mountains get erected… (She laughs unusually. Her unusual laugh to herself surprises him again but this time he is bit cautious. He tries to control his reaction bit successfully) all this is governed by the mother nature… though I studied it in my school itself… my love for the mountains like others continued for a long time… (Again a whimsical laugh) thinking about ‘the secrets in the laps of the mountains’ etc… (The laugh remains of the same type but gets accelerated now) Cliché! Cliché! We name these things… of other’s and condemn them… some times we do it to ourselves also… (Laughs, then suddenly becomes serious) from my first and the only husband I learned… as one comes closer and closer to the huge mountains the harsh reality gets exposed (then canceling her own statement) I didn’t learn from him that…his presence was just a chance during that phase…just a chance…again a cliché? (Giggles and merrily holds both the flaps of the windows. Raises her heels and in an unusual happiness concentrates on the view outside. This is a surprise for him. Can she talk this much? Can she talk like this? Questions start hovering on him. He tries to control and hide his expressions. In the process subtly and cautiously his hand travels to his executive bag and she reaches her maximum) I concentrated totally on archeology! -on the contrary I should say archeology engrossed me totally! Yes!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

आजोळचे सवंगडी

नेहेमीप्रमाणे अचानक माझं मन मला आजोळी नेऊन पोचवतं.मला वांग्याचा बोळ आठवू लागतो.बोळाच्या नाक्यावरचा तो चहावाला.त्याची गाडी.गाडीवर कोळश्याच्या शेगडीवर ठेवलेलं त्याचं चहाचं अल्युमिनियमच्या उभं कुकरसारखं, टोपीसारखं झाकण असलेलं भांडं.तो चहाचा मऽऽऽस्त! वास.बरण्यांमधून असलेली खारी, टोस्ट आणि इतर बिस्कीटं.गळ्यात छोटी खाकी कापडी पैश्याची थैली घालून सदैव हसतमुख असलेला चहावाला.लहान चणीचा.मोठमोठ्याने बोलत, हास्यविनोद करत असलेला, सतत कामात गर्कही.पांढरा घोळदार पायजमा, बहुतेक वेळा टिपिकल निळ्या रंगाचा, कॉटनचा दोन बटणांचा फूलशर्ट. आम्ही मुलांनी फक्तं बघायचं, चहाचा वास भरून घ्यायचा, पुढे निघायचं!

बोळात शिरल्यावर डाव्या हाताला ब्रॉस बॅन्डचं ऑफिस वजा राहतं घर वजा रिहर्सल रूम.इथले क्लॅरोनेट, वेगवेगळ्या आकाराचे ट्रंपेट्स यांचे शिकाऊ, सराईत इत्यादी आवाज ऐकत आश्चर्याने बघत बघत पुढे.एक-दोन सजवलेले बॅंडवाले पायरीवर बसून वाद्यांवर मेहनत घेत असलेले…

मग घराचे वेध.उमराणीकरांचा वाडा म्हणायचं पण वाडा म्हटल्यावर जे चित्र उभं रहातं तसं घर नव्हे.शेजारी एक पडका वाडा.मी मोठा होऊन माझं आजोळ दुसऱ्या भागातल्या खऱ्याखुर्र्या वाड्यात स्थलांतरीत होईपर्यंत हा शेजारचा वाडा पडकाच राहिलेला.या पडक्या वाड्यात भर दुपारी (कारण-मोठी माणसं झोपलेली) आमचा मुक्त संचार.वाडा जमीनदोस्त व्हायचाच राहिलेला.आत एरंडाची झाडं वाढलेली.उंच वाढला एरंडू परि न्हवेच इष्कूदंडू हे थोरांचं वचन- आजी, आजोबा, आई, मावशी सगळ्यांचंच- पुढे सतत ऐकायला मिळालेलं.या इष्कूदंडूवर कुणी प्रकाश टाकावा!याचा अर्थ ऊस पण हा शब्द बरोबर लक्षात रहिलाय?का वेगळाच काही शब्द आहे?महत्वाचं हे की केवळ उंच वाढलाएस! हे सततचं थोरांचं सांगणं!

एक वर्षं किंवा सहा महिने असेल मी इथे राहिलो.मला शाळेत घातलं.माझी मावशी मला शाळेत ने-आणायची.माझ्या मोठ्या मामानं मला आणि माझ्या मामेबहिणीला निळं दप्तर आणि रंगीबेरंगी छत्री असे दोन सेट आणले.ही माझ्या वयाची मामेबहिण माझी पहिली सवंगडी.

घराचं आवार एका पॅसेज सारखं.सुरवातीला चौकोनी दगडी कमान.पुरूषभर उंचीची.आत आल्यावर उजव्या बाजूचं दुसरं बिर्हाड आमचं.पहिल्यांचं आणि आमचं पटत नसावं.या घराबद्दल गूढ वातावरण.आमच्या बिर्हाडासमोर एक गोल कमान असलेलं उघडं छोटं देऊळ.या देवळाच्या पार्श्वभूमीवर आजी, आजोबा आणि त्यांची मुलं असा एक जुना फोटो स्मरणात राहिलेला.समोर त्या देवळाच्या मागे वडेरांचं बिर्हाड.वडेरांचा पक्या माझ्यापेक्षा खूप मोठा.माझ्या हरवलेल्या लहान बहिणीला यानंच शोधून आणलं, नाहीतर…नाना वडेर भिक्षुकी करायचे.आड्व्या मांडीवर एक पाय सोडून घराच्या पायरीवर बसलेले.पक्याची एक बहिण माझ्याबरोबरची.

आमच्या शेजारी जरा उंचावर आणखी एक भिक्षुक कुटुंब पुशीरकरांचं.दाढीचे खुंट सदैव वाढलेले, भस्माचे पट्टे आंगाखांद्याडोक्यावर ओढलेले, तोंडात सतत पानाचा तोबरा, डोळे लाल, आवाजाची पट्टी कायम उंच-व्यवसायामुळे असेल- असे कुटुंब प्रमुख आणि गोऱ्या, बुटक्या, बारीक डोळ्यांच्या, हसतमुख किण्याच्या आई.पक्या, तुक्या, किण्या, सख्या आणि बहिणी.सख्या स्पेशल चाईल्ड.सगळे कपडे काढून टाकलेला तो विचित्र आवाजात ओरडत धावत सुटायचा आणि तो आमच्याच मागे लागलाय म्हणून आम्ही त्याला घाबरायचो.त्याचा भाऊ किण्या माझा दोस्त.किण्या, त्यांच्या बाजूला आणखी उंचावरचे, शेजारी साधना, संजू गाडगीळ आणि मी आमचा खेळ रंगायचा अंबाबाईच्या देवळातल्या गरूड मंडपात.

पण माझे सनसनाटी मित्र म्हणजे रम्या, राज्या आणि थोडाफार राज्याचा मोठा भाऊ नंद्या.वाड्याच्या कमानीच्याही आधी वाड्यापेक्षा वेगळं वाटावं अश्या बिर्हाडात रम्या रहायचा.काही कुटुंबात बाप आणि मुलं एका साच्यातून काढल्यासारखी एकसारखी दिसतात तसं रम्याचं होतं.रम्या मातीचं किल्लं करायचं.रम्या आपल्या हापपॅंटीच्या घोळदार खिश्यात बैदुल (गोट्या) घिऊनच असायचं.त्ये धावलं की खिसा खुळखुळ्ळ वाजायचा.हसरं होतं रम्या.राज्या, नंद्या वाड्यासमोरच्या वेढ्यांच्या वाड्यातलं.राज्या हसरं, एका नाकपुडीत कायम शेंबडाचं मोती असल्यालं.नंद्या हसरं, टगं वाटणारं.राज्याच्या नादाला लागून स्वैपाकघराच्या खिडकीत आजीनं कनवटीचं काढून ठेवल्याल्या पैश्यातलं दोन पैसं न सांगता उचलून खाल्लेलं (त्याचं काहीतरी घेऊन खाल्लेलं) मग आजी, मावशी रागं भरलंल्या.वेढ्यांच्या घरात भाताच्या कण्या ओरपून खाल्लंल्या आणि मग घरला सांगितल्यावर कावाकाव.राज्या, नंद्या माडीवर रहायचे.त्यांचे वडील एस्टीत वाहक असावेत.राज्याचे काका खाली रहायचे ते एस्टीत ड्रायव्हर.त्यांचा मुलगा सुभ्या का असाच कुणीतरी.दोन्ही घरांमधून इस्तू जात न्हवता.

त्यावेळचे खेळ म्हणजे घरात इश्पिठं- म्हणजे पत्ते- हा ही शब्द नक्की काय असावा?मामेबहिणीबरोबर घरात मोठ्मोठ्या लाकडी पाटांचा आडोसा करून भातुकली आणि बाहेर राज्या, रम्या, नंद्याबरोबर रेडी गो? तारा धेन! -पकडापकडीचा खेळ! हे तारा धेन नक्की काय?हाच शब्द आहे की दुसरा काही?...

…हल्ली दोन-चार वर्षांपूर्वी ओळख झालेले समोर आले की त्यांची नावं आठवत नाहीत, कधी ते नक्की कुठे भेटले ते आठवत नाही आणि लहानपणचं सगळं नावा-चेहेऱ्यानिशी आठवतं याला काय म्हणावं?वाड्याच्या मागच्या भागात, मागच्या दाराजवळ एक कोकणस्थी कुटुंब रहात होतं.म्हातारे डोळ्यांच्या बुबुळावर पांढरी साय चढलेले आजोबा आणि समोरचे वरचे सगळे दात तोंडाबाहेर आलेल्या ठसठशीत कुंकू लावणाऱ्या लाल नऊवारीतल्या आजी आणि त्यांची उंच तरूण देखणी स्कर्ट-ब्लाऊज घालणारी मुलगी या कुटुंबाचं नाव आठवत नाही पण चेहेरे?अगदी लख्खं आठवतात.

हे सगळे कुठे असतील?अजून तिथे असतील?गावात गेल्यावर अनेकदा माझी पावलं बोळापर्यंत जातात.पण आत शिरत नाहीत.मुळात गावात रहाणंच होत नाही.गावातल्या नातलगांनी आता गावाबाहेर जागा घेतल्यात.दरवेळा मी नक्की ठरवतो की यावेळी त्या घरापर्यंत जायचं.आत शिरून मला फिरता येणार नाही कदाचित.पण घर लांबून बघता येईल.राज्या, रम्या, नंद्या, साधना, संजू, किण्या दिसतील पण ते गुलजारच्या सिनेमात आपल्या मनाच्या पड्द्यावर तिथे असल्यासारखे(?) दिसतात तसे!…

हे सगळे कुठे, कसे असतील हा विचार सतत बैचेन करत असतो आणि माझं व्यवहारी मन माझ्या लहानपणातल्या त्या थोरांसारखं मला वचन सांगत असतं-यथा काष्ठंचं काष्ठंचं समेयेता महादधौ!-सागरात योगायोगाने दोन ओंड्क्यांची भेट होते आणि मग ते भिन्न दिशांना अपरिचितांसारखे नाहिसे होतात ही जगरहाटी आहे!

पण मन मानत नाही…      

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Down Under The Flyover

The flyover and we

A huge campaign of erecting flyovers started in the city. We were reading about it in daily newspapers, as always we do. Then we used to discuss it in the local trains, as always and forget those after getting down at respective destinations. These discussions which often accompany us up to our work stations are always capable of applying one's attention in many directions at once. These off course are based on the opinions of several newspapers, periodicals and TV channels. These do have a definite base. This base need not be thought provoking but it must be sensational. The local train journey should be fruitful. One’s pathos (?) should be fully cleared so that one can keep mum at other times. What else an appellant hampered by the circumstances of the city life would do?
The idea of erecting the flyovers in the city, the scheme developed to perform the same, the funding schemes to execute the schemes, various corporations formed, loans distributed… we gathered every bit of information but what not one can remember in the hectic day to day routine? An ultra dashing (?) chief minister, a mettlesome and pleasurist deputy CM and a rather weighty minister for construction formed the exact alliance and we were confirmed that our city is on to a makeover! We would definitely surpass the Singapore and the Shanghai! Some of us grumbled it would have been better if one would have been ‘in’ the system at such times! Some of us exclaimed; let them have their share of bribe, our cars should be free of the jams! Others said, let it be! What difference does it make if the flyovers get erected or not? Thus the activity of vetoing started in us-Oh! By activity we mean a verbal exchange! What else we would do? We were not the doers or the executors!

Monday, November 17, 2008


हे करायचं कशासाठी?

रिवाज म्हणून

नैसर्गिक धर्म म्हणून


आपल्या मनाला दुसऱ्या एकाचा आधार म्हणून?

मनंच ती

त्यांची खात्री कुणी द्यावी?

“ती” येऊन

बराचसा फरक पडावा


पण इतकी आवशकता आहे का तिची?


आपण स्वयंपूर्ण राहू शकू?

खरंच असं स्वयंपूर्ण असतं का कुणी?

की एक कल्पनाच नुसती?...

दोन मनं

या आधीच पाकपुक करणाऱ्या

ह्रदयात मावावीत


त्या दुसऱ्या

अजुनही ज्ञात नसलेल्या



दोन्ही मनांनी

आलटून पालटून

एकमेकांच्या घरात रहावं




स्वत:च्याच घराचं

कौतुक न करता

स्वत:च्याच घरात

कोंडून न घेता,


चहाच्या पेल्यातच


एवढं तरी व्हावं

कमीत कमी!!

थोडं समाधान मिळावं


काही करायला मिळाल्याचं


आणि मग ते व्यवस्थित

पार पडल्याचं!

सगळी ज्ञानेंद्रिये उघडून

कृती मात्र होत रहावी


निष्क्रियता निजधामाला जावी

झोप शांत लागावी

उद्याकरता बळ येण्यासाठी

आणि सामान्य माणूस


जगता यावं

आनंद उपभोगत

दु:ख झेलण्यासाठी!

Off The Mask

Shirish was an actor and a director too. Theatre was his workplace. Though he was a second line actor, director it was easy for him to be in a leading position. He had an established drama company at his disposal. The owner of the company had both wealth and wish. Above all the owner was an exception to his creed, he was generous. Today Shirish was at a definite position in his career but achieving this was not at all an easy job. He had to struggle a lot. What not he did for the current status? Up to mid thirties he was trying to establish himself in the experimental theatre and related drama competitions. He had a lower middle class background. Two times meal was a bonanza for him and the crazy game of theatre entered his life. Once it enters there is no exit. Shirish had ordinary looks with a flabby tummy which came out in his mid twenties. He was fat, short, and his face suited well for the comic characters. But he was sincere and more over was hypnotized by the art. After mid thirties he realized that it was futile to continue with the experimental theatre. Competitions, awards were all humbug, he realized. If one has to pursue theatre on and whole one has to be professional and that was not so easy. He had no such background, no godfather, no extraordinary looks and skills. But he was sincere enough, hardworking, totally charged by the medium of theatre; he had the organization skills required for a director of a play. Above all he had the vision and he was quite aware of it well in time. He was quite sure about his goals. He was apt with the channels for achieving the goals. He was shrewd enough to prioritize the channels. In case of emergency his wit would arrange and rearrange various permutations, combinations of the order of these channels within no time. Many a times he would be blessed by the luck. Gradually by way of flexing and bending diplomatically he gained his current position in this field. Off course he had to face insults, many a times medicating the insults by going on the booze. The drama company he was working for was almost the number one company. He had to compete with a single director running ahead of him. In the current play his position by his role could be numbered at three or four. But was one of the main characters, typical but extracting each and every laughter from the audience. He had a perfect sense of timing. Over 300-350 shows would definitely mean good money, good amount of fame etc. He had become familiar with the common audience now. The journey must have taught him many lessons. He was devoid of involvements in any kind of relationships. There was a dim possibility of any opposite sex involving in him. By his point of view it was up to the entrant who would decide his way, whether to enter Shirish’s life, stay or quit. He was least bothered and would manage himself without any relationship. For a person like Shirish this post forty platform was not only a better state but a boon. One who is willing to give, surrender gets. And if the luck shines one definitely gets what one craves for. It depends upon you up to what extent you give, surrender. Shirish was quite comfortable in his present state of affairs. The routine was definitely hectic, he had to travel a lot, work a lot. He had to be on his toes for the haunches coming from his subconscious vision. But the returns were plentiful and those were not marked by the luck factor alone. Shirish was proud of that. He normally had a weekly tour out of the city for his shows. Currently he had finished such a tour comprising of three to four shows and had come back. He was much disciplined with performing the shows as well as with the encounter with booze thereafter. He returned in the morning. While unlocking the door he had sensed the milk bag inserted by the milkman in a pouch tied to the door outside. But Shirish was just not able to take it out. He entered the house, tied a lungi around his waist and went to bed. In the soothing numbness of his hangover he was riding on the pleasant glimpses of his recent tour. The spirit of the successful performance, the timed as well as un timed laughter, funny incidents in the wings during the performances, discussions, boozing, dinners, jokes, the journey by the company’s bus, spying, gossiping… all these things were making a collage… with the receding feeling of soothing numbness… which was getting replaced by the harsh hangover now… as usual. And his cell phone rang. The ring tone of wedding bells was reverberating in his rented flat. It took some time for him to come out of sleep, his present state. He woke up and started searching his cell phone. After getting it he was furious. Somebody had deliberately adjusted the ring tone of wedding bells to tease this forty odd year’s old bachelor and the mobile screen was showing totally unknown number! What do I do with the wedding bells? And what should one do with such unknown numbers? He intensely abused the unknown person calling him and cut off the call. Switching off the mobile and missing important calls was not affordable. He went to sleep floating on the good old voyage again, experiencing another collage. The mobile rang again, with the same wedding bells, with the same unknown number…

Sunday, November 16, 2008


गंधर्वं-किन्नर नामशेष झाले!

राजे-महाराजे बरबाद झाले!

कधी ती दोघं स्वत:ही मरून गेली!

त्याची महती कित्येक शायरांनी सांगितली-आणि-

स्वत:ला पेल्यात बुडवून घेतलं!

नाटक-सिनेमे भरमसाठ गर्दीत चालले!!!...

व्यवहारात ज्यानी ते केलं त्यानाच माहीत

साजऱ्या दिसणाऱ्या डोंगरांबद्दल आपण काय बोलणार?...

ती होते-सहज जडते

नंतर कळतं

ती झालीए म्हणून

असली सवय वाईट असं म्हणालो की म्हणतात

याला अधिकापेक्षा उण्याचंच जास्तं कौतुक!

पण चांगली सवय नेहेमी करून घ्यावी लागते

ती विनासायास जडत नाही

तसं कुठे हीचं होतं?

सवयीचाच भाग आणि सवयीचेच दुर्गुण

ती सुटता सुटत नाही

सोडली की

सैरभैर व्हायला होतं

अवघड जागी दुखणं आणि जावई वैद्यं अशी परिस्थिती

शेवटी दृष्टीआड सृष्टी

आणि काळ हेच औषध!

अधून मधून

आठवणींचा साप डोकं वर काढायला लागला की

भलते सलते प्रकार करायचे

त्याचं डोकं ठेचल्याच्या आनंदात रहायचं

की पुन्हा

दुसऱ्या एकमेकांची सवय


असं रहाटगाडगं!!

माणूस हा





Mr.Itkyal, a journalist entered Annasaheb’s residence. He handed over a letter to Annasaheb. This was the letter of the news agency for which Itkyal was working. He didn’t utter a word, searched a point for his CD recorder, switched on the recorder and said, “Shoot!”

Annasaheb remained staring at him. Folding the letter in his hand he kept it on the table before him. Then he pointed towards a mahogany chair on the other side of the table and said, “Please be seated!” Mr. Itkyal sat on the chair in a dumb like manner. Annasaheb looked behind him inside the house at the entrance of the drawing room. His wife Mrs. Radhabai was standing at the door. Radhabai looked at Annasaheb and went inside. Anna drew another mahogany chair near him and silently sat in it. He stretched his hand over the table kept in the middle of the two mahogany chairs and switched of the recorder. Mr. Itkyal looked at Annasaheb.

“Sorry to say this, you have come to interview me but you are looking bit disinterested, isn’t it?”

“Just…not like that!” Itkyal said and sighed.

“Your surname is Itkyal! Do I pronounce it correctly?”

“Yes Sir!”

“That reminds me… some time back… a telephone booth distribution scandal took place in our country… you had probed it… am I right?” 

Mr. Itkyal just nodded. But Anna was staring at him and it compelled Itkyal to deliver a formal and typical press style smile.

“That’s it! Then you must not be interested in interacting with an ordinary freedom fighter like me, isn’t it?”

“No… Not just like that…”

“How would that be? An uninteresting and totally non interactive stuff to décor your cheap and colorful supplements! Tricolor flag as the background of the matter! Offset printing! A new freedom fighter per year! Have coffee! Please!”

“You know Sir! To work in this field on has to…” Itkyal had to deliver the ‘same’ smile again. Radhabai had come with a tray of coffee mugs and Itkyal took one of it. Radhabai offered another mug to Annasaheb and sat on a near by chair. Annasaheb drank his coffee at his usual speed and kept the mug in the tray on the table. He was first to finish the coffee. Radhabai looked at him for that and a faint smile mounted on her face as usual. Annasaheb cleared the cough in his throat by making certain voice out of it and started again, “Do I tell you another reason Itkyal… for your disinterest in this assignment?”

Itkyal had to say yes as he had to finish off the matter quickly. But the old man was looking smart, was not at all looking exhausted, not at all enthusiastic to talk about himself like his other old counterparts. Anna was staring at him.

“Mr. Itkyal… you were through probing the telephone booth distribution scandal… but not only your colleagues, your employers were not happy for that… you become an entity! Some what like a phenomenon compared to them! Ha! Ha! Ha... Then they transferred you to the general interview section… to interact with the mummies like us…Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha...

Radhabai shuddered and looked sharply at Itkyal. This was the beginning and it was Radhabai who would have came to rescue Itkyal. Itkyal was not at all a layman. In fraction of a second his face became expressionless. He pressed the eject key of the recorder, took out the CD and started inspecting it. Annasaheb sensed it…                 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

“केवड्याचं बन”_कथा_दिवाळी “रामटेकच्या गडावरून”_२००७

तो संदेश आला आणि राघवचं टाळकंच सटकलं.उंटाच्या पाठीवर शेवटची काडी पडावी तसं.उद्या महोत्सवातला प्रयोग.त्या आधीची ही संध्याकाळ.जरावेळानं छान मद्यपानाला बसता येईल.उद्याच्या प्रयोगाची तयारी.टेन्शन आणि…

राघवनं सगळा ग्रुप परत आल्याची खात्री करून घेतली.जरा वेळ जाऊ दिला आणि मग बाणासारखा सणसणत तो त्या खोलीत शिरला.उघडा.खाली जीन्स.आत शिरल्यावर काही न बोलता त्याने सर्वप्रथम मधोमध खाली बसलेल्या त्या तरूणाच्या कानाखाली काड्कन आवाज काढला.एकदा.दोनदा.

असं काही त्या तरूणाला अपेक्षितच नव्हतं.पहिल्या फटक्याने तो भेलकांडला.भांबावला.हातांनी मार चुकवण्याचा प्रयत्न करू लागला.तोपर्यंत राघवच्या मागोमाग नेहमी त्याच्याबरोबर असलेली चौकडी धावत आली.ते राघवला आवरताहेत आणि राघव त्याना जुमानत नाही असं काही वेळ चाललं.समूहाला कुठल्याही गोष्टीची खबर लगेच लागते.दाराबाहेर गर्दी जमा होतेय हे पाहून चौकडीपैकी कुणीतरी दार आतून बंद केलं.बहुदा तो राघवचा पित्त्याच असावा.इतके दिवस राघव प्रत्यक्ष काहीच बोलला नव्हता.आता त्याची रसवंती ऊतू जाऊ लागली.हे बघ,तुला किती वेळा सूचना दिल्या होत्या?त्या…×××…तिच्याबरोबर दिसू नकोस म्हणून?तू आता कायमचा बाहेर झालास.उद्याचा महोत्सवाचा प्रयोग करायचा असेल तर माफी माग!...×××!...माझी!

राघवचं हे सगळं अंदाज घेत घेत चाललं होतं.सव्वीस-एक वर्षाच्या विराजने काहीही प्रतिकार केला नाही.फक्त मार चुकवण्याचा प्रयत्न केला.प्रसंगाची सूत्रं पूर्णपणे आपल्याच हातात आहेत हे जाणवून राघव त्याला दम देत राहिला.

विराज चांगल्या घरातला.आज्ञाधारक.राघवला गुरू मानणारा.सगळी सूत्रं आपल्या हातात ठेवायची राघवची वृत्ती.ती हातातून सुटताहेत असं नुसतं राघवला स्वत:ला जरी वाटलं तरी लगेच आक्रमक होऊन ती घट्टं हातात धरून ठेवायचा राघवचा बाणा.गेले काही दिवस, महिनाभरही झाला असेल, तो विराजला सतत आडून आडून सूचना देत होता.मालविकाबरोबर दिसू नकोस म्हणून.अश्या गोष्टी थेट कश्या सांगायच्या? असं काही सांगितलं आणि त्यात काय झालं? असं म्हणून विराजनं ते टोलवलं तर राघवच्या दृष्टीनं तो राघवच्या इज्जतीचा प्रश्नं.त्या दोघांवर थेट काही आरोप करायचे म्हणजे अडचण.त्यांचं काही आहेच आहे असं सिध्दं करणं कठीण.मुळात ग्रुपच पन्नास जणांचा.दौऱ्यावर सगळ्या ठिकाणी सगळंच सगळ्यांच्या समोर.राघवनं आक्षेप घेतला आणि समूह विरोधात गेला तर.

थेट काही न सांगण्या-विचारण्याचं आणखी एक कारण म्हणजे राघव संस्थेचा सर्वेसर्वा.तो नवोदिताला प्रत्यक्ष काही का सांगे-विचारेल?कुणाकरवी ते सांगणं जास्तं योग्यं.प्रशस्तं.जास्त परिणामकारक.शिवाय कदाचित आरोपीला अशील होऊन अपीलात जाण्याची एक संधी.

नवोदिताला असे धोक्याचे संदेश तिसऱ्याकडून मिळणं हे प्रत्येक वेळी धक्का होता.बरोबर भूमिका करणाऱ्या मालविकाबरोबर आपले निर्माण झालेले संबंध हे नक्की काय आहे, हे विराजला, त्याचं त्यालाच समजत नव्हतं.ती बालिश आहे, आपला खेळ करू पहातेय, तिची आपली मैत्री आहे, की आणखी पुढचंच काही? हे न समजल्यामुळे विराज आधीच संभ्रमात होता.विराज भिडस्तं.मुलींपासून लांब.त्यात आयुष्यात पहिल्यांदा नायक-नायिकेचे प्रसंग.प्रणयाचे.तालीम चालू असतानाच विराजची मजा बघणाऱ्या एकदोघांनी मालविकाला विश्वासात घेतलं.विराज भूमिका करताना त्याला खुलता येऊ दे अशी तिला विनंती वजा सूचना केली.यात अर्थात केवळ विराजचं भलं करण्याचा हेतू नव्हता.मजा बघण्याचाही होता.मजा क्रिएट करण्याचाही होता.

आस्ते आस्ते विराज खुलला.मालविका विशेष प्रयत्नं करतेय हे ही त्याला जाणवलं.पण त्या मागचं कारण त्याच्या दृष्टीनं गुलदस्त्यातच राहिलं.दोघांचेच प्रसंग, वाक्यं बोलणं, तालीम करणं यासाठी दोघेही सर्वांसमक्षच एकत्रंही येऊ लागले.सबंधं वाढले.ते नक्की काय प्रकारचे आहेत या विचारात विराज होता.तो सभ्यं होता, साधा होता, उथळ नव्हता.प्रेमसुलभ भावना त्याच्याही मनात येणं स्वाभाविक होतं.त्याचवेळी संबंधं वाढताहेत हे जाणवूनही असेल, आपला एक जवळचा मित्रं आहे, त्याचं आपलं जवळजवळ ठरलेलंच आहे, असं मालविकानं विराजला सांगितलं.

दोघेही पूर्ववत समुहामधे वावरू लागले…          


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Her Excursions

At the age of thirty nine she came across an urgent need of her higher secondary passing certificate. The primary eligibility criterion for a diploma she had enrolled for was higher secondary certificate. She had earned a degree afterwards. Still higher secondary certificate criterion was must. The university had certain compulsory guidelines for the diploma. She had completed two years of the diploma; next year was the concluding one. The institution where she had enrolled for the diploma had informed about all this now and further warned that it would be a major problem if anybody does not submit the higher secondary certificate at the earliest. She had all the passing certificates of all the exams up to the degree but… she searched for the higher secondary passing certificate everywhere. She had the photocopies of the same but university had asked for the original and she was not able to find exactly that! Further she would remember the file in which the certificate was kept. She would remember the colour, the texture of the file. She would remember why it was kept in that particular file. The other papers she would perfectly remember which she had kept along with the certificate in the same file. The thought started making everlasting drill in her brain, in her memory. The same everlasting drill which starts many a times in one’s brain. It starts, develops and finally ends to make a way for another drilling thought. This was just like that. What to do? To make a request for a duplicate saying that the original is lost. Where to make the request? Should I request the college? Well! College doesn’t have it then? Should I request the higher secondary board? Would the board will able to deliver the twenty odd years old certificate? How much fees would they charge? - Fees don’t matter in fact but- where is the board office? It would be at the same place where it was previously? Else where would it be? Would I get the same in the college easily? Do I remember any body through whom I would reach the college office? Any contact I remember? If Baba would have been there he would have suggested number of contacts. If he would have been there… the journey of the thought used to end here and then would start the unavoidable, cumbersome, unwanted excursions of wayward glimpses of the past life...                                 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

“अनावृत्त”_कथा_दिवाळी “मुक्तसंवाद”_२००७

उपनगरातल्या एका सहकारी गृहनिर्माण संस्थेचा परिसर.बहुसंख्येने अर्थातच मध्यमवर्ग.तांबडं फुटायची वेळ म्हणतात तशी वेळ.रखवालदार डोळे तांबरलेला.मुख्य प्रवेशद्वारावर.पोटापासून ओढ देत जोरदार जांभया देऊन झोप उडवायचा प्रयत्न करणारा.तीन-चार इमारतींची सोसायटी.इतर प्रवेशद्वारांवर साधारण असंच दृष्य असेल.कदाचित रखवालदारच नसेल.

रखवालदार रामदेव रजकने पुन्हा एकदा तंबाखू मळायला घेतला.हातावर बोट घासता-घासता त्याला पुन्हा पेंग यायला लागली.अचानक काहीतरी हालचाल झाली आणि तो दचकला.त्याचा आपल्या डोळ्यांवर विश्वास बसेना.धसक्याने हातातला तंबाखूही सांडला.सोसायटीतले आरोग्य जागरूक प्रभातफेरीसाठी बाहेर पडून वेळ लोटला होता.कचेरीत जाणारे बाहेर पडायला अवधी होता.एखाद् दुसराच तसा बाहेर पडत होता.शाळांच्या बसेस पश्चिमेच्या गेटजवळ गर्दी करत.हे मुख्य प्रवेशद्वार असलं तरी गल्लीत होतं.मेन रोड संकुलाच्या पश्चिमेला.तिथे बसेस वगैरे.

झालेली हालचाल रामदेव रजकला अस्वस्थ करून गेली होती.आपण खरंच ते पाहिलंय का…डोळ्यांनी…सर्वात मागच्या, तिसऱ्या आणि चौथ्या इमारतीच्या बेचक्यात एक अतिशय छोटं गार्डन केलं होतं.सुशोभित बगीचा.तिथल्या झाडांत ती हालचाल दिसली.रजकला रहावेना.खात्री करून घेण्यासाठी तो प्रवेशद्वारातून बाहेर रस्त्यावर बघत, कुठे काही इतर हालचाल नाही ना ते बघत बगीच्याकडे निघाला.अनेक झुडपं आणि दोन-चार बऱ्यापैकी वाढलेली झाडं.फूट-दीड फूट गच्चं पानं असलेला, फांद्या असलेला झाडांचा विस्तार.त्यातल्या दोन झाडांच्या मधे आडोश्याला त्याला जे दिसलं ते बघून त्याचे डोळे दिपल्यासारखेच झाले.ती एक अनावृत्त स्त्री होती.होय!अनावृत्त, पांढरंशुभ्र स्फटिकासारखं शरीर.ते शरीर बघतानाच लक्क्न वीज चमकावी तशी त्याच्या पायातली हवाच निघून गेली.डोक्यातून जोरदार प्रवाह.धक्का बसल्यासारखा.त्या शरीराकडे बघतच तो डोकं गच्चं धरून मटकन् खाली बसला.आश्चर्य म्हणजे त्याचे डोळे मात्र त्या धक्क्याने मिटले नाहीत.ते ताठरल्यासारखे झाले.पापणी मिटली तरी समोरचं दृष्यं क्षणार्धात नाहीसं होईल या भीतीनंही असेल.तो मटकन् खाली बसला हे मात्र त्याच्या दृष्टीनं सोयीचंच झालं.तो आपोआप लपला गेला आणि त्याच वेळी झुडपाच्या बेचक्यातून त्याला समोर दोन-चार फुटांवर उभं असलेलं ते शरीर न्याहाळताना कसलीही अडचण येत न्हवती.अर्थात हे सगळं रजकला जाणवत असण्याची सुतराम शक्यता नव्हती.त्याच्या सताड डोळ्यांना जाणवत होतं ते समोरचं स्त्री-शरीर.त्याच्या तांबरलेल्या डोळ्यांत आणखी आणखी रक्त साकळत होतं आणि ते शरीर, मुरमात पाणी मुरावं तसं त्याच्या मेंदूत मुरायला सुरवात होत असावी.

ते काही कुणा नाजूक नवयौवनेचं अनाघ्रात शरीर नव्हतं…  

Friday, November 7, 2008

Guru Resorts

It was just because of the united 5's that this complex came in to existence. The united 5's were Bhau, Bapu, Nana, Anna and Virendra. Any body of them would have easily erected the complex. Every body of them had the capacity and vision to do the same but then the term organization would have been senseless. Even after getting organized the same should reach out just not to each other's minds or to the minds of few people. It should be conveyed largely, widely. In today's world one has to obey certain rules. Hence a right scheme was planned. Perfect discipline was observed and one can surely say that the Guru resort was planned meticulously. That was enough. To manage labour, money etc. was not at all difficult. Off all the 5's Virendra was representing the rural area and was off course rough and dashing. Anna was representing the semi urban area. Nana was from the other state who was a native of this state and representing the people of this state staying in the other state. Bhau was representing the white collars salaried strata in the city and Bapu was educating the elites in the metropolitan city. These elites were from upper middle class, newly rich, those who had advanced themselves from middle class to upper middle etc. but were craving vary much for the Adhyatma. Nana who was a native but was from the other state was very old, almost approaching his limits. ‘White collar' Bapu was quite old but was not to be termed as very old. Semi urban Anna was aged but not old. ‘Elite' Bapu was an adult and the rural Virendra was quiet young. These stalwarts of various groups have not just distributed the masses among themselves but the respective strata have bestowed its guru to its fullest extent. Every Guru had distinguishing charismatic element and every Guru had hypnotized a different strata. But this thing only has caused the fame to each of the 5's.The everlasting fame. To create a mass hysteria or hysterias like this is unique in its own way! To get bestowed by even the most ignorant person is not everybody's or for that matter every Guru's cup of tea. Here one should not at all think that the term ignorant is used only for the illiterates. To conclude, erecting the Guru Resorts designed by these united 5's was the most sensational event. The opening ceremony was the climax of this event. To choose the day of Gurupornima (full moon day celebrated to worship the Gurus) as the ceremonial day was the height of their shrewdness and exactly the same can be said about the main criteria of restricting their followers to attend the opening ceremony! This was definitely understandable and was the illustrative example of every Guru’s openness towards their followers that after the opening ceremony the followers were the owners of the complex in a way! There was a definite risk in allowing all the followers to attend the opening ceremony. The function would be unnecessarily glamorous. To maintain peace, discipline etc. was equally important. And above all no one could predict (including the united 5's) as how the followers of various Gurus’ would react after gathering together. They would collide on each other or they would obstruct each other or there would be a war like atmosphere or the spurge of globalization will lead them all in a totally unknown direction. It was all unpredictable…

Thursday, November 6, 2008

“द सिरियन ब्राईड”

खूप दिवसांपासून या सिनेमाबद्दल लिहायचं राहूनच जातंय.द सिरियन ब्राईड हा इस्त्रायली सिनेमा २००५ सालच्या थर्ड आय एशियन फिल्म फेस्टिवलमधे दाखवला गेला आणि आजतागायत डोक्यातून गेलाच नाही.दिग्दर्शन: इरान रिकलिस.२००४ साल हे त्याचं प्रदर्शन वर्षं.

ड्रुझ जमातीतल्या मोना या मुलीचा विवाह ठरलाय आणि तिला ती रहात असलेल्या गोलन टेकड्यांच्या परिसरात तिची बहिण पूर्वतयारीसाठी ब्युटीपार्लरमधे घेऊन जातेय या दृष्याने चित्रपटाची सुरवात होते.गोलन टेकड्यांच्या चढणीवरून त्या जात असताना पार्श्वभूमीवर लांबवर खूप खालच्या भागात असलेला हमरस्ता दिसतोय. गोलन टेकड्यांचा भाग आता इस्त्रायली अंमलाखाली आहे आणि तिथल्या मोनाचं लग्नं सिरियामधल्या एका प्रथितयश अभिनेत्याशी ठरलं आहे.ईस्त्रायल आणि सिरिया या देशांमधल्या घमासानीनंतर या दोन्ही देशांच्यामधे युनो कर्मचाऱ्यांच्या अधिपत्याखाली असलेला सैनिकी प्रदेश तयार करण्यात आलाय.विशेष कारणांसाठीच सीमारेषेचा पार करण्याची परवानगी दोन्ही देशांकडून मिळू शकते.मोनाला ६ महिने लागले आहेत ईस्त्रायली सरकारकडून गोलन टेकड्यांचा परिसर सोडायची परवानगी मिळवायला.एकदा तिने हद्द ओलांडली की तिला परतण्याची, आपल्या कुंटुंबाला भेट देण्याची संधी कदचित आयुष्यात मिळणार नाही आणि त्यामुळे ती विचारात पडलीय.दुसरीकडे तिला आपल्या होणाऱ्या नवऱ्याला जाणून घेण्याची संधीच मिळालेली नाही.अश्या मोठ्या तिढ्याने दिग्दर्शक सिनेमाला सुरवात करतो आणि एकापाठोपाठ एक अत्यंत उत्तम व्यक्तिरेखा सादर करू लागतो.

मोनाचे वडील सिरियाशी जुळवून घेणं या मताचे खंदे पुरस्कर्ते म्हणून नुकतेच इस्त्रायली तुरूंगात जाऊन जामीनावर बाहेर आलेत.त्यांच्या एका मुलाने जमातीविरूध्द जाऊन एका रशियन डॉक्टरशी लग्न केलंय तो बहिणीच्या लग्नासाठी येऊ घातलाय.त्याच्या येण्याबद्दल वडलांना गावातून इशारा मिळालाय.मोनाची बहिण एक अयशस्वी विवाहबंधनात असलेली मोठ्या दोन मुलींची आई आहे.या तिघींना त्या ट्राऊझर्स घालतात म्हणून मुक्त स्वातंत्र्याच्या पुरस्कर्त्या समजलं जातं.ही बहिण समाजसेविका म्हणून प्रशिक्षण घेण्याच्या तयारीत आहे.तिच्या नवऱ्याचा परंपरागत व्यवसाय आहे खाटिकाचा.मोठ्या मुलीला इस्त्रायलभिमुख विचारसरणी असलेल्या घरातल्या मुलाशी लग्नं करायचं आहे आणि आईला असं वाटतं की तिनं अजून शिकावं जे आईला करायला मिळालं नाही.बापाला परंपरागत पुरूषी समाजव्यवस्थेतला कुटुंबप्रमुख म्हणून या सगळ्या प्रकाराने द्विधा मनस्थितीत टाकलंय.याच कुटुंबातला, नववधूचा आणखी एक भाऊ इटलीत व्यवसाय करतो आणि तो स्वच्छंदी आहे पण त्याच्या जीवनशैलीला समाज हरकत घेत नाही आणि त्याचवेळी रशियन महिला डॉक्टरशी लग्न केलेल्या त्याच्या भावाला मात्र समाज वाळीत टाकतो…

असा भला मोठा आणि तेवढाच गुंतागुंतीचा पट घेऊन दिग्दर्शक आपल्याला पुढे नेतो.आपण सहज या प्रवाहात सामील होतो.कुठेही आपल्याकडच्या अनेक कॅरेक्टर्स असलेल्या मालिकांप्रमाणे नीरसता तर येत नाहीच!

लग्नाच्या जेवणावळींनंतर वधूला इस्त्रायल-सिरिया सीमारेषेवर आणलं गेलंय आणि इथेच तिच्या पलिकडे जाण्यात विघ्नं येऊ लागतात.दोन्ही देशांमधल्या सरकारी कारवायांचा समर्पक आणि अपूर्व असा हा भाग दिग्दर्शकानं इथे साकारलाय.कुठलीही हाणामारी नसताना आपण श्वास रोखून हया नाट्याचे साक्षीदार होऊ लागतो.इस्त्रायली सरकारनं गोलन टेकड्यांवरच्या रहिवाश्यांच्या पासपोर्टवर ते इस्त्रायल सोडून जात आहेत असा शिक्का मारण्याच्या निर्णय नुकताच घेतला आहे तर सिरियन सरकार गोलन टेकड्यांना सिरियाचा परदेशव्याप्त परिसर मानते आहे.इस्त्रायल सरकारचा शिक्का असलेल्या पारपत्रांना सिरिया सरकार इस्त्रायलच्या सिरियाविरोधी हालचाली मानते आणि अश्या इमिग्रंट्सना प्रवेश नाकारते आहे!...

सरतेशेवटी इस्त्रायली अधिकारी करेक्शन फ्लुईडने आपला शिक्का पुसायला तयार होईपर्यंत युनोचा लायझन ऑफिसर मागेपुढे करत रहातो (दोघंही शेवटी माणसेच!) आणि आता हा प्रश्नं शांततामय मार्गाने सुटू पहातोय तर सीमारेषेवर एक वेगळंच उत्स्फूर्त नाट्य घडतंय!

नववधू आणि तिच्या संपर्कात असलेली तिची स्पष्टं विचारांची मोठी बहिण यांच्यातल्या विचारमंथनानंतर नववधू सगळी सूत्रं आपल्या हातात घेऊन काही पावलांचंच असलेलं सीमारेषेपलिकडचं ते अंतर ठामपणे चालत जाऊन पार करते.त्याचवेळी तिची मोठी बहिण सगळ्या समूहापासून दूर चालत निघते निश्चयाने, मनातली स्वप्नं साकारण्यासाठी आवश्यक असलेल्या अदृष्य भिंती तोडून टाकण्याच्या निश्चयाने!...या शेवटच्या दृष्यात विशेषत: मोठ्या बहिणीचे क्लोजअप्स आणि तिच्या समूहपासून दूर जाण्याचा प्रवास दिग्दर्शक कॅमेऱ्याच्या माध्यमातून इतक्या प्रभावीपणे दाखवतो की आपण त्याला सलाम करतो! नि:शब्द दृश्य परिणामकारक करण्याचं हे अफलातून कसब.हा सिनेमा वैश्विक आशय असलेला आहेच.राजकीय, सामाजिक, कौटुंबिक आणि मानवी स्वभाव असं सगळं स्वच्छं आणि अत्यंत परिणामकारकतेनं आपल्यासमोर उभं रहातं.हे करणं खूप कठीण आहे.उत्तम व्यक्तिरेखा, तितकाच अप्रतिम अभिनय, गुंतागुंतीच्या पटात सगळ्याचं कडबोळं न होऊ देणं, सतत उत्कंठावर्धकता टिकवणं-अर्थात पटकथेची उत्तम वीण(लेखन:सुहा अराफ, इरान रिकलीस)-जे चित्रपटाचं मुख्य अंग हे हा चित्रपट आपल्यासमोर प्रभावीपणे मांडतो.उत्तम सिनेमाची अपेक्षा असलेल्यांना आणखी काय पाहिजे? 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Janmejay's Warfare


Janmejay prepared himself for the departure. He has to prepare himself for it right from the morning. Thoughts of the departure used to disturb his nights – the sudden awakes… these sudden awakes prevailed also by so many other reasons.

Sister Aakruti’s eight year old son Puru used to enjoy more in the Gagangrass co-operative housing society. He would travel everywhere in his sleep the whole night and used to hammer Janmejay’s back, the whole night.
If Puru would not have been there then sister Vibhuti's six year old daughter Sharmishtha used to spend sleepless nights. Gagangrass co-operative society was her favorite place of enjoyment.
By chance if Sharmishtha had a sleep then there used to be sister Sameekha who used to come over from the nearest town Pune along with her 4year old twins. The whole Gagangrass co-operative society used to assemble in the apartment to see and to enjoy the amusing activities of the twins, the whole night.
If not this then there would be sister Meemansa, the confused mother with her new born infant, the whole night.
And if nothing at all was there then there used to be sister Samidha's friend circle, sitting in the drawing room and giggling, almost the whole night.
Else or otherwise Madhavswami and Krupamai- Janmejay's parents- would discuss and dig any issues including the issue of sister Samidha's marriage, up to the dawn.
If not then Janmejay himself could not get sleep, for no reason, up to the dawn.
He would get drowsy during the dawn, about to get deep sleep, feeling some sweet but acute sensations in his abdomen running downwards and his sleep would get suddenly disturbed. The thought of the departure would cause this disturbed state. Such was the phenomenon of his departure.
He got up in the morning realizing the phenomenon of the morning by keeping the thought of the departure in his deep conscience. He was not able to find the direction in which to go. After realizing it he did not find the way. Somebody from sister Samidha's friend circle, sister Akruti's husband, sister Meemansa's brother in law, Janmejay's second, third or the forth cousin's some guest who did not get any place in the Gagangrass co-operative society's any other apartment - the whole lot of such personalities messed around, as always it was. He reached the washbasin and found his toothbrush missing-must have been used by somebody and misplaced. As always it was. He then searched for his own bath towel and found it already used, like many a times it has been. He waited for tea and found his mother already leaving for her Yoga classes. He waited for breakfast and found sister Vibhuti leaving for her bath. Janmejay stood like a statue holding sister Vibhuti's daughter Sharmishtha who was finally feeling sleepy. This was the status qua of Janmejay this morning. As if this was not enough he found the sensation of excrement. The one already clearing himself in the toilet, the other waiting to go inside and the another finally succeeding as an intruder, Janmejay watched them all standing near the sole toilet of the apartment with the intensifying sensation in his bowls. Ultimately somehow he managed to have the dismal shower in the bathroom and came back to the bedroom…



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

“माझं घर”_कथा_“मैत्रीण”दिवाळी अंक_२००६

आज…शेवटी आज मी तटस्थपणे माझ्या घराकडे पहातेय.या सणासुदीला बदलल्या जाणाऱ्या, भरगच्च हाराखालच्या फोटोत बसून…माझं घराचं स्वप्नं पूर्ण व्हायला हा एवढा काळ जावा लागला…अजूनही चाललेल्या कुरबुरी मला ऐकू येत नाहीत, समजत नाहीत, अश्यातला भाग नाही.पण आज मात्र मी या सगळ्याच्या पलिकडे गेलेय…कम्पल्सरी…निदान या चार भिंतीतरी यापुढे बराच काळ कायम असतील…पण घर म्हणजे फक्त एवढंच असंही नव्हे…सकृतदर्शनी ’माझं घर’ झालंय…होणारे त्रास मी पुरेपुर भोगले! मागे राहिलेल्यांनी त्यांचे त्रास त्यांच्या वाट्याला जसे आलेत तसे भोगावेत, हे अगदी निरिच्छपणे म्हणा किंवा तसं व्हावं या इच्छेनेही म्हणत नाही मी, पण आता मी कुणाचेच होणारे त्रास कमी करू शकत नाही आणि माझ्यामुळे त्यात वाढही होणार नाही, एवढं खरं! घर…माझं घर…झालं! एवढं म्हणायला हरकत नाही…         

माझ्या घरातून बाहेर पडले-जिथे जन्म घेतला, लहानपण घालवलं, मैत्रिणींबरोबर खेळता खेळता, अभ्यास करता करता, त्या घरातून…अचानक एके दिवशी जाणून करून दिली गेली की हे तुझं घर नव्हेच!-म्हणजे? कुणाला आपल्या घरातून बाहेर पडावसं वाटेल?-कुठल्या मुलीला? मला एके दिवशी वाटलं…काळ्या वर्णाचा उपजत वारसा होताच…नीटस दिसणं हे काळ्या रंगाच्या बाहेर कधी येतच नाही…नसावं…त्यात शाळेच्या मैदानावर मारल्या जाणाऱ्या चुनाच्या बुक्कीतला चुना डोळ्यांत गेला आणि निमित्त होऊन डोळ्यांवर ढापणं चढली…उंची बेताचीच…शाळा संपली…शिक्षणात हुशार, पण ते घेतलं म्हणजे लग्न जमणं आणखीच कठीण!-मुलीनं पुढे शिकायचं? आपलं आपण जमवायला प्राथमिक अर्हता हव्यात, मग धैर्य हवं, ते कुठुन आणायचं? मला घराबाहेर पडावसं वाटायला लागलं… मला वाटलं, कारण हळूहळू मी तिथे असण्यामुळे… अजून असण्यामुळे…लग्न होऊन माझ्या घरी गेलेली नसल्यामुळे…उमटणाऱ्या प्रतिक्रिया जाणवत होत्या…धक्का बसवणाऱ्या नसल्या त्या तरी डोहात खडा पडल्यावर अखंड अनंत तरंग पसरत रहावेत…सगळ्यांच्याच मनात…तश्या… पुन्हा, उजवून घ्यायला, हुंडा कुणी, कुठून, कुणाकडून आणायचा? मी डोळे बंद करून डोळ्यासमोर अंधार केला आणि पुढचा रस्ता पकडला…घरच्यांना आपल्या मुलीचं चांगलं व्हावं असं कसं बरं नाही वाटणार? माझ्या दृष्टीनं मागच्यांना त्यांचे रस्ते मोकळे झाले हे बरंच झालं…मी जे आजपर्यंत माझं घर म्हणत होते त्याचं ’माहेर’ झालं…माहेरचं घर चौसोपी नव्हे, पण सोपा, अंधारं माजघर, स्वयंपाकघर, न्हाणीघर, परसू, पायखाना शिवाय माडी-तीन खणांची…शहरात आल्यावर पहिला धक्का म्हणजे ज्या घरात आले ते घर माझं नव्हेच! नणंदेचं! शहरातल्या चाळीतलं घर…चाळीत रहदारीच रहदारी…चाळीतल्या चाळीत आणि चाळीतल्यांची घराघरांत… एखाद्या प्रवासी बोटीवर असल्यासारखं… त्यातच नवी नवलाई…त्यातच…गरोदरपण…पहिलं…मागच्या बाजूच्या खिडकीतून बाहेर बघत रहाणं…शून्य मनानं…मुद्दाम आणलेली शून्यता…आपलं दैव असं म्हणून…मला वाचनाची, लिखाणाची आवड असणं, बहुश्रुत असावंसं वाटणं आणि…माझ्या संसाररथाच्या दुसऱ्या चाकाशी बघावा लागणारा अनाडी, कामगारी थाट…परदेशी अत्तरांचा…उंची सलूनमधे जाऊनच केस कापण्याचा…इस्त्रीच्या उंची कपड्यांचा…वाचाळपणा…खिश्यातल्या रिकामपणावर सगळं भारी झालेलं…गरोदरपणाच्या जड अवस्थेत मला सगळं समजू लागलं…पहिला मुलगा होईस्तोवर नणंदेचा संसारच आपण जगतोय हेही…            

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Global Gobble

A strong call of Bandya (a nick name used for a layman in rural Maharashtra) reverberated in the hall at down stairs. It was like a seasoned shepherd calling its herd.

He used to sit down stairs and used to look after the administration. Manager in charge of the loans and advances department was sitting upstairs and the downstairs Bandya himself had started calling him up-Bandya. The staff members started calling all the in charges by their sitting positions (e.g. Up-Bandya, Down-Bandya, Cabin-Bandya etc.).The strong call was for receiving a most famous long awaited circular. Circulars are generally famous for their waiting periods. This circular had a maximum period of waiting. Bandya yelled again, “Hey! It has come!” Some members were just signing the muster. Some were busy searching a ceiling fan, sweeping their sweat, after entering the premises and signing the muster. Some were gathered near the Aquaguard water purifier to have a fresh early morning chat and drinking as well as storing the drinking water. Down-Bandya’s second call made the right impact and all the scattered staff members gathered around Bandya’s table. Down-Bandya hailed from a small village, a shrewd person disguising himself in the rural attire. The clearing department peon had brought the day’s post and the down Bandya started looking after the post. Down-Bandya had a peculiar mannerism of his neck. The movement of his neck was as if an active spring had been situated somewhere inside it. This was may be due to his nature of work. Like a crane standing in a lake he used to watch around. Any bit of thing, a smallest movement would never escape his attention. Now while sorting the post his neck had the same jerks and one of it had located the circular. The long awaited famous circular. After locating it down-Bandya had given the call. Everybody was around him now and Bandya was keeping mum. Keeping mum after a strong call was Bandya’s one of the whims. He used to refer it as his first and foremost basic of managerial skills and it did have a definite impact on his herd. The number around him started increasing. Leading the crowd was full of tension Mr. Tokekar. He was one of them who never use hearing aid and still try to behave as normal. The tension mounted on him carried his head down and still down in the papers on Bandya’s table. Manu Muttamvar was relaxing near Mr. Tokekar resting his hand on the shoulders of Mr. Tokekar. Manu laughed watching Tokekar’s head movement and said,

“Hey! Old man! Just help yourself! Don’t bend more else down-Bandya will reach more down!”

“What do you mean by more down? How much down? Is it down under the earth?” Somebody from the crowd roared. Tokekar was not able to hear it. He started looking at each and every laughing person in the crowd. Mr.Uttam Shinde always used to laugh more and louder. He had observed that Tokekar gets easily confused by this and started using this tactic on Tokekar. He would not stop till Tokekar would get totally confused. Mr. Parab was habitual in standing away from the crowd. He would relax resting his elbow on the counter and folding his hands on each other. He was termed as Inspector Parab. He used to enjoy everybody’s problem. He always had a burning curiosity. Like a CBI person he used to interrogate the victim facing him. He had a strong conviction that the person facing him always hides some thing from him. At this time resting on the counters he was laughing at the crowd thinking that Bandya is making fool of everybody. The ‘circular’ thing is certainly a fake one. He sarcastically stared at the crowd and laughing bitterly he moved under a fast rotating ceiling fan.

“Hey? What’s happening Parab? Muhalleme girdi char aane ka bhav!” This was the most regular late comer that had a habit of quoting Hindi phrases every time like most comic villains in the Hindi films do. He had a usual phrase- “On the spot! Goldspot!” which made his nick name as “on the spot”. Dilip came after him adjusting his camera bag, adjusting his spectacles which used to turn black in the sun light. His face had a normal expression of superiority complex. He observed the crowd and for a while a flash came in his mind. Bandya must have been fainted and the crowd is trying to help him. He sensed a photographical assignment in it and his eyes blinked. Still maintaining the status quo of superiority he launched towards the toilet. Last to enter was Bhai. He used to come after everybody as he used to stay in the next building. Bhai was his degree. He was not at all a gangster. He was only a gang head of the middle class employees and was fearsome to them. His main activity in this place was to arrange picnics. Yes! He definitely had toned down himself! He came, he ignored the whole lot and he went towards the phone. He had to win a perfect destination for a coming rainy picnic. He had to arrange for the stuff, the eatables. He had to pursue the customers for picnic donations… everything was like a national issue to him… he lost in that…

Mrs. Kale, Mrs. Kabnoorkar and Mrs. Sawant were the first three who made an exit from the crowd around down-Bandya. All of them came out for different reasons. Kabnoorkar had an illusion of getting raped in this crowd and had a streak of laughter on her face after the illusion. Sawant came out with a bubbling confidence that if somebody had been raped she would have been the first. She was adjusting her sari border clipped on her blouse with a grace and proud. Kale was ignorant as always. One was never able to predict whether this ignorance was real or an act of pretence. She came out of the crowd with an empty water bottle still in her hand. She looked around first at Parab then at Bhai and then she saw ‘on the spot’. Calling him she went away following him towards the toilet…