Yeh Kyaa Jagah Hai Dosto, Yeh Kaun Saa Dayaar Hai
Had-E-Nigah Tak Jaha N Gubar Hi Gubar Hai
“What is this place friends, where everything seems dusty and stale?”
Let me take you the place of the same. Close down your eyes and see a world, through my eyes-sight. Let me take you far away from today. Very far away. Many decades away.
Lucknow, A city was known for the fortune and richness of people dwelling here. City of Nawabs and Barons and stories of their known profusion used to chant by every mouths. In the city, air used to sing songs of prosperity and ceremony. On the roads in place of motors and bikes, there used to run stagecoaches. Few cars had been seen which could be assorting of modern folk. In place of tall buildings, there was enormous Mansions and Havelis could be seen, exhibiting the richness of their majestic owners.
In the centre of this city, there was situated a seceded world, where morning had been welcomed by twittering of birds’ and nights, by the sound of Anklets and music of Mandolin and sung songs by maidens. When town used to sleep in deep silence, here life bloomed. Everywhere sound of songs and chiming of anklets could be heard and songs to woo wealthy men. Where day used to be shining through sunshine and in night, thousands of candles decorated and brightened the area, and darkness would turn into dawn. But not the duskiness of fate of hundreds lives here, would be vanished through this lights. But yes, silent sobs of courtesans could have been concealed, by the loud sound of tabors and Zithers.
This place was blemished in society but was the most famous though. Houses here were shone always, presenting the culture of era and affluence. Though, people here had been prevented, apart from civilization, yet they were a part of high society. At the same silken place, there was located, a house of shadow, which was the shelter of two women. The house which had not been lightened since ages. It seemed, it had been kept untouched by the boasting of pleasure and courting. And there lives a girl, whose eyes looks up to the sky for not to pray for her freedom, but to see the dreams of faith.
~~ The Beginning ~~
‘Geetali, O Geetali, where are you?”
Rano, in her age of forty, she called a name. Holding a dimmed lantern in her hand, she inquired for her daughter.
Crushing an ink-pen between her teeth, she hummed few lines under her breath. Her one leg was dangling down from bridge of stone, she was drawing lines on water surface below with her foot-thumb. Few papers were rested over her folded knee and resting her back against the wall behind she bent down and wrote few more lines, which had come in her mind. Shining light coming out from lantern was moving due to slight breeze of dark evening. Over her head, sky was becoming cloudy. Anytime rain could have started.
Avoiding the alarm of clouds, she was enjoying the charisma of nature. Suddenly, a thunder sounded. She looked up at sky and smiled. “I don’t fear you” she shouted threw a stone up and laughed. Sky replied with louder thunder. “You want me not to complete my poem? But I will not leave it incomplete, I will stay here and you can’t frighten me any longer” She said showing her artificial anger. Sky discussed with clouds and they stared drizzling down over her head. She smiled more widely. Cold water, she loved the feel. But then the lamp stared blowing off and she remembered for her papers. “Not so fair. I hate you” She stood up stomping her feet. She collected papers and the lamp and started running up to stairs when suddenly,
“Geet I have been calling you from hours. Why didn’t you replied me? Come upstairs Beta, Khan Sahib’ has already come”
Rano shouted standing 15-20 steps up from Geet. Her holding lantern was the only source of light which could give Geet sight of steps. But she didn’t need to know the path. It was her favourite place. Many steps down from her home, sitting and spending time on the edge of a small pond, where in daytime, lotus could be seen in full bloom.
“Is he come?” she rushed in double speed leaping two steps at once. “I am sorry Maa, I forgot the track of time. But it was not my fault you know. That stupid clouds were fighting with me” She spoke while adjusting the veil over her head properly. She straighten her dress and picked few books from the table in her room.
It’s your everyday excuse Geet. Now come up in hurry, he is waiting for you from hours, while I am going to prepare dinner before lantern goes off”
Geet stopped. She came near her mother, “Maa how many times I should tell you. Why can’t we afford electricity? Everyone has, then why can’t we have?”
“Geet, don’t compare us with them! They sell their daughters honour and respect for this electricity, which I can’t do!” Rano shouted proudly. Her breath was filled with hatred imagining about the lives she had in neighbours. Geet knew. She understands and she cupped Rano’s face dearly. “I’m sorry Maa. I’d forgot. I’ll not ask you again” She smiled. She left the room, picking up the pen from desk.