प्लेटफार्म पर इंतज़ार 

माथे पर नहीं थी कोइ शिकंज, ना मुख पर उलझन, कदम तेज़ थे, जोश अनोखा, आँखों में चमक नई थी, चहक रही वो जैसे मन ही मन, कुछ सपने बुनती डोल रही थी।

आई सवारी, तब उठा समान बिन बोले ही बोल रही थी । झटपट द्वार किए बन्द,  स्काईबैग को तब रोशन ने उठाया, गाड़ी को फिर स्टेशन की राह पर दौड़ाया। प्लेटफॉर्म पहुंच कर सामान 💼 उतारा,  लो अब बजने वाले थे बस बारा।

हुआ इन्तज़ार कुछ यूं लम्बा जब पढ़ा प्लेटफार्म पर रेल्वे का एलान जिसने जारी कर दिया ट्रेन लेट का फरमान । लम्हे फिर घंटों में बदले,  तन्हा कैसे कटे सफर?

हुई शुरू शिरकत प्लेटफार्म पर, लगने लगी उठक बैठक,  चार कदम आगे बढ़ते, दो कदम पीछे,  बैचेनी जब और बढ़ी, चाय 🍵 की प्याली हाथ चढ़ी, आँखें थीं  कि राह पर गड़ी,  घड़ी -घड़ी निगाहें घड़ी पर अटक जातीं स्टेशन की घड़ी से बारम्बार मिलाती।

फिर भी सहज सरल भाव लिए, थकावट को छुपाए हुए  बैठी रही चेहरे पर हल्की सी मुस्कान लिए , धड़कन कुछ तेज़ हुई जब इंजन की सीटी नें 🔉 आवाज़ दी। इंजन फिर दहाड़ा, हरी झंडी ने जब किया इशारा ।

ओझल फिर नज़रों से हो गई । थी कौन वो जो घंटो करके इन्तज़ार, थी न व्याकुल न लाचार। ममतामयी सूरत, वात्सल्य की मूरत।और कौन होगी वह? वह तो एक माँ ही होगी जो मन में मिलन की आस लिए, स्वयं ही चल दी बच्चों के पास न जाने कितने स्वप्न लिए ?

सच बड़ा ही खूबसूरत सफर होगा , मिलन का अहसास गज़ब होगा ।

On Christmas Night

Nights are like long stretches of darkness, like shades of grey scattered against the white, like silent caves hidden in the wilderness. “What are nights for?”, I asked? Do they mean something? Do they say something?

When the whole world is sleeping and you are alone in your kitchen baking and the aroma of cake fills the night air, the twinkling stars from their heavenly heights take a deep breathe and stop to stare, that moment is beyond words. You sitting at your window catch a glimpse of the stars and even before you could react, they smile and wink and disappear. Disappear where?

“Stars to what places you go?”; “Who are the people you meet?” As I wondered I heard a little jingle outside my door. Oh! is that Santa greeting me, is that him who stole my dream to shower me with gifts?

I opened the door and saw the green grass in the lawn covered with snow. Surely, the leaves rustled, the logs burnt bright and the candles glowed. Yes! it was …it was him. Sometimes you feel like kids. You wait with hope, with desperation for something or someone to wrap you around with a blanket of warmth. The cozy feeling enlivens your spirit. The quiet of the night sounds like a gentle drizzle.

Nights are like long stretches of darkness, like shades of grey scattered against the white, like silent caves hidden in the wilderness. “What are nights for?”, I asked? Do they mean something? Do they say something? Why do we say ‘Dark night’, ‘Lonely night’, ‘Scary night’, ‘Long night’? Nights are also bright, lighted, starry, cool, breezy, warm, gentle, comforting? Aren’t they? Nights are for rest, for peace, for rejuvenation, for celebration.

When a star twinkles, a lamp glows or a candle burns it is the darkness of the night that conspires to make them illumine the world. When standing at the edge of a dark tunnel rest assured that daylight is spreading its wings somewhere.

Darkness is not ugly or evil. It is a moment that leads to another moment. It is the stillness that ushers you to action. It is the oblivion that awakens your deeper conscience.

Knowing thyself is truth, truth is true knowledge. Happiness is not dependent on people, events, situations and circumstances. It is within you. Ignorance is a veil that shields your vision. It creates the confusion between hope and despair, joy and sorrow, love and hatred.

On Christmas and this festive season, pledge yourself a world of happiness.With peace and wisdom that Santa brings for everyone, gift the world more happiness; happiness which is independent, unadulterated, which springs from within the fountains of inner calm and quietness.

Lift the veil, happiness is just round the corner.