Tag Archives: Taj Mahal

Pappu Ko Mili Pappi

By Joybrato Dutta

comedy week

Aaj katha divas ke paavan avsar par humne socha ek vyatha bhari katha sunaye. Naam se to pata chal hi gaya hoga ki is paatth ke mukhya kirdaar ka naam Pappu hai.

Pappu Chaubey Paandunagar ke sabse raes MLA ke driver ka beta tha. Naam chota tha par chakke lambe maarta tha. Maahi Bhaiyya bulaaye jaane waale iss nagine ko out karne ka nuskha kisi bowler ke paas nahin tha. Chheh saal ki umar mein Tendulkar ke saare records tod chuka tha. Par akela tha bechaara. Itne bade star hone ke bawjood, kisi bhi ladki ka usko dekh nahin banta tha mood.

Par iss raat ki subah aayi. Pappu ki gali mein Roshni aayi. Aur apni jeevika mein pehli baar Pappu ke stumps ne dhool chaati. Gend se nazar hati aur durghatna ghati. Bechaara kya karta, saamne se uske babuji Shri Satyaki Chaubey Ji ek khoobsurat dus saal ki hirni laa rahe the. Uff uski chaal. Uff uske gaal. Kya khoob chamak rahi thi uski khaal. Uske dekhte hi khade ho gaye Pappu ke baal.

Balla chod pappu apne babuji ki aur dauda. Yeh dekh Babuji ne shuru kiya khujlana apne maathe ka phoda. Jis bete ne aaj tak unki tarf dekh nahin muskuraya, woh saagar ki Dimple Kapadiya jaise daud ke unke paas aaya?!?. Pahunchte hi Pappu ne haafte huye kaha “babuji hum aaj chauraasi run banaye”. Babuji ne palat ke poocha “Beta ganit mein kitne ank aaye?” Iske jawab mein Pappu bhi utna hi bol paaya jisey sunkar, Chaubey Ji ko Manmohan Singh yaad aaya.

Par dekh ke Pappu ki shakal Roshni ne kiya chuckle.

Dekh ke Roshni ki muskurahat, khadi ho gayi pappu ki khaat.

Pappu roz babuji ke saath MLA saheb ke ghar jaane laga. Pehle to Babuji ko samajh na aaya. Phir laga shayad bete ko kaamchori ke khayal ne sataya.

Teen din ki iss ghisayi ke baad woh shubh ghadi aayi jab Roshni ke nana ne Chaubey Ji Senior se kaha “Arre Chaubey Ji jara Pappu se kaho humri Roshni bitiya ko gaanv ghumaaye. Bambayi se aayi hai, usey zara gaanv ke mahaul se parichaye karaaye”.  Pappu ne maara mauke pe chauka aur woh bann gaya Roshni ka guide.

Taj Mahal ki bhi kisi shayar ne itni tareef na ki hogi jitni apne gaanv ki Pappu ne kari. Uske varnan ke saamne Roshni ko uska Bandra gaanv lagne laga. Jai Kishan Chikitsalay ke saamne Lilavati hospital ki kya aukaat. Majaal hai PVR ki jo Goushala Talkies ki laga sake watt. Bhokali Bhojanalay ne bhi lagayi Barbeque Nation aur Global Fusion ko laat.

Dheere dheere Pappu Roshni ke aur kareeb aata gaya. Pappu ki keechad bhari zindagi mein pyaar ka kamal khillta gaya.

Phir aayi Chaudhah Farvary ki woh shaam. Pappu karne waala tha ek ghmasan elaan.  Doston ne badhaya haunsla aur pappu ne finally bakk daala “Aap humre sang love karengi”. Aise natkhat proposal ko kaun thukra sakta tha bhala. Roshni ne jhat se Pappu ke gaalo par pappi di aur sharma ke chal di. Bas phir kya Pappu ke tote udd gaye aur saath mein ande bhi le gaye. Ekaaek Hindi Cinema ke saare pyaar bhare geet uske mann mein mash up ke bhaanti bajne lage.

Pappu ne apne sabse priye mitr Sanku ko ye baat batayi. Sunte hi Sanku ne Pappu ki khushi par nazar lagai. Woh bola “Humre taau kehte hai ki pappi dene se bachha paida hota hai”. Yeh sun kar Pappu ke laal gaal aur laal ho aye. Saare armaan kahin ojhal ho gaye.

Halaat ne bhi kya mast Pappu ki waatt lagayi. Premika ki chahat thi, bachhe ki amma aa gayi. Par baap banne ke iss khayal ne pappu ko zimmedaar bana diya. Abb usne time pe school jaana, aur mann laga ke padhna shuru kiya. Uske is badlav se sab hairaan the, adhyapak baukhlaya aur sahpaathi pareshan the.

Pappu apne baap banne ke khayal ko aur gambhirta se lene laga aur ek din usne apne babuji se iss bare baat-cheet kar hi daali.

Pappu – babuji, hum paida kaise huye

Babuji – Beta, Bhagwan aaye aur tumhe amma ke god mein rakh diye

Pappu – bachha paida hone se pehle pet kahen phoolta hai

Babuji – kayi baar Bhagwan bachhe ko pet ke andar daal deta hai

Pappu – Achha! To yeh bachha nikalta kahan se hai

Babuji – Bhagwan ki den hai jahan se marzi nikal jaata hai

Pappu – Arre magar kahin se to nikalta hoga.

Babuji ko aage samajh na aaya to jhat se ek tamacha de maara. Pappu bhi naraaz ho gaya. Woh bola “jawab nahin aata to maar kahe rahe ho”.

Udhar Roshni bhi pareshan thi, Pappu aajkal kuch zyaada ki uski fikar kar raha tha. “Ice cream mat khaao, ulta mat leto, zyaada uchlo kudo mat”, aise prakaar ki rukawate Pappu uske saamne rakh raha tha. Pappu bhi use khul kar nahin bata raha tha. Sanku ne mana jo kara tha. Sanku ka kehna tha ki aisi khush khabri hamesha aurat hi deti hai. Marad bole to ashubh hota hai.

Kuch dino baad Roshni ki chuttiyaan khatam hui aur woh Bambayi wapas jaane lagi. Station mein Pappu ko rota huya dekh woh uski aur bhaagi. Boli “pappu bandh karo rona, mere jaate hi mujhe facebook pe add karna”. Pappu bola “Suno Roshni, na chalegi abb tumri mann-maani, hum jald hi naukri dhundenge, chahe bechna pade humey nimbu-paani”.

Tabhi train ne seeti maari. Sharmeeli Roshni nana ki taraf bhaagi. Aur phhir dekhte he dekhte huwa woh kaand. Bann gaya Pappu aag-baboola saand. Cheekh ke bola “Saali…..

Huwa bas itna ki MLA sahab ne Roshni ko jhappi di. Aur badle mein Roshni ne apne nana ke gaalo par ek pappi di.

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Agra – Huzoor Wah Taj Boliye!

agra

Kartik Kannan travels to Agra and shares his experiences with some awesome pictures. 

When we boarded the GT express, my friend and I were slowly switching ourselves from our busy work lives, into a short holiday. The transition took a few hours to finally happen as we learnt to ignore the constant noises the blackberry would make to get our attention. Traveling in a II AC compartment, we were well stocked on sleep, before we reached Agra at 2 am. We decided to wait till 4 am in the waiting room, till when we planned to scour for places to stay, closer to either the station or Taj Mahal. We managed to get a steal of a deal at a hotel near the east entrance of the Taj. 2 nights in an AC room, overlooking the Taj Mahal at Rs 900 totally for both of us.

Once we got the deal, we called up the hotel at 4 am, waking up the hotel receptionist, and checked on what would be an approximate auto fare to the hotel from the railway station. With a figure of 80 rupees in mind, we decided to go catch an auto rickshaw, and we saw scores of people who were wanting to be our personal travel consultant. One man, wanted us to pay for him giving information on where the auto stand was , while another one was just wanting to be our personal un solicited guide, with the hope of extracting a final price. We ignored the unsolicited advances, and after haggling on the price, we settled at 100 rupees, a few rupees more than expected.

paratha

We arrived at Hotel Taj Palace, eager to finish our ablutions and head off the crack of Sun rise to see the Taj Mahal. Since we were on the street, leading to the east gate of the Taj Mahal, vehicles were not allowed beyond a point, so we had to factor in some walking. We left our room at 5 30 am, and quickly met a cycle rikshaw wall, who saw the tripod and camera in my hand, and sensed that my immediate friend was the sun rise. So he gave us a package deal. 40 rupees for plying us to the counter and then in the opposite direction to the gate entrance. We took the deal and were done with the whole process in 15 minutes. I had with me my phone, iPad, Camera Bag, Camera and tripod. I learnt that tripods are not allowed inside the Taj, so I had to leave it at a antique store, and hope it would not vanish by the time I am out of the Taj Mahal. No electronic items are allowed inside the Taj, but I was able to take the iPad inside, since I could show that it had a mobile signal and could take photos.

Once inside the Taj, it feels like a different world. The Mughal empire did not quite believe in minimalism, by the look of the buildings leading to the Taj Mahal. The gardens in green, the buildings in red and the here size of the complex, puts you in awe of the place. A guide seems to tell an un suspecting foreigner that the first few rooms before the entrance to the Taj Mahal, were courtesan quarters. The Mughals seem to have craftily planned their entertainment needs, while building the Taj Mahal. While people say this mausoleum is a reflection of Shahjahan’s love and remembrance towards his wife-Mumtaz, the entrance to the mausoleum it also reflects the love and passion of the Mughal rulers towards their courtesans. Some loose talk from a guide to a tourist, revealed that there were close to a 100 rooms.

We entered the Taj through the Southern end, from which you get the post card version of that perfect picture of the 4 pillars flanking the giant dome, 6 am, and the were already close to 200 people holding the taj in their hands and letting the world on Zuckerberg’s planet know about it. I stood their mesmerized by the whiteness of the Taj, and the subsequent glow when the sun from the east shone on its dome and pillars. Maybe it was the marble, or probably the whiteness and the aura that the place was radiating, I immediately felt at ease. The Taj’s south end entrance has a building which runs west, for a fair distance. It has little visitors and that made it my haunt to walk through the empty corridors and feel even more at ease. This section has photographs of other places of interest in India, and makes for a good read to know about some places and if you want a quiet siesta amidst history, this place is a good place to earmark.

sitting

As you walk across the southern end, there are gardens flanking the pathway to the Taj, and on the pathway are many water pools and slabs to sit. Some of these slabs are elevated and give you a good photograph of yourself against the background of the Taj. My friend and I tried some jumping stunt from the slab, while the shot was taken from the ground level slab.

As you approach the actual main tomb, you need to deposit your slippers on the south eastern and south western ends. We decided to go to the eastern end of the Taj, and sit near the building adjacent to the Taj. It gave some beautiful views of the Taj, drenched in the golden hue of the sun. The eastern end adjacent building overlooks the small road that leads right into the banks of the Yamuna. The only people who have a view of the princely Taj and the byline leading to the Yamuna are the guards who sit atop in control rooms.

backdrop

The surrounding buildings are so beautiful and peaceful, that you can relax by the shade under the trees or the buildings and observe that Mondays don’t run as fast as it does back in the cities. Right besides the eastern side, runs the lane that runs through an Akhara, and brings you to the Yamuna river. This was probably another part of our trip, that I would treasure. As I approached the Yamuna, post a long session at the Taj, I came there with my camera kit and tripod, waiting to earmark a territory for shooting the hues of the sunset. There was something beautiful about the simplicity of the banks of the Yamuna, the pace of life here, the magnificence of the Taj donning the banks, that I am not able to pin point, but it made me sit for a whole half hour taking in the scenery, before I started shooting.

There was a policeman who was sitting by the steps of the Yamuna and humming a yesteryear Bollywood number by the sunset ( ‘Tujhse Naaraz Nahi’ from ‘Masoom’), and I responded by you tubing that song and playing it on my iPad, and he was quite surprised to see the same song playing, and turned towards me with a smile. I showed him the iPad and the instant nature of how the web delivers what you want right away. So he played the role of a requesting songs, while I played the role of a DJ in getting the song and playing it for him. Quite an uncommon way of spending a sunset with a stranger,  but looking at his joy over listening to Kishore da, I decided to engage myself in a short conversation with him on the songs of the yore.

boatman

With the sun threatening to come down, I go on my knees and requested a boatman to take me on the Yamuna to the other side of the land, so as to help me take the reflection of the Taj on the Yamuna. He said he would stop near the land, but I would have to be on the boat and take my shots, as only locals can walk on that side of the Yamuna, with heavy police protection in that zone. Viewing the Taj during a sunset from the Yamuna, was one of the most relaxing ways to spend an evening that was pregnant with the expectation that it would show all the colors that VIBGYOR had.

outside

The walk back to the Taj east end gate entrance amidst the street lights ranks very high on my experiences. It took me a different world, that I wanted to take along with me. The yellow halogen lighting of the streets, with the eerie noises of the forest nearby, with the Taj for company, made me feel like a king walking in  darkness of the night, to gather knowledge about his subjects. Despite the illumination of the moon and the street light, the ensuing darkness was just enough to pretend that you were invisible and just viewing this little street as an entity. An entity that you wish you could pack and take along, and get transported to, whenever you feel like. In the era of wish click and go, Agra should only be a few hours away from the urban chaos of the southern cities of Bangalore and Chennai. I shall soon be back in search of the silence, that this lane offers, in anonymity to reflect on life.