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Friday, 15 January 2010

Dhoondh ujde hue logon mein wafa ke moti, yeh khazaane to mumkin hai kharaabon mein milen

A work entailed me to be in Delhi. I was to return the next day. My train was in the evening and I had a whole day to spend. Gaurav who was with me took me to CP as he had some work there. There I entered in a book shop. It was an old bookshop and a cursory glance on the shelves I could make out that they had good collections of book. It was 1.30 in the noon and I had 2 hours before I had to leave CP for New Delhi railway station. I didn’t want to bore Gaurav who he is not very fond of books so thought of just asking for books I was looking for instead of going through the shelves. I asked the sales person there whether he has any book on Baba Bulle Shah. He said that I should go to the Masjid in corner where a Maulavi saab sells books on Baba Farid , Bulle Shah etc. Without any further ado I came to the corner where there was a very small masjid. Outside the entrance there were some books arranged in a stall. Nobody was there to attend a customer. I looked at the books and my eyes gleamed. It was a treasure. Bulle shah’s Kaafias, Baba Farid, Sufism, Islam , Ahmed Faraz all that that enthused me were there. I was excited and impatient; excited because never ever I had come across such a good collection of books and impatient because I was running short of time. On top of it I could sense that very soon Gaurav would become irritated because of all this. Moreover knowing me her sister has warned me not to bore her brother by taking him into old bookshops. I wanted 5-6 hrs to go through all the books. I had just about 30 minutes. I asked the Paanwaala near by about the Maulavi saab. He said that Maluavi saab has gone to his village but I can take any book I want and pay him. I asked him whether these are the only books available. He said that there are some more books. He told that his brother is looking after the shop and will come at 2.0. I asked him to request Maulavi saab’s brother to be there. It was still 20 min to 2.O clock. I thought that I should be with Gaurav so that these 20 minutes doesn’t add to my quota of book hunting. I went with him around the inner circle. Gaurav was excited by the offers in the shops and I nodded in agreement. He wanted to buy Aawala juice from Khadi Bhandar. He went there and I came back to the Maulavi saab's shop. But still nobody was there. It was 15 minutes pass 2. I thought let me pick whatever is displayed. Anyways I would not be able to buy whatever I like because of monetary constrain. A person came out from the Masjid. He was about 24-25 year frail looking man with a beard and a white cap. He was shy. As he came near me I asked him whether he looks after the shop. He said that Maulavi saab is his brother and has gone home for a month. I asked him if he has books other than those displayed. He hesitated a bit and then asked me to follow him inside the Masjid. I removed my shoes and followed him. Inside there were few people offering Nawaz. We circumvented them and came in front of a small wooden door. He opened the door and went inside the room. I followed him. It was a very small room probably 7x7 sqft. It was damp and dim. The bedding on the floor on which he and I were standing occupied most of the space. The leftover was occupied by a stove, few plates, a pitcher and a cooking pan. There was a small rack in the wall which was covered by a curtain which I presume was made up of a worn out sari. He removed the curtain. There were 5 columns of books. The books were kept widthwise to fit more books in that limited space on the rack. This made the cover and name of the book hidden. He went out and brought a chair and placed it on his bed. He stood on the chair and took out books in bunches and showed it to me. All were good books. I acknowledged this to him. I was excited. I wanted to spend some time with each one of it but I was running short of time. I told him that all are good books and I have to come again. Meanwhile I got two calls from Gaurav. I asked him to give me 15 minutes. He seemed a bit irritated. I glanced through some of the books cover. I picked up books on Sufism and poetry. We came out of the room. While locking the room he said that Bhai Saab (Maulavi Saab) has duties toward his family too, that’s why he has been to village. I nodded. I could make out that he was feeling apologetic because of his limited knowledge on books and thought that Maulavi saab was well aware about each of his books and could have engaged me better. We came out of the Masjid. In front of his stall I picked up Ahmed Faraz. He took out a yellowish slip. He wrote the book names in Urdu and prices in English. It came out to Rs 750. He told he would give me for 650. I said its more. He paused for a while and then said that because I showed so much interest he would make it 600 for me. He was not a salesman and I knew he was not pitching. I agreed and gave him 600 bucks. I could not have got these books in any bookshop in Mumbai. These were my priced finds from Delhi. I couldn’t wait to catch the train. I wanted to go through the books. Faraz verily said once:
ढूंढ उजड़े हुए लोगों में वफ़ा के मोती,
ये ख़ज़ाने तो मुमकिन है खराबों में मिले 
[seek solace in people who are distraught, its probable to find a treasure in the scum]

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

hmm....:-) Mayassar ho jo lamha dekhney ko , kitaabon mein hai kya kya dekhney ko !

Yugal Joshi said...

saale acchi cheezon ke beech ye kya bakwaas likhne lag gaya tu .. mera saath kya choota tum toh sadak pe he aa gaye .shame on u Prashant Dheeraj tumne hamaari naak katwa di ..ye marina ki masjid pe chacha jaan barson se books bech rahe hein aur kai saari urdu main likhi .. aur ek baar puraani delhi chale jaao wahan aisi darjanon dukaane milengi ...

Prashant said...

Kaka..mana kee chacha jaan barson se baithte hain aur shayad marina kee masjid shadiyon se wahan hai...per haare liye tou uss waqt existence mein aayi jab hamen pata chala...ab tum keh rahe ho kee puraani delhi mein aisi darjanon dukaane hain tou phir nxt time chalenge wahin pe...ab yahen mumbai mein tou hamen pata nahin kahan hai...

hkbk2002 said...

I am wondering if our next generation will have a chance to appreciate all this literature. It is our heritage but it seems we are losing it all. If only google could begin a project to scan and upload them in google books before these are lost forever...