shahar dar shahar - bhopal


Whenever I think about a town for me that will bhopal.
Whenever I imaging about a town ideal in the world that will Bhopal.
This is the town, which was created through the peaces of my dream.
This is the town, which is flowing in me in shape of my attitude.

(1998-2003)

City of lakes, artists, activists and batolebaaj too. I am trying to write about all of them separately.

Lakes

I am always trying to find out why Bhopali need that much lakes for them. Nighter for drinking water nor for bath. Not a single lake is/was using for religious purpose. Even they are not showing interest to use these lakes for suicidal purpose. Then why, just for sitting on the bank and staring movement of water, rays of sunlight and murmuring. Isn't this ridiculous. And they have engaged in this romantic fashion since the era of raja bhoj. Raja bhoj had prepared the Bada talab for this bhojpal or Bhopal nagari in pre medieval age. That talab was covering around 35-40 km of area at that time and between this lake a market was established on an island called mandideep. Today that mandideep is an industrial area of Bhopal with same name. And bada talab shrinks, limit to only one or two km radius. Since it is very big and bhopali's are calling it bada talab and some of them calling it badi jheel adding some delicacy in its name.
Every evening this lake turned into a mela with local tourist and khomchawala, thelawala, ghorewala, ice-cream, popcorn, chat, lovers, newly wed pairs, families and some manchalas too. On Sunday this mela get bigger shape and we generally avoid going there that day except that day when we were in mood of masti & hangamabaaji. Along with all these glamour I was not much fascinated with that bada talab or badi jheel. In Bhopal my favorite lake is Shahpura Lake. During 5 years I spent there I used to residing near that lake. Smaller then bada talab and its glamour, low profile but more beautiful and easily accessible. There were many memorable evening I spent there with my friends sitting on the chair made by stone, smoking and talking, and sometime in deep silent, sometime with laughter, sometime weeping too. Though today I can't recall any incident but can't forget that feeling which I get there. Some time I used to go there alone, sit there and ... that was the process like scandisk of computer. Always after returning from there I felt myself free from every confusion, sorrow and depression. Some time I went there for morning walk I do exercises and sit and observe the activity of other peoples. There was a laughter club too and I was their regular viewer. In 2002 or 03 around one month I went there with indu my friend (both of us are extra healthy). During those days we were always fighting for non-seriousness of each other. But that unnatural exercise last very soon. In 2003 when I left Bhopal she started going there with ajit and now he is her husband. Main ise bhi jheel maiya ki kripa hi manta hoon.
One feature of Shahpura Lake also fascinates me. This lake changes it's color several times, according to weather and temperature. Some time it looks aerial blue, some time deep green and some time brown. At left side of this lake there is a small mountain, and few decorated bungalow were built upon that. The whole scenario creates a marvelous picture. Once we were there for photography practical, I had tried a lot to capture it's magic but failed. Now-a-days Shahpura Lake becomes more decorated. There are some gardens, a footpath surrounding the bank of lake and some boats too. Govt is planning to develop this lake for commercial purpose. There will be a day when this lake wouldn't satisfy my feeling, though it earns much more revenue for Bhopalis.

One thing of these lakes I didn't like. There is not such sitting arrangement where we can sit and play with its water. Even put our legs in it. I got this facility at Chandigarh's sukhna lake. I always wet myself there, put my legs in water and sit for hours, observing the magic of clouds upon kalka pahari.

I also like to visit at kaliyasot dam. At first I went there with all my class met. Smruti who was living at shahpura invited us. She had brought breakfast for us in huge amount and I eat everything. After that I went there many more times with Manish, Jayant, Indu, Rupesh, Ravi and my other friends. Running on the bank of that dam, I really enjoyed.

Artist

If a newcomer will go through professor colony of Bhopal he will astonish to hear the sound of dhol and ghungharu at every fifty meter. Some time he will see a group sitting at ground and reading a book loudly. Some time he may see the gang of three or four persons with long bushy beard, kurta, jhola and chappal. They are artist, not only amateur but professionals too. They may be associated with any theater group or paid artist of Bharat bhawan or little ballet troop or any other academy. Not only in this area u can find a theater group in Bhopal in almost every street. The tradition set by Sarad joshi (satirist) and giving shape by Ashok bajpayi (poet), Bv karant(theater diractor) and j swaminathan(painter) made Bhopal a city of artist. Usually in every evening u can enjoy a play at Bhopal and all major theaters were always booked on Sunday for drama or any musical show. Magic of these theaters was so strong that there was always a chance for u to involve in a play and became theater artist. This happens not only with me but around every student of makhanlal chaturvedi university of journalism (where I was studying). They had participated at least once in theater. With me these were started from the play saari raat. Our registrar sachchidanand joshi and his wife malwika joshi had participated in this play as lead cast. They invited us. It was on oct. 1998 probably. Though before this I had seen a play biwiyon ka madarsa at Bharat bhawan. But that play didn't attract me. Saari raat is written by Badal sarkar, is story of three persons, husband-wife and an old man. In a rainy night husband and wife stayed at old men's home. Where the lady realized that the old man who given them shelter is perfect match for her and through the poetic journey of love both of them forget reality of their life, but reality was there in the face of her husband.
This play had changed my life. After some day with my theater loving school met Pashupati (he was there with me studying in another course) and some other friends we had started a theater group DASTAK. Till 2003 we had played around 30 plays in the banner of this group. And during just few shows we had captured the attention of the city. ramsajeevan ki prem katha, madare watan, ek ladaki paanch deewane, aadhe adhure samay main, media mursia, nathuram godse aao baten karen was our representative plays. It was probably result of our group that Ravi bhusan bharti had joined ftti and debarati majumdaar joined national school of dramas.
At that time Bhopal had some brilliant theater directors of country like Habib tanweer and Bansi kaul. Sachchidanand joshi, Rajkamal nayak, Sanjay mehta, Alok chatarji, Vibha mishra, Ashok bulani was also well renowned. I had never seen in my life an actor like Alok chatarji and Sanjay mehta. Though they had given their life for theater and never thought about films.
In bhoapl u can get poets and storywriter too. Few example of these are Rajesh joshi, Manjoor ehtesham, Satyen kumar, Udayan vajpayi, Basheer badr, Ramesh chandra shah, Hari bhatnagar, Nawal shukla, Vijay bahadur singh, Narendra jain, Santosh chaube, Sudheer ranjan singh. And there were lots of function taking place. Though reading was my old hobby but this city had taught me how to read and what. Personally Manjoor ehtesham writer of famous sukha bargad guided me a lot. I had done a record interview of him of around seven hours and both of us didn't ready to close this at that time. There is the old ballet man prabhat ganguly and women gul bhardhan. Both are over 80 but always ready for show. Gajal singer like ashma mannan and kawwli singer like shakeela bano bhopali.

Activists

I have some rare friends in Bhopal. If I call them to attend my marriage ceremony he may refuse with explanation that he has lots of work on that day. But if I'll call them to support in a fight for good cause he will reach here by next train. (Un) fortunately, I am also among them. They are professional as well as non-professional too. Many of them are working in some non-governmental organization and in some activist groups like Eklavya, Samarthan, Bachpan, Casp-plan, Samawesh, Abhivakti, Action-Aid, Card, Debate, Taal. My own brother chandan and two of my friend abhishek & ravi has also regulating a group Sangwari (a communication resource Center for developmental support).
Not only my friends are engage in activism. Bhopal has a tradition of activism. As I think this all has started during that cruel incident of Bhopal gas tragedy of 3rd Dec 1984. The Bhopal Disaster of 1984 is claimed by many as the worst industrial disaster in history. It was caused by the accidental release of 40 tunes of methyl isocyanides (MIC) from a Union Carbide India, Limited (UCIL, now known as Eveready Industries India, Limited) pesticide plant located in the heart of the city of Bhopal, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. UCIL was a joint venture between Union Carbide and a consortium of Indian investors.
In the early hours of December 3, 1984, a holding tank with stored MIC overheated and released toxic heavier-than-air MIC gas, which rolled along the ground through the surrounding streets killing thousands outright. The transportation system in the city collapsed and many people were trampled trying to escape. The gases also injured anywhere from 150,000 to 600,000 people, at least 15,000 of whom later died. Till today in the wallet of my friend manish a card is presurved "bhulenge nahin Bhopal". that is the symbol of that disaster. During fighting for their victims bhopalis had learned activism and now activism is in the blood of common bhopali intellectual. Either they are participating in any activism or giving economical support for them regularly from their salary. Narmda bachalo andolan and several other andolan for giving right to adivashi on jal, jangle and jameen are regulating through physical, mental and economical support of bhopalis.
Though number of activist in bhopal is raised throgh outsider non-Bhopal's. But we must know that they are learning activism from the cultural tradition of bhopal.

Batolebaaj

Actually I have to start this chapter with two-jhannatedar gaali and in every line of this chapter there should be at least two gaali like makada, bahenkda. Excuse me, if u can't bear this; because traditionally gaali is permanent feature of this city and we can't imagine a perfect bhopali without lots of gaalis. And if u asks any bhopali, why he is speaking gaali, he will reply innocently, ye bhi koi gaali hai khan. Makra gaali to hum tab dete the jab arjun singh langoti pahan ke bhankare isi jahangirpura ki galion main ghoomte the. Bhankare aap bhi kaisi baaten karne lage khan. Really he is not giving gaali to u or any other, he is just talking to u with his own style. Forgive them and me yaar, if u can't tolerate this u will also unable to tolerate Bhopal and bhopalis.

Though in shole jawed akhter had depicted a real bhopali character Soorma bhopali, but he did dare to present him a gaali speaking real bhopali man. And minus gaali soorma bhopali is real representative of bhopalis. His style of talking. 'Bhopal hota to hum aapko eyeshe hi jale bheejwa deete.' or 'hamara naam bhi sooram bhopali eyesha nahi hai.' Or 'jane kahan-kahan se aa jate hain. khud to koyee kaam he nahi miya. So jhooth humse bulwa lete hain.' A permanent gappi, lyrical, ek jhatake main palat jaane wala. Though every village of India declared itself that they are the farmer of gapp. But bhopalis are true gappi, because he always objects to be called a gappi or batolebaaj with smile of face.
There is example of a bhopali sher.
keise-keise aese waese ho gaye.
aese waese keise-keise ho gaye.
For batolebaaji they had developed a practice to make ratjaga (sleepless night). In summer they generally sleep at 3 o'clock. Till that they sit in front of closed shop and talk and talk and talk. This is their Patiyabaaji (Sit on patiya and talk at night). In old Bhopal u can see all street and road rising till 3 am. Men, women, girls, boys all are sitting, walking, talking. Even chaat-pakauda and ice cream seller are moving there. I was astonished to know that bhopali family like to visit film in night show and they prefer to purchase vegetables at night on 11 pm. Once in my advertising class I objected how could women prefer night show, my teacher declared me ridicules. They couldn't think for a bihari like me that was how much astonishing. There is free and secured environment for girls. They could do every think at night freely, without any help of her family member.

It is also not well known that about begums' ware ruling on Bhopal for around two hundred years. They had also left some effect on the culture of Bhopal. In Bhopal there is a large population of eunuchs. They are living in a separate colony and much wealthy then general middle class family. They are using car and reserved three-wheeler.

Bhopal is not only city of lakes, this could call city of garden and mosque too. After Dhaka Bhopal has largest number of mosque in Asia. U can get here verities of non-veg food items. chicken tikka, chicken kabab, paye da soop, seek kabab. Every item u gets from prestigious restaurant to roadside thelas. Rainy season of bhopal is unforgettable. We were always enjoying this. We went for outing on bikes. That is Bhopal which taught me 'jo maja bheegne main hai, wo kisi aur main kahan.' Not only this Bhopal had taught me lots of things. As ur own happiness is not important till they are not happy who lives with and near to u. Fight for good cause not for good wealth. When a man smiles for u, u achieves every thing. Bhopal gave me a shape, before going there I was just raw mineral. A big loan of Bhopal is upon me. I have to remember this for whole life. Luckily bhopalis are always calling me they love me a lot. Ashok bhai is always ready to receive me in front of habibganj station (he has a shop there.). Home of ravi (my friend), sadhnaji (a social worker and my didi), Manjoor ehtesham (grate writer & my guru too), Indu (my friend), kartik bhai (a social worker but for me a real friend) are always open for me. They can't let me live with my own brother chandan. They are always calling me to settle there with a promise they will search a better job for me there. I can't forget stone slab at shibu chaywala, where we spent around whole day smoking and drinking tea. mamu's canteen, where girl friends were always ready to feed us on her own cost. Hall of E-2/28 where we spent a lot of time during rehearsal of plays. My own home E-8/41. Door of this home didn't closed at night too. This was 24-hour open hungama cell, with lots of ho-halla. Neighbors were always predicting for we are criminals of any politician. 3 or 4 of us always awake there, either read or do hungama. At 2 o'clock ravi come and hit me, compale me to rise and share the experience of central chronicle where he was working then. Every night Birendra chaudhary was waiting for blue films on cable & his class met jayant das, rahan kayan & abhishek prashad were teasing him. abhishek rajan was sitting on his computer whole night. Pashupati, Manish and I all of us were early sleeping species. These all names are written on the wall of E-8/41. The house of sajid ali. How could he tolerate us my god. And how could birender chaudhary tolerate his wife this is also unpredictable.

Comments

Amita said…
Its great things for us that someone is here who is eagerly appreciates one city i.e. Bhopal. I personally agree with my colleague. I wanna see you Pushymitra ji, Kindly Upload your latest photograph as soon as possibble.... I would like to tell you something about myself. I'm concerned with a leading multinational company which is working on software development and research... Though i'm a software engineer, yet i'm fornd of Hindi literature. I've seen ur profile very carefully and became very impress to see ur distinct literary favorites..

Kindly upload ur picture.

Regards,

Amita Jha
Banglore
Amita said…
Its great things for us that someone is here who is eagerly appreciates one city i.e. Bhopal. I personally agree with my colleague. I wanna see you Pushymitra ji, Kindly Upload your latest photograph as soon as possibble.... I would like to tell you something about myself. I'm concerned with a leading multinational company which is working on software development and research... Though i'm a software engineer, yet i'm fornd of Hindi literature. I've seen ur profile very carefully and became very impress to see ur distinct literary favorites..

Kindly upload ur picture.

Regards,

Amita Jha
Banglore
anurag said…
kya kahon is bhopal se itni yaaden judi hai ki kambhakt piccha hi nahi chuta, nazar aur nazariya dono ke liye yahi sahar jimmedar hoga, doston ki fehrist aisi ke sare ke sare jaan ke saath hi chutenge, dil karta hai bas daud kar jaaon wakt ka pahiya ghumaon paunch jaoon APNE BHOPAL KI GOD MAIN
Anamika said…
Sahi mein Bhopal toh jaise bas gaya hai maan mein, kahi bhi jaoon, kuch bhi karu yaad zaroor ayega. Dil toh chahta hai bas sab kuch chor du aur wapas jaoon us Sheher mein jisne hume zindagi ke kuch alag hi roop dikhaye.
Ek din wapas zaroor jayenge aapne Bhopal aur wohi pe basenge. Us Shahar ke agae duniya ka koi bhi shahar kuch bhi nahin hai.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for writing so passionately about Bhopal. Check the blog for more on Bhopal
Ravi Dubey said…
is shehar ki fiza hi kuch aisi hai..talab mein thehre huye paani ki tarah log yahi thaher jaate hai, lekin tum nahi thehre pushya, haa... bass jarur gaye ho, sheher mein nahi hamare dil mein. bhopal mein wahi hai jo pehle tha, sadakein wahi, mod wahi, talab wahi, unhi galiyo mein roz ghumta firta hu, aur kabhi kabhi tum kisi gali se sir jhukaaye, apne andaz mein meri taraf aate dikh jaate ho, lekin dusre hi pal kahi se koi mujhe vartmaan mein le ataa hai aur tum fir uss gali se wapas mein dil mein chup jaate ho...aisa sirf tum nahi karte pushya.. apne sabhi dost aisa hi karte hain, lekin kabhi koi dil se nikal kar mujhe gale nahi lagata..aisa nahi ki ravi dubey akela hai.. lekin tumhare hisse ka ravi to akela hi hai....miss u.... ravi
Wisdom Seeker said…
hi ....after reading ur blog i become fan of ur's...!!
pashupati said…
bhopal... man bar bar is saher ko yad kar romanch se bhar jata hai... lekin saher apne aap main poora nahin hota... ek saher achchha lagta hai... kyonki uske sath juroo hoti hain hamari kuchchh yadein... kuchchhh pyare pal jo kabhee peechchha nahin chhorte... pushy aap apnee yadon ke saher bhopal ke sath rahein... per meri salah maniye to un galiyon main jane se pehle ek bar ye jaroor sochein ki kya wahan wo sab waisa hi hoga jo apke kalpana mein hai... kya wahan ki jheel hi hai jo apko khinchtee hai... ya us jheel ke kinare kuchh gungunate bol bhi kano mein parte hain... aaplogon ke rahte is saher ko visit karna jitna achchha lagta tha... dastak ke sathiyon ke bina wo saher jase kayee bar katne ko daurta hai... man karta hai jitnee jaldi ho puree team bhopal aa jaye ya main bhopal chhor doon... ho sakta hai in kuchchh chhano ko gujar dene aur khud ko kuchchh dino bhopal main ruk jane ke bad saher se ek naya rishta ban jaye... per abhee tak main is saher se juree purnee yadon se puri tarah uber nahin paya hoon is liye.... khair jane bhi de yaroon
jay said…
Bhopal mera bhi shehar tha jahan Mera janam hua jab se yahan Karachi aayi hoon aik din Asa nahi jab Bhopal aur vahan rehne vale mere friends relatives mera college school na yaad aata ho Bhopal se achi jagah dunya mei ho hi nahi sakti
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julia f. Baca said…
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