Radhika Deshpande

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शूटिंगसाठी पुणे – मुंबई – पुणेचा सतत सुरू असलेला प्रवास. प्रवासात अंतर्मुख होणारी मी. मनात दडलेले विचार, विचारांमध्ये पडलेली मी. विचारांचा प्रवास. या प्रवासात कधी मी साता समुद्रा पार तर कधी मी मामाच्या गावात !

सापडतात मला समुद्रातले माणिक मोती. दिसतात मला त्या गावातल्या गमतीजमती. मी कुठे होते, ती जागा कशी, तिथली माणसं कशी हे सगळं लिहून ठेवावंसं वाटतं. म्हणूनच ही “ब्लॉग” नावाची खिंड (passage).

जिथे मी लिहू शकते मला हवं ते. संवाद साधू शकते स्वतःशी. या खिंडीतून प्रवास करताना शिरता येईल तुम्हाला,माझ्या मनात. वाचा आणि बघा येता येईल तुम्हाला मी असेन तिथे…

मैं दर्जी हूं।

मैं दर्जी हूं।
चुप्पी साधकर नाप लेना मेरा काम है। मेरा काम है कपडे सिलना। सिलते समय सुई और धागे को चलाना। में दर्जी हूं।
नाप तोल कर सवाल करना मेरी आदत है। आदत है मुझे कपड़े को आकार देने की। आकार देकर दूसरों के सपने को साकार करने की। जबान की कैंची नहीं बल्कि अपने हाथों से कपड़ों पर कैंची चलाना मेरा कर्तव्य है क्योंकि मैं एक दर्जी हूं।
काट काट के जोड़ लगाकर वर्दी बनाना मेरा काम है। दोस्तों, मैं कोई फौजी नहीं, मैं तो सिर्फ एक मामूली सा दर्जी हूं।
राजा की टोपी सिलता हूं, गरीबों की टोपी भी मैं सिलता हूं। हां, मैं फर्क करता हूं टोपी सिलते समय। फर्क होता है इस्तमाल किए हुए सुई, धागे, कैंची और कपडे में लेकिन फर्क नाही होता मुझमें क्योंकि मैं तो सिर्फ एक दर्जी हूं।
मैं सुनता ज्यादा हूं, बात कम करता हूं, शांति बनाए रखता हूं, काम से मतलब रखता हूं क्योंकि मैं जानता हूं मैं तो केवल एक दर्जी हूं।
कपडे पहनाना मेरा काम नहीं, कपडे धोना मेरा काम नहीं, कपडे खरीदना मेरा काम नहीं, कपडे पहुंचाना मेरा काम नहीं लेकिन जरूरत पड़ने पर मैं ये सारे काम करता हूं क्योंकि मैं जानता हूं मैं कौन हूं।
कभी मर्जी से दो बटन ज्यादा लगवा देता हूं, प्रेस करवा देता हूं, कभी कभार रफू और कढ़ाई भी करता हूं। जी हां, मैं मेहनत के पैसे लेता हूं, मैं दर्जी हूं।
मैं स्वाभिमानी हूं, अभिमानी नहीं, मैं सम्मान चाहता हूं, अपमान नहीं।
मेरी दुकान थी, मैं कपडे सिलता था। मुझे याद रखना मेरे दोस्तों मैं आप ही का दर्जी था।
~ रानी (राधिका देशपांडे)
चित्रकार: सतीश पेंडसे

वाटसरू 

वाटसरू

मी ह्या जगातली नाही. मला कळतंय मला तुम्हा लोकांच्या जगातून प्रवास करावा लागतो आहे. कशासाठी? पैशासाठी? तर नाही. कारण मेंदूचा शीण आणि इथले भोग बघता नुसता पैसा घेऊन मी काय करू? मी कोणीतरी आहे हे सिद्ध होतं, प्रसिद्धी मिळते. पण सिद्धी प्राप्त करण्याची ही जागा नाही. क्षणिक आनंद आहे खरा, कारण आपल्याला आवडतं ते काम करायला मिळतं इथे. पण हा आनंद चिरकाल टिकत नाही. घरी नेता येत नाही. वाटून देता येत नाही. वैताग येतो कारण मोठ्यांसारखं सतत खोटं खोटं वागावं लागतं.

एक विचार असा येतो.. नको काहीच. मी माझ्या जगात बरी. पण मग लक्षात येतं. देवलोकात देव तरी कुठे राहतात? ते सुद्धा येतातच मनुष्य लोकात आपल्यासाठी. आपल्यासाठी? का त्यांच्यासाठी? ते येतात म्हणून तर आपल्याला त्यांचं जग कळतं. त्यांनाही यावं लागतंच. तसंच मलाही यावं लागतं तुमच्या जगात. मी तुम्हा मोठ्यांच्या जगात रमत नाही. माझं जग लहान मुलांचं आहे, सुंदर आहे, खरं आहे. तुमचं जग मला माझं जग अनेकांपर्यंत पोहोचवायला मदत करेल कारण मी त्याचं प्रतिनिधित्व करत राहीन सातत्याने. स्वर्गाच्या दारी पोहोचण्या आगोदर नरकातून जावं लागतं म्हणतात ना ते खरं आहे. मी तुमच्या जगातून माझी वाट काढणार. जाता जाता माझ्या जगाच्या पाऊलखुणा उमटवून जाणार. सांगितलं ना, मी ह्या जगातली नाही. मी तिथली, जिथे तुम्ही सध्यातरी पोहोचू शकणार नाही. कारण तुम्ही आहात पळवाटेवर. आणि मी?

मी एक वाटसरू.
~ रानी

पुस्तकातला माणूस 

पुस्तकातला माणूस

एक सवय आहे मला प्रवासात पुस्तक नेण्याची. खिडकीतून डोकावून कंटाळा आला, सहप्रवश्यांबरोबर गप्पा मारून डोकं शिणलं की मी पुस्तकात डोकं घालून बसते. प्रवासाचा मला कंटाळा येत नाही आणि मला माणसं वाचायला आवडतात, मग आणलेलं पुस्तक तसंच purse मधे राहतं.

पण…. ह्या वेळेला तसं झालं नाही. मी होते आणि हे पुस्तक होतं. “मी आणि नथुराम”, शरद पोंक्षे ह्यांनी ते लिहिलं आहे.

शरद दादा ला कोण नाही ओळखत. त्याचं आयुष्य उघड पुस्तका सारखं आहे असं मला सगळेच सांगायचे. आत बाहेर असं काहीच नाही म्हणायचे. एका कलाकाराचं आयुष्य आत एक अणि बाहेर एक असं असतं खरंतर. Emotional roller coaster ride म्हणूया. सतत टांगती तलवार आणि बंदुकीच्या जोरावर तयार असावं लागतं, पडेल ते काम करायला तत्पर.

मला हे पुस्तक रिटर्न गिफ्ट होतं शरद दादा कडून. मी त्याला माझं पुस्तक दिलं, त्यानी त्याचं मला.
दहा दिवस झाले माझं हे बेस्ट सेलर पुस्तक वाचणं होतच नव्हतं. मग “आम्ही घेतो वाचायला” अशी वक्र दृष्टी पुस्तकावर पडायला लागली म्हणून पुस्तकाचा प्रवास सुरू केला.
मी आणि मीच असं हे पुस्तक नाही, नथुराम आणि नथुरामच असं पण नाही, ह्यात घटना, प्रसंग, प्रेक्षक मंडळी, कलाकार मंडळी, माणसंच माणसं आहेत. हा प्रवास आहे एका कलाकाराचा जो आपल्या लेखणीच्या शाईने आपल्याला नेत राहतो एका प्रदेशात. त्या काळात आपण प्रवेश करतो आणि एखाद्या स्क्रीन प्ले सारखं आपल्या डोळ्यासमोर सगळं उभं राहतं. वेळेचं भान राहत नाही, ह्या प्रवासातली कितीतरी स्टेशनं झपाझप मागे सरतात. आपण कुठे आहोत ह्याचं भान राहत नाही. भानावर येतो जेंव्हा शरद दादा आपल्याशी आपल्या बाजूला बसून स्वतः सगळं सांगतो आहे असं वाटतं. हो, असं होतं. मग माझंच मला हसू येतं, ‘वेडी का खुळी तू‘ म्हणत मीच मला टपली मारते. हसू येण्यासारखे खूप प्रसंग ह्या पुस्तकात आहेत, डोळे पाणावणारे आहेत. राग येतो, वाईट वाटतं आणि “येस!” असा उद्गार येत आनंद ही होतो.

सिनेमा बघितला की आपल्याला कळतं तो सुपर हिट का झाला तसंच ह्या पुस्तकाचं आहे. वाचल्यावर तुम्हाला कळेल हे पुस्तक book shelf मधे front centre का असावं. मी हे पुस्तक पुरवून पुरवून वाचलं. उशाशी ठेवून प्रत्येक पानावरची वाक्य वेचत. शब्दांची माळ गळ्यात घालून सकारात्मक प्रवास सुरू केला. शरद दादा थेट आहे, सच्चा आहे, प्रेमळ आहे, निर्भीड आहे, असाधारण कलाकार आहे, माणूस धर्म पाळणारा एक साधारण माणूस ही आहे. दादा, तू इथे आमच्याशी नुसता संवाद साधत नाहीस तर थेट हृदयात घर करतोस.

हे पुस्तक कोणी वाचावं? तर कोणीही. जसं नाटक हे सर्वांसाठी असतं तसंच ह्या पुस्तकाचं आहे. ह्यात एक जादू आहे जी वाचकाला प्रेक्षक करेल. ह्या पुस्तकाची चाल सिंहाची आहे. तुझं दुसरं पुस्तक “दुसरं वादळ” येतं आहे. ते “लंबी रेस का घोडा” असणार.

प्रवास मोठा असो वा छोटा, माणसं भेटत राहावी आणि कधी कधी वाटतं ती पुस्तकातून बाहेर येऊन प्रत्यक्षात भेटावी.

~ रानी – राधिका देशपांडे

तुमची प्रत मिळवायला संपर्क करा:
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Heart-warming

Heart-warming ❤️
This is when our house was going through a makeover. This makeover was nerve wracking, heart wrenching, painstaking. We kept telling others that yes we are having discomfort moving ourselves to a temporary 1bhk. But my house walls, floors, doors, windows are the real ones who were in labour pain. They talked to me everyday with a smile. Bcoz they didn’t want to hurt me by letting me know how much they suffer. Just like the mother to a child.
We were under renovation. Well we had a tough time. But we stand for each other. We hold on tight. We are through now.
How does my home now look like? I see my home sweet home like a bride ready to take vows for the new life already. She stayed beautiful throughout.
Home is not just home. It is heart outside our heart beating for us. I thank all the makers who followed this journey with us.
We are shifting. Moving to the place our heart lives. Good days are here again.
Welcome Home ❤️

This Is Our Story

This is our story.

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I know this post is a little late and I know you mustn’t be waiting for this article, because by now the film no longer remains just a film. It is watched, talked, felt, known and realized by all of “Us”. “We”, “Us”, together as a whole.

Although the story revolves around the Kashmiri Pandits, it is about the truth that was burried beneath our soil. A truth that suddenly erupted like a volcano and is now finding place to settle down with equations that were never ever addressed to the world. This is our story. We the Hindus.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said in one of his satsangs that history should be told unbiased. Even if not told, it prevails and one day it comes to light.

Like Swami Vivekananda once said, “Wake up, arise and stop not until the goal is reached.” Vivek Agnihotri didn’t stop, instead he called himself a ‘creative soldier’ of our nation. With fellow soldiers, he expressed and took on the subject head on.

We have a long history and the image shared with this article should suffice what I mean. Mahatma Gandhi taught the world tolerance and universal acceptance but, we fail to recognise the Veer who time and again awakened us. I am talking about Swatantrya Veer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. We hardly remember the one who fought against our oppressors for the defence of the Hindu religion. I am talking about Guru Gobind Singh.

Heroic stories are many and heroes are countless. But where are we?

Like our honourable PM said, “Mera kya aur Mujhe kya”. What is in store for me and what will I get for myself. When are we going to stop thinking about small benefits and advantages. I feel our education system has failed to teach us what is righteous and what is real.

Brothers and sisters of India, this is the time of an awakening. We need fire in the belly, quickness in our actions, alert minds with strength in our words. Of course, there will be few who will read this and say, “the article is one sided.” Yes, it is because I am talking about all of them and only them who are on the righteous side.

Looking at Akhand Bharat map, I realise the files should never be closed. While we are not expansionist (we never where and will never be), we should make sure we never forget, else we run the risk of repeating past mistakes and risk being driven away again and again in the name of being tolerant. Yesterday it was Kashmiri Pandits, tomorrow it could be others. With lots of courage I speak out loud, speak my thoughts, speak for my people. For heroes of tomorrow, we need madness for heroic act today.

The world is full of invaders, expantionists yet my country has stood for itself and that brings in hope. We are not weak my friends, we never were. Let’s tie a knot of this one thought. The files will never be closed unless and until we saffronize our minds. The truth prevails. ” Hum dekhenge, sab dekhenge” We will watch and the world will too. Jai Hind!

~ Ranee
Radhika Deshpande

I LIKE TO DRIVE HER TO SCHOOL

I LIKE TO DRIVE HER TO SCHOOL

Me: When my friends and I used to go to school na Antara… We use to be wacky wierdos, way ahead of the “bookworm type” classmates. We use to be fun inside the classroom and outside we were ‘trend setters’. But, I don’t I think I shd tell. I dont think you are my type.Antara: Oh come on Aai! I am your daughter. Tell me more…Me: Ahhh.. Okay! There use be a window next to my bench, outside the window there was big playground where we use to eat lunch, play games, do NCC parade, get ourselves dirty, hold hands and hug each other. We had uniform just like you. Rather better than yours.Antara: We have a nice blue uniform Aai and our school has not one but 3 play grounds.Me: We use to walk to school together. Aaji-ajoba didn’t drop me to school.Antara: I am ready to go cycling. Baba is not ready. It’s your job to make him ready for my bicycle ride to school.Me: I will put my ‘power of convincing’ to practice for you. By the way… from here left or right turn?Antara: It’s right Aai, how can you forget the route to school?Me: I haven’t Antara. I never did. The route that leads to my school will not be forgotten. Your school route is just taking me to my school and that’s why I feel little bit lost.Antara: You are a wierdo btw. You learn lot more outside school aai, that’s what people keep saying.Me: Well to understand this you need to go to school first! You may remove school from your syllabus but you can’t remove school from your heart.Antara: Stop. Stop. Stop! Park your thoughts. Let me get down. That’s Advika getting down from her dad’s car and I have to catch her here at the gates.Me: Go! #teenagemom #antaradhika

Everything Is Planned: Solo Travel to Kedarnath Dham 2021

Like they say, ‘Everything Is Planned’: Solo Travel to Kedarnath Dham 2021Travelers do not need any plans, preparations, or perfections; what they need is the gut, the will and the ‘let’s go’ mindset. Well, sometimes this isn’t enough; this is just not enough. Travel is possible if we walk the path, fly in the sky, cross the bridge, swim through the waters, climb the mountains as a traveler only if those paths, skies, bridges, waters, mountains come calling: to hug you, to make you one of them. If this comes naturally to you, then you are about to cross the hurdles, pave the way, revisit the destination that is already seen through your mind’s eye. Kedarnath is a calling. Bhagwan Shankar; fondly called as Bholenath or Baba, resides at this supremely beautiful, mystical, magical place. It is said that one can visit him only and only if He calls you. He decides how and when you are coming. I believe I am not the doer here, not even the traveler, just an experiencer of his doing. Do you talk to God? I do. Bholenath answered me once. “Tu yeshil majhya kade, ekti yeshil, chalat yeshil.” It means “You will come to me, come alone, come walking.” Did he really talk to me? I have been dreaming about this solo trip for the past one year. Everytime I thought about this, it seemed more difficult due to travel restrictions imposed seeing the pandemic situation. Still, I immediately checked the Kedarnath Yatra Pass status. To my surprise, the restrictions were called off! The very next moment I checked for the flight tickets and they were available. The very next day I was in Dehradun for my onward journey to Kedarnath. Took a taxi to Rishikesh. Room was booked at Omkarananda by Usha Devi, an old friend of mine did it for me with just a WhatsApp message. Early in the morning, I traveled to Rudraprayag by shared taxi. Then I took another shared taxi to Sonprayag. At 3 pm I was at the base, from where the pilgrims start their walk towards Him.Till here, everything was a cake walk. Thousands of travelers were getting prepared with the essentials for one of the most difficult treks. Everyone seemed to be in groups or with their travel buddies. It was all me in the cold breeze with no experience of trekking in the Himalayas. All I knew was ‘Ho jayega’; ‘it will be done’, nothing to worry. Before I started my travel, I had informed Sumit that l am traveling for sure but the rest of the things are unplanned. Sumit called me after an hour and informed me that he had informed a few people about my travel and asked me to call Major X. One after the other I had a conversations with Umesh ji, Capt. Y, Capt. Z on the phone. Food and shelter were taken care of. All too well.By now I could see the Himalayan mountains. Humongous, tall, endless, looking down at me. I felt lost. I looked behind knowing I have come a long way from my house, all alone. I wished I had a companion to travel with because the air was getting cold and if I needed a scarf I should have it around. My wish was granted. I saw the guy who was in the shared taxi till Sonprayag. I said a big “hieee” to him and it echoed as “I need a buddy for the climb”. He replied with his own “hieee”. Meet Vipin Verma from Delhi who was on the trek for the third time. I met him when he was also thinking of finding someone who will be along for the climb. Vipin is a devotee and the journey was winding and unwinding with devotional and adventurous stories. I told him I am a devotee of Ram. He told me that Bholenath always takes care of devotees of Ram as his own. We started at 4 pm and should have reached by midnight as per our plan. Suddenly the temperature lowered and the road was blocked by authorities due to unfavourable weather conditions. By then it was 9 pm and there were a few hundreds who stayed in the dormitories with us. At 2:30 am, Vipin woke me up and asked me to walk along with him. I doubled my clothing and decided to climb. In 100 meters the lights went off and it was pitch dark. Nobody on the path. Do you all believe in intuitions? I do. I told Vipin let’s not go further for now. Let us wait for the next one hour and start by 3:30 am. He agreed. At 3:30 am we started again. There was no electricity, no trace of humans, not even animals. The air was cold, but something about it felt like home. Scarf on my neck, gloves in my hands and One stick to hold me, and I felt like the entire universe wants this to happen. My ancestors were blessing me from the top like the twinkling stars who followed me till the Sun came up with its shadow play. I was all alone with Vipin, the guide like an angel sent by Bhagwan Shankar. Every step we climbed, every stone we left behind Vipin had a habit of saying, “Jai Bholenath, Jai Bhole Shankar”. I just echoed the words. We trekked for 9 hours, for 5 hours of which there was none else except us. I remember God speaking to me, you will come to me, come alone, come walking. We reached the top and I wasn’t tired at all. Lungs filled with more oxygen, breath filled with positivity and exponencial energy like an achiever. I bid goodbye to Vipin, assuring to meet for evening prayers. The next moment I got a call from Nilesh, “Kahan ho aap?” I replied, “At the feet of Kedarnath”. He directed me to the place of shelter and served me piping hot food. In an hour my room’s doorbell rang. It was Rajneesh; he was informed by higher authorities to assist me for the darshan and sightseeing. I felt loved and privileged. I met the head Punditji Sri Rawal. I was taken directly inside the temple for darshan. I was inside, right in front of Bholenath in minutes. Filled with gratitude, tears rolling down, lost the track of time and place, I was with Him for a few minutes. Opened my eyes only to know that people around me were looking at me with awe and blissful smiles. I was out of the temple knowing that I did not ask him anything, wanted to ask but could not paraphrase it properly. What I remember is I said, “You know everything, you show me the path. Take me there.”Then visited Bhairavnath temple without which Rajneesh said my journey to Kedarnath would be incomplete. I visited the honorable PM Narendra Modi’s Gufa, the meditation room. The path to the place was carved with stones & pebbles. The path was beautiful, blissful, scenic and the stones & pebbles made it interestingly adventurous, making every moment of the walk worthwhile. I attended the evening prayers (aarti) with thousands of devotees. Met Vipin. Next day I packed my bags for the return journey. I was asked by Rajneesh, “Do you want to travel by helicopter?” Who wouldn’t like to when it’s going to be the first ever helicopter ride. Rajneesh said, “Let’s see if you are lucky because by now you will be on the waiting list.” I said, “It is evident that luck is with me, the rest I leave it to Bholenath. It is up to him, let him plan”. I did the return journey with childlike enthusiasm and inquisitiveness in my eyes, of course in the helicopter!Kedarnath is surrounded by Himalayas engulfed in the warmth of Bhagwan Bhole Shankar. Come here to feel the same. I have traveled from Leh Ladakh to Kanyakumari and there are numerous places in India that we can call ‘Heaven on Earth’. but, Kedarnath is different. It is not simply called ‘Dev Bhumi’. It is ‘God’s own place’. I traveled between Oct 12th to Oct 16th, just before thunderstorms stopped the yatra once again. I could not see the Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi built in November which I wish to see the next time I travel. Although I packed my bags with my belongings to travel home, my heart still wanders to this place. I still get flashes of the moments spent there.Although it was my solo travel, I have realized that ultimately it never remains solo because there are so many people involved in making it successful and memorable. The woolen cardigan that I borrowed from my sister, Bhimseni Kapur that Milind Marathe sir gave to me. Those people whom I met for the first time. I owe them. I also owe to those who got things organised for me on a phone call. There are so many factors involved in the journey. Every time I travel I meet beautiful people who make my journey theirs too. We keep traveling and the journey continues knowing little about the fact that “Everything Is planned”. So don’t ask what’s the plan. Just keep going, say “Bholenath Ki Jai”, and let the magic happen!Note to Travelers: The travel is tough, yet not impossible. The journey is beautiful, yet it is notorious. The Indian government has done a fantastic job of rebuilding after the massive floods of 2011, yet it is the duty of citizens of India to maintain cleanliness. One must travel once to this divine place in their lifetime, travel when one is in the best of their health. Travel when He calls!

Raw Mangoes

Raw Mangoes

Yesterday evening I had a date with my husband. Ahh.. not because we wanted a romantic one. Though it was Sunday, we had a long day. I finished my work outside home and he did the day long cleaning at home so we decided to have an early dinner together. After going through the latest updates on our respective phones, we found an interesting couple in their 20s (you can see in the background). Our ears could not maintain social distancing. It made the date of the couple in 40s really funny, intriguing, worthwhile, with silly giggles, LOLs. It made us “Love Gurus” who wanted to give some ‘Gyan’ and we did become Jasoos Karamchand & Kitty. Although we had no intentions to listen to what they were talking and going through… “Umra ka takaza itna ke hum khudko rok nahin paye”.
The evening realised how ripe we are and how raw the relationship is in the 20s.
We have lived our 20s and are living our 40s. I am sure the couple in 60s who are Mangoes with real pulpy juices inside them have an advice for us. “Tum aam khao, guthliya na gino”. With all said, unsaid, unheard and undone we finished our Sizzling Chocolate Brownie with Ice Cream and were done with the date! 😀

  • Please note listening to others’ conversation is not a good habit.

निबंध लेखन. विषय: पॉझिटिव्हिटी.

निबंध लेखन
विषय: पॉझिटिव्हिटी.

एक दूरवरचा बाप्पा, एक परिचारिका
आम्ही दोघं आणि पॉझिटिव्हिटी!
ध्यानीमनी नसताना आपल्या बरोबर जेंव्हा काही होतं तेंव्हा आपण जगायचं कसं हे शिकतो. दुसऱ्या लाटेत बाप्पा नी नीरज आणि माझी निवड केली. रिपोर्ट कार्ड पॉझिटिव्ह आलं आणि आम्ही दोघं परीक्षेला बसलो. दोघंही अभ्यासू विद्यार्थी, त्यामुळे शेवट पर्यंत चुरस राहिली. कोण मेरिट मधे येतं आहे ह्याकडे आम्ही आमच्या घरच्यांचं लक्ष टिकवून ठेवलं.
आम्ही जणू दहावीच्या परीक्षेला बसलेले विद्यार्थी आहोत अश्या अभ्यासू वृत्ती ने लढत राहिलो.

अंतराला बाप्पाने तिची परीक्षा न घेताच पास करायचं ठरवलं होतं. त्यामुळे त्याने जगातली सर्वात उत्तम परिचारिका आम्हाला नेमून दिली.

आता आमचा शिक्षक कोण असणार जो आम्हाला मेरिट मध्ये आणेल असा प्रश्न होता. पण बाप्पा नी सगळी सोय लाऊन ठेवली होती.

त्याच दरम्यान “सियावर रामचन्द्र की जय” ह्या नाटकाचे ऑनलाईन प्रयोग माझ्या बाल कलाकारांबरोबर सुरू होते. “Show must go on…” म्हणून अंतराने सूत्रसंचालन करण्याची जबाबदारी घेतली. मी पॉझिटिव होते हे “प्रभू श्री रामाची भूमिका करणाऱ्या तेजस पाटील ची आई गीता हिला कळले. तिचा लगेच फोन आला. मला म्हणाली, “I am Doctor and a medical professional, in this difficult times मी माझ्या कडून जे शक्य असेल ते आणि जिथे गरज असेल तिथे मदतीचा हात पुढे करते आहे. मी लगेच तिचा हात धरला. ठाण्यात राहणारी गीता आमच्याशी दररोज संपर्कात होती. एक वेळ वादळ वाऱ्या मुळे संपर्क तुटतो पण तिचा कनेक्ट माझ्या करता तरी आपल्या आपल्या बाप्पाशी असतो तसाच होता, कधीही न तुटणारा. तिने चार गोष्टी सांगितल्या; panic व्हायचं नाही, positive राहायचं, patience ठेवायचा आणि दिलेला portion follow केला नाही तर punishment ही मिळतेच लक्षात ठेवा. आमचे moderate symptoms होते. म्हणजे तुम्ही मधल्या फळीचे विद्यार्थी आहात असे सांगण्यात आले. Thermometer ची केली पेन्सिल. Oxy मीटरचं केलं खोड रबर, शरीराची केली वही, गोळ्यांची नावे म्हणजे जणू वेगवेगळे विषय घोकून पाठ केले. अभ्यास झाला की आमची परिचारिका आम्हाला तिच्या हातून जेवायला वाढे. पण होस्टेलच्या वॉर्डन सारखी रागीट दिसे. कारण अंतरा हातात ग्लोव्हज आणि मास्क घालून अंतर राखून सगळं करे.

नागपूरहून आईचा रोज फोन यायचा तो आमच्या परिचारिके साठी. सासू बाईंचा मला रोज फोन यायचा “आज काय खावंसं वाटतं आहे तुला? ते करून पाठवते.” कधी शेजारची सीमा, सासुमा, स्विगी आणि अंतरा प्रेमानं जेवायला घालत होत्या. अभ्यास सुरू होता. सिलॅबस खूप असतो, थकवा येतो, सहा मिनिटे वॉक असतो, सरप्राईज टेस्ट होते, उलट तपासणी पण होते. अखेर परीक्षेत आपण उत्तीर्ण होतो.
आमचा रिझल्ट काल लागला आहे आणि आम्ही चांगल्या मार्कांनी पास झालो आहोत. परीक्षा कशी द्यायची ह्याचे मनोगत व्यक्त करताना आमच्या प्रवासात आमच्या बरोबर असणाऱ्यांना धन्यवाद देत आहोत.

आता ऍडमिशन साठी इतर विद्यार्थी लाईनीत उभे आहेत. इंजेक्शन देऊनच ऍडमिट करताहेत असं ऐकलं आहे.
आमचे ऑगस्ट मध्ये vaccination असेल. तो पर्यंत इंजेक्शन चौका चौकात विकणार आहेत म्हणे. “अपेक्षित २१” ह्या नावाने. हाहा! माझं बोलणं हल्क्यात घेऊ नका. परीक्षा नेहेमी कठीण असते, असावी. त्यातच मजा आहे. दोस्त हो परीक्षा देत राहावी. जगायचं कसं, नाही तर किमान लढायचं कसं एवढे तरी आपल्याला परीक्षा शिकवून जाते.

पॉझिटिव्हली पास झालेली,
दहावी ‘फ’ ची विद्यार्थिनी,
~ रानी ~ राधिका देशपांडे

Hey guys!

Hey guys,

I have no idea. Neither am I completely ignorant nor do I claim that I know everything. Neither am I a Goddess nor do I behave like a Vampire. But, I can surely say that the planet I am living on is not mine. Nope, I am not the only native of the place I live in today. Yup the empire of the worldly things is not a prerequisite for my existence.Yes, I am here for a reason, you are here for a reason, everyone here for that matter. I am talking about the species of media which is probably endangered, i.e social media.My Aai used to tell me, “Beta, remember nothing comes for free. So, if someone is offering you something for free, beware. Widen your eyes, ears, sniff what is cooking.” I should have asked her, do you mean to say “social media”! Instead of asking, I trained her to migrate to this planet I now live on, by telling her how beautiful the water on this planet is, like an expensive vintage wine that you can drink almost for peanuts.Slowly, with all my fans, followers, friends and fraternities I dived in deep but got caught in the spider-web that was woven as a trap. We are sold out Aai. It’s like we have reached another planet like Saturn with its concentric magnetic rings that keep pulling us inwards. I feel trapped. Aai, I want to go back to mother Earth. But not alone, I want to return with everyone here. Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter never invaded my territory; they just moved me like a pawn. I feel consumed, used. I do not want to get swayed anymore. I am ready to pay heavily. I have realised nothing really comes for free. Or have I already paid a heavy price? I wonder…Note: This pic has nothing to do with the post. It is there just to attract more likes 😉