‘Dhundi’ went on, but Kamleshwar’s heart broken from Gulzar:
My first visit to Kamleshwar was in 2001. She was at BBC’s old office ‘IFAX’ building attending BBC Live’s live program.
It was the day of 26th January. Suddenly, the earth was shaken very loud and all the people in the office had rushed towards the road running through the stairs. Kamleshwar, who was the only one who had a cigarette of ‘Dahanil’ in his hand, was puffed up while standing in ‘Pantry’.
Seeing on me, without saying any nervousness, ‘sit down here nothing will happen.’
His second meeting was probably done two years later in the BBC studio and I asked him, ‘You have lived in many cities, Mainpuri, Allahabad, Mumbai and Delhi … Which of these cities is closest to you?’
Kamleshwar responded with a smile, “There is no such city which I can forget. My very beautiful memories are of Mainpuri. One used to be the river of Ishan, which was called ‘Eason’. Going to the side of it, making demons, going into the forests, breaking from there, breaking common, stealing vegetables from the fields … all this went on and there was great pleasure. ‘
First love in Mainpuri
‘The biggest thing was that my first love was in Mainpuri itself. There was no known about Ishq. If you start feeling good, then it is a love. There was a bandwidth raid that a poor society was coming between me and me. There was no courage to say to him. Neither did he have the courage to look at me completely. Understand that it used to flirt with about two and a half phalanglas. ‘
‘When the marriage started, then the matter became a bit serious. At that time, I realized something was missing. In those days my hair was very large, which was not liked by mother. He had to go to the wedding but the mind was crying from inside. Mother made a hairdresser on the house and made the hair so small as the people of the army. Then I did not go to that wedding
Kamleshwar’s literary ‘baptism’ was held in Allahabad
About Allahabad, Kamleshwar had written, ‘There was a thinking city that … what is there to eat, what wears, how it remains, above all, the identity of the person of Allahabad was what he thinks. .? ‘
Kamleshwar had said, ‘That round was a very golden period of Allahabad. The greatest writers were present in Allahabad. I used to teach at my own Guru Bachchanji University, Firak Sahib. Sumitranandan was a pant, Mahadevji was, he was lonely … remember whom? We were all the people of the new generation, Dharmaveer Bharti, were Markandeya, Dushyant, Ajit, that is how many people … i.at it was a galaxy of people. The reason for this is that there was such a intellectual atmosphere in Allahabad. Whether it was the judge or lawyer of the High Court or for those who were our professors in the university, Navaratna would be a very small addition to them. He had a structure of hundreds of gems in a way
Coffee house was the place of intellectuals
Kamleshwar had said, ‘When we used to sit two or three friends alone, then’ Ramaz ‘used to be. The coffee house was there and the specialty of it was that whatever fresh book has arrived, or any fresh ideas came and if you were not familiar with it then you would not have been accepted in that room that evening. Returning from there, our biggest place was ‘Universal Book Depot’. From there we used to take books on rent, read them and then used to be ready.
Mohan Rakesh was a close friend of Kamleshwar.
Kamleshwar, Mohan Rakesh and Rajendra Yadav had established the ‘New Story’ triangle. At that time Mohan Rakesh used to be his closest friend.
Hindi writer Mohan Rakesh with his wife Anita Rakesh
Kamleshwar writes that when Rakesh had reached Allahabad for his first marriage, there was no procession with him. The girl was surprised that the groom came alone, but that was Mohan Rakesh.
Kamleshwar had told an anecdote, “For nine years, I and Rakesh have been sitting down in the same house. It was the fact that people who came here after partition, did not let them rent their house. Then I made Rakesh’s mother as my mother and my house was taken in my name and Rakesh started living with me. Because we were busy in talking about fun, chatting and thinking about the new story all day long, whenever someone came in, we used to find a lot of house or tea house. One day someone asked Rakesh brother what is your routine? Rakesh said, “We are going to reach home only at eleven-thirty-six o’clock, we go to sleep for a couple of hours. They said then? Then we get up at eleven o’clock in the day. Again? Then drink tea in the morning and drink twelve hours. They said then? Then did a little refreshment, shave, bathing-washed. This happens four to four and a half hours. Again? Then we come to the coffee house. He started to say, when are you writing? Rakesh said to write? We are tomorrow. ‘
Friendship with Dushyant Kumar
Another close friend of Kamleshwar was Dushyant Kumar. Later he was married to his son Alok, as if he was his daughter.
Alok Tyagi remembers, “When Papa passed away, these people had met three days ago at a conference in Ujjain. Papa told him a lot, you are here, I have written some ghazals. Kamleshwar said that he hears here only. My programs are ‘tide up’ in Bombay. Then Papa said that the man will not do now then will my death come? It’s a matter of 1975. Father died after three days. After his demise, the man who was the first to reach us here was Kamleshwar. I’m just about them