ही गोष्ट आहे सुमारे सात वर्षापुर्वीची मी पुण्यातील जंगली महाराज रोडवरील हाॅटेल सेंट्रल पार्क येथे अॅग्री बिझनेसच्या एका कोर्ससाठी ट्रेनर म्हणून राहत होतो. दिवसभर विविध क्षेत्रातील नामवंतांची लेक्चर्स व्हायची . त्यांच्याकडून खुप काही नवीन शिकायला मिळाल्याने एन्टरप्रिन्युअर बनलो. तिथुन जवळ असलेल्या मॅक्डोनाल्डच्या पाठीमागे दत्त भोजनालयात आमची मेस होती. जेवन झाल्यावर आम्ही संध्याकाळी निवांत असायचो तेव्हा एफसी रोड आणि जेएम रोडवर नाईट विंडो शाॅपिंग करत हिंडायचोत. या दोन रोडवरील दुकान ना दुकान पायाखालुन काढलंय. परंतु रोज बालगंधर्व पर्यंत जायचे आणि कोणकोणते कार्यक्रम लागले आहेत ते पाहुण यायचे हे नित्याचेच होते.

त्यावेळी पैसे जेमतेम असल्याने तिकीट काढुन एखादा कार्यक्रम पाहायची ईच्छा असतानाही खिशाची सहमती नसायची. तेव्हा मग कधी आवडीचा कार्यक्रम असेल तर उगाच बालगंधर्वच्या बाहेरच्या कट्ट्यावर एखाद्या प्रेक्षकाची वाट पाहत बसायचो. काही वेळानंतर आत बसलेला एकतरी प्रेक्षक कामानिमित्त बाहेर यायचाच तेव्हा लगेच हावऱ्यासारखं त्याच्या गाडीजवळ जायचं आणि लाज लज्जा वेशीवर टांगुण तो कार्यक्रम पाहण्याच्या ईच्छेने त्याच्याकडे तिकीटासाठी मागणी करायची. माझी ईच्छाशक्ती पाहूण तेही लगेच देऊन टाकायचे. दुसऱ्याच्या तिकीटावर मी या बालगंधर्वमध्ये अनेक कार्यक्रम पाहिले. तुडुंब भरलेल्या या सभागृहात नुसतं बसलं तरी कलाकार झाल्याचा फिल यायचा. एखादा व्याख्यानाचा कार्यक्रम असल्यावर तर तीथे बोलणाऱ्या व्यक्तीचा उगांच हेवा वाटायचा. “तो माणुस किती नशिबवान आहे रांव, जो बालगंधर्व मध्ये व्याख्यान देतोय” असं वाटायचं.

पुण्यात एम्पीएस्सीच्या अभ्यासासाठी काही दिवस कृषी महाविद्यालयात पॅरासाईट म्हणुन राहत होतो यावेळी माझा काॅलेज जिवनातला दोस्त गणेश देशमुख उर्फ गण्या माझ्या सोबत होता. पुण्यात कुठंही फिरायचं म्हणलं की गण्या सोबतच असायचा. शरद पवार साहेबांचा कट्टर कार्यकर्ता असलेला गण्या माणसांच्या ओळखीबाबत साहेबांएवढाच श्रीमंत होता. सदाशिव पेठेतले बहुतांशी हाॅटेलचालक याचे चांगले दोस्त होते त्यामुळे आठवड्यात दोन तिनदा आमची पोटं तिथंच भरायची. मला पुणे सोडून सात आठ वर्ष होत आली परंतु आजही पुण्यात गेल्यावर ते दोन रस्ते, बालगंधर्व आणि गण्याला भेट देण्याचा माझा विशेष प्रयत्न असतो. आतातर तिथं माझा गावाकडंचा दोस्त प्रविण डोके उर्फ पप्या पत्रकारिता करतोय तेव्हा एफ्सी रोडवरील रानडेच्या कॅन्टींनवर आमचा गप्पांचा फड रंगला की एक चहा संपुस्तर आख्या जगाची धुनी धुवून होतात.

असो, सांगायचं एवढंच होतं की; बालगंधर्ववर आजपर्यंत खुप वक्त्यांना त्या ऐतिहासिक रंगमंचावर बोलताना पाहिलंय, नृत्यांगणांना नाचताना पाहिलंय, कलावंतांना अभिनय करताना पाहिलंय, दिग्गज नेतेमंडळींचा सत्कार करताना पाहिलंय परंतु त्याच गर्दीत बसुन मी सुद्धा एक स्वप्न पाहिलंय कि; “एक दिवस मी तिथे बोलत असेल आणि तुडुंब भरलेलं बालगंधर्व मला ऐकत असेल” हे स्वप्न सात वर्षापुर्वी पाहिलंय परंतु कधीना कधी नक्की पुर्ण होईल याची मला खात्री आहे.

लेखक : प्रा.विशाल गरड
दिनांक : ०७ जुलै २०१८

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