The Girl In the Auto Rickshaw - Chapter - 7/11

A New Twist

Next day morning Roma calls Aqeel and asks him to come and meet her at her shop. Aqeel reaches the shop in the lunch time
Aqeel notices that Roma is in a very angry mood. He asks her why she has called him. Roma screams “Aqeel you should have informed me before coming to my place, what was your real purpose. We are friends. If you wanted to marry me, you should have talked to me first instead of talking directly to my parents.”
Aqeel looks here and there and says “Roma please don’t shout, people are listening. Calm down. Yes it was a mistake on my part not to inform you first and I apologise for that. But when mother came to know that I was interested in you, she suggested talking to your parents, as she took it for granted that you also must be interested in me.”
Roma cools down a little. “Look Aqeel, I like you and look upon you as a friend. But marriage is quite different thing. Right now marriage is the last thing on my priority list. First of all I want to save as much money as possible so that my family doesn’t face any problems later.”
Aqeel says “Ok, I am not stopping you from earning and saving money for your future. I am not suggesting that you should marry tomorrow. Finding a groom will also take time. In the meantime shall I look around for a suitable groom for you?
Roma nods her head saying yes.
After some time, Aqeel leaves and goes to work.
Due to this incident, Aqeel is mentally disturbed. He decides to busy himself in his business to avoid his emotional turmoil. He drowns himself in his work. After one month he manages to bag a very big order at a mall near Roma’s house. He takes loans from various financial institutions. Occasionally he meets Roma and shares his ups and downs with her.
While Aqeel is busy in his work, his mother is busy in looking for a bride for him. After 6 months, she finds a nice girl called Saira. Aqeel meets Saira and immediately gives his approval. An early marriage is arranged. Roma and her family attend the wedding ceremony.
Time passes by. One day Aqeel happens to meet Kashibai in the fruit market. He greets her and says “Sorry aunty, due to heavy workload, I couldn’t come to your place. How is everyone?”
Kashibai replies “Everyone is fine, son. How are your mother and your new bride?”
Aqeel says “They are fine.”
Kashibai says “Son, I am really worried about Roma and her daughter. I think it is high time that Roma must get married but she doesn’t listen to me. You promised that you will look for a groom for her. Have you found one?”
Aqeel says “Don’t worry aunty, I will do the needful at the earliest”
The very next day Aqeel contacts Mrs. Lalita who runs a marriage bureau in the city. Aqeel submits Roma’s bio-data to her. Mrs. Lalita says “Before I start looking for a suitable groom for her, I would like to visit Roma’s house and meet her personally.”
Aqeel fixes her a meeting on a Sunday evening. Lalita comes to Roma’s place at the given time. After talking to Roma’s parents, Lalita is satisfied with the candidate and says “I will start searching for a groom immediately.”
Suresh and Kashibai thank Aqeel for taking this initiative for Roma. As usual Aqeel says in his typically modest way “I have not done anything great, it was my duty”
As promised Lalita starts her job from the very next day. She shows Roma’s bio-data and photograph to several male candidates with her, but none of them show any interest due to Roma’s short height and a 6 year old daughter.
Now Lalita passed the proposal to Mrs. Indu, who is her friend and also runs a marriage bureau. As is the usual practice, Indu also expresses her desire to meet Roma at her place to satisfy herself that Roma is a reliable candidate. Lalita arranges a meeting. Indu tells Roma “I have a perfect gentleman in mind for you. He is a close friend and treats my daughter as his sister. He is a jolly kind of a person who is very outspoken. He has this nice habit of speaking the truth under any circumstances.”
Roma says “Sounds good from your description”
Indu says “His height is 5ft. 10 inches. If you wish I will give you his photograph.”
Roma says “Let’s not waste time in seeing a photograph. I want to meet him personally”
Indu informs Roma “He is not from our city. He lives and works in a Metro, 900 Kilometres away.”
Roma replies “That should not be a problem. Can he come to our city?”
Indu says “I’ll call him right now and let you know” Saying this she pulls her mobile from her handbag and dials a number, she puts it on speaker so that everyone can hear their conversation. After a few moments a bright male voice is heard “Hello Indu aunty, how are you and how is my sister Palak”
Indu replies “Everyone is hale and hearty. Tell me when are you planning to come to our city?”
“Your wish is my command aunty” Says the bright voice from the other side “Am I right in assuming that you have seen a nice girl for me?”
Indu laughs and says “You are absolutely right. She wants to meet you. When can you come?”
The voice on the other side says “In a day or two, I’ll let you know. In the meantime ask Palak to send me the girl’s photograph on Chat App.”
Indu says “The girl doesn’t want to waste time in seeing photographs. She is just like you in nature. She also believes in talking direct and to the point.”
The voice on the other side says laughing “That’s great. I have a feeling in my heart that I am going to like this girl.”
All present in the room smile to hear this.
The voice continues “But aunty right now I am too busy. Besides, your city is too hot in summer. I think it is 45 degree right now; my Metro city never goes beyond 35 degrees. I will come at the end of May”
Strange are the ways of Destiny. No one can imagine what it has in store for them. Who could have thought that two people living 900 Kilometres away from each other, having same kind of nature, same kind of past and same kind of habits, will come together in such a strange way?
When Indu disconnects the phone, Roma says “He seems interesting, what is his name?”
Indu says “Karan. You will find him more interesting when you will meet him personally”
After some more formal chat, Indu leaves.
In the metro city, Karan books his ticket for 2nd June.
But destiny has some different plans for him. On 30th May, as Karan is driving his scooter, he rams it into an oncoming truck and is seriously injured. Doctors advise him to take at least one month’s rest. Strangely enough, here in the city, Roma gets knocked down by a speeding car, while crossing the road and is badly injured. She is advised by the doctors to take 15 day’s rest.
Karan calls Indu and informing about his accident, says he will come as soon as he gets fit and the doctor permits him to travel.
Indu passes the message to Roma. They all are astounded that both Karan and Roma had an accident around approximately the same time and both of them were injured in the right leg. Indu says this may be a blessing in disguise. She has a hunch that Karan and Roma will get married soon.
Destiny is no matter of chance.
It is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for,

It is a thing to be achieved.

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