The Girl In The Auto Rickshaw - Chater - 05/11

The Savoir

Next day sharp at 04:00 Pm Aqeel reaches hospital. Roma and Kashibai are sitting in the waiting lounge. Kashibai welcomes Aqeel. Kashibai says “Aqeel Sir, you are our saviour at this critical moment, you helped us so much.”
Roma also supports the words of Kashibai and offers a seat to Aqeel. Aqeel greets Kashibai and says “You look tired. Kashibai replies “Yes brother, the person who looks after the patient admitted in the hospital, themselves fall ill and tired due to daily ups and downs.”
Aqeel says sadly “That’s true, how is uncle now?”
 Kashibai replies “Doctor said your uncle’s condition is stable and tomorrow he will be shifted to the General Ward.”
After few minutes, Aqeel asks Roma “How about going to your home for a cup of tea?”
 Roma replies “Yes no problem, I will take leave from my mother and then we can go.”
Roma informs her mother “Mummy, Aqeel wants to visit our house; I will take him there and will come back after some time.” Kashibai says “Ok.”
Aqeel and Roma come out of the hospital. Aqeel starts his bike parked at parking area. Roma sits on the back seat. They proceed to Roma’s house.
Roma’s house is a typical tenement provided by the mill. There is not much renovation made. Other neighbours have extended their house to ground + first floor. Only good thing about Roma’s house is that everything is well arranged.
Aqeel and Roma enter the house. Roma says “This is my palace, Aqeel, please be seated I will call my daughter from the neighbourhood. Meanwhile Aqeel is looking at the house carefully. There not much furniture in Roma’s house, just a “14” inch television, a bed, two plastic chairs, in the kitchen there are a few vessels. Anyone who sees the house can understand the poor financial condition of the owner of the house.
Roma comes with her daughter and introduces her to Aqeel. “This is my daughter Rani”
 Aqeel says smiling “Hello Rani”
Rani smiles shyly.  Roma says “Say hello to uncle”
Rani says “Hello uncle”
Roma tells Aqeel “Since nobody is at home due to my father being in hospital, we leave her at the neighbour’s house.”
Roma asks Rani to sit on the chair and tells to Aqeel “I will make tea for you”.  In few minutes Roma comes with tea and some biscuits and offers them to Aqeel. While having tea Aqeel says “Roma I have been thinking about you, I am not a very rich man. I can’t afford to give you a big sum every month. But as a friend I can help to setup a tailoring business for you so that you can live a respectful life.”
Roma smiles and says “Thank you so much Aqeel, but a very large amount is required to set up the tailoring business, you know how high is the deposit and rent for a shop in this city?”
Sipping the tea, Aqeel says “You are absolutely right, we won’t be able to hire a shop in the main city, but it is possible to do so at the outskirts of the city as the amount of deposit and rent will be much less and competition will also will be less there, you will have to work very hard, but I am sure your business will flourish within a few months”
Roma thinks for a while then says “Your idea is good Aqeel, but what if the business doesn’t run smoothly. What if something goes wrong?”
Aqeel smiles and says “Has anything in your life gone wrong since you met me three days ago Roma?”
Roma lowers her head and says “No. on the contrary everything has gone right”
Aqeel says “Exactly. Now stop thinking negatively Roma. Three days ago you were on the verge of committing suicide and when you were stopped you even considered selling yourself. But see how God changed the situation so fast that now you have been offered to set up your own business.”
Roma says “You are right Aqeel. I am really grateful for all that you have done for me and my family. I am just not sure whether I will be able to take care of my business and my household at the same time.”
Aqeel says in a re-assuring tone “Roma, first of all have faith in God, and then only will you be able to keep faith in yourself. Please think positively. Destiny worked in your favour when my bike broke down and we met unexpectedly. It was God who brought us together and He alone will help you in the future. Tell me Roma, Do you believe in my words?”
Roma replies emotionally “Yes Aqeel, your words are as helpful to me as the cash you have given me up to now”
Aqeel says “Then please do as I tell you to do. Now you go to the grocery shop and order your daily needs for 2 months”. Saying this Aqeel gives Roma ten thousand rupees and asks “Will this be enough”
Roma looks at Aqeel gratefully and says “Yes, it will be more than enough, really Aqeel; I can’t explain how grateful am I for all you are doing for me.”
Aqeel says “Don’t be grateful to me, be grateful to The Almighty and you can repay me when your tailoring business picks up, now go and order for the grocery. In the meantime I will have a little chat with your sweet little daughter”
When Roma comes after ordering for the groceries, Aqeel takes her leave, giving a pack of chocolate to Rani
Next day Aqeel calls an estate agent and asks him to find a good suitable, low budget, shop suitable for ladies tailoring business at the outskirts of the city
After 7 days Roma’s father gets discharged from the hospital. Roma’s father, Suresh Pandit was been strictly advised by the doctors to change his life style, be more active, stop consumption of tobacco, alcohol and other addictive things. Suresh Pandit himself is feeling like he has got a new life. He has decided that he will change his life style and behaviour towards family, friends and life. Now he is looking at everything positively. After he was discharged and came home his first question was how Roma and Kashibai managed to spend money on his illness.
Kashibai replies “I will tell you the truth, an angel in disguise of a man called Aqeel, helped us, he gave us financial help as well as moral support.”
Suresh asks “Who is this gentleman, how you came in contact with him?”
Now it is Roma’s turn to reply. She tells him about the incidents of the past three days.”
Suresh is pleasantly surprised. At the same time he is a little repentant. He says “My dear daughter please sit near me. I am very much sorry for my attitude towards you. I never thought being a girl, how you managed for all the money for my illness as well as daily expenses, while being a healthy male I was sitting at home and taunting you.”
Roma replies “It’s alright father, let us forget all the unpleasant things of our past life and make a fresh start. But promise me one thing father”
Suresh asks “What is it dear?”
“Please don’t start drinking again. If you do so, you will not be not be ruining your health alone, but also the lives of all of us”
Suresh says with tears in his eyes “I swear upon God, I shall never touch liquor and cigarettes. Now dear I have a small request I would like to meet the person who stood for us in such critical time and helped us.”
Roma replies “Father his name is Aqeel Baban Khan. He is having fabrication business and stays 25 kilometres away from the city. He also wants to meet you. I will arrange a meeting for you. My 50% job is done now; I only have to inform Aqeel. Tomorrow morning I will call him and fix the time of the meeting”.
Next day Roma calls Aqeel and informs him that her father has been discharged from the hospital and also tells him about the change in her father’s nature and also about his eagerness to meet Aqeel.
Aqeel says “I am really glad to hear this good news, I want to meet your father too but currently due to some official work I am out of the city. I will be back after 2 – 3 days. When I come back I will contact you and meet your father.”
After 2 – 3 days Aqeel is back. He contacts Roma and says “Tomorrow 04:00 Pm I will come and meet your father.” Roma passes the message to her parents.
Next day 04:00 Pm sharp Aqeel enters Roma’s house and greets everybody at home. Roma offers a chair to Aqeel and introduces him to her father.”
Aqeel says “Hello uncle, how are you feeling now?”
Suresh replies “I am feeling alright young man. I was really looking forward to meet you. Roma has told me everything about you. My wife told me that you are an angel in a man’s disguise and I agree with her whole heartedly.”
Aqeel says modestly “That’s not true uncle, I am just an ordinary man, and I just love to help others. I feel happy to make others happy”
Suresh says “If all of us had that quality, this world would have been a paradise”
Aqeel smiles and says “Uncle can I make a little request to you”
Suresh replies “Why sure young man, go ahead”
Aqeel says “I request you to allow Roma to start a business of ladies tailoring. This can be the permanent solution to all your problems. I’ve already spoken to Roma about this. Roma is worried as to who will look after Rani. I suggest that if you take care of Rani, Roma will be able to run her business smoothly. Hope you agree with me”
“Of course I agree with you young man” Suresh says “I will be glad to look after my granddaughter and help Roma to run her business successfully.”
Aqeel says “Thank you uncle, but in order to look after Rani, you will have to look after yourself. You will have to follow doctor’s advice strictly and take all the medicine’s regularly”
Suresh smiles and says “I have already promised Roma I will do just that”
Aqeel says “That’s great” then he turns to Roma and says “Roma I have already spoken to some estate agents and they have short listed some shops. Now all we have to do is to choose the shop which is most suitable for your business.”
 Roma curiously asks “Where the shop is located?”
Aqeel replies “The location is 40 Kilometres away from the city.”
Roma is a bit disappointed and asks “Why so far?
Aqeel says “I explained to you last time. I am not as rich as to get a shop in the proper city. If you take a shop a little far away from the city, it will come cheap and you will also have less competition”
Roma is not very enthusiastic but says “Ok”
Aqeel notices her lack of enthusiasm and says “Roma, I can understand that you will have to travel two hours to reach the shop, but you will have to do it as we can’t afford a shop in the main city”
Roma says “Yes Aqeel I understand. One cannot have everything according to one’s wishes. You have to lose something in order to gain something.”
Aqeel smiles and says “It’s nice to hear that. Meet me at Gobhani bus stop tomorrow at 10 am sharp, and then we will go to see the shops”
Roma says “Ok, I will have to leave from here at 8 am to reach Gobhani at 10 am, but I will manage somehow”
Aqeel does not understand Roma’s taunt as he is happy to help her. He greets everybody and leaves.
After Aqeel is gone Kashibai says “Roma I did not say this in Aqeel’s presence, but I don’t think it is a good idea to take a shop so far from the city. Doing up and down from the shop will be too tiresome and time consuming.”
Suresh interjects “Don’t be so ungrateful Kashibai; don’t forget that Roma was on the verge of becoming a prostitute before meeting Aqeel. I think that taking the trouble of travelling four hours is thousand times better than selling her body.  I fully support this tailoring business.”
Roma does not have a word to say as she is also reluctant to travel so far, but she has no option considering the poor financial condition of her family. She nods her head indicating her confirmation.
Don’t think so much O Man about the life
He who has given life to you,
Must surely have planned about you

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