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The Girl - Roma - 4 - 11

The Girl – Roma (4/11)


Ketan J Mehta


“The Girl - Roma” is a simple story written keeping in mind the lines quoted by Leo Tolstoy who said “There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, truth and goodness.”

So the greatness of this story lies in its simplicity. The story of “The Girl - Roma” is the uncommon story of common people like Aqeel, Roma and Karan.

Success is the worst kind of intoxicant. Usually when someone tastes success, he becomes high-headed with arrogance, false pride and overconfidence, but Aqeel is an exception. He is a man from a very modest background but after being separated from his joint family, he rises to a respectable social status due to sheer hard work and consistent endeavour. Aqeel does not become arrogant or proud. On the contrary, his success makes him more modest and amiable than before. His ambition does not turn into greed. Being from an underprivileged background himself, he understands the difficulties and problems of the lower class people and is very considerate and charitable towards them.

Destiny brings Aqeel in contact with Roma, the girl in auto rickshaw, who was so frustrated by her miserable condition that she was on the verge of committing suicide. Aqeel not only assists her financially but morally also, giving her a new hope in life.

But after attaining financial freedom and becoming independent, Roma, instead of being grateful to Aqeel, becomes self-centred. She forgets all her obligations and in order to satisfy the unending hunger to earn more and more money, she moves away from Aqeel.

At this stage, Karan, a happy-go-lucky and jolly type of person, enters Roma’s life. Karan develops a liking for Roma and wants to marry her but Roma is undecided.

How Aqeel, Roma and Karan get entangled in a web of uncontrollable circumstances and how they struggle to get out of it forms the rest of this interesting story.

“The Girl - Roma” takes the reader on a wonderful, emotional journey. It keeps the question “What will happen next?” alive up to the very end.

As the saying goes “The proof of pudding is in eating” similarly, the proof of a book is in reading so, dear readers I will no longer stay between you and “The Girl - Roma” Go ahead and enjoy it.

The Other Day in Auto Rickshaw Conclusion

As Roma ends her story, a heavy silence falls between her and Aqeel. Deep in thought, Aqeel keeps throwing stones into the river while Roma watches him curiously. This goes on for some time then Aqeel says “After hearing your story, I have a few questions in my mind. Can you answer me?”

Strangely looking towards Aqeel, Roma replies “You can ask your questions.”

Aqeel says “The incidents happened in your life were not in your control. But one thing I could not understand is why you have not continued with your ladies tailor job? You could have worked as a ladies tailor from your home or you could have also worked for some tailor on salary or commission basis. You would have earned more than nursing salary.”

Roma replies “I did not have money to purchase a sewing machine that was the reason why I did not start stitching work from my house. If I would have worked on salary or commission basis in a tailoring shop, I would have earned the same amount as a nurse. Also, I had to take care of my daughter because she is very small in age. My mother works as housemaid in day and my duty as nurse were from 10:00 Pm to 07:00 Am. There is less work load in night duty, I could also take small nips of rest and smoothly continue with my work”.

Aqeel says “My other question is why did your father not do any job even after years of shutdown of the mill and if he was not working, he could have taken care of your daughter?”

Roma replies “My father has become a lazy person. He has a habit of drinking alcohol daily. He also tortures me for money and he is not ready to except my daughter. This is the reason he doesn’t care much for my daughter. Whenever he needs money, he keeps taunting me about the expense on my daughter and my two divorces.

Aqeel asks “Suppose you get an opportunity to buy a sewing machine and start your tailoring business, will you be able to manage the shop and the home at the same time?”

Roma replies “Yes I can manage, but I have to look after my daughter also.”

After a deep thought Aqeel says “Roma, I understand all your difficulties. To help you get rid of this uncertain situation you need to help yourself by breaking typical mind set barrier. I will help you become self-dependant women, for that I will need help of your family and yourself”.

Roma says “I cannot understand what you are thinking. The only thing I understand is that you are my well-wisher.”

Aqeel replies “If you have faith in me then don’t ask further questions and just do what I say.”

Till now Roma is full of confidence and has built faith in Aqeel. Roma says “As you wish. I believe in your word. What will I need to do?

Aqeel replies “You just take me to the hospital. I need to meet your parents.”

After thinking for a while, Roma says “Ok when you want to come to the hospital?

Aqeel replies “But obviously right now?” Roma reacts, saying “Then we will have to hurry because visiting hours are only up to 08:00 Pm. Aqeel says “You don’t worry about that

Both of them walk towards the auto rickshaw. Aqeel asks Raju to take them to the Government hospital. As usual Raju replies “Ok brother.”

At the hospital, Kashibai is sitting in the waiting lounge. Roma introduces Aqeel to his mother as a friend. Aqeel interrupts Roma in middle and inquires about the health of her husband. Kashibai replies he is stable now. Doctor has said if everything goes right, they may shift him to general ward in one or two days. Aqeel says “If you need anything, you just call me I will be at your service, for now I take your leave.”

Kashibai silently gives a medicine prescription to Roma. Roma tells to Kashibai “Mother, I will just go up to the gate to see off Aqeel. Roma and Aqeel walk towards the hospital gate. At the gate Aqeel asks Roma to give him the medicine prescription.

Roma says surprisingly “How you saw my mother handed me the medical prescription” Aqeel says politely “Please give me the prescription.” Roma gives the prescription to Aqeel.

Aqeel takes the prescription and goes to the medical store with Roma. When Aqeel enters medical store, he is glad to see Rehman Uncle at the counter. Rehman uncle is a very close friend of Aqeel’s father Baban Khan.

Rehman uncle welcomes Aqeel. “Welcome my son, how did you come here? Is everything all right? Aqeel introduces Roma. “Meet my friend Roma her father is admitted in this hospital he had a heart attack a few days ago. I came here to see him. Is this your shop Uncle?”

Rehman uncle replies “Yes this is my shop. I look after the shop near your house and my son handles this shop. Today my son has gone to attend a marriage so I am here. Tell me what I can do for you?

Aqeel gives the prescription to Rehman uncle. Rehman uncle brings all the medicine in the prescription, the total bill is Rupees. 890/-. Aqeel pays the bill and says respectfully “Uncle, can I request you a small favour?” Rehman uncle replies “Please tell me son.”

Aqeel says “Rehman uncle, if my friend Roma or her mother comes to take any medicine they need, please give them the medicine, I will pay the bill to you later.”

Rehman uncle is an experienced person he gives a visiting card of his shop behind which some words are written in Urdu. Rehman uncle says “Any person who will bring this card will get the desired medicines and bill will be in your account. I will make a separate diary for this account.”

Aqeel gives the visiting card to Roma. Roma is so happy that she has no words to express her feelings. Aqeel asks Roma “Are you going to stay at the hospital tonight?” Roma replies “Yes.”

Aqeel requests to Roma to meet him tomorrow at 04:00 Pm. “I would also like to visit your home and have a cup of tea there. Is it possible for you to meet me?”

Roma replies “Yes sure, no problem”. Aqeel says “I will come tomorrow at 04:00 Pm at the hospital. Then we will go to your home.”

Aqeel takes Roma’s leave, goes to the auto rickshaw in the parking area and asks Raju to drop him at his home. Raju replies “Yes brother.”

Aqeel is so tired that he falls asleep in the auto, He wakes up when Raju shouts “Brother wake up, we have reached your home... Aqeel awakes and says “Raju I am so tired that I don’t feel like getting out of the rickshaw”

Raju replies in a humorous manner “Brother if that is the case, you can sleep in the rickshaw. I will go home walking.”

Aqeel also replies humorously “I will do that on one condition, you will have to take extra money as sleeping charges.”

Both of them laugh heartily. Aqeel gives Rupees 600 to Raju.

Raju accepts the money and says “Thank you brother! You think of everybody.”

Well Wishers Are Like Beautiful Street Lamps.

They Cannot Make our Distance Shorter.


They Can Lighten Our Paths,

And Make Journey Easier.