Characters

  1. Ranjit & Aman: Radha’s cousins
  2. Radha: A small-town girl and the main character of the story.
  3. Gaurav & Neha: Friends of Ranjit and Aman

Introduction

‘Helping hand’ written by Girija Rani Asthana is about a young small-town girl who visits her aunt’s place in Delhi to spend her summer vacation. She was excited to get out of her small hill-town as it was the first time, she left her home but in Delhi, she felt lonely as she couldn’t get along with anyone because of the difference in background. The only thing that excites her is swimming but her cousin brothers don’t include her with them to go to the swimming club. In the end, it is her swimming skills that make her extraordinary to others and liked by everyone.

Summary

Radha visits her aunt after her final exams

The story begins with Ranjit and Aman enquiring Radha about her swimming skills. Radha was a small hill-town girl from Up who had come to visit her aunt and spend her summer vacation. Back at home, she used to swim every day as she lived on the banks but she did not have a particular style of swimming which amused Ranjit and Aman. Little did they know that she learned swimming even before she learned to walk.

Radha’s aunt asked her sons to take Radha to their swimming club but since they were afraid to disobey her, they came up with an excuse that in their club everyone must have a swimming costume which Radha didn’t have. The boys went as soon as their friends arrived leaving Radha to watch TV with her aunt. Radha hid her sadness from her aunt with hollow laughter and said that she wasn’t interested anyway.

Radha didn’t get along with her cousins

Radha was very excited when after class VII exams her aunt invited her to spend her summer vacation in Delhi. She looked forward to it as she had never been out of her small town. Her cousins were almost her age but even after a week she couldn’t get along with them and felt lonely as their backgrounds were pole apart. Her cousins and their friends had different interests and she felt lost among them but when she heard they were going swimming she wanted to go too but here also her cousins disappointed her.

Radha’s uncle had announced that he will take everyone to picnic on the banks of the river Yamuna on Saturday. The children were excited including Radha. On the day of the picnic, the weather was pleasant and a cool breeze blew, the place was at the foothill of Shiwalik. After lunch, the grownups got busy with their cards and the kids explored the surrounding. Radha came back and settled down on a big rock and started reading as she felt separated from the other kids.

Aman gets into trouble

Soon the other kids wore their swimming costumes and went into the water. Radha watched them enjoy and saw Aman getting a little too deep into the waters. She warned her from far but he didn’t listen and replied rudely. Soon Aman got caught up in the current and was getting carried away in the middle of the river. Everyone was shouting but no one dared to jump into the current. Radha jumped quickly into the water and saw Aman trying hard to swim against the current but the current was too swift for him and he found it was difficult for him to swim against it.

Radha saves her cousin from drowning

Radha didn’t find swimming against the current as difficult as back at home she used to do that every day. Soon Radha caught up with Aman and till then he got exhausted, she instructed him to hold her waist and try to paddle slowly and carried him with her. With Aman’s weight, it was tough for her to swim against the current but she used all her strength to reach the river bank.

By the time they reached a big crowd had gathered and pulled them away from the water. Radha was panting, her throat was dry, and shivered uncontrollably. Someone wrapped her with a blanket and she drank two mugs of steaming hot coffee to gain back her strength. Ranjit came up to her to compliment her on her swimming skills and asked her to teach him to swim that way too and held out his hand to her. Seeing the gesture Radha’s face glows with happiness.

Conclusion

“HELP” is a very small word that has greater depths in it. Help can be small or big depending on the time it is been given or done. It always gives me the joy to help others. Help is something we may need at any time in our life. Helping builds good relationships, be it in family or society. When someone helps us, we feel happy, but when we help others the joy, we feel is incomparable. Helping someone can never bring us any harm. If we help someone today someone else might help us when we are in need. Helping one another is the basic essence of life.