The story begins on the last Tuesday of a month when a colorfully painted bus brings Miss Rehana to the gates of a British consulate. This is the day when women, referred to as “Tuesday women,” go to the consulate to get visas to join fiancés who are working in England. Muhammad Ali, identified as an “advice expert” watches Miss Rehana descend from the bus and go to the consulate gates, where a guard tells her that the English officials are still eating breakfast. Muhammad Ali is immediately taken in by her beauty. Although he normally is paid for his advice and seeks to cheat women seeking visas, he decides to advise Miss Rehana even though she tells him she has no money.
The aging confidence man leads the young woman to his desk in a corner of the shanty-town near the British consulate. There, she tells him that she is seeking permission to go to Bradford, England, to be with her fiancé, Mustafa Dar. Muhammad Ali warns her that the sahibs, or British officials, are suspicious of the women seeking to go to England and that the sahibs will interrogate her in detail, asking private and sometimes embarrassing questions. If she fails to answer correctly, they will conclude that she is not really the fiancé of a British resident and will refuse her request. These are the claims that Muhammad Ali usually makes to his victims before asking them for money to obtain the proper papers from an acquaintance of his who works in the consulate. However, the...
(The entire section is 502 words.)