Chapter 5 — Puzzles to Solve
‘Something has to be done. There are just too many questions that need answers. Ever since news of Ali Abbas has come, a number of things have happened here in Hedusha. I have to know what’s going on,’ thought Saqib. He was standing thoughtfully in the kitchen, as he heard voices coming clearly from the room above.
He left everything and went upstairs where everyone was sitting.
“I really feel we should assemble in the Thought Room. We have to know some answers,” said Saqib. Everyone started looking at Saqib with surprise. This was unusual. General Jazlaan looked uncomfortable, Aazeen just looked around at everyone’s faces with a questioning look. She couldn’t understand what a Thought Room was.
“Do we have to? Now?” asked Ali Hasan.
“We don’t need to,” said Ali Hussain.
“We have to,” said Ali Mohammad. “Saqib has created this Thought Room for a reason. It has been useful a number of times earlier. If he feels we need to be there, then we will assemble there.”
“That’s a room where one person can direct questions to anyone and only that person or whoever else is allowed, can hear the question and the answer. You cannot be untruthful about the answers there, otherwise the Pain Point becomes active,” said Ali Hasan looking at Aazeen.
All three Ali Brothers, General Azlaan and Aazeen were sitting in their closed glass enclosures. They could see each other, but could not hear anything outside the glass.
Saqib stood outside on a slightly raised platform in front of a panel of buttons and blinking lights. The enclosures were marked with alphabet letters. Five of those enclosures were occupied, while five more were empty.
“These are some questions that need answers,” said Saqib. He got ready and pressed some buttons on the panel marked LA (Listen all), A1 (Answer 1), AM (Ali Mohammad), AH (Ali Hasan), AHu (Ali Hussain), Sq (Saqib), Jz (General Jazlaan) and Az (Aazeen). Blue lights switched ‘On’ in all the enclosures.
Q -1 (LA): Why does Ali Mohammad like chess and what’s the story behind The King?
* AM replied: I like chess, because everyone has a role to play in the battlefield for victory. The King is a Chess piece that was given to me by my Guru. The King can create coincidences that help in a situation. It can also make a person or persons be in my control and do as I wish for a very short period of time.
Q-2 (LA): Why does Saqib smile so much?
* Sq replied: It is my wish. It keeps me positive. It may look affected at times, but I keep it genuine most of the time. It helps me.
Q-3 (LA): Why didn’t Ali Abbas and Ali Akbar never bond much? Why did Ali Akbar go to receive Ali Abbas?
* AM replied: It has been this way since their birth. They don’t talk much. So, I don’t think they bond much. But I have been surprised by their relationship of being ‘On’ and ‘Off’ towards each other. Ali Akbar is probably in the ‘On’ phase going on, so he discussed with me and went ahead with making a valiant attempt to find Ali Abbas.
Q-4 (AM, AH, AHu): Did Ali Akbar find location of Ali Abbas? How did he find it?
* AM replied: Yes, Ali Akbar has found location of Ali Abbas. He hasn’t told me yet, how he did it, but he did mention that the locals helped him.
Q-5 (LA): What about the ring?
* AH replied: The Ring is a very powerful force that only Ali Abbas can operate. It was meant to be a deterrent for enemies. Abbas has used it very judiciously and brought success to Ali Brothers very often.
“I would like to end this session here itself. I have a long list of questions with me that I will ask in the next session. This was meant to give General Jazlaan and Aazeen an idea of what this Thought Room can accomplish,” said Saqib.
Ali Mohammad, Ali Hasan and Ali Hussain looked at Saqib and smiled. This was not Saqib’s specialization, but they felt he could do something about it and improve. General Jazlaan and Aazeen stepped out of their glass enclosures and went outside the room quietly. The three Ali Brothers and Saqib too followed them out of the room.
Saqib thought that a good beginning had been made with these initial queries. He had many puzzles in his hand in the form of questions. General Azlaan and Aazeen would solve many of them here in this room. He closed the door of the Thought Room and kept walking up the stairs that opened into the sunny courtyard.