Chapter 11 — Time to Think
Ali Hussain kept looking at General Jazlaan and Aazeen. He showed no emotion on his face. But there was definite emotion reflected in the faces of the visitors to ‘Medusha’.
Hussain wanted to provoke the General into revealing more. He had already managed to know that the General had some other plan than what he had told them. The General had conveyed that he had come with Aazeen to debrief Ali Abbas when he comes. He had said that he just wanted to report to the High Council about Ali Abbas and where he had been missing all this time.
But what Ali Hussain now knew is that the General wanted to take Abbas with him to the High Council. There was difference between the two. Big difference. How could Ali Brothers allow one of their own to go alone in such changed circumstances? No way.
Hussain now had to make things clear to the General that no such thing was happening. If he tried something offhand, well, then he should know that he would asked to leave without a second thought.
“Alone? Really? Do you even think this is possible?” asked Hussain.
The General kept looking on the ground as he searched for an answer. Aazeen thought this was the time when she had to step in.
“He would have told all of you eventually. I am sure of it. I also came to know about it just now. I too didn’t know about it,” replied Aazeen.
‘So Aazeen has the responsibility of trying to convince him and Ali Brothers about the General’s plan,’ thought Hussain. He was not going to allow it. As it is, there was nothing debatable here at all. Wherever Ali Abbas has to go and it would be the combined decision of Ali Brothers, the Brothers would go with him.
“Yes, he would have. But why hasn’t he told us about it yet? I am not sure Ali Mohammad will appreciate this. He likes transparency. Keeping plans hidden only shows some kind of negative strategy. We don’t like it,” said Hussain.
“I would have discussed it with Ali Abbas first. If he had agreed to the plan, then surely, he would discuss it with you. I couldn’t have taken Abbas without consent of Ali Brothers,” said General Jazlaan looking up at Ali Hussain.
Hussain kept looking at the General, assessing his body language and thinking how much of what the General had said was true. A minute later he turned back and left the room.
The General and Aazeen were left alone now wondering what was going to happen to them. How would Ali Mohammad think about this new development, was the one thought that kept repeating in their mind.
The door opened again, “Whatever Mohammad decides now, you will be told about it in the morning at the breakfast table. Both of you can rest comfortably for the night, for now. Who knows whether you will be spending tomorrow’s evening here,” said Hussain, without stepping inside. He closed the door finally and walked down the stairs.
Saqib was taking Sikander for a walk in the garden. Walking alongside him, Saqib kept talking and sharing his thoughts with Sikander. Sikander seemed to listen patiently, neighing at appropriate times, thought Saqib with amusement.
Ever since Ali Hussain had managed to tame the wild horse, Sikander had become comfortable with other Ali Brothers too. They could ride him, as long as they respected that he took pride in being a respectable horse. Saqib would not ride him, but he knew that Sikander allowed Ali Mohammad and Ali Hasan also to ride him.
“Ah…so Sikander is taking a walk. Good. I was thinking of taking him out myself,” said Ali Hasan as he came out in the garden. He came and took the reins from Saqib and got on the horse.
“Ali Hussain told me something an hour back. Something about the General and some plan that he had,” said Saqib. He thought that Hussain might know about it, so he thought he should bring up the topic.
“What about the General? What plan? I have no idea,” said Hasan, stopping himself and pulling the reins.
Saqib told him what Ali Hussain had told him about the plan of the General related to Ali Abbas. He said Hussain would discuss this at the dinner table with everyone. The General and Aazeen were told to have dinner in their room only.
Hasan was surprised. He got off the back of Sikander and handed the reins to Saqib. His mind kept searching for the reason why President of the High Council wanted to meet Ali Abbas alone.
‘Abbas was almost inaccessible for everyone for the past five years. He was living incognito, moving around from city to city. But now that Sepitus Wood had found him, Ali Abbas had decided to come back to ‘Hedusha’.
And why didn’t the General talk about this upon his arrival here? This was unexpected and a bit unpleasant on the part of the General. Even Aazeen was kept in the dark by the General. She was told about it only after coming here. Well, things will have to be discussed properly at the dinner table.’
“Have to go Sikander now. Perhaps tomorrow we will go together outside on the beautiful estate and have a nice run,” said Hasan stroking Sikander’s mane. He heard the dinner bell ringing and began walking back towards the building.