The Mystery

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 17; the seventeenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Dorri Jun’s face had a frozen expression. She stared deep into Erum’s eyes. It looked as if Dorri Jun was boring into the mind of the belly dancer through her beautiful blue eyes. Laila knew better. Laila imagined Erum’s past and future lying like an open book before Dorri Jun. Laila patiently watched on.

Dorri Jun had scribbled onto some blank sheets of paper all that Erum had told her. Erum’s problems in taking her belly dancing career ahead were all noted in a neat hand.  After meditating a while on these passages, the expression on Dorri Jun's face was one of great satisfaction. Laila was  imagining the connection between her and the spirit of the Grimoire established successfully."Tuwrel must be whispering in her ears by now!" Laila imagined. Then  Dorri Jun did something that even Laila had never seen before. 

She picked up her steaming cup of ghaveh and poured it onto the sheets of paper lying before her. At first it looked like a rash and impulsive action. The sight was simply a major mess with the brown liquid trickling off the corners of the paper onto the kaalin, making an ugly stain. It was in a moment that Erum and Laila realized that there was more to Dorri Jun’s irritable actions.

The steam rose magically, in an aromatic, misty smoke.  They saw that the wet patch on the paper was slowly taking shape and as it dried into the paper it left a faint watermark behind.  At the same time, the drops that had seeped into the threads of the kaalin had dried too but instead of an ugly patch, five whole coffee beans now lay there.

Erum’s eyes kept travelling from the paper to the beans and back. Mouth agape, the lissome beauty was now staring into oblivion like a dimwit.

Laila had begun to believe that the answers to Erum’s problems were out and that Dorri Jun would now begin to explain. Just then she caught the puzzled expression on Dorri Jun’s face.  “Chi hai?” enquired Laila. Dorri Jun handed the sheets over to Laila for scrutiny. In neat letters, three sentences in Urdu ran from right to left, in the centre of the page.

Mystic spirit speaks
Oh! Majnu’s Laila hides behind a veil
Mystery unfolds

“It is most unusual Laila that here is a puzzle to solve another.” A worried Dorri Jun whispered to Laila.

These lines were like a beacon light for Laila. Erum continued sitting in her trance-like poise, only eyes shuttling from Dorri Jun’s face to Laila’s.  “I know what I must do.” Laila exclaimed aloud and rushed up to her room. She returned in no time and dropped it into Erum’s lap, the way it had fallen into hers! The soft touch of a pearl coloured veil brought Erum out of her reverie. The translucent material with golden sequins that shone in all the colours of the rainbow enchanted Erum completely. “Merci!” Erum thanked Laila running her fingers over the hem of the beautiful piece, thinking it was a gift.

“ ....but why? This must be such an expensive thing. You musn’t!” squealed Erum and squeezed Laila’s hand. It looked like Erum had already forgotten her problems. The coffee coloured sheets fluttered in Dorri Jun’s lap like they were quivering with happiness too.  Dorri Jun carefully wrapped the five coffee beans in the folds of the silken veil and pressed the little packet into Erum’s palms.

 “Inshallah, mark my words, when you go dancing wearing that veil, no soul will be able to escape being enchanted. My girl, however you must never forget to wear the coffee beans on your person. You understand? ”

Balleh Dorri Jun. Your ways are very different. You had blessed me with a career last summer and since then there has been no looking back. Now you have blessed this career, I am sure I will never have any problems ever again. You are most kind. Merci Dorri Jun, Merci!”

Dorri Jun and Laila accompanied Erum to the door. She again planted a sweet smelling kiss on Laila’s forehead and stepped out. It had started snowing outside and a drift of cold wind hit Laila’s face. The duo waited at their doorstep until Erum crossed over to her house across the street and pulled the door in after her.  Dorri Jun really had a soft corner for Erum. After all she’d seen all of Rashid’s children grow up, besides her own brood. 

Erum had left leaving Dorri Jun and an elated Laila to their ambiguity.

“What was that, Laila?” Dorri Jun enquired. “How did you guess what Tuwrel had implied? The mention of Majnu and Laila in the same breath had left me wondering why Tuwrel was speaking so of your future?”

Laila had a hearty laugh at her grandma’s worried look. Dorri Jun however was secretly rejoicing from within.

The spirit of the Grimoire had addressed Laila. The very mention of her name in those lines had indicated that and yet the purport was directing somewhere else. Before even she could comprehend what it all meant, Laila had already come up with the solution. This could only mean that the spirit of Tuwrel had not only accepted Laila as the torch bearer of their secret legacy but also trusted her capacities.

Dorri Jun was elated to see that her grandchild was far more intelligent and matured than any girl of her age. She seemed to have chosen a perfectly. Laila was turning out to be worthy of inheriting The Secret Grimoire of Tuwrel.

Her musings were cut short by Laila's voice. “ Dadi Jun, the minute I read those lines I knew Tuwrel was saying more than was obvious in those lines. And on impulse I headed for the silken veil in my dresser drawer. On my way down I was more than convinced that I had the solution to Erum’s problems because I clearly heard Tuwrel whisper 'Behtarin Arezuha' to me, Dadi jun”

“ ..but my child, do be kind and tell this old lady who this Majnu is?” Dorri Jun teased the ten year old.

Blushing a plum red Laila answered, “Now Dadi Jun that shouldn't be much of a mystery for Erum. You will have to pose that question to her for it wasn’t my story Tuwrel spoke of. The lady who hides behind the veil is she not me and her future is the mystery that will unfold isn’t it?”

“How can you be so sure Laila?” Dorri Jun continued to tease little Laila. “It is a fact that your name has mention in those lines. And it is you who gave the veil that fell into your lap to her.”  

“Do not scare me Dadi Jun. Are you accusing me of having misunderstood the purport of those lines? You mean to say that those lines imply more than what even I have understood?  How could my life and Erum’s have anything in common? Do you remember Dadi Jun that Tuwrel had said , 'In cheh ser.reh nemi:dunaem?' Then why hasn’t Tuwrel communicated the actual meaning to you? Why did the spirit of the Grimoire evade you today Dadi Jun and choose me?” Laila had doled out a volley of questions to which Dorri Jun, for once, seemed to have no answer.

These questions left Dorri Jun stupefied too. “I only know that you have given the right solution to Erum’s problems for now but the future is indeed turning out to be a mystery Laila. We can only wait and see it unfold!”

To be continued...
To see the mystery unravel keep reading this short story series 'The Grimoire'....
If you have missed out on the previous stories you can catch up HERE

Persian Glossary:
1. Chi Hai? : What is it?
2. Ghaveh: Persian Coffee
3. Kaalin: Carpet
4.Behtarin Arezuha: All the best!
5.Merci: Thankyou
6. Inshallah: God Willing
7.Balleh: OKay (with respect)
8. “In cheh ser.reh nemi:dunaem?” : What is a secret I don't know?

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

This story has also been written for Mag 43 


Nanka said…
Beautifully written part of a greater novella which we have been following regularly. I see mystery within mysteries and going well too. Your language and concept is working very well. Even your blog matches this part of your story with the little steaming coffee mug in the corner. ;) Gave that mysterious misty touch to the flawless post while reading it. :D

Loving it!!! It is difficult to maintain continuity when posts are spaced but your story works wonders!!! :D

~Nanka and Rumya :)
I want to know vibz.. keep posting it soon..

--Someone is Special--
Rumya said…
Though Mom has said everything I wanted to, I just wanted to welcome you back to BAT. :D
Your stories I always look forward to reading as they are written so wonderfully and perfectly to my liking. Especially so, as you use the English language so correctly. There is always something new to learn from your posts. :D Even incorporating a foreign language is admirably done. You really go to the dep(p)ths LOL ;) Not only of the language, but also the customs and mannerisms. Great work Vibzz!!! :D Waiting for the novella and its parts to unfold...
vibhutib said…
Nanka, you are most kind!!! :D
It is this way of yours to motivate me and yet point out if I ever slip up that I love.
I always look forward to your comments/ compliments/ criticism. It is always precise and well analysed.
I am writing out of my experiences and my heart and hope to keep my readers bound..:D
Reiterated Thanks to you and Rumz for all your sweet words..
Cheers and ATB for BAT 17
vibhutib said…
Awww Rumz Thanks a ton for these extremely sweet words of appreciation.
I am so happy to see that I am keeping my most precious reader here happy! :)
I am always waiting to know what you think of my story and am thankful from the dep(p)ths of my heart that you keep me motivated this way!!!! ;)
And ATB for BAT 17 my dear..
In deep sleep i could just hardly type these words. That is the reason i came here once again to convey what I actuallly felt, this is so nice and wonderful mystery..please post it soon, wanna know about this.

PS: KOIBITOU - Sweetheart (Japanese word) and the mystery is about Someone is Special, is Ghost or God or what he/she wants to convey to this world and whether this mystery will continue or not and not about spooky, after all it is a writer ghost :-)

--Someone is Special--
Adarsh Sharma said…
you keep surprising me with the conviction you write all these stories based on characters from all over the takes a writer of the highest class to do this and u surely are one...though i have not been able to keep a tap on this series, but now i surely will...gr8 work...
vibhutib said…
Thankyou SIS, for coming by again to express your thoughts!
I appreciate this gesture. And you have indeed taught me a new oriental word.
You are one special blogger for sure!!! ;)
vibhutib said…
Thats very sweet of you Adarsh, Thankyou!
I am just thankful that I people from all over the world have come into my life to influence, teach and enrich my experiences. I am a blessed writer who has so much happening around to inspire my writing. :D
And this blogger's world also certainly adds to the fun when there are intelligent writers like you around..:)
The Fool said…
Another series, eh ? Sounds interesting. Shall check out the other parts soon. Too little happening in this part to comment except you have excelled in your usual art of graphic descriptions that brings the settings alive in the mind of the reader, something I still need to develop.
The Fool said…
Another series, eh ? Sounds interesting. Shall check out the other parts soon. Too little happening in this part to comment except you have excelled in your usual art of graphic descriptions that brings the settings alive in the mind of the reader, something I still need to develop.
the characterisation is excellent. Narration is one thing, I always liked in your stories.
Good luck to BAT.
Enough backlog on my list on your Z to A challenge entries. I remember these characters coming there.
Amity said…
So, so mysterious Vhibs...I wonder how patiently you have written such a cliff hanger story of mystery...only you know how...thumbs up!

*sigh*, I wish i have that mysterious knack of you in story writing...the tale is just immensely laced with mystery...

Thanks for your comment to my entry too...i want to treat the subject on a lighter note..mystery with humor...:D *wicked laugh*....

an exceptional comebacking entry at BAT Vhibs...:D

all the best my dear!!!
vibhutib said…
Hi Karthik, after ages here?!! So happy to read a msg from you. I was hoping youd drop by and give your valued criticism on this series.
Thankyou for such generous compliments.
And I must add that only out of practice has this style developed. You have it in you too. Hope you get more time to sharpen your skills.:D
Will be reading your work too..
ATB for BAT 17 & Cheers!!!
vibhutib said…
Hii, so happy to see you reading my work.
Always look forward to comments from such good writers like you.
Will eagerly wait for your responses.
ATB to you too...TC :)
vibhutib said…
Heyy Amity,
Thanks a ton for these sweet words of appreciation.
You are in the league of great writers and am flattered to know you think highly of my stories..:D XOXOXO
ATB once again for BAT 17
Muddassir Shah said…
it is been long since I visted your blog.
Lovely theme, totally attractive.
It is a very good post as always.
Totally loved it :)
vibhutib said…
HI Mudassir,
Firstly Thankyou for visiting my blog once again.
Then Thanks for complimenting my choice of template
And above all Thankyou for appreciating the story Ive writtten for BAT 17.
I wish you all the best for this round too..
TC friend..:D
Maddie said…
Lovely! All the best.
Thanks Vibz.. came here to check your response.. Sorry for coveying late congratulations for winning SPORTS MEMORIES OF BlogAdda.. I was fully busy last two months..

--Someone is Special--
willow said…
Wonderful Magpie. Thank you!
Raksha Raman said…
Hello Vibhuti!

I always knew you are exceptionally skilled when it comes to language but what I didn't know is, that you have a flair for not one but many languages! I remember reading one of your earlier BAT posts where you had done great deal of research to incorporate a language that you thought would justify the plot better and you later confessed you didn't know the language! Isn't it?

Now, this trait in a writer is damn interesting. It is a sign which indicates that you are one of those few writers on bloggerville who has what it takes to go to the next level :) So when will I see your work published? ;) :) I wish you all success! :)

About the story,plot is intriguing...I read the previously published parts and I must admit you have put in great deal of effort! Thumbs Up! Looking forward to see what Laila has in store for her ;) ATB with BAT :)
vibhutib said…
Thankyou Maddie
vibhutib said…
Thankyou Willow, am glad you liked it!
vibhutib said…
Hey Raksha,
Thankyou so much for such motivating compliments.
Yes, I have a love for learning new languages and cultures but havent been able to dedicate time to learning them completely. I hope to do that some day though!
Yes, id tried to learn German online and had used some phrases Id picked in my story ' Time Travel'. :D
Thankyou for your wishes Raksha, I really hope to be a published writer some day. How soon I cannot say but I will let you know, surely! :D ATB to you too for BAT 17.

D2 said…
Exceptional use of language skills. The theme is very fascinating and your story-telling, as usual, is top notch. All the best for the BAT.
drpratibha said…
Reading your post is like reading a novel and learning different languages in an interesting way.All the best for BAT.
Guria said…
I really enjoyed the whole series thing! keep at it.... :)
Guria said…
I really enjoyed the series format... keep at it!
ATB for BAT 17, you have all the required ingredients! :))
Kshitij said…
God. You make me feel like an illiterate. I have tried a couple of times but I failed to capture what's happening on each attempt.

Really liked the names you used. The descriptions are pretty, too. Sorry I could not really capture the essence... but maybe 'mere bas ki naa thi'.. :)
vibhutib said…
Dear Kshitij,
It is really sad that you weren't able to understand even after so many attempts. Sometimes the simplest of things aren't easy to understand for everybody, eg. Gravity. It is however a big mystery in itself which part of this story boggled your mind? It was simply a rendezvous between Erum the belly dancer and the mystic Dorri Jun, who also seems to have some magical powers. And her grand-daughter Laila seems to have lent a hand too...:D
Anyways may god bless you with love and light! Don't fret there are other stories here at BAT which you may just understand better!!! ;)
All the best to you at BAT 17..:D
vibhutib said…
Thankyou So much Guria, your words have made my day! XOXOXO Cheers dost
vibhutib said…
Aww Thankyou D2, I am flattered. TOP NOTCH is like a badge Id want to wear forever!!! Thanks a ton..:D
vibhutib said…
Really Pratibha? Thankyou so much. You have convinced me that I can continue tagging this story series as a novella..Thanks again!!:)
Cherry Blossom said…
Exceptional writing skills. I am so glad that I came here to read this wonderful post, though late. Your diction, vocab are superb. The selection of your words are so musical. Above all, a wonderful presentation. All the best.
Thank you so much for your inspiring comment for my post. Well, no. 13 is my lucky no. You are sure to be lucky for me.

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