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The story of Bodu Takurufan part 5
As told by the famous Buraara Mohamed Fulhu and written by Al-hajj Ibrahim Ibn Ismail Feeboa


The new clever king was named Abakuru and an official announcement circulated around the twelve villages of Male'. A person of much intelligence and wisdom, king Abukuru was crowned with the approval of all. During his reign, the smartest person among the nobles and officials received the chief minister's position.

At this time, there was a man called Kalhu Hassan of Baarashu - a descendent of the Hilali family. He had three boys, and because they listened to and obeyed their father and mother, they finished learning the Koran and also studied poetry, mauloodh, knowledge and nahuf. No religious meeting or mauloodh was held without them taking part. Travellers visiting the king told him about them and he requested their presence in Male'. When they arrived, the king held separate discussions with each of the three young men and found that he had been told the truth about them. The eldest of the three was made the island chief of Utheemu and the second one became the Baarashu island chief. The youngest became the teacher at Nolhivaranfaru.

All three brothers were appointed during the king's reign. Utheemu Kalhu Ali Khatheeb Thakurufaanu built a fishing odi and loaded it with cargo and went trading from island to island. Well, though he was meant to be trading, he was really looking for women to marry. He went around Thiladhunmathi and couldn't find any, so he began trading in the islands of Miladhunmadulu and found a woman to marry at Horubadhoo island in Maalhosmadulu atoll. He took her to Utheemu and stayed there as island chief. He traded in Thiladhunmathi and took the fish to Male' where he traded before returning to Utheemu.


The story is paused at this point.

During the reign of king Abakuru, the atoll chief of Huvadhu atoll arrived with the tax odi. After securing his vessel, the chief went straight to the palace and officially informed the king of his arrival. The chief also mentioned an excellent woman who should be brought to the palace to marry the king.
'Where is she? In which atoll or island?' demanded the king.
'She is in Kadoodhoo Kolhufushi, in Kolhumadulu atoll. Her name is Reki Kamana,' replied the atoll chief.

After the chief left, the king summoned the treasurer and told him about the woman. The treasurer prepared an odi and loaded it with food, drinking water and firewood. He selected twenty-five soldiers from the two regiments and wrote their names on a list. They went aboard with a captain, and the odi was sent on its way.

It returned to Male' with Reki Kamana. The king saw her and realised the atoll chief had spoken the truth. He married Reki and she became pregnant two years later at the palace. She had a baby girl and on the seventh day after her birth the baby was named Rekka Kamana. A year later, while this child was growing up in the inner chambers, Reki died. She was buried with proper funeral rituals. The king married another woman from Male' and brought her to the palace.

A long time passed and Rekka Kamana was still living in the palace and beginning to grow her hair long. At this time, there was no better carpenter in the whole of Maldives than Himithi Maavadi. He had a son who grew up and began to understand the world and learned to think. He decided to study his father's trade. Three years later, news reached the king that the son's skill now surpassed that of his father. The king sent for the Maavadi Koi and told him that news of his great skill had led to him being summoned to build a fighting ship. The carpenter told the king to start preparations for the work.

The treasurer sent an order to the north and gathered carpenters in Male'. He then made a list of people from the two regiments who had the skill to cut wood and told them to bring coconut and tree timber to Male'. On the auspicious day of an auspicious month, a building site was set up for a fifty foot ship on the middle sandspit at the northern side of Male'.

In three months, the vessel was completed and each person received what they were owed and sent back to their home island. Maavadi Koi stayed behind to do the finishing touches. Then an order was sent to the official artist's house and he was brought to decorate the ship. The drawings were completed in two weeks. After that caulking and a waterproofing paste were applied and the boat was ready for launching.

The king decided the new vessel shouldn't be launched until it was shown to the island's women. On a certain day he gathered women of all ages, even his wife and daughter went to see the new ship. Himithi Maavadi Koi was working on the vessel at the same time the king's wife and daughter walked around the craft showing it to the people. The two royal women climbed onto the deck and the mother told her daughter that she only seemed to have eyes for the carpenter. The daughter agreed. After the exhibition, the royal pair took everyone to the palace and then the people returned to their homes. The queen mentioned the daughter's behaviour to the king.

On an auspicious day of an auspicious month, the vessel was launched and the awning put in place. Next day, the king invited the nobles to his palace. When they asked why they had been summoned, the king explained that his daughter had begun to wear a dress and he was asking them to find a suitable husband who could live in the palace. They discussed the various men who they thought would be appropriate and then went away. During the next auspicious month on an auspicious night, Rekka Kamana married Himithi Maavadi Koi. The couple were given the Kabafanu palace as their home.

This was the situation when the wife of the king began to think: If king Abakuru were to die today, the high officials and soldiers would accept my claim to the royal throne. But it won't happen as long as his daughter is still alive.

She prepared a royal meal and sent it to the Kabafanu palace. The daughter ate the food her step-mother sent and became ill. When he heard of this, the king went to Kabafanu palace and spent a whole day and night taking care of his daughter. As the days passed, her condition deteriorated and the king asked the medicine and fanditha people what had caused the illness. They said it was due to something she had eaten.

When he heard this, Himithi Maavadi Koi hoped his uncle would arrive in Male' soon. If my uncle could see her, he would be able to prevent her death, he thought. But he was forced to wait in sadness because his uncle took a long time to arrive. His wife's condition worsened and as the days passed she became so weak that when night fell he thought she wouldn't survive to see the next day. Eventually she died.

King Abakuru summoned the two regiments with the beating of the drums and his daughter's body was bathed, dressed and placed in her coffin. He said that the weather wasn't suitable for a burial that day and he ordered selected people from the regiments to guard the coffin overnight while the rest of the soldiers returned to their homes. The king went back to his palace. People stayed with the coffin, reciting and praying. As the sun set, the bereaved husband was grieving deeply and he went out and stood with his shoulder leaning against a verandah pillar. In the gathering darkness, he was digging at the ground with his big toe when he sensed a shadow falling near the front door.
Looking up, he asked who it was.
'It's me,' a voice said.
'Is that you, uncle?' asked Maavadi Koi. 'When did you arrive?'
'Just now, the odi anchored and I heard you were here and thought I should visit you first. My boy, why are you so upset, what has happened?'
'My wife is dead.'
'Is that really true? I heard you married the princess and intended to come to Male' to meet her. It has been a long time. Perhaps I am fated not to meet her, my son. When did she die?'
'She died today, but we couldn't bury her right now.'
'She may as well be buried if she is bathed and in her coffin, don't you think? Someone who has just arrived from far away still won't be able to see her.'
Maavadi Koi told his uncle he would show him the body if he wanted to see it.
'I would really like to see her. But how? You said she was in her coffin.'
'I can show her to you, if that is what you wish.'
'Isn't that inappropriate while those people are reciting?'
'I'm the decision maker around here tonight,' explained Maavadi Koi, 'and I have authority over the body. I'll show her to you. Come.'

Holding his uncle's hand, he led him to the coffin. He told the people reciting to put away their books and return to their houses. But they said they weren't leaving just because he told them to.
'I am in charge here tonight,' Maavadi Koi warned. 'And I am in charge of her as well. So when I say go, you go. When I ask you to return, you can come back. So now when I tell you to leave, you should leave.'
'He is telling us to relax a bit,' they said amongst themselves. 'He even wants us to come back later, maybe quite soon. We may as well go.'

When they'd left, Maavadi Koi shut both doors of the palace and the lamp flame. He took his uncle to the coffin. First he removed the shroud and then untied the coffin, lifting off the lid to reveal the body. His uncle asked for the muslin to be removed from her face and feet. Looking closely at her he said, 'My boy, she is not dead.'
'What shall we do?' cried out Maavadi Koi.
'All right, I'll show you,' said the uncle.

He told Maavadi Koi to get various things including seven medicinal herbs. The princess had been prepared for burial after a long illness and medicine people from the north and south had filled the palace with treatments. Maavadi Koi found the seven types of medicine he needed and made a concoction of the required amount in a jug. His uncle told him to rub it on her body without letting it dry out. 'Come and get me if the jug of medicine runs out before sunrise,' he said.

He left and Maavadi Koi used the medicine as he had been instructed, rubbing it on her body without letting it dry out. However, in the early hours of the morning the mixture was finished and he replaced the coffin lid, shut the doors and ran with all the strength in his legs to the odi. He called out for his uncle from the beach and the man came down from the odi. Maavadi Koi told him the medicine was finished and together they walked back to the palace.

The uncle asked to see the woman again and Maavadi Koi lifted the lid. The uncle looked at her face and feet and told his nephew it was time to awaken his wife. Koi bent over, calling her name softly, 'Kamana... Kamana,' and she opened her eyes.
'What should I do now, uncle?'
'Look my boy, she has left this world. You shouldn't show her to anyone again.'
The uncle told him to put his wife in the inner room of the palace and she was placed there in a comfortable bed. Koi asked what he should do next.
'Do the first things first,' said his uncle. 'Get two heavy stones, just light enough to lift.'

When Koi had fetched them, his uncle told him to put them at either end of the coffin, fold the body shroud over the rocks and then close the coffin and call the reciters back in. When the sun rose, king Abakuru arrived with the two regiments and the nobles. The princess' coffin was buried with proper rituals.

Now listen!

Maavadi Koi's uncle continued to treat the princes, and nobody who came to the palace was able to see her. Maavadi Koi didn't marry anyone else or leave the island so he kept his position at the palace. He kept treating his wife and she was getting better every day. When her normal healthy looks returned the uncle told his nephew that she would not get that illness again.
'I'm going home now,' said the uncle.
'When you get home, would you please send your wife here,' asked Maavadi Koi.

This woman was a midwife and when the uncle returned home he sent her to Male' where she became the person who bathed the princess and cooked for her. Except for Maavadi Koi and his aunt, nobody else saw Rekka.

Later, she became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy. A year later she was pregnant again and had a girl. Then she became pregnant for a third time and had another boy. As these three children grew up in the palace, Kamana began to lose weight. Maavadi Koi asked her if she had the illness again. She said she wasn't sure but she had no difficulty eating and didn't feel sick at all. 'But you are losing weight,' he complained and eventually she admitted it was probably happening because she was missing her father.
'If you had told me before, I would have invited him here,' said her husband. 'I'll ask him to our palace next Friday. Prepare a royal meal.'

The following Friday, Kamana cooked the food and Maavadi Koi invited the king for a meal. After the prayer was over and the regiments and nobles had returned to their houses, Abakuru walked over to the Kabafanu palace and found a meal ready for him on the small bench. Maavadi Koi asked him to sit down and went over to the doorway, pulled back the curtain and told Kamana to start serving. She came in with a jug of washing water and a bowl, and her eyes met those of her father.

King Abakuru wondered if she was Koi's new wife or the man's daughter. If it is Koi's daughter, then who is his new wife? If it's a new wife, then whose daughter is she?
'Is this your wife? Or your daughter?' asked the king. 'If she's your wife, whose child is she? If she's your daughter, who is her mother?'
'Your excellency,' answered Koi, 'she isn't my daughter. She's my wife... your daughter!'

King Abakuru jumped up and went over to the swing and asked Koi to explain what he was talking about. Koi told the king what had happened from the moment she fell sick, and how his uncle had treated her with medicine and everything else that happened. He also mentioned how she had given birth to three children since she recovered from her illness.
'Please show me my daughter's children,' said the king.
Kamana brought out her eldest son, leading him to the middle door as he held on to her. King Abakuru stood and picked up the boy and placed him on his right knee as he sat down again and turned to Kamana.
'During this reign of your father, your son will be given the title of defence minister, and it will be acknowledged in the twelve villages of Male'.'
Then Kamana brought in her daughter, holding her fingers and leading her to the middle door. The king placed her on his left knee and said, 'Your daughter's name will be Buraki Ranin.'
Then Kamana brought in her baby son, carrying him on her hip. The king took the baby and sat him on his right knee. He turned to his daughter and said, 'This young son of yours will be the acknowledged in the 12 villages of Male' as the Fashanakan.'
This son was as fair as a white cat.

After the king had finished eating he returned to his palace and expelled his wife from the royal quarters. Not only was she removed from the palace but she was expelled from Male' as well. The king's daughter and her three sons were installed in the royal palace.





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