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The story of Bodu Takurufan part 6
As told by the famous Buraara Mohamed Fulhu
and written by Al-hajj Ibrahim Ibn Ismail Feeboa

In their new palace, Rekke's three children had as their personal servant a young boy from Gaafaru, called Gaafaru Kalhu Uburehem but better known as Ubusheymu. The three children grew up and one day king Abakuru summoned the court nobles. They gathered and asked what matters they had been brought to discuss. The king told them that his three grandchildren were getting older and he wanted a teacher for them. The nobles mentioned the names of teachers they thought were most appropriateand one of the nobles pointed out a problem. 'If you bring any of these teachers, the problem is that they can only teach one thing. Then you'll need other teachers for different subjects. It isn't good that sons and daughters of a king are taught by different teachers. We need someone who can teach everything well.'

So the nobles continued talking and debating and putting forward ideas. Then one of them said that the person in Maldives who could teach everything well was Ulhlhavah Kaaru Edhuru Uburehen Thakurufaan who lived near Galolhu square. When the treasurer went to this man's house he was eating rice soup. The official explained that the king wanted the teacher to come to the palace. He jumped up, put both hands on his own head and said, 'There is a royal pronouncement upon me. Let's go!'

The man washed his hands and went straight to the palace. 'I have sent for you, respected teacher, to ask you to educate my three grandchildren,' explained the king.
'I will teach them everything I know,' the man replied.
The king asked him if he would work in the palace or a separate building, so the teacher requested a separate place in the palace grounds, and then respectfully took his leave and returned to his home.

The king ordered the treasurer to begin construction and tell him when it was ready. On an auspicious day when everything was completed, the teacher assembled with the three children and in a ceremony involving incense and fire they all went into the new building and recited salavath and fathiha and prayers of faith and gratitude and then they wrote down the arabic alphabet.

While the three children were being educated, Gaafaru Kalhu Uburehem was there to wash their learning boards and he also began studying with them. The four children learnt the Koran and all the boys were circumcised together. After they recovered, the boys were taught poetry, mauloodh knowledge and nahuf. Then they learnt the art of combat. The ground where they practised was raked twice a day and the stones removed by Gaafaru Kalhu Uburehem. As the teacher instructed the royal boys there, Uburehem listened and watched the demonstrations given by the teacher when the other boys had difficulty understanding certain moves. Eventually the teacher had imparted all the knowledge he could and he told the king his task was finished. The king gave him awards and he was dismissed.

When the children were a little older, the king summoned the gong man on an auspicious day and gave him the gong and the special stick. The king told him to do the gonging in the twelve villages of Male' giving the title of defence minister to the eldest grandchild. The koli did this and when he returned he was told to repeat the ceremony for the younger grandchild and give him the title of Faashanaa. All was done as the king commanded.

Later the older boy married a woman from Male' and brought her to the palace. The young couple didn't have any children and the defence minister fell ill and died. He was buried with funeral rituals and king Abakuru continued to reign with his remaining grandchildren. A long time later the king became ill and died. The drums were beaten and the two regiments summoned. Abakuru was bathed and dressed and placed in his coffin. The soldiers told the nobles that the king could not be buried without another being chosen. Buraki Ranin heard this and came out and said she should be placed on the throne.

The nobles objected. 'We don't disapprove of you, Kamana, but while your younger brother is here, you cannot have the royal throne.' Saying this they brought out Dhon Bulhaa Faashanaa (White Cat Faashanaa) and sat him on the throne. The deceased king was buried in the grounds of the Bodu Galu mosque and a tomb erected.

Then on to Dhon Bulhaa Faashanaa thaaniyaa aburaafaa. While he reigned, the servant Kalhu Uburehem did whatever the two royals wanted. Some time later the court nobles came to the palace and the new king asked them what they wanted to discuss. They said the king had not yet been fully installed and accepted as monarch. Dhon Bulhaa asked them why he was not completely acceptable, especially since it had come to him as his inheritance. They reassured him that they were not disputing that he had inherited the crown, but they told him that his lack of a wife was a problem. Dhon Bulhaa explained that it was not a good idea for him to be married before his older sister. He told them to find someone suitable for his sister to marry and live with in the palace, and then he would get married himself. So the nobles discussed who would be most appropriate. One of them suggested that there was no one more appropriate than Rah-dhebai Magu Kalhu Mohamed Manikufan. When asked why this person was so suitable he said because the man's mother was the sister of king Abakuru.

Dhon Bulhaa was informed of this discussion and he instructed a senior palace guard to summon Rah-dhebai Magu Kalhu Mohamed Manikufan. Kalhu Mohamed's mother asked the guard what he wanted when he arrived and he told her that her son was wanted at the palace. The woman asked why and he said he he didn't know. 'You know very well,' she said, ' You are just hiding the truth from me. They want my Mohamed to marry Rekke's daughter, Buraki Ranin. She's no match for my son! He's at the sandspit catching birds. You'll find him there.'

The guard went along Rah-dhebai street to Heyli, then east along Heyli road past other streets known as Sabudheriyaa and Bodu, across Kalhu Thukkalaa road and then past other streets known as Ruh Kediya, Dhon Adharaadha, Gaa and Kulhi until he reached Mulhoashi Kaloa street.

Meanwhile Kalhu Mohamed was speaking with the children around him saying, 'Right now is the time when the birds are least likely to land at the sandspit. They'll only come here in the late afternoon when long shadows fall. We can either leave our bird-catching hoops here for later or take them home with us.'

Kalhu Mohamed was on his way home when he met the guard between Mulhoashi street and the sandspit. He asked the guard what he wanted, and learned his presence was required at the palace. 'Is that right!' he commented as he went home and dressed for the palace. He put on masroof ran'gavaalhu, wrapped a large sarong around his waist and a handkerchief on his head with a gonfoo hat. He was just about to walk out when his mother said, 'Do you know why they want you at the palace?'
'No idea.' her son replied.
'They are trying to get you to marry Rekke's daughter, Buraki, and she isn't good enough for you.'

When Kalhu Mohamed arrived at the royal palace, the nobles jumped up and spread a smooth coir mat for him and asked him to be seated. They waited until he was comfortable and then they sat down too. But when they told him what they wanted, he got up and walked out without saying a word. Later Dhon Bulhaa asked what Kalhu Mohamed had said about the offer of marriage and the nobles told him what happened. The guard was sent for and Dhon Bulhaa asked him about Kalhu Mohamed's reaction. 'I don't know, your highness,' said the guard. 'But I remember what his mother said.'
'And what was that?' demanded the king.
'As he was getting ready she asked him if he knew why he was going to the palace. He said he didn't know and she said it was to get him to marry Rekke's daughter, Buraki. I heard her say that Rekke's daughter wasn't a worthy match for her son.'

This state of affairs continued for a while. Each night Kalhu Mohamed's mother told him off because all day he caught birds at the sandspit and at night he fed young people and wandered around. He would only return to bed when he heard the munjah. When the sun rose, he would return to the sandspit.

Meanwhile Buraki Ranin was living in Hakuraa palace. One day Ubusheymu was walking past with the royal lunch and standing on the other side of the fence was the princess. She called out to him and he came into Hakuraa palace. 'You have always done whatever my brother and I ask of you,' she said. 'Now my younger brother has grown up. Nobody is any threat to him, but even though I'm an adult too, there are people capable of threatening me! Please mention this to my brother and if he gives the approval, would you mind coming over to work for me?'
Ubusheymu assured her he would be quite happy with that.
'In that case, go and tell my brother now and come back here.'
Later when he served the lunch to Dhon Bulhaa, he told the king what the princess had suggested. 'Ubusheymu, what the princess says is true. There's no one around here for me to fear but there are people who might harm her. Go to Hakuraa palace and do whatever she wants. There'll be no reduction in your wages.'

So Ubusheymu completed his work for the day at the royal palace and then went to Hakuraa and stayed there as Buraki Ranin's personal servant. One day at dusk, Buraki summoned him and asked him to do an errand for her.
'Certainly,' he said.
After the sun went down, Buraki Ranan went into her house and emptied out a saucepan full of betel leaves. She selected three leaves and then prepared three adafi. At the time of the evening prayer she gave adafi rumaa to Ubusheymu and told him to take them to Kalhu Mohamed. 'If he asks who made this gift,' said Buraki, 'tell him it is from me. Also tell him I want him to visit me at Hakuraa palace tonight after people are asleep and things are quiet.'

Carrying the adafi rumaa, Ubusheymu walked to Rah-dhebai street. Just as he started pushing the gate into Kalhu Mohamed Manikfan's house, Kalhu Mohamed, leaving for his regular night wanderings, was trying to push it open from the other side.
'Who's there?' hissed Kalhu.
'It's me,' came the reply.
'What do you want?'
'I have a gift for you from someone.'
'From Buraki Ranin,' said Ubusheymu.
Mohamed took a deep breath and asked patiently, 'Did she have a message as well?'
'Yes! She asked if you would would come to the Hakuraa palace.'

Mohamed took the adafi rumaa and then turned to friends who were standing there with him. 'My mother scolds me for going wandering every night so I'm staying home. Those who want to stay here can do that if they wish or return to their own houses.' He turned back into his house and went to bed. His mother was pleased to see him in bed, and she retired thinking, Even though he's grown up, he still takes my advice seriously.

She was soon asleep and Mohamed heard her snoring. He got up very quietly and left the house, walking between Hakuraa and Kabafanu palace. Near the eastern side Hakuraa gate he jumped sideways over the fence and into the courtyard where Buraki Ranin was waiting. She rushed up to him and took his hand, leading him through the mid-gate and around the house and through the south door to the swing chair. They sat there chewing adafi, smoking and talking until the Munaajaa prayer in the early morning. When he heard the prayer, Mohamed hurried home to bed and Buraki also went off to sleep.

After that, Mohamed went to her palace every night. He was no longer interested in wandering, not even for a single night. For fun he caught birds on the sand spit with his friends.

Many nights later, Mohamed was jumping over the Hakuraa palace fence and landed right in front of the treasurer who grabbed him and yelled, 'Hey, stop right there you thief!'
Mohamed in turn seized the treasurer, wrestling with him and throwing the man against the bottom of the fence. Mohamed ran off home, and the treasurer got up and brushed the dirt from himself thinking I'd better tell the king, because if he hears about this from someone else I'll be in big trouble. At the first sign of light the next day he went to the palace and spoke to Dhon Bulha Fashana. 'Your excellency, there is something you should know.'
'What is it?' the king demanded.
'Every night when people go to sleep and the sounds of footsteps subside, Kalhu Mohamed Manikufan visits Hakuraa palace and stays there talking until the Munaajaa prayer. At that time he jumps back over the fence and returns home.'
'Is that right! Send for the militia immediately.'
When the force had been gathered they were given the royal command to take Mohamed out under the punishment tree and then put him aboard a Huvadhu odi for exile to Vaadhoo.
'Yes sir,' said the men and they carried out their orders.

When Buraki Ranin heard the news, she ceased to eat, sleep or bathe. It was as if she had caught a disease. Dhon Bulha Fashana was worried and he stayed at Hakuraa day and night to help his sister but her condition went from bad to worse. Ubusheymu served her breakfast and waited for her to eat it until midday. Then he would take that food away and bring the lunch. He would still be waiting for her to eat it as darkness fell, and the food would be removed and replaced by dinner that remained uneaten until midnight. Doctors from the north, and sorcerers from the south, and Male' people skilled in medicine, fanditha and healing, all were brought to treat her. After many days, Buraki Ranin began to realise that her illness was psychological and the best treatment was to start eating, bathing and sleeping again. She began to get better.

Eventually she completely recovered and Dhon Bulhaa Faashanaa went back to his palace. Sometime later Buraki said to Ubusheymu, 'You know, I didn't recover because of all the people my brother brought to treat me. It was because of the blessings of a vow I took. Please let my brother know about this. And if he asks what the vow was, tell him I have promised to fast for three days at the Vaadhoo mosque in Huvadhu.'

Ubusheymu communicated Buraki's words to Dhon Bulhaa and he in turn summoned and informed the treasurer. A royal odi was prepared with twenty-five crewmen and an officer. With an experienced navigator assigned, everything was ready and Dhon Bulhaa sent for Ubusheymu and told him the odi was waiting and he would be told the time of departure at the treasurer's house. The king instructed him to accompany Buraki to fulfil her vow and then return. Ubusheymu followed the directives and let Buraki know about the arrangements. Buraki had her own plans though, and she left when it suited her not the treasurer's house.

After many days at sea, the odi began to cross the Huvadhu channel and Buraki asked Ubusheymu, 'Do you think you have the strength to steer?'
'Yes, ' he replied, 'I can do that if you can arrange for me to take control of the rudder.'
Barely hestitating, Buraki called out to the navigator, 'Hey, you haven't had any sleep, and you need at least a little when travelling. You've been holding that rudder since we left Male'.'
'All the crewmen are soldiers from the two regiments,' said the navigator. 'None of them can steer the vessel. We can't sail with any of them at the helm.'
'Ubusheymu grew up sailing between Gaafaru and Male',' Buraki told him. 'He'd be good with the rudder.'

So the navigator handed the rudder over to Ubusheymu and showed him the direction on the compass to sail. He marked the bearing with a chalk mark and then went to the front of the odi and lay down to sleep on the transport cages. Ubusheymu waited until the navigator was snoring and then he changed the chalk mark three points down and sailed in that new direction.

When the navigator woke from a restful sleep and came back to the rudder to check their progress, he looked around and said, 'Ubusheymu! Why did you change course down to Huvadhu atoll.'
'I don't know! Didn't I sail the course you set for me?'
'This odi is now three points down from the course I showed you.'
'Aren't we sailing in the direction you gave with the chalk?'
Buraki was listening to the argument and interrupted them, 'That's what I meant in the first place, navigator. You were so exhausted you made a mistake and we got lost. Maybe you made the chalk mark in the wrong place.'

The navigator took over control of the rudder, put the odi's dhiyaru in place, and turned to the north. After sailing in that direction for a day and a night, he turned southwards. With all this swinging around in opposite directions in Huvadhu channel the twenty-five crewmen complained to the officer that the odi had travelled safely while it was in the hands of the navigator, but Ubusheymu had changed the course to somewhere outside the channel. 'Get Lady Buraki's permission for us to arrest that man Ubusheymu,' they warned, 'or we won't be obeying any orders aboard this boat.'
The officer passed on this demand to the navigator who, in turn, went to Buraki. She told Ubusheymu who told her not to worry.
'When your Ladyship's brothers were receiving combat training, I was there removing the pebbles and rocks from the training ground twice each day. I heard all the teacher's instructions and closely observed his demonstrations. As long as the mast, prow and head of the rudder are in position, I can avoid any attack by these twenty-five crewmen. Keep them happy, give them permission to do what they want.'

So she gave the order to the navigator who passed it to the officer and the twenty-five crewmen grabbed whatever they could find and waited for the moment to attack. Ubusheymu lifted himself up and stood on the foredeck of the odi. The crewmen rushed towards him. Ubusheymu jumped up to the mast in full combat stance and parried the crewmen's attacks. Then he jumped over to the dhirubalu huthi and stood there ready for battle, before leaping back over the mast and onto the rudder. Once again he demonstrated his knowledge of fighting stances and then leapt back onto the mast.

The crewmen accepted defeat telling their officer that just as Buraki Ranin had surrendered Ubusheymu to them, they now surrendered themselves to her.

The information was passed formally to Buraki who told Ubusheymu.

After fifteen days of aimlessly sailing up and down Huvadhu channel, Buraki Ranin said, ' This is turning into a woman's journey. Let's see if we can find some dry land.'
'You wanted to go to Huvadhu, and that's why I'm trying to sail there, but if your ladyship wishes we can change course and within a day and a night we should reach Acheh's Sujadubaadu.'
Buraki agreed, 'Navigator, we can return to Maldives when the wind starts blowing from the east. For now, change the course of the ship.'

So a day and a half later the navigator anchored the ship in Acheh's harbour. When the ship was secured, Buraki told the navigator and Ubusheymu to visit the king of Acheh and advise him that the elder sister of the king of Maldives had arrived.
'Explain how we were sailing south and missed Huvadhu. Now we've reached Acheh, I would like him to arrange for me to stay here until the easterly winds begin.'
When the king of Acheh heard this, he thought the king of Maldives was likely to send him big gifts for looking after his sister so he organised a house for her. Ubusheymu moved in too as the cook, and the navigator was told to stay aboard the odi with the twenty-five crewmen.

Finally the westerly monsoon came to an end and when the mula nakaiy arrived the naigator went to Buraki and mentioned it was time to return to Maldives.

During mula nakaiy there will be storms and rough seas,' said Buraki. 'We should leave when mula nakaiy ends and furahalha begins.

The navigator waited until furahalha, but when he saw Buraki she said that it was a woman's trip at the moment because it was too calm. She then complained that when furahalha arrived there would be strong winds and big seas.
'Best if we go when uthuruhalha arrives,' she decided.

Once again the navigator waited and when the new season arrived he visited Buraki and asked if it was time to leave.
'Well, there was no wind during furahalha, but the weather can get very rough during uthuruhalha so it's best we leave during huvandhinasha.'

The navigator returned to live on the odi and when huvandhinasha came he asked to leave again. But Buraki's reply was the same as before and he spent the next furabadhuruva and fasbadhuruva seasons waiting as well. When the reyva passed the same way, Buraki Ranin finally admitted she had no intention of returning to Maldives, and if he wanted to go he should return to Maldives himself with the twenty-five crewmen.

'You should have no problem sailing there safely and if my younger brother asks about me, tell him how we lost our way in Huvadhu chammel and ended up in Acheh. And then Ubusheymu and I ran away. Tell him that while you were waiting for a search for us by the guards the monsoon came to an end. Maldivians are prone to chicken pox as ripe bananas are to spots, and now you have returned to Maldives to accept whatever verdict the king decides. Tell him that sort of thing, and my younger brother won't be angry.' The navigator sailed out of Acheh harbour and with the land disappearing behind them they headed towards Maldives.

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