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The story of Bodu Takurufan part 7
As told by the famous Buraara Mohamed Fulhu
and written by Al-hajj Ibrahim Ibn Ismail Feeboa

They reached the atolls and sailed through Gaadhoo Koa. Just as they anchored in Male' harbour the storms of Assidha season blew in from the south. The harbour master came out to make his enquiries and informed the king, who summoned the navigator into his presence.

Dhon Bulha Fashana asked him if his sister was safe and well.
'Your highness,' came the reply, 'that I cannot tell you. She was on her way to Vaadhoo and in the Huvadhu channel the odi lost course and ended up in Acheh. There the royal lady and Ubusheymu ran away, and the monsoon came to an end while we waited for our agents to hear any news of them. A chicken pox epidemic broke out in Acheh and we have returned to place ourselves at your highness' mercy, bearing in mind that Maldivians are as prone to chicken pox as ripe bananas are to spotting.'
The king accepted the navigator's story and he was dismissed without punishment.

One morning in Acheh, while Ubusheymu continued his duties of cooking for Buraki three times a day, he was finishing off the rice by holding the pot on its side to form the crust, when he heard a group of people talking as they walked past the house. Looking out, he saw a man leading another forty young men. Curious, he went downstairs and followed them.

They went outside the town and halted at an open space, and then arranged some wood they were carrying into the shape of a chair. The man leading them sat in the chair. Ubusheymu asked who the man was and learnt it was the great teacher of Acheh. The young men went out onto the open space and practised wrestling each other to the ground. Ubusheymu said to some of them as he watched, 'Isn't this rather useless. You may as well be learning to whack a heap of shit with sticks! If some of it splattered on you the smell would last longer than any benefit you gained from this pointless activity!'

Nobody argued about his comment. After the martial training, the teacher led his students back home. Ubusheymu followed them and then went back upstairs in the house and served the food. Buraki Ranin sat down to eat.
'Ubusheymu,' she said, 'Maldivians would say that food like this goes down like anchors dropped off Vaadhoo!'
'I couldn't help it, madam,' Ubusheymu tried to explain. 'Just as I removed it from the stove I had to rush to the toilet. By the time I returned the food was badly overcooked.'

Next morning, he was finishing the cooking and the same people walked past and he decided to follow them again and left the rice pot heating on its side. Everything happened as before, the group moving to an open space, setting up a chair for the teacher and practising martial arts. Ubusheymu made the same observation that was ignored, and when he returned home Buraki once again compared the effect of the food to 'anchors dropped off Vaadhoo'. Her cook made the same lame excuse he'd used a day earlier.
'Wouldn't it be great if my cook's problem was fixed before it became a pain in the stomach,' sighed Buraki.

Next day the same series of events occurred again, except that when Ubusheymu complained to a different group of students about the uselessness of the training they reported his comments to the teacher. After dismissing the students for the day, the teacher went to the king of Acheh and said he was no longer willing to train the forty young men unless he was given permission to fight Ubusheymu with a sword.
'Respected teacher,' said the king, ' he isn't a subject of mine. He belongs to somebody else. You cannot have him unless the owner hands him over.'

The king told his chief minister to visit Buraki and tell her of his request that she hand over Ubusheymu to the martial arts teacher. The minister hurried off to the lady's house and arrived just as she and Ubusheymu were having their daily conversation about the heaviness of the food and he was giving the same lame excuses about having to go to the toilet.
'So, why are you here?' she asked the minister as he came in.
The minister explained he had a message from the king and she asked what it was.
'The king asked if you would kindly give your Maldivian man to the great teacher so they can duel.'
Turning to Ubusheymu, Buraki said, 'Didn't I tell you this on the very first day that your problem should be fixed before it became a serious illness of the stomach! Now a small pain has been transformed into an epidemic!'
'Madam,' replied Ubusheymu, 'don't lose heart. Remember I was the one who raked the pebbles and removed them from the ground when you did combat training. I heard everything the teacher told you and also watched his demonstrations of the difficult moves. Be kind and offer me to this country's great teacher so that we may duel together.'
Buraki turned back to the minister, 'Please inform the king of Acheh that I grant to him this Maldivian man.'

When the king heard the reply, he turned to the great teacher and said, 'Just as the sister of the king of Maldives has granted me this Maldivian man, so I grant him to you.'

Acting with complete respect, the teacher left the royal palace and went home, ate a filling meal and lay down to sleep until the coolness of the afternoon. Then he got up and ate until he was full and put on his armour. Grasping his sword and shield he went off to the king's palace grounds.

The king was told he was there and climbed up to the viewing area nearby. Meanwhile the teacher paced up and down the length of the courtyard and beat his shield. Ubusheymu heard the sound, just as he was turning a pot sideways on the stove and browning off the rice for Buraki's dinner. He left the pot sitting there, and grabbing the pot lid and a dheyfaiy, he came down from the house and ran with all the strength in his legs until he stopped in front of the teacher.

'If you want to show us any fancy kicks before you die, now is the time,' said the teacher.
'I'm surprised,' replied Ubusheymu, 'that someone like yourself so skilled in the martial arts still needing to ask the king to find people for you.'

Ubusheymu refused to make the first move so the teacher moved towards him. 'Look out Ubusheymu, here it comes!' And he thrust his weapon forward. Ubusheymu ducked away, parrying with his pot lid and dheyfaiy and leaping into the air he landed on the right side of the teacher and said, 'With respect, you are attacking where I am not! You can only hit me if you attack the point where I actually am!'

Angered, the teacher stepped back then forward again and swung his sword. Ubusheymu ducked away again with a leap and this time he landed on the teacher's left side. 'Missed again! You'll need to be more accurate if you want to hit me!' Ubusheymu heckled.

The teacher was completely enraged and stalked along the pathway before standing ready in a full attack position and unleashing an almost inescapable assault. Ubusheymu uttered many vows as he struggled to avoid the blows, and the holy promises just managed to save him. Swinging his pot lid and dheyfaiy he leapt and landed behind the teacher.
'All your attacks are coming to nothing! You need to improve your accuracy,' Ubusheymu continued to needle him. 'Fourth time lucky for the children of this day's men. Look out, here's the attack!'

Ubusheymu slipped back and then moved forward, swinging his weapons. The teacher was frozen in shock as Ubusheymu slid sideways with the dheyofathi angled and moving fast as it hit the teacher in the middle of the head with its thin edge. The man dropped dead.

After watching the fight, the king summoned Ubusheymu into his presence, making him Acheh's new martial arts trainer and giving him the forty young men as his students. The previous teacher was buried.

Ubusheymu returned to the house and informed Buraki that his days of cooking her meals were over.
'So you had it all planned from the day you started this carry-on, didn't you,' she accused him. 'Now you've stopped cooking, I suppose it's my turn now, is it?'
'That's not what I meant, my lady,' he explained. 'I now have the responsibility of training the soldiers of this country. But because there are forty students I'll leave one of them behind to cook each day while I train the other thirty-nine.'
'Oh, you are doing such an admirable thing, aren't you?' Buraki mocked. 'Revealing all the combat skills of Maldives to the country of Acheh!'
'Don't get too worried about that, your ladyship. Acheh won't be learning even the first thing about Maldivian combat skills.'

So training began for thirty-nine students while one of them stayed back to cook for Buraki Ranin. After many days, Buraki asked Ubusheymu if he would ask the king of Acheh to send him to Maldives.
'Why not? I'm very friendly with him now and he trusts me. Although it's night time now, if I went and told him it was daytime he would get up and start his morning duties. I'm sure he would send me to Maldives if I asked.'
'In that case,' said Buraki, 'let's go to Maldives.'
Ubusheymu agreed and they went to sleep.

At first light the next day, Ubusheymu visited the king and made his request.
'So, you want to go to Maldives... Are the forty young men trained?'
'Best to ask them,' replied Ubusheymu.

The king summoned the men and asked each of them if they'd been properly taught the skills of combat. The young men said they didn't know for sure, but they all agreed that if everyone except them were given a spear and brought before them, the bodies would be piled up like a sandbank in less than an hour. The men were permitted to return to their houses and the king summoned the navigator of the Great Ship and asked him where he was travelling to this year. 'Due to the shortage of silk material in Acheh,' the navigator answered, 'we are intending to sail to Kisminee.'
'Delay that trip, and take the Maldivian king's sister to the atolls and then return here,' said the king.
'But we are only sarangun, boasmanu, and dhandahelun, sire. We only sail where we can see land! We don't know where Maldives is. How can we ever find it?'

The king dismissed this particular navigator and called another one from the small ship.
'Where were you thinking of travelling this year?' asked the king.
'Due to the shortage of salt, we intended to sail to Goa,' came the reply.
'Delay that journey, and go to the Maldives and then return here,' instructed the king.
But the navigator complained the same as his colleague had done. 'I know Maldives is a bit to the north of the faibaana muringu. But I don't know how to sail there.'

The king explained what had happened to Ubusheymu and he passed the information on to Buraki Ranin.
'Ubusheymu!' she said quite surprised, 'Even if we can't sail to Maldives from here. Can't we get to Goa?'
Ubusheymu mentioned this to the king and the trip was arranged. The navigator sailed his ship along the coast and after many days and nights reached Goa.

When the ship was properly moored in the harbour, Buraki told the navigator and Ubusheymu to tell the king of Goa that the elder sister of the king of Maldives had arrived after becoming lost on her way to Huvadhu and she would like to stay here until her return to Maldives.

The king of Goa thought he would receive great gifts from Maldives for looking after the king's sister and he arranged a house for Buraki Ranin. Once again Ubusheymu became her cook, while the navigator did his trading and left to return to Acheh.

Ubusheymu cooked and served three meals a day for Buraki. He was only in the house when it was time to cook. The rest of the time he spent at the royal palace of Goa.

Here we pause the story of Buraki Ranin.

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