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The story of Bodu Takurufan part 10
As told by the famous Buraara Mohamed Fulhu
and written by Al-hajj Ibrahim Ibn Ismail Feeboa



On the very day the newly made Takurufan moved into his house, a young banana plant of the lady's fingers variety was planted in front of it. The plant grew and bore a flower. When this flower began to wilt, it was chopped off and there were 125 sections each containing 125 bananas. Fashana Ubusheymu thought Black Mohamed Bandarain may not have seen a bunch of bananas as big as that before. I'd better tell him about it, he thought, heading towards the palace.

When he entered, the two young men who lifted and carried Eduru Kaleygefan were there with Black Mohamed. Seeing Fashana come in, they moved away slightly and stood digging their toes into the ground.
'Your highness,' said Fashana Ubusheymu, 'I planted a banana seedling in front of my house and the plant flowered and when the flower was removed I counted 125 sections with 125 bananas each. So I couldn't wait to get over here and let you know, as you may have never seen such a bunch or even heard of such a thing before.'
'I've never seen or heard of anything like that,' exclaimed Black Mohamed. 'Please bring it here so I can see it.'
'Your highness, you can only really appreciate it if it is left to mature and ripen, wouldn't you agree?'
'But what if a thief chops it off and steals the bunch while we're waiting for it to ripen?'
Fashana scoffed loudly and said, 'Your highness, is there a man in Male' who would dare steal a bunch of bananas from my house?'

He returned home and got a length of long-line fishing line and tied one end to the main stem of the banana bunch. The other end was tied onto the back rope of the swing so it became taught when the swing moved. Intending to keep watch for months, he prepared a sword and positioned it in a handy place.

While all this was going on, the two young men at the palace went home and began to scream and cry in distress. Hearing the commotion Eduru Kaleygefan asked them, 'Who has hit you two on the head? Who threw sand in your face? Who has been yelling obscenities about your father and mother?'
'It would have been better if someone had knocked our heads or talked rubbish about our parents or thrown sand in our faces!'
'Well you two, something must have happened. What was it? Tell me.'
'We won't take you to the toilet. If we did, we wouldn't be able to bring you into the house. Even if we did bring you in, we wouldn't be able to clean you up.'
'Look, you two, just tell me what happened.'
'Well, while we were with Black Mohamed, Fashana Ubusheymu arrived and told him he had planted a banana plant at his house. It bore a flower with 125 sections each containing 125 bananas. He said he just had to tell his highness in case he hadn't seen or heard of such a thing before, not even in a rumour. Black Mohamed admitted he had never seen or heard of such a bunch before and asked Fashana to bring it for him to see. But Fashana told him the flower had only just been cut that day, and how a bunch can only really be appreciated if it is left to ripen. Black Mohamed asked about the possibility of theft and Fashana scoffed and beat his chest and boasted that there was no one on Male' who would dare to steal a bunch of bananas from in front of his house.... We are warning you Eduru Kaleygefan, if you don't cut that bunch for us, we won't take you out to the toilet. And even if we did, we wouldn't clean you. And if we did clean you, we wouldn't carry you back inside the house. And if we did bring you inside, we wouldn't give you a glass of water, even if you were on your deathbed. And if we did bring you the water, we wouldn't help you recite shahada as you took your last breath.'
'Though elderly people like me are breathing, we may as well be dead,' said Eduru Kaleygefan. 'There's nothing I can do now.'

Once again the two brothers began to cry and bleat, making the same threats and saying things like, 'We won't let your body be bathed for burial when you die.'
So, you two are deeply hurt about all this, aren't you,' said Eduru. 'In that case go to the sea and catch a baby shark, and bring it back here.'

The two young men were overjoyed when they heard this and they ran off and caught a baby shark. Eduru asked them to bathe him and after it was done he asked them to grill the shark and cook up some sweet sticky pudding from a cup of rice and jaggery sugar. When this was prepared, he asked for the food to be served. Eduru ate the baby shark and sweet pudding and then asked the young men to carry him just outside the front door. There he ordered one of them to support him while the other fetched his stick and shield. Taking the stick in his right hand and harnessing the shield onto his left, he told the young men to return to the house and sit at the head of the big bench.

Eduru Kaleygefan jumped up with a spin of his shield and stick and landed on the roof-ridge of the house. He slipped back down and asked the young men what they thought of him now. They ran up and said almost in one voice, 'We thought only a crow landed on the ridge of a roof!' Eduru told them that if they continued to think like that there was no way they would get what they wanted. They immediately began to bleat again and warned him again how they would make his death difficult, this time threatening not to bury his body at all!

Eduru was reminded again of how deeply hurt they were and he ordered another baby shark. It was cooked along with more sweet rice pudding. Eduru ate the meal. He had now consumed two sharks and a kilogram of rice. They carried him outside the front door. His stick and sword were handed to him, and Eduru told the young men to sit at the head of the big bench. He spun his weapons and landed on the ridge again and slid off. 'Well, boys what did you think of that?'
They came outside saying, 'It was like a white tern landing on a rising sandbank on a very still day.'
Eduru said if that was the case, then the young men had better help him do what they were asking for.

At sunset that day the pair ate their dinner and Eduru told them to go to sleep. He then prepared his own meal, ate it, and leaving the front door curtain raised, he sat on the swing. At midnight when people were going to sleep and everything became quiet, Eduru woke up the young men and gave them his stick and shield and they all went to Ubusheymu's house. He took the weapons from the young ones and told them that after he gave them the bunch of bananas, they were not to worry about him but return straight to the house.

He went into Ubusheymu's property and noticed that the front door curtain was still raised. Seeing the banana clump in front of the house Eduru Kaleygefan kept his distance and walked into the clump from behind the shadows. From there he could see Fashana Ubusheymu sitting on the swing as it swung back and forth. There was one end of the fishing line attached to a rope at the back of the swing, and the other tied to the bunch of bananas. Eduru Kaleygefan spun his weapons and leapt up onto the banana plant like a breeze of the twenty-third nakaiy season. At the exact moment the swing moved back, he shifted the end of the line onto the leaf next to the bananas. He cut the bunch and handed it over the fence to his two servants and told them not to worry but just hurry back home. As the two young men walked joyfully away, Eduru Kaleygefan realised that if he sneaked off too he would be acting like a common thief. So he climbed up the plant again and chopped off the leaf where the string was attached.

As he felt the loss of tension on his swing, Fashana jumped up and yelled, 'Thieves!' and grabbed the sword from the shelf and moved outside. He looked up at the man who had climbed onto his banana plant.
'You are in my hands, you won't get away now.'

Ubusheymu chopped the plant down. Eduru leapt across to the next plant and that was sliced down too. In this way, all the plants and trees on the northside were chopped down. Then Eduru Kaleygefan moved to the growth on the southern side. When all that had been slashed down too, he jumped to the top of a pomegranate tree beside the well in the washing area.

So, you are trying to escape without revealing who you are!' growled Fashana as he raised his sword above his head and hacked at the pomegranate tree. It began to fall and Eduru Kaleygefan whisked away with a sound like a buzzing bee. He had to push himself up on the mathares of Kuribee Velanaage where he had run out of thrust, and he landed on a kedhigas in Addu Koshi.

Meanwhile the two brothers had returned to their house and dropped off the bunch of bananas before returning to look for their master. They found him at Maathodaa Dhaharaadhage and carried him home. He told them to go to sleep and that he would wake them at dawn. When they awoke he ordered them to take a bath and afterwards he gave them two new white turbans and a separate piece of fabric eighteen feet long. They all ate together and then tied the banana bunch onto a bamboo stick. The bunch was wrapped in the long piece of fabric and the two young men carried it while Eduru Kaleygefan walked with his stick at the front. They headed to the palace.

When they arrived, Black Mohamed asked if there was anything Eduru had requested that the palace had failed to provide. And if there wasn't any problem, then why had he burdened himself coming to the palace.
Eduru Kaleygefan replied there was no problem like that, and explained that he had planted a lady fingers banana plant shoot on the south side of his house and when its flower had been removed and the fruits counted, there were 125 sections on the bunch and each section had 125 bananas. 'Since your highness may not have seen or even heard a rumour about such a bunch of bananas,' said Eduru, 'and given the possibility a thief may steal them, the bunch has been brought here for you to see.'
Hearing this, Kalu Mohamed asked if Eduru thought it was interesting that there seemed to be two such bunches on the island.
Eduru Kaleygefan agreed.

A royal servant was told to fetch Fashana Ubusheymu. The servant respectfully obeyed and went off to find him. However Fashana told the servant to send his regards but he was unable to attend the palace because he had diarrhoea. When the servant returned to the palace with this news, it was decided to send two servant to fetch him.

Fashana was sitting on the small bench bed when he heard his gate being shut. He glimpsed the royal servants so he went further inside the house and hid behind the middle door. The servants stopped at the main door so he appeared at the middle door and told them he would wash himself in the bathing area and then come to the palace.

The servants returned to the palace and reported to that Fashana was unable to attend. 'He doesn't seem to be able to get from the washing area back into his house.'
Black Mohamed said that this time he would send six younger servants. 'Up in the roof of Hithige there is a strong coir rug and four gate-keepers. Carry him over here on the rug with whatever bedding he's lying on.'

When Fashana saw everyone arrive with the rug he knew that one way or another he would be going to the palace that day. The group stopped at the front door and Fashana jumped up and said that he had taken a medicinal concoction someone had given him and it had helped bring his condition under control. He said he had just been about to leave for the palace and was happy to go with them. When he arrived, Black Mohamed asked him if the bunch of bananas in front of his house was as big as the bunch already at the palace. Fashana stood without saying anything, his head leaned to one side and his big toe dug into the ground. Black Mohamed asked him again. Still there was no reply.
'Look Fashana,' said the king, 'weren't you aware that the person who trained you is still alive. People like you of such low skills should not be permitted to serve kings. You, Fashana, are to stay home; you are not to attend any place where a member of royalty is present. Remain in your house.'

Fashana went back to his house and stayed there. However, he was still in charge of the royal odi. One day, the captain visited him and mentioned that the odi's sail was worn out and needed to be resewn. Fashana told him to fetch a foreman of the ward. The captain returned with the foreman and Fashana handed him a bunch of coconuts and told him to give nuts to twenty-five men and tell them to be under the tree at sunrise. The men slept that night and next day, at first light, gathered under the tree. They took down the odi sail, undid it and spread it out for repair. By the time the sun was in the midday sky, they had completed the sail.

When he heard that the work was done, Fashana prepared a sack of fish, nuts and sugared coconut and had someone carry it to a place under the tree. The man put the sack down and Fashana sat on it. 'Let's see how strong you all are!' he said to the men. 'Let's see you get hold of this food and then you can all go home.'
But he wouldn't hand it out or let them take it. So the men stayed there, unable to return home.

Now listen!

The wife of Maamakunudhoo Takuru who had received a rice ration the day before, said to her husband. 'Hey, you can't just lay there. There's nothing to eat with our fish sauces. I can only cook breakfast if you get a coconut.'
Looks like I can't just lay around, thought this Takuru. He went outside and walked down to the beach near the Kanzu Kolhu gate and saw the twenty-five men who had gathered to repair the sail. He asked someone who looked familiar if the work had been completed yet.
'Yes, we had it finished by midday,' came the reply.
'So, why hasn't everybody gone home?'
The man explained that Fashana hadn't distributed the fish and sugared coconut.
'Why not, if the work's done?'
'We don't know! After we'd finished he had someone carry the sack here and then he sat on it and said he was waiting to see if there was anyone strong enough to take it... He won't hand it out!'
'You men are weak,' said Maamakunudhoo Takuru. 'If he's said that in the presence of people like me the food would have been distributed and we'd all be back in our homes by now.'

When he said this, the men and the foreman approached him and said that if he organised the distribution for them, they'd give him the same as any older person gets - a slab of fish and a coconut. Takuru thought this was something he could get without paying anything and there was no reason he shouldn't take the opportunity. He'd have a slab of fish for tonight's dinner, a coconut for breakfast in the morning, and a piece of sugared coconut for the children to eat then as well.

There was no reason he should leave without it so he stepped in front of Fashana and said, 'These people assembled here at sunrise and they completed the sail repairs by midday. Now the sun is starting to set. They need oil for their house lamps, and a coconut, a bit of fish and salt to eat. Why won't you give them their bondimaskaashi and let them go home?'
'I don't care if you try,' said Faashnaa. 'Give them their bondimaskaashi and send them home.'
'Certainly, sire. On your orders then, I'll do just that!'

Maakunudhoo Takuru rolled up his sleeves, stood right in front of Fashana Ubusheymu and made his move. He grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled Ubusheymu away from the sack where he was sitting. Takuru shook him hard then he knelt down, grabbed Ubusheymu securely and stretched his arms into the air saying 'heyli ah jessey'. Holding him up in the air with one hand, Takuru distributed the bondimaskaashi to the twenty-five men with the other. He took his share - a cake, coconut and fish - stashing it all into a fold of his sarong and then threw the empty hessian sack into Fashana's face saying, 'Take the sack you brought from your mother's house to your father's house.'

Fashana got up and brushed the sand from his stomach and went to the palace and told Black Mohamed what had happened. The king summoned the twenty-five men and the foreman and asked them why Fashana's mother and father had been abused. None of them said a word as they dug the ground with their big toes.

The foreman began to explain. 'Your highness, the abuse wasn't committed by anyone of these men nor did they do anything wrong. It was Maakunudhoo Takuru who received his fortnightly rice ration yesterday. It was he who spoke those words.'
A royal order was given to summon Takuru, and the foreman went off to bring him to the palace.
'I have summoned you here because I heard that you insulted Fashana here,' said Black Mohamed. 'Why did you do that?'
'Your highness, I, your most humble servant, can explain how it happened. It all began with my wife telling me to go out and find something to cook with, or there would be no food tonight, and telling me if I wanted breakfast she needed a coconut. I believed her and went out and walked along near Kanzu Kolhu gate and went to the beach. I saw those twenty-five men who had been there since sunrise repairing the royal odi's sail. I went up and asked one of the friendly looking ones whether the sail had been fixed. The man told me they had finished everything by midday, and perhaps I shouldn't have done it, but I then asked why they were still there. He told me that Fashana Ubusheymu was refusing to distribute the food. I asked why and the man said he didn't know. Fashana was sitting on the bag of food and saying if they wanted it they had to share it among themselves and then return to their homes. He wasn't cooperating so they were waiting. I mentioned that the men were being feeble, and that if that had been said to a group of men like us, by now the food would have been distributed and everyone would be home. The men and the foreman told me that they wouldn't mind someone like me sharing it out and in return they would give me the 'old person's share'. Well, I thought this was a good offer. I'd end up with a cake, a slab of fish and a coconut without having to pay anything! So I went up to Fashana and told him that the men had performed the work and it was now near sunset and they were needed at home to provide for their families. I asked him why he wouldn't let them go. Fashana replied that he didn't care if I tried to distribute the food... so, with his permission I did just that. Then I told him to take the hessian bag he had brought from his mother's house to his father's house. That was what I said.'

Perhaps because he would not dare have anyone more superior than the two regiments, Black Mohamed turned to Fashana and said, 'You don't seem to improve with age, Fashana. The same way you were ordered to remain in your house the other day, I order you back to your house now. And stay there!'

Fashana Ubusheymu was at home for quite a while until news came that a foreign ship had arrived in Mulaku atoll and people from that atoll reported to Male' that the foreigners on board were supplying Maldivians with alcohol. Black Mohamed summoned Fashana and said, 'Go to this ship and take action against the foreigners.'
'Your highness, there's no reason why I should go there. Why not send the Maakunudhoo Takuru who received his fortnightly ration rice just yesterday.'

Fashana returned to his house and Black Mohamed summoned Maakunudhoo Takuru and told him what was happening in Mulaku atoll and asked him if he was brave enough to go there and take action against the foreigners. 'Your highness,' replied Takuru, 'I cannot go because I left my rudder pin in my home island. I'm willing to take on any task you set for me. Why shouldn't I have the courage!? But I have forgotten to bring my rudder pin.'

He was sent home and the king summoned the treasurer and told him to prepare the odi immediately. When the treasurer reported that this was done, Takuru was summoned and given a seven and half foot long lance as a rudder pin. He also received an ambergris offering, and then the Takuru was sent off. He sailed and anchored at Maalhaveli harbour in Mulaku atoll where he told the captain. 'When I come back and get on board, sail this odi towards the chaadhaa end of the foreign ship here in the atoll. As we approach I'll jump on board and after that, with a flip of the sail, come up on the leeward side of the ship and by the time you reach the front of the vessel if I'm back on board this odi then take me to Male'. If I'm not, then go without me.'

Maakunudhoo Takuru went to the Maahaveli mosque with an incense burner and performed the sunset prayer. He put aside his lance and broke the ambergris he was carrying in half, dropping one piece in the burner before he began to recite. As he sat there reciting, the first half burnt away so he placed the other piece into the burner and continued. When the second half had been reduced to half its size, his lance which had been laid aside attached itself to his waistbelt with a low sound and hung from the belt. He said the salawath and fatiha prayers and gave praises and gratitude to Almighty God and thought of the great heroes. Then he left the mosque and returned to the odi.

The captain gave the order and the odi sailed off and approached the ship from its chaadhaa side. In an instant, Maakunudhoo Takuru jumped aboard the ship with his lance and began to fight. The odi sailed around to the leeward side, but before it could go past the front of the ship Takuru had killed everyone on board and he leapt off the front of the vessel. Takuru landed in the water and had to swim to the nearest island. He hacked and chopped his way through the palms and trees until he reached the other side. He moved out into the sea. Looking around he saw the odi sailing past the island. Takuru ran back onto the island and rubbed two pieces of light wood together and made a signal fire for the odi. It came towards him and he climbed aboard and headed back to Male'.

In Male', Takuru briefed Black Mohamed about what happened and the king ordered the preparation of two barge odis and sent them straight to the foreign ship. They loaded as much as they could from the ship and distributed the rest among nearby islands. The ship was scuttled and the barge odis returned to Male'. Black Mohamed ordered the goods unloaded, one odi's load to go to the house of the Takuru who had made it all possible, and the other odi to be unloaded at the house of the treasurer.

When he heard about this, Gaafaru Kalhu Fashana Ubusheymu realised that if he had gone to Mulaku then he would have received everything the foreign ship contained. From then on, whenever Fashana prayed, he asked God that a ship be wrecked somewhere. Each morning he would go to the Kottey side of the island and walk up and down waiting to see if any news came of a wreck.

A long time later, the younger sister of the king of Goa asked her brother to arrange a ship in which she and her husband could travel and see the world. After sailing for many days and nights they arrived in the southern atolls. There the sister told the crew that the islands belonged to her and they could land anywhere and do what they wanted. So they began to loot and wreck the islands.

While this was occurring, an odi came through the shallows and eased into Male' harbour. The people on board started calling out that a foreign ship had arrived on Huvadhu and was giving alcohol to people and wrecking and looting the islands. Fashana was on the beach at the time and he told them to stop spreading the news and just wait on board and hold on to the railings. He promised he'd be back soon.

Naturally there were other people standing there besides Fashana and one of them went to see Black Mohamed and told him what had been said. Black Mohamed decided there was no reason for Fashana to go to Huvadhu and he summoned two servants and ordered them to go to Fashana and tell him to stay on Male' because Takuru would be going. The two servants ran into Fashana while he was about to leave wearing his war armour, sword and shield. They stood directly in front of him and delivered Black Mohamed's order that he stay and told him Takuru would be going.

Ignoring them, Fashana went straight to the odi and sailed off to Huvadhu. When he arrived, he climbed aboard the foreign ship and started fighting with the crew. While he was killing people, one of them ran into a room and locked the door. Fashana searched the ship thoroughly slaughtering anyone he found. He noticed the locked door, kicked it in and found a woman hiding there. Fashana held his sword above his head and said he was even prepared to kill a woman unless she agreed to submit to Islam. So, in fear of death, the lady became a Moslem. He asked her what her name was and where she was from, and then told her the correct times for praying and the period of fasting.

He learnt that she was Khannuzeedi Kamana the younger sister of the king of Goa. Her husband had been killed by Fashana's sword, so the warrior asked her to marry him. At this time he discovered she was pregnant. Fashana took all the goods from the ship with Kamana and landed on Hithadhoo island, Addu atoll. He stayed there, looking after Kamana and living off the goods from the ship. Fashana Ubusheymu built a fort on the island.

Here the story pauses.




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