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The story of Bodu Takurufan part 14
As told by the famous Buraara Mohamed Fulhu
and written by Al-hajj Ibrahim Ibn Ismail Feeboa



Now listen!

News reached Thiladhunmathi atoll and the ears of Hussein Takurufan about the takeover of the Maldivian throne by Andhiri-Andhirin, and the martyrdom of king Ali. The chief spoke to his son Hassan. 'When a new king takes the throne, the people must take money and gifts. Prepare the trading odi.'

While Hassan was on the beach with the crewmen getting the boat ready, Mohamed Takurufan was catching birds on the sandspit. Seeing the activity around the vessel, he approached his brother and asked if the boat was going trading.
'No, older brother,' said Hassan, 'we're not going trading. Father has said that king Ali is martyred and Andhiri-Andhirin has taken over the throne of Maldives. When a new king takes power the people of the islands must take gifts and money to him. That's why we're preparing the ship.'
'In that case, younger brother, I'll come with you to Male'. Don't go without me, OK?'
At this point the chief arrived. 'Mohamed,' said his father, ' you don't listen to anything anyone says around here. I'm not taking you to Male'. If you go, I'll stay behind!'

It was agreed that the ship was ready enough, and they planned to leave next morning. That night the three of them ate their meal and Mohamed Takurufan retired to the spare bed at his paternal sister's house. He didn't sleep. At midnight when people were sleeping and the sound of footsteps subsided, Mohamed Takurufan got up and went down to the beach. He climbed into the ship and hid beneath the rear plank. Chief Hussein got up at midnight and woke Hassan and told him not to yell out at the crew who were sleeping in their houses. 'Just pinch their ears or their sides and tell them to get ready. If we make too much noise, your brother Mohamed will wake up and want to come too. He wouldn't let us leave him behind.'

Hassan gathered the crewmen at the house and together they said the travel prayers, and with the money and gifts for the king they all went to the beach, climbed aboard the ship and sailed off. They had left early to avoid taking Mohamed Takurufan and the vessel sailed through Thiladhunmathi and into Miladhunmadulu. They went across Baraveli channel and into Faadhippolhu and out through Maa Kolu into Kashidhoo channel. They were halfway through the biggest section of this channel when Mohamed Takurufan thought it was time to let them know he was aboard and he cast a spell.

On the entire western side of the ship stretching from north to south, a dark mass formed and and two waterspouts formed into a storm. They saw the wind, but it reached them before they could shorten the sail and they dropped it completely. The yard arm plunged onto the deck dragging down the sail but it stayed attached to the mast. Ropes were thrown over the sail and in the wind, waves formed around the boat. The chief, soaked by the rain and chilled by the wind, began to shake and the ship trembled with him. It was lifted up onto the crests of waves and dropped down into the trough between them. Hassan Takurufan thought all was lost and he cried out. 'Father, my older brother wanted to come with us and you wouldn't let him. Now you are going to drown in the ocean without seeing him.'
'Don't say such silly things,' retorted his father. 'Even if he was here, we would still have met this storm.'
But Hassan was frightened of being drowned without seeing his brother. 'Father,' he cried, 'if my older brother had come with us we wouldn't have run into this storm.'
'Why are you speaking such rubbish?' complained his father.
'I am saying this because I have heard him talking with women when he walked around the island. He says that by tucking a corner of his sarong under his arm he could break storm clouds and smash the masts and yardarms of ships. That's why I'm saying we would have avoided this storm if Mohamed had been here with us.'
'Look Hassan, even with Mohamed we would not have been able to evade this storm.'
But Hassan was in fear and continued to cry out.

Mohamed Takurufan was feeling sorry for his brother and he lifted the plank and jumped upright. 'Younger brother, it is the will of Almighty God that all three of us share the same fate. Don't lose your courage. Father! you are too cold. Go under the awning.'
Mohamed took hold of the rudder and shouted, 'Hassan, you sail with father more often than me. This is the first time I've left the island. But I used to hear the elderly people say that if you come across a storm at sea it is tougher on the boat if the sail is down. Let's try to raise it.'

Hassan was filled with renewed courage and he urged the crew to lift the sail. At that instant, Mohamed undid the spell he had cast. The storm cloud overhead broke away and disappeared off both sides. The rain storm ceased and the chief stopped feeling cold, though he stayed under the awning. 'Turn back the odi,' said the old man. 'We're returning to the island.'
'Father,' said Mohamed, ' after coming all the way here, why turn back now without going to Male'?'
'Mohamed my son,' yelled the chief, 'you don't listen to anything. I cannot dare take you to Male', that's why we are going back to the island.'
'There's no reason to shout that we aren't going to Male' after all this. Even if we go to Male', I won't be landing. I'll stay on the boat and chase away the crows.'

So, on the condition that Mohamed stayed aboard and chased off the crows, the chief and his sons sailed on to Male'. After securing the vessel in the harbour, Hussein told the crew that Mohamed was not to land on the island. The chief went ashore, taking the gifts and money to the treasurer's house. 'Which island are the gifts were from,' asked the treasurer, and Hussein explained when the news reached Thiladhunmathi atoll that Andhiri-Andhirin had taken the throne and king Ali was martyred, it was decided to bring gifts from the island of Utheem.
'I'll present it when the afternoon prayer is called,' said the treasurer. 'You may go.'

As the chief walked out, he realised he couldn't leave without bowing to king Andhiri-Andhirin. He set off in the direction of Andhirin's administration office. There were already a large number of people there who had brought their gifts and money from the islands. Andhiri-Andhirin was showing his royal feet to them while sitting on a seat outside. When the chief arrived it was so crowded that he moved through the people like a fish slipping through a net. He manoeuvred himself into the inner circle and hopped around trying to get a glimpse of Andhiri-Andhirin.

Mohamed Takurufan had turned to his younger brother when he saw his father's head disappearing into the island.
'Take me down to dry land, Hassan.'

'That's not what you wanted. You said you'd stay on the ship chasing crows away, didn't you?'
'Hassan, we are both staying on the boat. When he returns, father will take us away. Back on our island the young people of our age will say we have visited Male'. What was Male' like? they'll ask. We'll have to tell them that we went to the capital and didn't land! Won't that be sad? Old people don't say the wrong thing, and they say that if you come to a place you must land there. Please Hassan, take me onto land!' But Hassan told the crewmen not to take his brother onto the island.
'Since no one wil take me,' said Mohamed, 'I'll go on my own in the dinghy to Kabaadhi and land there. Hassan, in Male' there are young people called neighbourhood children. They are notorious. If they see an unattended dinghy they pick up any liftable rock and bash it onto the keel until it breaks. When father comes back, who is he going to yell at? Me? You? Or the crew?'
Hassan Takurufan turned to the crew and said that he brother will do just what he said so they may as well accompany him to land.
They took Mohamed to Kabaadhi and he jumped out there. The crew returned to the ship.

There were no walls or gates in Male' at this time. Mohamed Takurufan went up to the area where the royal departure gate is now and along to the Henveiru gate area and then he proceeded east. At that time the Friday mosque was the Dharumavantha king's mosque. Mohamed Takurufan went through the north gate of the mosque which is now the Friday mosque and was then very small. He walked along the east side of this mosque and out through the south gate at Medhu Ziyaaraiy. At the tomb he recited fatiha and then turned and asked the first person he saw for directions to Andhiri-Andhirin's administration office.

There were many people at the office. Like a fish slipping through a net, Mohamed Takurufan pushed through the crowd and stopped in front of the seat where Andhiri-Andhirin was sitting, so close that Andhirin could have touched him with his hand. The moment their eyes met, Andhirin shuddered right through his body and into his seat. Seeing their king shaking, his henchmen said to each other that he must be angry. Their words moved around the office from one person's mouth to the ears of another until they reached the ears of chief Hussein. He jumped and hopped around trying to get a good view and he saw his son Mohamed only an arms length from the king. Hussein moved forward and pulled Mohamed away by his hand.
'Mohamed, that man is shaking with anger. Come away now.'
Hussein pulled strongly at his son's hand, but Mohamed protested. 'Father, right now I could still separate Andhirin's body from his soul.'
Hussein felt even more frightened and walked quickly away, clutching his son's hand. Without further delay the ship left the harbour.

'Mohamed my son,' said the chief once they were on their way, 'if you hadn't come ashore we could have stayed in this harbour overnight and left in the morning. We are going now because it's too dangerous to spend another night here.'

They stopped at Bandos for the night. The next day as the morning light began to fall, they set sail and travelled until they arrived at Utheem harbour. The rope was attached to the outer mooring pole and the odi pushed closer to the shore as they tied up the dryland mooring rope. Mohamed accompanied the young man who jumped off to secure the land rope. He went straight to the beach shelter and picked up a trap and headed out to the sandspit.

After nightfall when people fell asleep and footsteps subsided, he went around visiting houses where the people had been to the coir processing area and collected strings for two traps he made between then and sunrise. Between sunrise and sunset the chief broke these two traps and each time advised his son to change his ways.

Now listen!

Viyazoaru was the atoll chief at Baarah living there as the tax collector. Perhaps he wanted to encourage entertainment in the atoll, because he announced plans for game played by two teams from the islands of the atoll during Eid celebrations the following year. When a request for players came to Utheem, chief Hussein told Hassan to arrange to go to the finale of the Baarah Eid Kulhi. Hassan and the crew were at the beach preparing the boat when they were seen by Mohamed as he caught birds on the sandspit.
'Has father asked you to prepare the odi for trading?'
No, Mohamed, the atoll chief has asked people to attend a game and father told me to go to the closing of the Baarah Eid celebrations.
'I'll come too, Hassan. Take me there, OK?'
'Just because I can go, doesn't mean a person like you can go.'
'Younger brother, why are you talking to me like that? Do I have too many wives? Or too many children?'
'Mohamed, you are the nominated chief of the islands' elders. You must hold the Friday prayer with forty men. You have to take responsibility for burials and funerals on the island. So you can't just go the sort of places men like us go.'
'Though that kateeb deed is in my name, as long as my father is alive it has nothing to do with me. I'm coming too.'

So the two brothers prepared the ship and went together to their father's older sister's house and had their meal there. When they came out, the crewmen went in to eat. When the crewmen had finished, taking the box of writing materials and pens, and mats wrapped around their clothes and personal items, they went to the beach and sailed off towards Baarah.

They secured the boat in a deep spot off Baarah and Mohamed sat at the front facing the prow while Hassan sat facing the back of the boat. When the crewmen saw this they said to each other, 'The two brothers came to Baarah because their father sent them to the closing of Eid Kulhi after the atoll chief made a request to Utheemu. Just sitting here in Baarah Deep facing opposite directions on the ship! When they return home, will that be considered a fitting end to the Eid Kulhi?'
Hearing these words, Mohamed said to his brother, 'I have an idea, shall I tell you?'
'Yes, tell me. I'm listening.'
'Hassan, the atoll chief sent the request around to all the big and small, important and not important, young and old, powerful and common, so lots of single men and women gathered here today. They're all wearing bangles as thick as fat sea lettuce wood. If any one of them comes near one of the crewmen and taps his head, then for sure that head would turn to puss. So I'll get down first and make the crewmen follow me. You come along behind them. There'll be no one who had grown up on this atoll who will dare to get between us two brothers and start a game with any of these crewmen.'
Hassan Takurufan turned to the crew and said, 'Young men, what my brother is suggesting is exactly what we should do.'

Mohamed left the boat first with the writing materials and sleeping gear. Following him were the crew and right behind them was Hassan. As they all walked up the beach, all the young men and women of the atoll were indeed gathered on the island. The tax collector's Siti Mavaa Rani Kilegefan was with the other young women, playing Eid Kulhi on the main road of Baarah. The road looked as if a nest of stinging ants had been distrurbed by a burning stick of firewood. When the two brothers began walking along the main road with the crewmen it was as if a school of silverbellied sardine fingerlings had rushed out of the way of a trevalley. The people rushed to both sides of the street as the two brothers and their crew walked along the street.

An old woman who still had the voice she was born with, called out noisily, 'Today Baarah has reached the heights and the depths. It was a day when a Baarah reached a new pinnacle and then fell into a ditch. Waking past us are the two Utheem brothers. And there isn't a single person here who would dare touch the heads of the two brothers. This brings great shame on us. And shame on Siti Mava Rani Kilegefan. There is also shame on Naibu Kaleyge's daughter Sappafulhu, and on the chief's daughter Amina Fulhu and on Mudhim Kaleyge's daughter Siti Fulhu.'

When she heard this, Siti Mava Rani Kilegefan asked Baarah Boashi Valu Bulhaa Fathma's daughter Rehendhi Goyye, 'Young woman, do you think you have the courage to touch the head of Mohamed Takurufan?'

'Why wouldn't I be brave enough?' Goyye said. The cloth on my waist was given to me by Siti Mava Rani Kilegefan. The handkerchief on my head was also given by you. I eat at the collector's house because you look after me. Why shouldn't I have the courage to do it?'
'In that case,' urged Siti, 'go and tap Mohamed Takurufan's head.'

Rehendhi Goyye rolled up her waistcloth into a couple of folds and ran with all the strength in her legs. Mohamed told his younger brother to take the crew to the Baarah toddy man's house while he went to the mosque. At the mosque he took the water scooper and went to the well and did his ablutions. Then with a full scoop of water, he went to the paved area to wash his feet. As he bent over, Goyye ran up behind him and jumped up onto the head of Mohamed Takurufan as she did a 'gong'.

He grabbed the hand that touched his head, placed scoop back on its stand and said, 'My dear girl, because you did that gong today I'm going to put you under a rock at the breakwater.'
Holding her hand he dragged her towards the beach as Goyye kicked at his legs and bleated. 'Let me go. don't kill me! The gong wasn't for me. It was from Siti Mava Rani Kilegefan from the tax collector's house!'

She kept on pleading but Mohamed refused to accept her excuses and moved steadily towards the beach. They reached the shore and Goyye kicked at him and whined. 'I'm pleading with you. Please let me go, I did it for Siti. Don't kill me! Let me go!'
'Only on one condition, my girl,' Mohamed relented.
'What is it?'
'If you hold my hand and promise you'll marry me I won't put you under a rock. I'll release you.'
Goyye agreed. She held his hand and promised she wouldn't marry another man unless Mohamed married another woman.

Mohamed took her back to the spot where she had jumped on his head, and let her go. He picked up the water scoop, completed his ablutions and went into the mosque for the noon prayer, and then he went to the toddy man's house. He served lunch for the two brothers and when they were finished, for the crew as well.

When she was released, Rehendhi Goyye ran as fast as she could to her own house where her mother scolded her, 'Look Goyye, running around and playing won't do. Get that basket and let's go to the bushy area. The mother and daughter went together to the Baarah forest and collected gourds in their baskets and carried everything home on their heads. They walked past the toddy man's house where the two brothers sat on the small bench after their meal. Noticing the women, Mohamed commented to the toddy man, 'Old people say that during the three days of Eid even a half-beaked crow will find something to eat. Yet during these three days there are people who will have nothing if they don't collect gourds from the forest.'
'In this island,' explained the toddy man, 'no one has grown up as poor as that mother and daughter there. Without the gourds they'll have nothing to survive on tonight.'
'That Goyye is really a nobody right now,' commented Mohamed. 'But the future holds great fortune and success for her.'

When the crew finished their lunch, Mohamed told Hassan it was time to leave the island.
'But elder brother,' said Hassan, 'we have been sent here by our father and the atoll chief to attend the Baarah Eid Kulhi finale ceremony. Just landing like this and leaving straight away, is that fulfilling our duty?'
'I'll tell you something little brother,' said Mohamed. 'with the atoll chief sending the notice around and all men and women of the atoll gathered on this island, both of us will end up with bad reputations. If we spend the night here, one of us will be on toddy man's small bench bed and the other asleep on the main bed. Our crew will sleep on the large bench bed and tomorrow morning when people wake up they will say to the first person they meet: Hey friend, I couldn't sleep at all last night because the two Utheem brothers kept banging on our door. That's how our bad name will spread around the atoll.'
'That's exactly what will happen,' said Hassan to the crew.

So the bothers gave to their personal gear and writing box to the crew to carry as they all returned to the ship and sailed back to Utheem. When the boat was secured in Utheem harbour, Mohamed took the bird traps from the shelter and went out on the sandspit. The chief saw this and destroyed both traps during the day. That night when people fell asleep and the sound of footsteps subsided, Mohamed collected string from the houses where people had been to the muddy coir processing area, and made two new traps before sunrise. Between sunrise and sunset, the chief destroyed the traps and advised his son to spend his time doing better things.

Chief Hussein went around the atoll trading and taking all the produce to Male'. And if there was no trade in the atoll, he would remain in Utheem and work at the cloth weaving loom. The following year, the atoll chief sent a notice around the islands that fun and games would be held during Eid. When the news arrived in Utheem, the chief told Hassan to arrange a trip to Baarah for the closing of the Eid Kulhi. He was down at the beach with the crew preparing the odi when Mohamed noticed them from the sandspit where he was catching birds.
'Hassan, are you preparing the odi for trading?'
'No, father has told me to attend the finale of the Eid Kulhi at Baarah again this year. The atoll chief has sent another notice.'
Mohamed demanded that he accompany his brother, but Hassan argued against it.
'A father of babies, like you, can't just go off with us single men!'
'Are you saying I have too many wives, or too many children?'
'No elder brother, but you are the chief. You must lead Friday prayer with forty men and look after the island. You must take responsibility for burials and funerals. You are not free to just go off anytime with us.'
'Look younger brother, as long as father is around that chief business has nothing to do with me. I'm coming with you.'

So Mohamed helped get the ship ready and the brothers ate at their paternal older sister's house with the crew eating after them, and then they all sailed to Baarah. From the harbour, they all went to toddy man's house and he jumped up to greet them. 'What brings you here? Come on in.'
They entered the house as the brothers explained their father had received the notice from the atoll chief and he had sent them to attend the end of the Eid Kulhi.
'I also intend to get married to a woman from this island tonight,' added Mohamed.
The toddy man got up on the big bench and opened a box, took out a dress, waistcloth and a square of cotton cloth and placed these three pieces on the bench.
'What is all this for?' asked Mohamed.
'Well, you just said you were marrying a woman from this island and I thought these three things would be useful for the wedding.'
'I didn't come here thinking that you'd have to provide things,' said Mohamed.
'Who are you marrying?' asked the toddy man. 'Is it Vaaruge Siti Mava Rani Kilegefan or ...' He went on to list all the young women from respectable families on the island but he didn't name the one Mohamed was going to marry.
'As long as those things are on the big bench, I'm not going to tell you who it is.'
So the articles were returned to the box and the toddy man asked again. 'Who is the girl?… Vaaruge Siti Mavaa Rani Kilegefan or Naib Kaleyge's daughter Sanpa Fulhu, or is it the chief's daughter Aimina Fulhu, or is it Mudhin Kaleyge's daughter Siti Fulhu?'
The toddy man kept on guessing… was it that gentleman's or this lady's or that lord's daughter, or this particular gentlewoman? He mentioned the names of almost all the women on the island but he didn't name the one Mohamed was going to marry. 'If I haven't named the woman by now, then you aren't marrying a woman from this island!' said the exasperated toddy man.
'These name you have left out,' said Mohamed. 'Did you omit her because you plan to marry her yourself?'
'Who's name did I leave out?'
'Why didn't you mention Baarah Boashi Valu Bulhaa Fathma's daughter Rehendhi Goyye?'
'There's nobody on this island as poverty stricken as that mother and daughter. That's why I didn't mention the girl's name.'
'A poor mother's daughter will be poor,' said Mohamed. 'Would you go and ask the mother if she will agree to the marriage?'

The toddy man left immediately and he found the old woman out the front of her house sweeping with a broom and gathering rubbish. She asked the toddy man what he was doing and he said he had come to speak with her.
The women stood up. 'What is it? Tell me.'
'I have come to ask if you would agree to your daughter marrying Utheem Mohamed Takurufan.'
'Have you gone mad, toddy man? The number two person in this atoll is chief Hussein. You are talking about his son Mohamed Takurufan! A suitable girl for him would be Vaaruge Siti Mava Rani Kilegefan or Naib Kaleyge's daughter Sanpa Fulhu or Mudhin Kaleyge's daughter Siti Fulhu, or maybe that Takuru's daughter, Kanbulo, or that Kaleyge's daughter, Goyye. Why have you come here to insult me by asking something like that. Is it just because I have a daughter?'
She chased the toddy man with her broom and he ran of as fast as his legs would carry him.

When she heard her mother shouting, Goyye came out and asked what all the noise was about.
'It's that toddy man's silly talk!'
'What was he saying today?'
'He asked me if I would agree to you marrying Utheem Mohamed Takurufan, the son of the second most important person on the atoll. That's the sort of rubbish he was talking. There are many other women who are his equal in social status. So why would he say such a thing if not to insult us?'
'Mother, there is no reason why you have to have an argument with someone and throw a fit just because the person asked something. All you have to say is whether you agree or disagree, regardless of who or what it's about. End of story.'

The mother began to realise there must have been something going on between Mohamed and her daughter. So she called out to the toddy man. He stopped running and turned around and she called out, 'So what is my answer to your request? Well, if they both agree, then so do I.'

The toddy man went straight home, carried a ladder to his betel leaf vine and got a boy to climb up and pick twenty bundles of leaf. On a copper tray also containing a gilt box of condiments, he took the betel leaves to the house of Baarah Boashi Valu Bulhaa Fathma's daughter Rehendhi Goyye. He left everything there and went away. Goyye went to the bathroom, bathed and put on her Eid day dress. She sat on the side of the big bench bed with her legs crossed. Goyye was concerned because she had never done betel and areca nut preparations before. How am I going to make this stuff? she thought.
Goyye called out to her mother. 'Go to Vaaruge and tell Siti Mava Rani Kilegefan that I am really sick and dying, and if she wants to see me she should hurry to my house.'

The mother did this and Siti was surprised. 'Is this true? She was here this morning. What happened? One never knows when death will strike. Poor Goyye! You better hurry back. I won't be long.'
When her mother returned, Goyye sent her off with the same message to Naibu Kaleyge's daughter Sanpa Fulhu, and to the island chief's daughter Aimina Fulhu and Mudhin Kaleyge's daughter Siti Fulhu. The woman delivered all her messages and came back home.

Siti Mava Rani Kilegefan set off for Goyye's house and after only a short distance she remembered that the elderly women had warned her never to go out at night without something sharp. If I visit Goyye now, she thought, I am unlikely to return before dark. I'd better get something sharp. She turned back into the house, picked up her fingernail trimming knife and departed. The other three girls were all thinking the same way and they had brought their fingernail trimming knives as well when they met on the street heading to Goyye's house.
'One never knows when one is about to die,' said Siti Mava. 'I have received so much help from Goyye. She was at my house only this morning.'

'She was at our house around mid-morning,' commented another.
'And at our place during the midday call to prayer,' added somebody else.
'She was at our house early in the afternoon,' said yet another.
'Young women,' declared Siti Mava, 'death can happen even as you are walking along!'

They moved together and as darkness fell, the girls saw the light of a lamp in the distant house.
'She is in a serious condition for sure. We may not be able to see her.'
No one in Baarah had ever seen a light in that house before. Because they were so poor they had to do everything in the daylight hours and sleep in the darkness.
'Tonight we are seeing the light of a lamp. She must be seriously ill.'
The four girls entered the house and saw Goyye in her Eid dress sitting on the bodu ashi with her legs crossed.
'Why did you send for the four of us with this huge lie?' gasped Siti Mava.
'Because I don't know how to make this betel leaf and areca nut thing. Can you show me?'

She poured the leaves onto the bench and the four girls lowered their heads, sat on the four sides and picked out the faulty leaves putting them aside. The healthy leaves were cut and prepared properly and then Siti Mava glanced at the others and said to Goyye. 'We've finished what you wanted, so now we are leaving if that's OK?'
Goyye nodded.
At that moment Siti Maava's mouth drooped and two tear drops the size of chestnuts dropped from her eyes.

Mohamed Takurufan went to the toddy man's house after the late night prayer and asked him to find a witness for the marriage. toddy man agreed and found one. Mohamed told them both to go to Goyye's house and get the dowry price and her consent, and toddy man and the witness arranged it all successfully. Dinner was then served for the two brothers. toddy man and the witness ate after them. Then Mohamed asked for the copper tray to take to Naibuge where the marriage would take place. Mohamed, the toddy man and the witness took the tray there, Mohamed sitting at the head of the big bench in Naibuge with the toddy man and the witness at the leg end. Naibu Kaleyge was lying on a pillow on the small bench, one leg resting on the knee of the other and his left hand across his forehead.

'toddy man, what are you up to tonight?' asked Naibu Kaleyge.
'We are here regarding a marriage ceremony.'
'So who is marrying who?'
'Mohamed Takurufan is getting married.'
This got Naibu excited and he jumped up, 'Is this really true?
He sat at the leg end of the small bench and said, 'Who is he marrying? Is it Vaaruge Siti Mava Rani Kilege?.. or my daughter?.. or is it the island chief's daughter Aimina Fulhu? Or is it Mudhin Kaleyge's daughter Siti Fulhu? Is it that Takuru's daughter Kanbulo? or is it the Kaleyge's daughter?'
'No, none of them,' said Mohamed.
'If it isn't one of them, then there's no one left on Baarah worth marrying,' said Naibu.
'The names you omitted,' suggested Mohamed, 'are they the ones you want to marry?
'Who's name have I missed?'
'You didn't mention Rehendhi Goyye, the daughter of Baarah Bulhaa Fathma.'
'There'sno one poorer on Baarah than that mother and daughter! That's why I didn't mention her name. I cannot solemnise such a marriage! If the island chief finds out, I'll lose the Naibu position and get kicked off the island.'
Mohamed turned to the toddy man. 'Looks like I'm not getting married if Naibu Kaleyge won't solemnise the marriage. Let's go.'

When Mohamed walked out with the two witnesses, Naibu Kaleyge's wife came to the mid-door. It was obvious she had been listening to the discussion. 'You silly man. Were you given that job to only marry those you approve of and not the others? Even if chief Hussein is boss today, tomorrow it will be his son who's the chief. Do you think you'll keep the Naibu's job then? Do you think you'll be able to live on the island?'
Hmm, that's true, thought Naibu Kaleyge.

He ran out after the men and called out, 'Come back... we'll solemnise the marriage first, then you can go.'
'I'm not going into Naibu's house again to solemnise my marriage,' snapped Mohamed.
'Then let's go into this house here,' suggested the Naibu. 'It's not my house. We'll solemnise the marriage here and then you can go.'
'I'm not going into your house again, nor into anyone else's!'

Naibu Kaleyge went after Mohamed, pleading while they came to the end of the inhabited section of the island. Naibu realised Mohamed wasn't going to go inside a house with him, so he had to solemnise the marriage in the street if necessary. Looking around and seeing the boat shelter, he decided to solemnise the marriage behind that. There was nothing to sit on, so he searched and found a rat-chewed hollow coconut laying beheath a palm. Naibu placed it behind the shelter and sat on it and said, 'Mohamed Takurufan no one will be able to say you came to my house for your marriage, nor to anyone else's house. Come over and let's hold the ceremony here, and then you can go.'

Naibu asked the required questions of the witnesses and made Mohamed Takurufan take his marriage vows. When the ceremony was completed, toddy man handed the large betel and areca preparation to Naibu Kaleyge and the three men shook his hand before going on their way. Mohamed Takurufan took the others with him to the house of Rehendhi Goyye. They walked in and Mohamed sat on a small bench built of coconut stem. The two witnesses sat on the big bench built of the same material. Goyye emerged from the inner house and lifted up the mid-door curtain. She came out with her head down and handed the betel preparation to Mohamed Takurufan and went back into the inner house. She emerged again with betel for the witnesses and went back in.

'Let's go, toddy man,' said Mohamed.
As they walked out, Mohamed checked the number of betel pieces she had given him and then asked toddy man how many pieces he had received.
'I have twelve,' came the reply after he counted them.
Mohamed put the same question to the man who was the other witness.
'Thirteen pieces.'
'Goyye is making a statement,' said Mohamed. 'She gave me seven. Do you understand what she is saying?'
'No, I don't. What's she saying?'
'She's saying that there are thirteen atolls and twelve thousand islands. And underneath seven of those islands there will be raheh.' They spent the night at the toddy man's house and early next day went to the mosque for the morning prayer. Then Mohamed went to the house of Rehendhi Goyye. When he arrived she served him breakfast. He ate the food and looked at her and said, 'My dear woman, here is some money, take what you need.'
Goyye said she didn't want any payment from him. She said it would be enough if he would tell everyone that she was his wife.

Mohamed returned to toddy man's house where he and his brother were served food. After eating, Mohamed said to his brother, 'Let's return to our island.'
'Well, looks like we definitely ended this Eid Kulhi. OK, let's go.'

The crew carried their personal possessions and wrting box to the ship and later, as they were sailing along, Mohamed said to the crew, 'Young men, a new marriage won't stay a secret. One cannot avoid the coming storm clouds. But please don't gossip about this.'

They cruised into Utheem harbour, lowered the sail, attached the outer mooring rope to the pole and moved the ship closer to shore. Mohamed jumped out with the crewman who came ashore with the land mooring rope. He went over to his bird trap at the boat shelter and out to the sandspit.

The young man with the rope ran straight up into the island and stopped in front of the chief's house but he couldn't see him anywhere. So he searched for him at the mosque and found the chief doing his ablutions for the midday prayer. Hussein noticed the young man coming towards him so he waited and said, 'Did my son Mohamed get married in Baarah last night?'
'Yes, sir.'
'Who did he marry? Was it Vaaruge Siti Mava Rani Kilegefan?'
'No.'
'Was it Naibu Kaleyge's daughter Sanpa Fulhu? or the island chief's daughter Aimina Fulhu? or Mudhin Kaleyge's daughter Siti Fulhu? or is it that Takuru's daughter the gentlewoman? or that Kaleyge's daughter?'
'No.'
'Well if he didn't marry any of them, then there's no other girl on Baarah that my Mohamed would marry.'

The young man thought that maybe the old man wasn't saying the name of the girl Mohamed had married because he didn't like her name. If I say the girl's name, he might hit me with the water scoop he's holding. I'd better move away a little before saying her name. So he moved back, and admitted that as far as he was aware, Mohamed didn't marry any of the other girls he'd mentioned. Last night in Baarah, he declared, Mohamed had married Rehendhi Goyye, the daughter of Baarah Boashi Valu Bulhaa Fathma.
'Are the people of this island trying to make me angry?' bellowed the chief as he threw down the scoop.

The young man escaped only because he ran away among the houses. Hussein picked up the water scoop and finished his ablutions. He performed the midday prayer and then went home where lunch was ready for him and his two sons. The chief told Hassan to go and fetch his brother who was at the sandspit catching birds.

Mohamed put his trap in the boat shelter and when the brothers entered the house their step-mother served water for all three men. Taking his water and saying 'bismillah' he stretched his hand to the plate of food just as Khatheeb Takurufan said, 'Mohamed my son, you must divorce your Baarah wife before you eat in this house.'

Mohamed dropped the morsel of rice he was holding back into the plate and walked out. He went to his paternal older sister's house and had lunch there and then returned to the sandspit. That night when people fell asleep and the footsteps subsided, Mohamed went to the houses of people who had been to the coir preparation area that day and he made two bird traps before sunrise. Chief Hussein destroyed the traps during the day and each meal time he sent for his son, and Mohamed obeyed.

A long while later, Hussein's wife who was the mother of the two boys became ill with a deadly disease. She was in bed with the sickness and the chief was outside when he heard her crying. He ran in to find out why she was so distressed.
'Why wouldn't I be crying? I see how you treat my son Mohamed while I am still alive. The day I'm not here, you'll condemn my son in the public meeting area.' She began to cry loudly.
'My lady,, there's no one else who'll ever give good advice to one's own children. All I do is give good advice to Mohamed, to make him come to his senses. I won't abandon Mohamed.'

Hussein's wife died and she was buried with full funeral rites. There were recitations at her grave for ten days and nights and also in the house. People of the island were fed twice. As well, the two sons did all the rites required for their mother's death.

But even after her death, Mohamed Takurufan carried on as before, catching birds at the sandspit while his father broke his traps and lectured him. Mohamed was invited for meals and came obediently, but the young man would walk out when his father told him to divorce Goyye.

This was the situation when chief Hussein finished his lunch one day and went out and stood in the middle of the island and called out 'Yoi!' People of the island gathered around him and he complained about Mohamed Takurufan and went back to his house where the boy's step-mother was crying loudly.
'Chief, today is the day that things Mohamed's mother dreaded have come true.'
'Look my lady,' protested Hussein, 'no one else will give good advice to one's own children. This is for Mohamed's own good, to make him sensible!'

Hearing that his father had left the meeting area, Mohamed moved out of the house and camped on the public seat. That night when Hassan sat down with his father at dinner he was unable to eat. He made bit of an effort to swallow something, and then washed his hands and lay down to rest. He couldn't sleep that night and he heard his father fast asleep and breathing regularly. Hassan got up quietly and prepared something for his brother to eat and took it to the middle of the island and called out to his brother.
'Hassan, why are you here so late?' asked Mohamed.
'Eat this.'
'Didn't you hear the 'Yoi' that father called out?'
Haasan was hurt when he was reminded of this and said, 'Don't talk about that, just eat.'

So as not to upset his brother any more, Mohamed took the food and told Hassan to go back home. And so as not to discredit his father's words, Mohamed didn't eat the food. Hassan had not brought cooked food from the house, but food that could be eaten without being cooked.

The second night after the 'Yoi' was Thursday night. That night when the sun set Mohamed thought that he would go to someone's house to see if he could be there for the special prayer that was followed by eating. At the first house he lifted up the front door curtain and looked in. Water was just being served for the special prayer. The people in the house realised it was Mohamed and they removed the food from the big bench and put away the water jug and hand-washing basin. Then everyone walked out of the house in different directions.

Mohamed stood there for a moment, feeling hurt, before moving on to the next house. The same thing happened! He walked all over the island and at every house it was the same. Mohamed returned to the seat in the middle of the island feeling utterly depressed, and lay there.






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