Tag Archives: Male’

The Unexpected Visitor

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It is not often that you get to meet a person who is openly willingly to talk to you. It is even much less often that such an encounter happens with a creature other than a human being. However, I was lucky enough to be sought by an unexpected visitor. In this case it was a talking parrot.

Sitting at the balcony outside my room in Maafushi Island early on a Saturday morning, I was thinking of how things were going to get back into the hectic lifestyle when I return to Male’ City that afternoon.

A few moments later, a shrill screech just beside my ear startled me. A turn to my left revealed nothing less than a yellowish parrot perched on a branch of a huge tree, leading to the balcony. What came next was even more surprising!

The bird screeched once more and greeted me with a screechy “Hello”. I was so surprised by the occurrence that I jumped out of the chair, grabbed my hair and almost screamed with joy.

Next thing I knew, I was inside the bed room, jerking the cover off my boyfriend so that he too can meet with the unexpected visitor. At first, the parrot seemed to be shy and awkward not responding our calls. But just a few minutes after we started pretending to ignore him, the parrot’s curiosity got the better of him.

He jumped onto the balcony and began crossing the doorway to our room. Within a few moments, he was sitting comfortably on my boyfriend’s shoulder. And that is where he spent the next two hours, sitting on my boyfriend’s shoulder!

We even had to take him for breakfast and came to know that this unexpected visit from the talking parrot is not something unexpected at all. He is a frequent visitor to the “Island Cottage” guest house, but it is rare for him to have approached an unknown person.

As soon as our breakfast arrived, he jumped onto the table and was digging into an omelet. Next came the jam and the butter. It was so hilarious that this unexpected visitor who met us just a few hours ago, and would only speak a “hello” and a “Vahaka dhahkaba” (meaning talk to me in local Dhivehi Language) would be making the best of our breakfasts without a single thought into it.

After breakfast we came to know that the talking parrot actually has a name and is owned by the family that lives just next to the guest house. Joari, the unexpected visitor and the talking parrot.

Yet, that wonderful, unprecedented encounter had to come to an end as our ferry to Male’ City was scheduled to leave in the afternoon. We left Joari, resting on an undhoali (local name for swing), just outside the “Island Cottage”.

One thing I came to realize from the unexpected visitor is that parrots and birds and animals should not be caged. Just like Joari, they should have the right to move freely and wonder about, making unexpected visitors to strangers, spreading their warmth and harmony to others.

Indelible Moments from an Islander’s Life: Thinadhoo Genocide

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Thinadhoo Island is the capital of Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll and has its own dialect of Dhivehi and its own unique history. This island was formerly known as Havaru Thinadhoo. ‘Havaru’ refers to the bloodstained attempts by a Sultan in Maldives to capture the island during the 16th century. After years of prosperity and fortune, the ‘havaru’ events of the 16th century recurred in February 1962.

In 4 February 1962 Thinadhoo was completely destroyed on the orders of Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir to end the separatist movement of the United Suvadive Republic. The islanders were told to go to the shallow reef, where they were forced to stand for hours in water up to their necks. Meanwhile all houses were destroyed, all wells broken and filled with rubble, all trees were cut down and much property was looted while the islanders watched.

The island was then depopulated and its people dispersed. Women and children were raped in front of their families. Between 200 and 300 prisoners were taken back to Malé City, where they were tortured and most killed. Here is the unforgettable life story of one woman who endured the pain and agony during the 1962, Thinadhoo Genocide.

Maldives – An Economy Sustained Through Foreign Contribution

The Maldives economy has seen a great improvement and development during the past 25 years. The country’s different sectors have progressed while infrastructure, education, politics and foreign relations has also seen an improvement. Although many local businessmen, politicians and other individuals are being praised for their part in this progress, the contributions of foreigners to this country cannot be undermined.

In Alifushi Island (Day 3) & Back to Male’

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On the 22nd of February, Saturday, the final day on Alifushi Island, I wanted to make sure that the last moments I spent on the island were memorable and valuable. So I headed to the eastern side of the island, trying to get a glimpse of the beach. However, I was disappointed to see that the island does not have much of a beach area.

There were a few children playing near the breakwaters, some of them on top of it, trying to catch fish during those early hours of the day. Even with the lack of a beach, the sight was overwhelming. There was a low tide and the water had dried up, leaving a pathway to walk up to the breakwaters.

I had an interview appointment with the Chair of the island council at 9 AM and a few minutes to spare before that. So while wandering through the island, I met these little boys who were so eager to tell me what they know about the Bermuda Triangle.

The speed ferry back to Male’ was scheduled to depart at 12:30 that afternoon. So during the remaining few hours, I visited a historical shrine that has been on the island for hundreds of years. It was a monumental shrine of Tabrizi, who is reported by some historians as the man who converted Maldives into the religion of Islam.

At 12:30 I got into the ferry after paying farewell to the many people I had acquainted with in the past two days. I knew I was going to miss the stress free environment of the island, but at the same time, I was eagerly looking forward to arrive in Male’, to see my family and loved ones.

The ferry made several stops in many islands of the Raa Atoll and I had my mind set on not dozing off during the five hour journey. And the reward for that choice was utter amazement. It was very sunny in Alifushi Island but as we began our journey back to Male’, I was fortunate enough to experience diverse weathers in different regions of the country. It made me realize the vastness of the Maldives, despite the few land masses.

At one point, the sea was so rough I thought I would throw up. There was a time when it was raining so heavily that we had zero level visibility. The islands and vessels just a few meters away were not visible to the naked eye. After about three hours of travelling, the weather had taken a completely different turn. The sun began shining brightly, and I had the chance to view triple rainbows over the islands. Flying fish and dolphins were also enjoying the sun and showing off to us “inhabitants of the land”.

We were lucky; the ferry arrived in Male’ an hour earlier than anticipated. Once again, I was surrounded with huge buildings and the non-stop traffic of my country’s capital. And I thought to myself, the inhabitants of Male’ are missing so much from their lives compared to the people in the island, but then again, the people living in the islands must be feeling they are deprived of the wealth and ease, common to the city dwellers.