Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Surprise Present

A short story

Hassan was waiting at the jetty for his present. Ibbe had only said it was a packet from Aikko's mother. Hassan couldn't guess what it could be. Perhaps it was actually from Aikko herself, not her mother, Hassan surmised. But why didn't she mention it when he phoned her yesterday evening? May be she was sending him a surprise present, Hassan thought, as he waited expectantly for the transfer launch that will bring Ibbe and the mysterious present to Kaanidhoo Island Resort and Casino.

When Hassan succeeded in the interview to get a waiter's position at Kaanidhoo, he thought it was a dream come true. The resort was super luxury and boasted the world's largest under water casino, the Dome, which rivaled Venetian Macao with its exquisite theme d├ęcor. Hassan's dream started fading when he was shown into the room that would be his home for the next 3 years. Far from the glitter of the main gaming floor of the Dome with its constantly spinning roulette wheels, baccarat tables and slot machines, his room was 10 by 10 feet, shared by 3 Bangladeshis sleeping on double decker cots. "And remember," the sad looking guy who escorted him instructed while leaving, "don't step out of the room without your uniform. Don't wander around the rooms. Just take the straight route to the coffee shop and back. And strictly no sea bath. You have no business on the beach."

The personnel manager looked up from a large pile of paper. "So you want leave? You guys always keep on taking leave…"

"But sir," Hassan pleaded, "This is the first time I'm asking for leave…I've been here one and half years…"

"All right, all right. But remember if you are not here on the 10th, then you need not come. I'll hire another Bangladeshi."

When Hassan landed on Maakandoodhoo jetty, he was greeted by his wife Aikko, Muhamma and his wife Maryan. Muhamma was the son of Ahmed Kaleyfaanu the biggest trader on the island. He was Hassan's childhood friend, and the two couples shared a wonderful time during Hassan's holidays. When it was time to leave Hassan had exhausted all his savings amounting to 3500 rufiyaa. Muhamma reassured him saying if Aikko needed anything she could get it from his father's shop.

"We need to talk again. The old deal is off. Now things are totally different. We got 20 more years. So you will understand we can't give the island for 25 million dollars. We already have offers of 150 million. But we will consider 125 if you are interested," Hassan overheard Ronnie telling the South African guy who was occupying Villa number 27. Ronnie was Kaanidhoo owner Shakeeb's son born of a Canadian mother.

"But Ronnie, this is just a windfall you got out of the blues. You were to lose the island in five years and then suddenly the lease increased to 50 years. Why don't we split 50-50 and settle for 75 million?" the South African offered.

"No way. My last price is 100 million."

"Done," the South African said and stood to shake hands.

The launch arrived. Ibbe handed over the packet and went on his way without a word. Hassan rushed to his room and opened the packet. It contained photos. But before he could see them his attention was diverted by a piece of paper falling. It was a note from Aikko's mother. It read, "I couldn't bear to tell you what my daughter did. But these pictures will tell you the whole story."

Hassan looked at the pictures. They showed Aikko and Muhamma. Hassan's dream suddenly became a nightmare.

[This is entirely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to a real place or person is purely coincidental.]


Anonymous said...

hurihaa balaaeh fageerunnah
ekakuves adeh naahaane rahyitunge adeh. rahyitunnakavanee hama ekani muhsadinn.. fageerun mee denn konbaeh.. kaaku alhaalaanee ,,,?????

Anonymous said...

My sister married the President.I got a fat job. Acting UN ambassador.I liked New York.The streets off Broadway were fun.But to enjoy New York fully you need money. Plenty of it.And I found getting the money was also easy.China was desperately trying to oust Taiwan from UN. They needed a two-third majority in the General Assembly vote.There was a specific instruction from External Affairs Ministry to side with Taiwan who then had the only resident ambassador in Male'.But the Chinese offered me a million dollars to vote for them. I ignored instructions.I voted against Taiwan. I became rich. But the President,my brother-in-law was mad with me . I was recalled.Upon my return, I persuaded my sister and through her the President that it was a blunder because I was not familiar with the UN voting system.Soon, I became Deputy Minister at Fisheries Ministry. This was another chance to get more money.I sold off fisheries rights to foreign companies.( end of part 1)
The above all fiction.

Anonymous said...

In 1972, tourism came to Maldives.O rather, An Italian, I forget his name, I think George, came to Maldives with some Italians.The Italians stayed for two weeks and left. But George stayed back. I became friends with him.We became business partners. together we invested in kurumba Island off Male'.The resort was a success.I decided to takeover the resort. I told my brother in law{now, I am married to National Security Chief's younger sister.) that George was a a national security threat. I also told this to my sister and through her the President.George was deported. I took over the resort. More money came my way.(end of part 2)
The above all fiction. Any resemblance to reality is mere coincidence.

Anonymous said...

I was having agood time. Money was flowing in.Many people paid me good commission to get things done through Government.Every fishing license brought in good money.Then, my brother in law decided to resign.There were too many coup attempts.When his term ended he declined all attempts by the Parliament to re-elect him. A new President was elected. My brother in law left Maldives,invested in Singapore and detached himself from Maldives completely.This was because he did not like the new Government's hate campaign against him.
I too suffered under the new Government. I was sacked from my Government post and a lot of my businesses were taken over.My brother in law and sister in law were jailed. My wife was also banished. I was also banished to a remote island. After a few years of suffering I was released. I decided to take my revenge on the New President. I went to London and recruited some ex-SAS officers to overthrow the President.But my attempt failed. I was caught.I was tried and thrown into Prison.The conditions in the jail were terrible. After a few years I was pardoned and released.
(end of part 3)
the above all fiction.

Anonymous said...

after I was released from the jail, I wanted to begin a new life. I lso became friends with the powerful Trade Minister who happened to be the new President's half brother. He gave me a good job at the Trade Ministry. I was given the position of Assistant Director.This itself was not a very big position. But as Assistant Director I was responsible for all foreign investments. Another great chance for'cuts'.Anyone interested in investing in the Maldives will have to pay me a commission.Soon, I got plenty of money. But all the time I never gave up hope of taking my revenge on the President.My chance came when my cousin started a political party. I contributed heavily.But I continued in Government. Helping my cousin with information and money. My support for my cousin was secret. But my wife and her family came out openly supporting the Opposition. Because of their open hostility to the Government I was sacked from the Government.And I also came out in the open against the Government. And in the last presidential election, my cousin won the Presidency.This was again good for me. I was appointed as the State Minister for Foreign Affairs. I have loads of chances to go overseas.I have lots of chances to interact with important and more importantly rich foreigners. I can get my commissions again. Now the'cuts' will be bigger. (end of story)
the above all fiction. Any resemblance to reality is purely coincidential.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hello Kerafa Naseem. State minister and Anni President's cousin.Is this all about him?