Thursday, November 27, 2008

A US$175,000 fraud only?

Abdulla Algeen has been found guilty of a US$175,000 fraud. The details of the report can be found here.

According to the anti-corruption commission, they have enough evidence to prosecute the case against Abdulla Algeen, who is Maumoon's half-brother and Abdulla Yameen's brother. He had allegedly committed this fraud while he was the Director General at the Department of Meteorology.

Okay, this is great that the anti-corruption commission has been busy doing their work. But I hope this is only the beginning of true justice, because this is not the only fraud the Golhabo clan must have committed in their reign of greed and corruption. There has to be millions and millions of more dollars that the Kaamineege and Endherimaage 'beyfulhun' stole from the government's income that belonged to the people. What about the tsunami funds that were given out during the DRP campaign? There are many such questions yet to be asked.

I hope the anti-corruption commission find the answers that would make these thieves accountable for their crimes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Minister Dr. Majeed's traffic violation

I just came from listening to the radio. This is something that has never been heard in Maldives. The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari's driving license has been confiscated by the traffic police due to a parking violation. Hehehehe. Apparently he had parked his motor bike on Majeedhee Magu where it was not a parking zone. The first thing that came to my mind was, what was he doing on a motor bike anyway?

This is the first time a minister has been in this situation in Maldives, earlier it was taken for granted that ministers were above the law. This would have never happened to any cabinet member of Maumoon's, where the police protected them like a wolf protects her cubs. It's not because of Mohamed Nasheed's philosophy of transparency in justice nor the new administration of the police department that such a thing had occurred. A Minister's driving license has been revoked only because there are still a lot of Golhabo loyalists around, especially in the police station. Which is not a bad thing in this instance however.

Minister Dr. Majeed what were you doing on a motor bike? Didn't the government give you a car with a driver? Or is is part of the plan to minimize expenses to give ministers Wave motor bikes instead of cars? If so, not a bad idea. But I guess having to spend too much time driven around by somebody has made these people a bit rusty on their traffic rules. A traffic awareness program would be good for these ministers who prefer motor bikes. Hehehe. Just joking. Its not my intention to make Dr. Majeed nor the government the butt of a joke.

The whole thing is just funny, and its fresh, and its a good thing. Forget my rantings. I hope Minister Majeed gets his driving license back, or Anni will give him a car to drive around with. But mostly I hope this is the beginning of equality in front of the law, whether pauper or minister, everyone has to face the same consequences when they break a law.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Stop the violence! Get a Parrot!



Don't you feel much better watching these teenagers handling some parrots rather than box-cutters, baseball bats and knives. Idleness is the Devil's workshop they say, and many of our youth are prone to fall for it. Say Yes to Parrots - No to Violence.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fear of Social Rejection

I remember reading a book written by one of my favorite philosophers of all time, J.Krishnamurti on the subject of fear. And one chapter of the book focused on the fear of social rejection. It is called "On Fear" by J.Krishnamurti, you could look for it if you are interested. There were many series of these books written.

This was about 10 years ago and I have not seen the book since then. But I still recall this point very vividly. The fear of social rejection. This is a fear that is conditioned within all of us and it relates to the core dynamics of that society. Fear is one side of the coin,the other side of the coin is Desire. Therefore when fear exists, there would be a corresponding desire involved. And when you desire something, there would be a corresponding fear related to it.

What is fear of social rejection? It is the fear that people in your society, your friends and people you do not know rejects you, or judges you, or even discriminate or you being subjected to ridicule. This fear can be different things to different people. In other words it is the 'desire' to be accepted within that society or group of people. This fear dictates a lot of elements of our behavior. Including how we dress, how we talk, friends we choose, how we act on the road etc etc. The fear of social rejection influences even our own beliefs and principles. We as a people automatically adjust ourselves according to our fears so we could avoid realizing them. No one wants to be the clown everyone points their fingers and laugh at, everyone wants to be the 'coolest' person around.

Why do people have fear of social rejection? The answer is again simple. If you look for the corresponding desire behind a particular fear, you will find the answer. Thus fear of social rejection exist due to the desire to be accepted by society. Everyone wants to be accepted, respected and have a sense of belonging. Teenagers are easily led into a street gangs because sometimes they find that acceptance there, which they could not get within their homes or school. In the work place fear of rejection is very strong, where new employees have to do a lot of 'ass kissing' to make a good impression.

Fight the Fear.

Imagine Fear as a great huge grizzly bear, rearing up with claws and teeth bared. If you turn and run to escape, you will definitely be caught and torn to shreds by the bear. But even if you decide to fight it you will be turned to mince meat as well. So what do we do? When the bear is in front of you, you have to observe it. You have to respect and acknowledge the great beast. You should turn down you desire to run and your desire to fight. Then you will come into acceptance of your fear and thus, now you are free from it. The bear sensing no fear from you, will turn back and go back to where it came from. The lesson is to not react to your fear and let it determine your actions.

To control your fear, control the related desire.

Why do people fear death? Its because they desire to live.
Why do people have fear of social rejection? Its because they desire to be accepted.
Why would people fear to lose their spouses? If they desired them of course they would.
Why do people fear failure? Its because of they desire to be somebody distinguished.

And why do people desire love? It because they fear loneliness.

Fear and Desire; sides of the same coin. Desire less, fear less. Desire more, fear more.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

John Lennon is forgiven, what about us?

The late John Lennon has been forgiven by the Vatican for his remark in British news paper in 1966. He remarked that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

John Lennon is one of the best song writers to ever walk on earth, and he will always will be. But his songs such as "Imagine" portraits an atheist view on the world. If anyone wants to judge music and art, they will have many things to say on this. But music especially is very subjective and we love the music itself, not the ideology behind the composition.

Many religious views condemn music, Islamic scholars have interpreted the Quran's many verses to find answers. Their sole intention was to find something, anything that says music is 'haram' in Islam. But they did not. There are no verses that directly says music is haram. It was the scholars and the interpreters who took up this view. And to serve their purposes they misled the people by taking verses of Quran and implying that a certain verse actually means this or that. For example: 'the voice of Satan' is taken to be meant as music, but it could be referred to as anything, like lies, deception, manipulation etc etc. It all depends on the way it is translated. But there are instances where music can be considered as 'haram'. For example if music is used to lead people astray from good social values, then it could be considered harmful. The prophets views are also moderate on music, but if you take his sayings where he strictly forbids music, you could take the meaning as music being a big evil. But he forbade it due to certain instances where music took decency out of people, you would be surprised to know he actually allowed music or singing in some situations.

But the scholars wanted an outcome where music is considered the 'voice' of Satan. So might as well let people know only the verses and sayings that forbid music. And just hide the reasons for the ban and not let people know that music was tolerated by the Prophet in certain circumstances, when it did not violate other core Islamic principles.

I studied Islam for one semester in the Music College I studied in Malaysia, although I could be judged on this aspect by many religious people on my knowledge of Islam. The reason why there was Islamic studies in a Music College in the first place was to make young people understand how exactly Islam relates to music and where it stands. I could write long long essays on this topic. But I will refrain from that and leave this sensitive issue aside, until I can justify to waste time on religiously brain washed individuals of our indoctrinated society.

The State Of Boredom

The expectations have been met
Activities for change has reached its destination
What did the hippies do after they copped out
Make circles of drums for a human cause
Rich rich rich and deprived of fame
Need a cause desperately for some thing to change
How can they sit at home and be useful
Time seem to go on and on day after day
Drowning these people in the state of boredom
It's just damn funny anyway

Boredom is contagious and catching..just like fear. This is one of root causes of a failed youth and a generation lost to drug addiction. The sponges of Maldives absorbs crap crap crap crap.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dhivehi Football Blues


It's been a long time that I have not met an enthusiastic football fan talking about going to Galolhu Dhandu to watch a match. The passion seem to have dimmed significantly. The days when the excitement of Miskeen running has gone, the Kalhu Ohs deadly ball clearings had faded into the past. Nowadays more often we hear only the talk of transfer money and huge contracts footballer's have. Or its a depressing story of a talented youngster turning down an opportunity to train and play for the Benefica youth team in Portugal. Another reminder of where the passion of our football players are going.

A friend once told me while he was driving through Chaandanee Magu he saw a group of boys, wearing the same jersey and even the same slippers going on motorbikes. They were driving through Lily Magu at the time the public all girls school, Aminiyya had finished so they could eye and show off to the girls who were going home. He told me, they were the members of the National Football Team. Sad. And you must have heard the drama recently as well, when the national Team went abroad a group of players hid the passport of an official for a joke.

Did the previous government of Maumoon play a role in destroying our national sport? Of course they did. In a nut shell, they used football as one of Maumoons tool to deviate people. Whenever there was some juicy rumor regarding the governments impotency, they would arrange a football match and turn the people attention on the match or tournament so they forget about the governments shit. Now we see what happens when even our football, our national sport is used as a political tool.

Nowadays rarely would the national stadium be filled to its capacity. I hope the FAM, with the help of the New administration tries to re-ignite the passion that existed in football in Maldives.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What About The Murders?

We are still witnessing something that was hard to even dream of.

Maumoon has to wash Nasreena's housecoats. Adam Zahir is cooking noodles at home. Mundhu is still the hand grenade & the ugliest character I've seen in politics. And the DRP cronies are whining in the background about their lack of power to cripple the people of Maldives.

This is all good and even difficult to digest at times. President Nasheed is doing his best to not repeat history, and not do anything Golhabo did after Ibrahim Nasir stepped off as president. Like putting PA's outside the houses of people they dub as "Baageen" (terrorists) and serve Bondi Baiy to people passing by, and make them swear and curse in the name of National Unity. I'm sure Maumoon's brother-in-laws could get jobs at a kitchen since they must be really qualified in preparing Bondi Baiy. I wonder what they would have done if DRP won the election this time, a few people would have been crucified for sure, including President Nasheed.

But what about the murders we have seen in our society in the last couple of years. The only thing I seem to see each time someone is killed, either by gang violence or police negligence or whatever, is a big headline on the news, a police statement saying they are now investigating so they cannot give any info blah blah, and people deliberating it for a day or so. Then suddenly its forgotten. Funny.

Remember the Bangladeshi who was murdered in Kulhudhufushi? It was one of the most inhumane murders I have seen in Maldives. The details of the murder is enough to shock the entire world. His genitals cuts off, wrapped in a black bra and his entails taken out. The police got the guy who did it, was apparently a Bangladeshi worker who worked with the victim. The police claim the motive lies within the fact that the victim and the alleged had a homosexual relationship. Case closed.

Do you buy that? Isn't it so easy to just wrap up the case and blame it on another Bangladeshi, who must have been hiding from Immigration in the first place (There are thousands of expatriate workers who have fled to atolls, escaping their actual employers). But the islanders in Kulhudhufushi knew the victim was employed by a shady character who operates a shop in the island. And the rumor was that the victim was having a sexual affair with this guy's wife. Thus the whole murder makes a bit more sense now, the black bra with the genitals cut off and put inside etc.

Maybe this is just a fancy thought. But so much of the murder cases are solved very weirdly in Maldives. The police forensic department do have all the modern equipment I assume, but how much competent they are at that area of expertise is questionable. They never seem to wrap up a murder case and give a police briefing to public, I have never heard the motive being explained of a particular murder, ever. If its a gang violence murder, there still has to be a motive. Oh right, we the public are too dumb or faint hearted to know these details. Oh common, it's the public who has to live with the murderers. Don't people want to know if the murderers are caught or not?? Don't people have a right to know that the environment they live in is safe?

The sad thing is people stop asking these questions after a few days the 'sensational' headlines wear off. Even the press seem to forget it after they report the news, and get many people to read their articles. They got what they wanted, more readers for their paper, why should they care about a stupid murder, right?

All we see are cases being sent back by the Attorney General to the police due to the lack of evidence to prosecute them. Then we see the gangbangers out on the street. Going back to the people who report them and carry on their violence where they left off. Once a murder is 'solved' by the great police of Maldives, do you actually believe that they have got the right person? And in some cases its so obvious who did it, but what guarantee do you have that you won't find that person selling ice cream to your kids tomorrow?? And don't make me start on the child molesters who are able to run free after a little spank on their ass.

Oh wait. The Police just found out that they have taken an oath to protect the PEOPLE of Maldives as well, all this time they had thought their whole mission was to ensure the well being of Golhabo Clan. Oops. They found out that they can actually be 'professional'. I do respect police for their work. But do they really do it?? I hope the new administration remedies this little misconception the police have acquired, no doubt after relentless brainwashing while they were in their training.

I just hope this cycle of MURDER - NEWS HEADLINE - POLICE BRIEF - and then NOTHING stops. Or at least have 'CASE SOLVED-properly' added at the end of this cycle. Its just a huge joke how criminals are caught, whether its the right person or not, and then are released to terrorize the public again. They don't mind beating the hell out of drug addicts in jail, doesn't the murder of Evan Naseem signify this? The murderers, rapists and child molesters can run free, no problem. Of course, being the murderers and trying to catch them at the same time can be a bit tricky I guess. It would be like a snake trying to eat its own tail.

Well the snake's head is cut off now, I hope it grows a new head that will do what it's suppose to do in the first place. (Fingers crossed).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Maumoon's "Haiyaiykuda" Bill

3rd year / 13th majlis

The peoples' majlis is considering the Bill issued by Aneesa for the benefits of a former president after his/her term is over. And I have to say the discussion has given me a rare happiness and contentment. In kinder words I would have to say Maumoon should just shove his "hayaiykuda" bill up his ass.

Consider this: Traveling expenses to be paid by the people; Holidays to be paid by the people; An office with 10 staff to be provided for 'research' purposes (whatever fuck that means); A house of presidential honor to be given by the people; A pension that is equal to the salary of the president to be given by the people; Security and protection to be provided where ever they are, when ever they want, even for the wife of the president. (I guess that's for sitting in the house with a housecoat on). These are few of the points mentioned in the hayaiykuda Bill. I think we might as well strip and bend over for Maumoon and his family fuck us in the ass whenever they want.

I'm thankful to God that those 8 members of Maumoon now has to sit at home and watch the majlis. Otherwise this would have been one of those days that our nation is raped by the Kaamineege' and Endherimaage' clan. The way the clauses are written is obviously for Maumoon's sole benefit. Holidays to be paid by the people?!! It doesn't matter the country, not to mention the whole world, is going into the worst economic plunge in decades. Since the tsunami in 2004 there are people still homeless, and we have to give Maumoon and his family a grand house? A car? And I'm surprised it does not mention a private jet for him to make his 'trips' abroad. Can you believe the DRP or his cronies can even consider these benefits to be given? Anni is giving him the proper respect of dignity as the former president, but he is still DRP's president thus still is the opposition leader. Did anyone of you get fooled enough to believe Maumoon will step off politics and stop dreaming of power and greed? He is still secretly giving meetings where he is preaching his 'newer heights' bullshit.

Most probably Maumoon got his ass kicked by Nasreena. Who can blame her. She has made Maumoon murder people, steal their money and support her whole family, including giving her brothers minister posts. She must have pushed him out of their marital bed, forced him to become the Golhabo he is today. Woudn't you be pissed when you had to leave the house you wanted all your grand children and extended family to grow up? Woudn't you be pissed to walk out of the cinema and swimming pool that you wanted swim in your housecoat? You see how drug addicts steal, rob and mug people to feed their addiction. Well imagine a druggie high for 30 years, and he is told to give up his drug addiction, will it be easily possible? It would be almost impossible. This is 30 years of addiction people!! We really should consider a bill for the rehabilitation of Maumoon and his cronies, so we can slowly wean him into normal society just like we do to Hakuru addicts.

Otherwise we will see 'hayaiykuda' bills such as this, trying to squeeze as much of the peoples' blood before he dissapears. It just shows how "sincere" the so called Zaeem actually is. I was so worried when I heard the points in the Bill at first when it was issued to the majlis. But today I'm happy watching the majlis members making a lot of sense. It is so crazy to see these benefits to be given to former president. Might as well just pass a bill that states that "Maumoon will always be president until his death, and he is to be given anything he wants, even if it's your child's heart cut out and put on a silver tray". And lets not forget; Raagondi Raajaa, Abaas and Ilyaas and the rest of the Golahbo crew should also be allowed to rape, kill and plunge the people's rights, their belongings and their future.

You got to be kidding me. HAHAHAHAH.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Drowning "Dhivehi Originality" In Our Music

Music. A universal language that allows people to integrate and communicate regardless of their nationality or ethnicity. But each country has their own culture, that eventually influences their music. For instance when you hear Bagpipes you know the music has roots influenced from Scotland; When you hear Tabla drums you know its got Indian influences and when you hear Bodu Beru drums you know its got influences from Maldives. Of course the composers and the musicians are the source of these influences, their background, history and culture determines the 'feel' of music they play.

Everyone says its a world without borders. This has been true in the case of music as well. Different cultures use different instruments, different instruments made from various things. This variation in textures that are used to create instruments determines the tone of the instrument, which ultimately creates their distinguished 'feel' and determines how it is played. But since it's a world without borders, it allowed the different cultures and their music to migrate along with the people. Therefore different people interacting with each other created the chance for new music to be born, new genres to be morphed and thus the evolving of the Pop Culture in music began. On this post I will try not to focus on the history of music and elaborate on the 'Survey of Pop Music'. It is a vast subject that would have a chapter of its own.

I will make it short and try to paint the picture. There are 3 main types that all musical instruments of the world can be categorized into:

1. All forms of drums. The sound is produced on such instruments by hitting or banging with a stick or hand. The principle of resonance is used to create the sound. (And again I won't go into the technical part, which I'm easy led to). Examples: Modern Drum kits, Tablas, Bodu Beru etc.

2. Wind Instruments. These include Brass instruments like Saxophones, Trumpets etc. And also Flutes and Pipes, even our own "Sangu".

3. String Instruments. The most common string instruments include the Piano, Guitars and classical instruments such as Violins, Cellos, etc etc.

And of course in this digital era we have many instruments that use MIDI and sound samples to produce sound, such as Keyboards or Drum Pads. We even have new instruments emerging in the last 10 years like the Turn Table. All these instruments evolved with time to become what it is today. The oldest form of instrument has always been the drums. They were initially used by African Tribes in their social and cultural gatherings. And if you analyze deeply, you will find the roots of those times still engraved in the modern music of today. The structure of musical compositions are still the same. I will take one simple example; those days a tribal song or a social gathering where a drum is banged and people chant, they have a 'lead' singer and group of singers who follow the lead singer. (As in the case of Boduberu, you would refer to it as 'Nagaa Kiyun'). Then one of the important elements is that they use repetition in their music, to drive the message to the listeners. The lead singer will chant something, then the rest will repeat the chant. And they would bring this element repeatedly during the song, today you would call this the "chorus" of a song. All the songs of today you would find a 'chorus', which is most of the times a catchy part of the song that repeats, eventually driving the song inside the listeners head. Thus you can see how musical roots have evolved from the beginning up to today.

Then lets look at different genres of modern music. Genre's in music is more often used by the Music Labels to categorize their artists for promotional and sales purposes. Some of the main stream genres include Pop, Hip Hop, Rock, Country, the list is endless. I was really surprised during my studies to find that there are actually countless sub-genres that are related and are unheard of. I bet some of the music lovers who listen to it would not even know the proper genre of that music. For instance many people do not know there is a difference between Rap and Hip Hop, or between Trip Hop and Quiet Storm. In case of the Rock genres, there are so many sub genres like Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Grunge, New Age Rock, its enough to give you a headache. If you would like to know more about these genres you better check it yourself on the Web. You might be surprised to find one of your favorite artists is a complete different genre than you had thought. If I was to mention examples of the artists when I state these sub genres, it could make more sense. But yet again, I will not go into that.

I would like to to just say that in a nutshell, all forms of music are related. One genre gave birth to another, or morphed into a different genre completely. A good example could be 'Rap Metal', which is an integration of Metal and Rap music heard from bands like Rage Against The Machine. When you look at Jazz, Jazz was born when the Africans brought to the United Stated learnt classical music scales and using them with their grooves that came from their roots. Blues was sang by African slaves in the Cotton fields. And became such an important form of music that actually help create Jazz as well, Blues musical roots are every where today. Blues and Jazz created the Big Band era, that led to the Golden Musical Age of the 1950's, where great composers and singers like George Gershwin and Ella Fitzgerald were heard. Then in the sixties we saw it evolve into Rock and Roll, then we saw music being taken to different levels from people like Jimi Hendrix. And ultimately now we have the Pop music of today. Pop music means 'Popular Music' of that time. It is often referred to as a genre of its own, but it actually means the most popular music of that time. So the pop music of the eighties is different from the pop music of sixties and so on. So the Pop music of that time is always considered the foundation of mainstream music of that era.

But hey! Music is fun. There's no point going into analyzing different genres, or how the roots of that particular music came from. If you like the groove or the feel of the music, you'll just want to listen and enjoy it. And you've got that right. Unless 'unfortunately' you are also an audio engineer like me, we have to understand all this technical babble of genres, textures & tone of the music, the structure of the composition and how it relates to the genre of the music being played etc etc. Not to mention the producer's goal in the whole production of that particular song, which at times you would be grateful for, other times it could be the most annoying and frustrating thing. But forget all this. Lets get to the point I have been trying to drive at all this time.

What about our Maldivian music? Where did it come from and where is it going?

We know where it came from, it came from tribal roots of Africa that traveled all over the world and reached here as well. You can see this in Bodu Beru. I do not want to make assumptions on the origins of other Maldivian cultural music like Bandiyaa Jehun or Thaara, because I have not really studied it that much yet. But I will safely say that if it weren't for the slaves of Africa, we would not have had the music we hear today. In my opinion they are the people who influenced and created the vast majority of musical genres we have today int he world. We have to thank them for giving us the "grooves' of our modern music, in all genres. Why they were such a musical race since the beginning can be deliberated upon, but I often hear a quote: "Pain Stimulates Creativity", maybe that is one of the answers to that question.

Okay. But where is our Maldivian music going? The direction it has taken with the introduction of the Indian Bollywood films in to Maldives, is very very sad and alarming indeed. Well at least to some people like me. The reason for Maldivian creativity being drowned, their originality slowly being murdered, and our musical identity being raped by Indian music are many. They lie buried within the last 30 to 35 years, where the incompetency and the repercussions of the Golhabo System brain washed even the spread of Maldivian music in our society.

Like I said before, a world without borders allowed music to also migrate from one land to another. Allowing different culture to collaborate to create different music. This sounds all good and inspiring if you take it objectively. We automatically assume that the outcome would be beneficial musically to all the cultures, but unfortunately this has not been the case in Maldives. The Hindi Bollywood music has been allowed to kill and murder the 'Dhivehi' originality in our music. I have nothing against Hindi Music, actually to the contrary I think it's a very diverse form of music with really beautiful and exotic music scales. Let it be heard! But don't let it kill us!!

Majority of 'dhivehi' songs we have heard in the last few decades are a karaoke of bullshit. They just take a Hindhi song, the whole music completely ripped off, then some "poet" will write some words in Dhivehi to fit into that song and call it a "Dhivehi" song. Well, I will not call it that!, maybe some people might. It has now gone to the extent where the substituting dhivehi words with Hindhi words, that have no relation to our Sanskrit roots. So in a song where in Hindhi it says "Ma Dar Gaya", the Maldivian "poet" writes it as "Ma Biru Gaya". Oh Common people, have we fallen so deep into Hindhi music we don't even have our own words to fill the music with??? And you cannot imagine what until very recently, any person who actually writes an original Maldivian song, has to go through so many rejections and obstacles to register their own song. The MAPA censorship have really weird ways of "passing" a song to register it. All I can say is that it has been complete bullshit, and it has only killed the possibilities of actual original poets appearing in Maldives. Well now you don't have to register your songs or poems anyway, unless you are concerned with copy rights. Which is another topic on itself in Maldives. I think a even a made-up word is better than using Hindhi words in a song and calling it a "Dhivehi" song. The Golhabo system has been telling poets what they can write and what they cannot, all in the name of promoting and the quality control of Dhivehi language. It's like telling an artist who paints what colors he can use, and what colors he cannot. Or otherwise it will not be a painting! Even when it came to the growth of music in our society, Maumoon was too paranoid to give it any freedom.

But I have hope. With the dawning of private Radio & TV stations, it gives a little light at the end of the dark tunnel. Maybe they would be a platform for original Maldivian artists to expose themselves. I have hope because many young people have started to respect and appreciate original music. People have started to become aware of supporting local artists, they know they are helping to build and let our cultural heritage thrive and survive in this orgy of musical influences. I have hope because they have started to value originality over copy music.

The only doubts that linger in my mind are the outlook taken by the "experienced" musicians in Maldives. It's sad they carry the "Hitler View" on new artists, and rather than take them into their wings and encouraging them, they are disrespected and put down. Its still the "crabs in the bucket" drama. And this is something I will write about soon.

But I have hope now. Please support your local music acts. Its your music as well.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Space: The Next Human Journey?

Every one is sending space shuttles into orbit. Some time back Chinese astronauts were given medals of honor for returning from a successful mission in space. India launched their shuttle just recently and so are other major countries, including the NASA in the U.S.

The recent discovery of new planets outside our solar system again rises the ultimate question, are there civilizations living on other planets? Are aliens a science fiction fantasy or is it really true. Some really distinguished people do believe that aliens exist, among them is the famous Hollywood producer Steven Spielberg. He has tried to convey his conviction in countless of movies he produced; among the most famous are E.T and the Taken series.

Anyway. Its not that we as a human race is just started space exploration, it of course has been going on for a long time. But nobody has been able to prove that aliens do really exist, all we see are millions of conspiracy theories, U.F.O sightings, people saying they even been abducted and all sorts of evidence that still cannot confirm the truth.

People have sought spiritual answers. In our religion Islam, I'm not sure that it ever states that other civilizations does not exist. Actually to the contrary it confirms the existence of another race called the Jinn, who live in the skies; meaning space or the universe. But their goals and reason of existence in the Quran, is not of importance here. The question still remains unanswered, is there life on other planets just like us? Or maybe even more advanced than us.

I can't deny that it has always fascinated me. I can't see why there could not be other planets, where civilization has advanced in technology such as us. But if there are other humans or any species out there, if they have discovered space travel and a way to travel time, they would have already been here. Or have they already? The UFO stories are very convincing in some cases that even have visual aid to support their claim.

Or maybe the aliens saw how screwed up this world is and decided stay hidden from us. They don't want anything to perhaps do with us. A more logical conclusion, who would want to get involved in a 'dog eat dog world' anyway? But 100 years ago nobody would have imagined anything of the like as the World Wide Web and the internet. But today its just one of the things people take for granted today. It's a household technology. So no one can say where we will be in the next 100 years in science, we could even discover the proper technology for time travel. The idea has always been there, and everything starts with a idea before it becomes a reality.

In the remotest possibility they do find another planet such as us, or better. Living and thriving and advancing just like our human race has been through their journey. One can't help but wonder, what Gods do they have?, what religions?, what languages?, whats hip in their planet?, what types of music do they listen to? and on and on.

All I know is, in that tiny possibility they do find another race or planet of aliens, I would be one of the first to queue up for a one way ticket out of Earth. I'll take my family and migrate to another planet, for good or for ill. Nothing can be worse than it is here already anyway. That will be the coolest thing. That's one of my biggest dreams; to space travel and live on an alien planet. It would be like being born again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Remembering Hikka - Part Two

The Journey continues,..

There's no end nor a beginning.
These fisherman climb the sticks placed along the shallows that run the whole beach-line. It helps them to stay abreast of waves and fish from the schools caught in the surge.

This is another sunset from Hikka.

This is the dude from Funky De Bar. Sitting on the log outside while the dogs are playing.

Have seat at Funky De Bar. There are many more bars and restaurants at this area. But since it was off season, number of those places were closed. One of the few that were open were Funky De Bar, and it was also the only place close by that had a liquor license.

This is Munich the dog. She hangs out in Funky De Bar and can be seen wiggling her tail underneath the tables for scraps of food.


A drink from the tower. The weather kept turning gloomy







A blue scene of the tower. Peaceful. Serene. Tranquil.







The coconut trees of Hikka. Waiting for the October parties to begin.





Walking back. If there ever was a no-fly zone, that would be the currents that would take you out to the sea and never back. As unfortunate it sounds, it does happen occasionally.

A group of locals that came to Hikka for the weekend. It's common to see people from the capital Colombo come to Hikka beach in the weekends to chill or party. Especially for the famous 'Vibrations' Party or to Mambo's.




Everyday the man you see in the picture would come to work as a Night-Watchman just before sunset, to start his duty. He would then go down where the waves just breaks on the beach, standing there he would say a prayer to his gods. And we see him do this every day. It was a special day for him, every single day.

This is it for this part of Remembering Hikka. I hope to be back with more pictures of this series soon.

Take care, and go there. To Just Chill. :D

Blogger Opinion Please

I was just wondering about the post I made titled "Badhuru Ge Chronicles, Vol. 1." I would like to get opinion from you readers whether you would consider to read it, since the post is very very long. Seeing a long post might put off someone, or discourage them to even to start reading it.

Others have started to read it and after they had reached a point, they had to go do something else. If you think the post is too long than appropriate, please let me know. I have tried to write it as it was. But if anyone has any opinions on this I would be grateful, since I'm fairly new to blogging. The Badhuru Ge Chronicles is a true story, and none of the events are fabricated nor exaggerated in anyway.

Thank you all.

Mr. Karma

The World's Most Intelligent Fish


Have you guys seen what this little gold fish can do. I wonder if this is a stupid prank. Apparently it could play basketball, football and even do limbo dances. Positive reinforcement is an effective learning tool. Apparently its more effective on fish than humans. It's ironic because Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) trains their instructors to always use positive reinforcement in their teaching technique. That is even if a student in a confine water session drowns and swallow a gallon of sea water, he should just say "That was really great the way you just got drowned, but next time try not to laugh while you're doing the regulator recovery exercise". Or if some one panics and nearly dies, the PADI instructor would say "Oh, that was incredible, amazing!, but try not to panic next time, everyone give him a hand..yeaaah"

This goldfish has shown how effective it is, on fish not humans. Now the instructors could just say "Cut the crap, a fucking gold fish can do all those stuff, so why hell can't you?! So just fucking do it, I'm getting damn cold in this water trying to teach you goats!" Thank you gold fish.

To check out more go to:
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/article-564101/Pictured-The-worlds-intelligent-fish--plays-football-basketball-limbo-dances.html

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Vaanuvaa Trip


Don't do outside. But chaining yourself to the bed would only make you go out dragging it behind you anyway.

Don't use your keys to enter your apartment. Most probably it belongs to someone else.

Don't drive, although you feel like a F1 rider.

Don't talk. Don't think.

Experience one of the worst feeling you'll ever get once you wake up. Your memory is deleted completely, only fragments remain.

Check your pockets. You might mind find things missing or things that do not belong to you.

You'll feel like shit.

And you know who the biggest idiot in the world is.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Badhuru Ge Chronicles - Vol. 1


An Untold Jail Story


The year was 2003. It was known as the Welfare Jail. More commonly referred to as the Welfare Golhi. There are two main cell blocks with a corridor that's 4 feet wide and ends to the few cubicles of toilets at the back. This is the first floor. The ground floor beneath holds all the solitary confinement cells or the kuda golhi.

This was the time when the jails of Maldives were a carnival. It was during the aftermath of Evan Naeem's murder in the Maafushi Prison. The majority of prisoners at the jails have been released and the society was facing the repercussions of this action by Maumoon. The whole community started to experience a wave of violent attacks with box-cutters. The addicts have morphed into thieves, the violent morphed into addicts, it was an orgy of all forms of criminals graduating their behavior through interacting with each other. In other words, the prisons were a college of higher education for all criminals, where they went from bad to worse, where they picked up new criminal talents. The eventuality of this mixed with police violence and in humane torture, led to Evan Naseem's murder and the Maafushi uprising. This also led to the countless other deaths and the "resignation" of police commissioner Adam Zahir.

By then, due to the release of prisoners by the government to ease out the society's anger, the violence and mugging in Male' had reached a level that it had never seen before, it was phenomenal. There were approximately 3 cases per day of box-cutter attack victims of various degree, brought into IGMH during Ramadan of 2002 itself alone. By then the people have already started to forget about Evan Naseem and the Maafushi riots. People started to go near the police station and shout for action to be taken, they shouted at the police to arrest all the junkies, the thieves, the gangsters, and they even waited near the jetty to verbally abuse the prisoners when they were escorted to the boats from the police station to take to Dhoonidhoo jail or the Maafushi jail. But as usual they never asked why this turn of events happened, who was responsible for the release of all prisoners to justify the murders committed at the Maafushi riots?

In the end, the "in-genius" idea Maumoon had was to bring Adam Zahir back as police commissioner. The question remains to be asked, was this escalation of crime a propaganda to get the people flocking back into the government's bosom? A question for another time.

Now back to our story at the Welfare jail.

As mentioned, the jails were a carnival then. The Welfare, and even the Maafushi jail were experiencing a 'freedom' if any could exist in a lock up. It was open for the prisoners to smoke local cigarettes rolled with news paper, called bidi or even cigarettes if they manage to smuggle it. There was heroin on people who managed to smuggle it in their "cupboards", a.k.a the ass. People could walk around the welfare jail corridor, transfer back and forth from the two main cells at the fist floor. Best of all they could curse and abuse the guards, and they couldn't do anything about it. They smoked and did what they wanted, the guards were forced to tolerate it. This was still the liberty bestowed due to the Maafushi murders and the riots. And Adam Zahir was still keeping things loose after his return to power.

The First Cell, 1st floor, Welfare Jail

From the two large cells at the first floor of the Welfare Jail, the first one is completely empty and is used as a temporary holding cell until the prisoners are "registered". This "registration" procedure includes taking urine samples if the person is held in suspicion for drugs, to giving a statement that is satisfactory for the police. The back of the cells is flooded with urine as no one's allowed to go to the toilet until the urine samples are given, and no one wants to give their urine samples so they just piss at the back of the cell with the hope of cleansing it. They also bring addicts picked from the street, completely high on a heroin infamous in Maldives, known as the Vaanuva Stuff and let them sleep if off in the first cell. Thus the first cell can be said to be used as a transition cell, before you are registered, urine sample taken, statement satisfactory and ready to go Dhoonidhoo detention center for further investigation, or Maafushi jail if you are really lucky.

It was Badhuru's second trip to welfare jail within a month. He was released the first time because the police could not obtain enough evidence to convict him for drug use. He was just another addict among the thousands and thousands that have been victimized for their disease. He had already given his urine and the police wanted a statement admitting that he is a drug addict and they will release him to Narcotics Control Board (NCB). Badhuru knew it was just another game played by the police to get what they want. Badhuru have voluntarily gone to the treatment offered by NCB at DRC twice and thus have used up his quota of 3 years of rehabilitation, thats the limit given by the law. And once that limit of 3 years has been finished and the person relapses, it is a 6 year sentence to jail for drug usage. Unless Badhuru could go to the Detox Center newly opened at that time by NCB at the old Gaamaadhoo area, it was for repeating drug offenders so they could give them a chance to recover within a month without having to go through an intense rehab program. But the reality was that they actually didn't have any space in the DRC ( government rehab). This Detox Center failed in its objectives, and was eventually wiped out during the 2004 tsunami.

Badhuru did not give his statement the way the investigating officer wanted him to. Since it was a weekend the officer told Badhuru to "rot here" until he changed his mind and was transferred from the piss of the first cell to the second cell. That was a privilege. Now Badhuru could have a bed and try to sleep off his time without having to breath through a toilet.

The Second Cell, 1st floor, Welfare Jail

The second cell had bunk beds and it was full of offenders of various degrees. There were people brought in for violence, drug abuse, theft etc etc. The Welfare jail is also a place where prisoners from Maafushi were brought and held temporarily for court hearings and transferred back to their respective prison. Badhuru never thought that this was where the nightmare would start.

Badhuru had his stock of detox medicines prescribed by doctor prior to his arrest, so his cold turkey status was controlled. The guards provided the medicines at the designated times, this was an unusual privilege that came with the "freedom" experienced during that period in the jails. But others were not that lucky to have medicines. There were heroin addicts in severe withdrawal who were vomiting all over the place and screaming with pain. There also were those who had managed to get some drugs into the prison without the guard's detection, so some were high and wasted. Fights kept breaking between those addicts who had drugs and those in withdrawal. It really was a carnival.

After a few days the incident happened.

It was common practice among inmates in Maafushi to fabricate some plan to come to Male' to restock their drug supply. Since after the riots in Maafushi, the prison's were controlled by the Corrections & Rehabilitation Unit (the name could be wrong). And it was fairly easy to manipulate the Correction's guards. In truth they knew what the inmates wanted to do when ever they came to Male' for medical treatment, so they just ask the inmates to return to the boat that transfers them back to Maafushi by the time of departure. Otherwise the prison guards would be in trouble if the authorities knew, so as long as their asses were safe, they did't mind the inmates getting the drugs and taking them back into Maafushi. But they did have to have a medical reason, so they made something up. They sometimes got syringes and withdraw blood from someone and injects it into the nose, or mouth and even the penis so that they will be taken to the Male' hospital. There they will escape, buy the drugs from money collected from other inmates houses in Male', or from their own connections and return to the hospital or the boat that departs to the prison. This way Maafushi jails had more drugs than anyone could imagine. I heard the inmates at the older jail, before the Evan Naseem riot, used to go to the extent of breaking their arms by the help of fellow inmates hoping they will be sent home for at least medical attention. Sadly at that time they were not that successful.

The Fight

Badhuru was killing time at the Welfare jail, with his pocket already full of local bidi's and bored the hell out of himself after a few futile attempts to feed his addiction. At least the meds helped. Suddenly two guys were roughed up and escorted into the first cell by Golhaa Force. And according to them they were some of the members of the group that came from Maafushi that day for "medical", they robbed a dispensary and were pursued by the cops. All of them hid inside a cemetery but eventually the Golhaa Force a.k.a the Star Force, got there and a huge fight erupted between the two parties. Obviously these guys got their ass kicked by the G. Force. And unsurprisingly at that time, they were blown out of their heads on the pills they had stolen.

Soon the rest of the party that came for "medical" from Maafushi were brought by the G. Force and shoved violently into the first cell of the Welfare jail, the piss cell. Among them were a few notorious prison hardened criminals.

After a while the Duty Officer at Welfare jail requested them to all proceed down stairs as they are to be escorted back to Maafushi Jail, where they came from. This was an attractive offer as they have already got the drugs they wanted and they are returning back to where they intended to. But they also knew that it was bullshit. You don't survive in prison and not be street smart. Suddenly they all decided they will not go anywhere, that they will stay here or they would like some 100% guarantees or something. Because they knew after a fight with cops you are in big big trouble, on top of that they had robbed a dispensary with knife point I think, another terrorist offense that carries a sentence of 10 years. They knew they were been taken, but not to Maafushi, but to the hardcore prison at Dhoonidhoo Jail. At this point the new comers to the cells and the old ones who were with Badhuru were freely interacting, both the cell doors were still open. But that all changed soon.

Slowly the guards started to enter slowly. And the Duty Officer ordered the older prisoners with Badhuru to all go inside the second cell, and locked all of them inside. Nobody wanted to argue as no one wanted a free ticket to Dhoonidhoo. Now the only prisoners out in the corridor and near the first cell were the inmates from Maafushi. Then suddenly the guards grabbed the closest from the inmates and a fight erupted out of no where. The Inmates all crowded together and rushed back down the corridor, which was about 3 feet wide. So although there were many guards, it was difficult for them to barge in and overpower the few inmates due to the space of the corridor. Now the inmates were in front of the second cell where Badhuru and the other prisoners were. The guards of welfare jail rushed in, kicking and grabbing and trying to get hold of the inmates who were all acting as one force, so it was difficult for them to drag just one person out. The prisoners who were inside were shouting and screaming. As the guards tried to force themselves through the corridor to reach the Inmates of Maafushi, the prisoners inside the cell took quarter inch plywood planks that were underneath the mattresses, and pushed the planks through the bars of the cell, blocking the advance of the guards trying to tear any inmate from the huddled up group. Now almost all of them had cuts and were bleeding from a couple of places. The police were also injured. Really badly injured. They had also attacked the prisoners with Badhuru inside the cell, somehow Badhuru saw there was a huge chain inside the cell, it was thrown from outside. And the most badly hurt of the Welfare guards had a deep deep cut just above the eyes, he was bleeding very badly. Badhuru can see the police were furious, they were throwing insults and cursing. They said they were going to get the guy who did it to the guard. Apparently he was hit with a thrown padlock from inside the cell, and they knew who it was. He was a seventeen year old boy, who was really dark skinned so people called him Kalhey. And he was really adrenaline charged and hanging on the bars and saying "Yeah, I did it, and Fuck You..etc". They only managed to grab two guys and now three remained still in the corridor, front of the second cell. It seemed like a stalemate. The police had withdrawn and the inmates were still hanging on.

They changed the tactic. They sent a senior officer to talk to them and tell them that they don't want to hurt them, nor to take them to Dhoonidhoo, they just want to resolve this peacefully and blah blah. This was when Badhuru made a huge mistake. While the officer was talking to the leader among the Maafushi inmates, Badhuru also went closer to the bars where they were talking, and urged the officer to please not use violence and do this peacefully. At that time the officer responded to Badhuru positively saying that its how they want to do this and all. Then came the now assistant commissioner, Mr. Faseeh-sir who also came to talk but was actually trying to pull the inmates apart so they can grab them. Suddenly some prisoners inside were shouting "Don't listen to him", "They are going to trick you", "Its a trap!" etc. So the inmates from Maafushi retreated back and again demanded that they will not leave. By then there were few officers inside the corridor, Faseeh-sir was on the phone all serious anyone could guess that it was Adam Zahir. Slowly the officers retreated. And suddenly came an onslaught of madness! The mad dogs of the Golhaa Force were unleashed and they came screaming and flooded the corridor. Badhuru was standing in front of the bars, just next to inmates. He saw them dragged and thrown down, they were trampled and kicked and their clothes were all torn. They were all dragged out like struggling sheep, it happened so fast as if it was unreal. There was still blood on the corridor floor. The Golhaa Force is an effective unit to terrorize and instigate fear. That is what Badhuru saw. Terror in everyone's eyes, inside the cell was pin drop silence where a minute ago it was filled screaming and cursing, now all were speechless. The violence they just witnessed were too hard to digest. Everyone just sat down and kept quiet.

Complete silence.

Pay The Price

After a few minutes the senior officers entered like puffed up roosters. Their attitude now completely different. There was the officer that Badhuru talked to, Faseeh-sir and some more. They were in a rage shouting at the now subdued prisoners in second cell, shouting "Who wants to fuck around now??!!" etc etc. Then Badhuru vividly remembers Faseeh-sir asking "Who are the bastards responsible for the violence that came from inside the cell?". Everyone was involved. Everyone wanted to help the other inmates although they were in the wrong, those who being to jail know that there is only themselves against the cops. In any situation. And the Maafushi riots were not that forgotten then just yet. Suddenly the officer Badhuru talked to before in order to calm them down said pointing to Badhuru, "This is the assole who was in charge of all this shit inside the cell!". Badhuru was utterly shocked!, and tried his best to declare his innocence. But they needed a fall guy for this incident, some one had to pay the price. Faseeh-sir ordered to get Badhuru out of there.

Then the Duty Officer pointed out Kalhey, the boy who threw the padlock that opened a gash on a policeman's forehead. He was dragged out as well. The only thing Badhuru remember about the next turn of events is a bit hazy. He remembered saying over and over again that he was innocent, while he and Kalhey were hand cuffed to the back by Faseeh's order. Kalhey did not say much, he seem to have accepted his fate after his actions. Both of them were hand cuffed to the back and escorted with many many cops, who took them downstairs in order to put them in the isolation cells. Since the door that led to the isolation cells from the inside was still sealed due to the fight, they took them out of the police station and marched them on the street to another door that led in to the isolation cells. All the while the police were cursing Badhuru and Kalhey, pushing them like animals. The other shock Badhuru had was the scene on the street. The fight must have been loud with all the shouting, people outside the police station would have been able to hear it as the outside of the station near the Park area was full of people, curious to see whats happening. As they saw Badhuru and Kalhey been escorted they were shouting, abusing, cursing saying "Kill the hakuru boas!", "Slaughter them!", "Fuck you" etc etc. It was so surreal to Badhuru, he could not believe that it was happening. He was thinking over and over again that he should have just signed that statement a few days ago, or that he should not have talked to the stupid officer and should have remained with his mouth shut.

Badhuru and Kalhey was humiliatingly walked in front of the public and taken back inside the police station where the isolation cells were. There were about 8 ordinary isolation cells, one 'Water cell' a.k.a "Fen Golhi" that were not in use, and even an executive isolation cell, which Badhuru was not able to take a glimpse of. The cells were full. So they just decided to put Badhuru and Kalhey both into the same isolation cell, both still handcuffed to the back. This is a very small cell with one bed and just a toilet at the back, the cell must have been approximately 4x6 feet wide. The cops wanted to charge both of them with assault of a policeman, which carries a sentence of terrorism, that's 10 years in prison.

The Isolation

While both were put into the isolation cell, Kalhey was shouting that he was the one who threw the padlock, but Badhuru was innocent. And to get Badhuru out of there. Badhuru still remembered the braveness of his new in-mate friend and his honestly. He was a good person, must have been 17 years but was obviously more mature than his age after spending most his life in detention centers.

The first things Badhuru and Kalhey did was bring their arms underneath their legs, then pulled the legs through the loops made by the arms so the hand cuffed hands were now in front. These handcuffs the police used had a function that allowed you to lock the cuffs on both hands at a exact size, so that it could not fasten it self slowly as you move around with them. This would have prevented the cuffs from cutting into the skin. However the cops had not fastened this particular function on the cuffs Badhuru and Kalhey had on, they obviously wanted the cuffs to fasten on their hands so they would cut into the skin. It could only be locked with the keys the police guards had. But leaving this function unlocked also created the potential for it to be removed, but with a great risk. You had to have really skinny arms for it to work. All you had to do was empty the whole handcuff's until it passes over the last saw tooth, then you had to place a plastic piece on top of the saw-tooth of the cuffs and pull it back, so that the cuff comes off as the saws cannot grip due to the plastic piece covering the opposite saw-tooths.

Kalhey managed to do it, with the additional directions from another prisoner in one of the isolation cells, because he was really skinny and had skinny arms. Then Kalhey put that cuff on the last saw-tooth, so that he could slide his hands in and out whenever he wanted. He did not want any guards to notice this, they would just re-cuff him with the lock on. But now he could just take that cuff off and comfortably use his hands to eat and use the toilet when non of the guards are looking. Its not easy to move and do things while been hand cuffed 24/7.

But Badhuru was not as lucky. Kalhey and Badhuru emptied the whole handcuff until it reached the end, but since Badhuru's fore arms were thicker than Kalheys the cuffs just stopped after reaching the last two tooths. Badhuru was in immense pain as the cuffs were so tight now that he felt it squeezing his bones. His hands started to turn blue slowly, it was pulsing and the cuffs had already cut into the skin. Kalhey got alarmed and started to scream and bang the cell's steel door to get the guard. The duty officer came and inquired what the matter was and his eyes went wide when he saw Badhuru's hands. He wanted to know how the cuffs got so fastened. Badhuru and Kalhey said that the police had not locked the cuffs from tightening and by accident Badhuru's cuffs got tightened while trying to use his hands. The lie did not matter much, the officer did not want anything fetal happening on his watch so he quickly got the keys and loosened the cuffs on Badhuru's hands and locked it this time to prevent from tightening. Badhuru hands were completely swollan and the cuffs had cut really deep on that hand compared to the other. This was the consequences of failure to accomplish this feat of removing hand cuffs.

Once Badhuru asked Kalhey why he threw the padlock at that particular cop during the fight. "Revenge" remarked Kalhey. Apparently while Kalhey was in isolation cell some time back, he was laying down on the cell floor, and had his head partially out of the gap below the cell's steel door. He was sleeping when this guard for no reason kicked Kalhey's head with his ankle boots to wake him up. This was some of the common torture the police do to the prisoners, they vent out their frustrations and misgivings in this sadistic fashion. So therefore Kalhey took the opportunity of the fight to take revenge on that guard. To Badhuru, it was a justified act. Because although conditions were better at that time in the jails, the environment automatically induced aggression and anger into all inmates. The guard got what he deserved.

All the guards were talking aloud threatening Kalhey and Badhuru when ever they came close to their cell. They were really pissed because one of their men got injured that badly. Kalhey and Badhuru had to sleep on a single mattress on the floor in front of the cell door, which had the only opening on the bottom that allowed to peek at outside. Both of them could communicate with the other prisoners in the isolation cells by shouting, the guards did not care about it. Badhuru had about two dozen of bidi's and a lighter when he was escorted to the isolation cell. So that took care of the nicotine needs that is an essential in lock up situations. There were prisoners brought for many reasons. They heard a boy being brought late one night and thrown inside the "water cell'" since the other cells were full, they could hear the "thud" of the boy hitting the wall as he was tossed in like a doll. He was brought for attacking some one with a box cutter. Then there were the addicts, some brought late night high on the "Vaanuvaa Stuff", they have no clue they are in the police station even. They were so high and once they wake up the next day it was comical to see them utterly confused once they realized they were in jail, and they have no idea how they got there. There was even a political activist brought in because he had video taped a dead addict while he was examined at the hospital and during the burial. It was suspected that police had something to with the person's death. All of the prisoners interacted, sang songs, annoyed the guards trying to kill time.

It was hard to tell the time of the day while you are in the isolation cells of the welfare jail. The whole area outside cells were always lit with white lights. Making it impossible to determine whether its day or night, it was very disorienting. The only indication of time were the meals that were brought in. These meals were a little better than eating shit. Badhuru does not want to go too deep and analyze the food that was brought, as it still makes him nauseous even now. The prisoners used the "fishing" technique to pass things to and fro from their isolation cells. Things like pills or bidi's were passed using a tooth paste bottle tied to a string of rope, made with strips cut from the bed sheet. The receiver will throw the tooth paste bottle, or slide it until the other person can grab it, so then he could place whatever is to be given on the tooth paste bottle, or tie it to it. Once it is done, the other person will pull it to get the item.

Once Kalhey and Badhuru burnt a piece of cloth and used the ash to decorate the walls of the cell. Badhuru blacked out one day as well while taking a piss, if Kalhey was not there to support him he would have had serious injuries that time. Kalhey promised that if they were taken for investigation to Dhoonidhoo, he would tell them that Badhuru had nothing to do with the fight drama. Badhuru is grateful and humbled to this day for Kalhey's noble gesture. However Badhuru was luckier than Kalhey in the end.

One late night the guard who got injured by Kalhey returned. He was not on duty so was in plain clothes. He had a huge bandage on his forehead covering his wound. Badhuru and Kalhey heard a commotion where the angry guard was demanding the keys to their cell, he managed to get it and came near the cell. He threatened Kalhey that he is going to thrash the hell out of him. Badhuru and Kalhey was also shouting and calling other guards to help them, they threatened the guard if he entered he will regret as well, although they were both hand cuffed. He took the padlock off from the cell door to hit Kalhey with it and was about enter when the Duty officer ran down and held the insane guard from entering. He was urging him to control himself, and that it was a big mistake and to wait for the proper chance to do whatever he wanted. Eventually the guard calmed down, now all the prisoners were also awake in the other cells due to the commotion. He left eventually. Badhuru wondered what the consequences would have been if the guard entered and a fight broke between them. They were lucky to avoid it.

After spending a tormenting week in the cell without a shower or change of clothes, both Kalhey and Badhuru's condition started to deteriorate. One early morning the Duty Officer of the new shift was doing the check run before his watch started. At that time Badhuru was awake and Kalhey was asleep, the officer came and asked Badhuru why he was in the isolation. Badhuru told him about the fight, why he was actually brought to the police and about the statement he had to sign. The cop took Badhuru's details, and it turned out to be someone who knew Badhuru's family. He said he is going to check Badhuru's situation and let him know. After 15 minutes the officer returned with another guard and told Badhuru that he is going to be taken out of the isolation cell. Badhuru was ecstatic. Badhuru woke Kalhey up and told him that he was been taken out. And that he will do what he can to help Kalhey out of this situation and help him out of the 10 year sentence. Unfortunately that was the last time Badhuru saw Kalhey, he has never been able to find out what happened to Kalhey after that. Because Badhuru never had enough details of his friend. But he will always remember him forever and had promised himself that he will find him one day.

The Four Inch Carpet

Badhuru is from a well to do, respected family in Male'. His parents have been relentlessly trying to locate their son, because after the fight and the confusion the cops could not tell where he was. Badhuru's father had contacted the police commissioner Adam Zahir as well.

Badhuru was taken upstairs and met with the head of the Drug Control Beaurea (DCB). He ordered the guard to take off the cuffs. Badhuru's both arms were cut due to the hand cuffs continously rubbing into this skin for a whole week. This is nothing compared to the tortures that prisoners went through before the Evan Naseem incident. The DCB big shot then told the guards to get him some fresh clothes and to let him take a shower. He told Badhuru that the police commissioner Adam Zahir wants to meet him. Badhuru was speechless. What the fuck is going on now? he thought. The DCB head asked Badhuru whether he will sign the statement he refused to earlier, of course he will. At that point Badhuru would have done anything to avoid been charged with terrorism, so he agreed instantly to sign it.

After a shower Badhuru was escorted by the head of DCB to the commisioners office. As Badhuru recalls, they took an elevator to to the top floor and waited in a hall way for the permission to enter.

As Badhuru entered with the DCB head into Adam Zahir's office, the most vivid thing he remembers is that his feet sank about 3-4 inches into the carpet that was layed in the room. It was a lush carpet, with a huge intricately curved table facing who ever enters the room. And behind sat the notorious Adam Zahir.

Adam Zahir told Badhuru to sit down. It was hard to believe this was happening to Badhuru. He was more shocked than to comprehend anything else. Adam Zahir said he knows Badhuru's father and that his father have been very concerned. He said that some like Badhuru who is from a good family should not be involved in drugs. He gave little pep talk about the dangers of drug addiction and becoming something in life. Badhuru could not believe this was happening, the most notorious and contreversial figures in maldives giving him advice? What bullshit!! But Badhuru knew better that to talk too much, so he just nodded his head, kept quiet and pretended to listen. After this surreal meeting Badhuru was taken out and made to sign his statement. He was then taken down stairs and out of the police station. The cops agreed to file Badhuru's case if he sought treatment with NCB at the new Detox Center at Gaamaadhoo. Badhuru agreed, this was the best choice he had anyway. Within an hour of being taken out of the isolation cell, Badhuru was taken to NCB, and his custody now transferred. Badhuru was lucky enough to escape from the clutches of the police with a few "minor scrapes". But this was not the end of Badhuru's chronicles in the oppressed regime of Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom.

More of Badhuru's journey through the under world of Maldives will be coming to Mr. Karma's blog soon.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Maldives: The Land of Gangbang

I was reading an article today on Minivan News, it was an interview with a mother of a gang rape victim, the headline reads - The Mother of Gang Rape Victim: "Even Now I'm Scared".

In the past few decades, our cultures have vanished and new cultures have been born. We don't see any of our old cultural elements such as "Thaaru Jehun", "Mangalan Dhandi", "Bandiyaa". Because we have lived through a system that did nothing to promote nor reignite our old cultural arts, or anything related to it. You could say Maumoon destroyed art of all forms in Maldives, along with any upcoming artists by not giving a single platform for them to express, grow and hone their skills.

Anyone can see how he even treated the media, TVM still broadcasts in mono I've heard. The Beatles recorded their first stereo album more than 35 years ago. We got two speakers in any CD player at home, our TV's got two speakers for godsake, it's ment to be used with two speakers producing a 'stereo' sound, if it was meant to be played in 'mono', we would have one speaker. But they send the signal in mono so we actually hear the same sound in both speakers. The whole TVM system is NTSC, set by Japanese technicians many many years ago because thats the standard used in Japan. But here they send it in PAL, on a NTSC system. What happened to the money that is always allocated to improve the media in Maldives?

Well, the media and arts in Maldives were too dangerous for Maumoon, unless it is used only to benefit himself and his cronies. (Seen during the DRP campaign). Thats why we have only seen one Radio Station and one TV station until recently. In by doing this he killed our cultural heritage and any form of art that could have developed in Maldives.

But he did promote a certain culture in his legacy of 30 years. Under his watch the "buffet' culture was born. We have a culture of Child Molesters, Rapists and Gang Rapists. Thank Allah for saving us from Maumoon taking us to "newer heights'. This nation would have turned into the second Saddoom. (It would be good idea to ready yourself with emergency scuba kits in your house in case of such an occurrence). We also acquired a culture where 3 in 5 young people are victimized into drug addiction.

I heard there would be a ceremony where Maumoon will be meeting the people of Maldives to say farewell. We have seen people in the islands, who have been made to live as primitive ape men, dance and celebrate with "bodu beru",..sheeesh! can you believe that?. We will also see more people go to shake hands with their "noble zaeem" and thank him for his service. I hope they remember to thank him for all the unsolved murders, the child molesters (some in service in the president's office), the 'tharaggee' that led to the drug epidemic. And most of all, I hope they thank him for making Maldives the land of gangbang.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Remembering Hikka - Part One

Location: Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka
August 2007

Let me rewind myself to August 2007, when I was in Hikka the last. It was the off season and there was not much to do so I got to take a lot of pictures, as you know anyone will be in a great mood after a visit with Dr. Harry, (a.k.a Dr. Feelgood) and eventually my wife and myself ended up on a photography rampage where ever we were chilling, so I thought I will share some pictures of the trip with any of you who got the time to waste on this. Lets say it's a little guide to those who never have been there and a rekindling of memories for those who did, and of course those who continue to go there still. I'm not a pro photographer nor have I used Photoshop on the pics.


Tick tock tick tock at the rail station in Colombo.

Taking the train is not a recommended form of transport in Sri Lanka. As I last heard there was a bomb that went off at this particular station not long after our trip. The status of the station has to be checked. Too bad the war there is still escalating to worse.











Finally. The choo choo.






The world is never black and white, its in shades of gray, or so I hear.

There's something similar about waiting for a transport no matter where you are, and no matter whether its a bus, a taxi, the subway, or the train.

There were pigeons around. They were pecking the stone slabbed floor furiously the only pictures I took were out of focus. I know, I was just not bothered to adjust, er what is it? the shutter speed isn't it.


My View


Only the dogs ruled inside.
Where the waves had gone to the west.
And be not afraid of what you find.
Deep inside the remedy man's nest.
Now that I have managed to rhyme.
Lets get on with the rest.


The breakfast tower. There's something good about a warm & filling breakfast in the morning sea breeze. Nice to be elevated as well. Hmmmm

Near Funky De Bar

Well, this is view when you are sitting inside Funky De Bar.

The leaning coconut tree of Hikka.

"Munich, where are you?"

This is a nice chilled out place for drink or a sandwich.


This is Funky De Bar
-The entrance. Is this the back or the front? I wonder.

Custom made sandwiches on the way. Also one Lion please. GRRROOWL!!











One of the many guest houses on the beach side of Hikka.







During off season the beach in Hikkaduwa feels like a private beach. The only people around are the hawkers, massage boys and of course, the dogs.

The fishermen and some local boys untangling the fish caught in the net. All the surfers have gone to the west coast and the fishermen are hard at work.


A sunset seen from Hikka beach.










I will end this part of 'Remembering Hikka' and will be back soon with the sequel. My intention was to do this in one go, but since I got a bit more pictures I thought I could present it more clearly if I do it in a few parts. And hey, I'm in no hurry. It'll just take a bit of time to paint the whole Hikka.

It's a nice place. Go there. Take a break from the stress of the world.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

MALDIVES HUMAN RIGHTS

Human Rights Concerns

In the aftermath of the tsunami that briefly flooded the entire country and left scores dead, the government has taken steps to permit dissent in ways that have not been experienced since President Abdul Gayoom took over as President in 1978. This culminated in early February with a win of several opposition candidates in the parliamentary elections in early February. This has been overshadowed by the continuing detention of a number of Prisoners of Conscience who have been jailed for writing harsh, but protected, speech rejecting the current Maldives government.

Amnesty International continues to be concerned about the detention of Prisoners of Conscience who have been imprisoned solely for their political beliefs. Amnesty International is also urging theconstitutional process to incorporate full human rights protections in all of its deliberations and documents.


Taken from Amnesty International USA

http://www.amnestyusa.org/all-countries/maldives/page.do?id=1011195

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

2008: My Change, My Blessing


"But I'm a million different people from one day to the next
I can't change my mold, no, no, no, no, no.."
- The Verve
Bitter Sweet Symphony / The Urban Hymns

The world is changing drastically economically and politically. I've been down many roads to reach here, to realize the milestones of my life. No one will ever say any path that we choose is easy, everyone's story is different but the essentials are the same; grief, joy, disappointments, success, logical, crazy, etc etc. And its not the first time you will hear that the summit is not the glory, its the climb to the summit that makes us who we are.

The little dude you see in the picture is my son. And he's the most precious thing I have ever had in my life. Many people are afraid of change, they are afraid to explore and grow. I know, I was too. And I have not surpassed my short coming although I realize it, I hope I never do so that this learning process continues in its immortality, the way its meant to be. I'm sure many people can relate to my life and my past, as I could do to others as well. As we are all just one.

The darkness, the light, the darkness, the abandonment, the betrayal, the individuality, the ego deflation, the internal contentment, the darkness, the guilt, the light......

I thought I can never redeem myself and smile with joy, well...I was wrong.

2008: The Year of Change

This is the year Barack Hussein Obama, the first afro-american to ever win the presidency of the United States, gave the message "Change; Yes We Can". A truely historic moment in the history of the United States and the world, as the policies of the government of USA have an adverse effect on all nations as a whole.

This is also the year Maldivians felt a sense of freedom never experienced in the last three decades of oppression and injustice. The infamous Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom have been democratically removed from power after a 30 year autocrat rule of this tropical island nation. The Republic of Maldives as most of us Maldivians know, have never been a 'republic' until this year when the corrupt regime of Maumoon and his Dhivehi Rayyithunge' Party - a.k.a Dhivehi Rudinge' Party, lost in the first ever multi-party election held in Maldives. We saw the wily old spider stripped from his web of corruption and greed spun out of all the lives of us Maldivians. Instead of going down like a cornered badger, we saw him trying to redeme himself and appear all noble and humble, acceptiing defeat and impying that he is demonstrating the ultimate example of democracy, HAH! As if he had a choice!!

We will not forget all the injustices we have felt and experienced all these years. I myself remember the feel of hand cuffs being cut into the skin, although I was not prisoned for any political issue. We will not forget even though we heed our president-elect Anni. This is not a Star Wars movie where you could just turn from the Darkside to the Light. President Maumoon will not go down as the Father of Democracy as he is trying to be, he will always be in the eyes of us most Maldivians - The Father of Corruption and Deciet.

Fifteen years ago, when I was in 7th grade in Majeediyya school, me and my group of friends used to fanatsise about a day when Maumoon will be driven out of power. We dreamt and fantasised. We had a band called Fake Blood I remember, we wrote a song called "Puppet" dedicated to the corrupt Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. As I remember this is how it goes...

"A Puppet us holding the strings
.....
.....
.....we'll let him fly , and then we'll shoot him down.
..and bring down from the sky yeah...
....he's a puppet!"

Or some such bullshit,... :S