My Friend Malik

Mohamed Malik

I've met so many people from different parts of this country when I studied in MNU (Maldives National University). That’s one of the best things about studying in MNU. Different people from different islands would join and if you are training to become a teacher, then the chances of meeting someone from each atoll would be very high in your group or class. I've met so many kind, cool, smart and amazing people from MNU that I would never ever forget.

One of them includes Malik. He has straight black hair and he is fair. I bet all the girls in the class were jealous of his beautiful unblemished skin. Seriously, for a guy his skin was really pretty and his face reminds me of Fair and Lovely commercials shown on Hindi channels. Yup, his face is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. However, I always thought that he was mad or angry! Always!!! He had this piercing angry eyes which always happened to be glaring. When he enters the class, his eyes would sweep over the entire class and he would have this smirk on his face. It would look like he is sneaking in and he has got a time bomb or something in his pocket that could go off any second! So I used to avoid him at all costs until I learned that he is actually a very nice guy.  

I remember many incidents from our Phonetics and Phonology class. Our lecturer was Ms. Yooliya. She is really sweet, kind and funny. When Ms. Yooli walks into the class, I bet the grumpiest and most bitter people cannot resist her charm. Yes, we would be grinning from ear to ear as we go along learning to pronounce words and other things.  We loved her class because learning was so much fun with Ms. Yooli. 

For our first assignment, we were asked to choose an audio clip and write using phonetics symbols. And for those of us who were struggling, Ms. Yooli said that we could get help from our friends who have already studied this subject. Well, Malik told me that he had a friend who got an HD (Higher Distinction) and this friend was going to help him.

Apparently, this friend was doing much more than helping. We heard about it from a very irritated Ms. Yooli a couple of days later. Malik and this friend met at a café to give some very innocent tips. They were seated on the second floor, in the open area because it was a lovely day and the breeze was just lovely they didn't want to sit in the dark stale AC area. Boy, he was pleased as punch because he was sure that he would get full marks from the assignment.

Meanwhile in the building in front of this café, on the second floor lived Ms. Yooli. On this exact day Malik’s friend was helping him with his assignment Ms. Yooli happened to come and stand near the window and spotted both of them. Yes, she caught them red handed. She quickly fished the mobile phone from her pocket and dialed Malik’s number. As Malik sipped away on his Lavazza and looked pleased, he was quite shocked as he pulled out his mobile phone from his pocket. Ms. Yooli told us that the first thing he did was look around! Hahaa! And then when he answered his phone, Ms. Yooli said that he wouldn’t have needed the phone to hear her ask him what he was doing! We had a jolly good time in class. Yes, Ms. Yooli told us about the incident over and over and we all laughed.

We also had to do a mid-semester exam too. I sat in the second row and my desk was near the teacher’s desk. Guess who was sitting in front of me. Yes, it was Malik. Half way through the exam, he got permission and left the class. He returned a while later and when Ms. Yooli turned her back, Malik turned back and something! I don’t remember what he said, but I think he said that he left the exam hall because he was bored. And then I asked him whether the paper was easy or difficult, very quietly of course. You won’t believe what he did next! He lifted up his paper and actually started showing me his answers. I was so scared that I nearly pooped into my pants. Luckily Ms. Yooli didn’t catch us!

After a few months, I saw Malik with a huge afro! Well, I’m talking about his Facebook display picture. When I inquired about it, I was told another great tale that I must tell my readers about. Yes, hold your horses, I’m about to share what happened to Malik and his afro.

To start with, the afro was actually a wig! Yes a wig! He was quite pleased with himself when he bought the wig because it fit his head perfectly and looked quite natural and went well with his face and all. So he wore the wig quite proudly and looked tough when he walked on the streets feeling like a Paatey! Unfortunately his cover was blown in the most heartbreaking manner.

Wearing his menacing Paatey wig and equipped with a dangerous smile on his face, Malik walked towards Dine More restaurant knowing that people were looking at him. It was a bit windy and his afro danced beautifully on top of his head. Suddenly a gust of strong breeze that must have come straight from the ocean caught his hair and pulled it off his head. He would have felt less embarrassed if he didn't have to chase or to be more precise, run after it like you do to catch a wild chicken. He had to run for quite a distance before he was able to catch it. By then there wasn't a single living being who hadn't observed this spectacle with a bemused smile on their faces and he didn't have the courage to wear it again.

Later I learned that he is not angry all the time, he just looks angry and people assume that he is a short tempered guy because he speaks his mind. Unlike most cowardly people, he doesn't refrain from speaking the truth. He doesn't try to win anyone’s approval, he just doesn't give a damn about what people thought of him. Which is in fact something very rare nowadays! I believe we need more men like Malik to run schools so that they would speak out the truth instead of being a puppy who would obey their masters every demand even if it was wrong.

Malik is actually a very nice guy too. I needed a wig and when I mentioned that I needed one, he offered to bring it by to JS. I especially like his status updates on FB, yup, they always crack me up! Now he is the principal of a school and I have no doubt that he is the kind of principal who could do the impossible and help the schools in rural areas to develop. He is also one of the best photographers I know. He is a talented guy. Yes, Malik rocks! He is one of the coolest friends and one of the most unique and interesting person that I have met from MNU.


My beautiful princess....Maleesha

Fathimath Maleesha Ahmed [22nd November 2013]
Last week my daughter graduated from preschool. Yes, I was so proud when she came down with the certificate wearing her fancy little red gown. Both my husband and I clapped like anything and some parents I knew from my daughters class turned with a smile on their face knowing that they would be doing the same when their children’s names were called. 
Malee receiving her certificate

Indeed it was a very important milestone for our daughter Maleesha and us. Time flies and the little bundle of joy that we held in our arms have now grown up and is ready for big kids school. I am so happy with her achievements and am ready with her to overcome the obstacles that she would face in the future. One thing I’m quite certain is that she is smart and will give her best no matter how hard or difficult it is. And that is the key to success and her mommy and daddy will always be there, so basically she has nothing to worry about. 

Children are so innocent and pure and as she grows up, I fear for her. I wish I could protect her from all the evil around us. I wish I could just destroy and get rid all the bad influences and people in the world so that our children could grow up safe and protected. But I suppose we need those bad influences to teach our children what is right and what is wrong and I hopefully would be there to tell and guide her in every stage of life until she is ready to fly on her own. 

Dressed up for a school event
I love my children more than anything in the world and I know that they love me too, but I didn’t realize how much Maly loved me and appreciated what both my husband I do for her until quite recently. You see, she’s just six years old so I assumed that she loved me to bits and never thought of how deeply she thought about everyday activities. I was so amazed to learn that she is so mature and wise for her age. Let me tell you how I found out. 

She is down with fever, right now even she has a mild fever and in the afternoon my husband would take her to the clinic to get some tests done. Anyway, I was at work day before yesterday when my mother called and said that she was vomiting. So I quickly went home and on my way I went to the shop and bought some of her favourite food. Eating would be the least favourite thing to do, especially when we are running a high fever, isn’t it? So just imagine how bad it would be for little children! 

Posing for the camera
So, as soon as I got home, I made an omelet and boiled some sausages for her. She was quite weak so I let her lie down on bed and tried to feed her. After eating a little bit and drinking juice, she sat up and said the most beautiful words that I have ever heard and would remember for the rest of my life.

Maly: “Mommy, you are always cooking delicious food for me. You are always taking me to school and helping me to learn. And you are always taking care of me. You are the greatest mommy in the world. I love you so much.” 

For a minute, I was speechless. I was teary eyed and I can’t explain how loved I felt. I have never felt so happy in my entire life. I could withstand all the injustices and unfairness's in life as long as my sweet little girl is there beside me. I know for sure that she would love me and there is no question about it, I would love and protect her till my last breath. Not only my daughter, I would love all my children. I am sure my son would love me as much as my daughter and when he could express his feelings, he would do the same. He is just one and half right now! 
My daughter and I
I can’t wait for her to start school and watch her grow up to be a great young woman. Quite often I keep on wishing that both my children would remain little so that I could bath them, powder their little booty, make up silly stories to impress them and simply just take care of them. However, I am also very eager and curious about them too. I wonder whether my daughter would be an astronaut like she says or be the next Einstein! She can be a stewardess or a housewife if she wants! I just want her to be happy and that would be the answer to my prayer from the day I learnt that I was going to be a mother.