The Missing Chapter of The Ugly Duckling Story


It was a glorious sunny morning somewhere in the woods. All around, the animals, birds and insect were waking up. Mothers hurried to feed their young where as the others, lazily stayed in the nests, borrows or wherever they were. Everybody seemed to be enjoying the cool breeze and the warm sunshine freshly spreading over the landscape except a certain swan who seemed to be quite anxious as she quickly scanned the entire area.

As she sat hidden behind a bush, other animals who lived in this area walked past her greeting their neighbors. She sure was not from around this area! What was she doing here? Why was she so worried?

Her eyes continued to scan the entire area and suddenly, relief swept over her face as she saw something that must have interested her. She relaxed and settled down more at ease now. Her eyes remained on her new found interest and she remained on the spot. It looked as if she was waiting for the right moment.

The swan's eyes were fixed on a mother duck who sat on her nest. She looked so happy and cheerful as she waved at other ducks. She left her nest and joined a group of her friends who were already in the pond. As they happily quacked away, the swan came out of the bush and looked around carefully. It looked as if this swan up to something! 

She was! She quickly made her way towards the nest and placed something in it and went back to her hiding place. She waited for the mother duck to return to her nest. 

When the mother duck returned, the first thing she did was lovingly admire her eggs before she sat on them. She didn't notice anything. The swan who was watching the mother duck looked pleased. She remained hidden behind the bush.

Before the swan flew away, she looked at the mother duck who sat on her nest one last time. It looked as if she wanted to tell her something, but perhaps she wasn't brave enough!

As she flew she hoped and prayed that her friend who was shot by a hunter two days ago would be happy with the home she has chosen for her egg. Her friend's last words were to find her nest and give her baby egg to a family who would take care of him. She felt guilty and sad but there was no way she could carry the egg to her nest which was so far away. She had already put her nest in danger by leaving the nest for three days. She had to hurry home!

"I should have told the duck", she kept on telling herself.

But she chickened out in the last minute. What if nobody wanted the egg! She wanted to get back to her babies too!

"When the eggs hatch, no one will notice the difference!" She told herself.


If she had known that they would call him Ugly, she wouldn't have left the egg in that nest. She thought the mother duck would love the little duckling like her own even though the duckling was bit different.


NOTE: After reading The Ugly Duckling story, Maly asked me several questions!

1. Who put Ugly Duckling's egg in this nest?
2. Why?
3. How?
4. What happened to Ugly duckling's mother?
5. Doesn't she love him?
6. More questions....etc

And I made up this story to answer her questions, so this story is dedicated to my daughter, Maleesha. I try my best to give her an answer instead of saying I don't know so that she would think and be creative! But sometimes, she's too smart and my bluff just doesn't make sense to me even!

I never wondered about how a swan's EGG ended up in a duck's nest when I read this story even when I was little!




Yesterday was my birthday! Yes, my tenth 21st birthday! Oh yes, you heard me right! Oh come on, don't give that look. As my husband says, from now on I'm going to be forever 21!


So here's what happened yesterday (18th January 2013). When I woke up, happy birthday mommy was written on the wall. It was a joint effort by my daughter and my husband. Of course, Mummu even contributed by running around the room! 

I received 2 special text messages from Shifa (my sister) and Beebi. Too bad I had to change my phone, I really wanted to save the text messages and Beebi, you made me smile...after all you are forever sixteen so no one can understand my forever 21 issue more than you, isn't it?

In the morning after breakfast, I was informed by Maly that her daddy was going to buy my present and then she realised that she was not suppose to tell me and then whispered, "You are not suppose to know, it's a surprise for you." 

Hahaa! Of course I promised to keep her secret and as I waited, I prayed that I wouldn't get toy! Don't laugh, here me out! Maly did ask me two days ago whether I liked toy guitars and when I said no, she looked crestfallen! When I asked why she looked so sad she said, "If you don't want a guitar, then I'll have to play my guitar all by myself! If I buy a guitar for your birthday, we can play together! We'll have super fun Mama."


So I got my gift and suddenly found myself floating in cloud nine! Oh yeah! I got my wish! Finally I got a phone from which I could use Viber, Instagram and all the other applications that everybody has been using! Thank you my darling husband, you are the best and you always know what exactly I need! 

As I was checking my phone and downloading stuff, Maly came and whispered again, "We'll buy a cake in the afternoon, don't tell anyone, it's also a surprise!!!!" 

Once again, I promised to keep her secret! I'm really good at this! Seriously, I didn't tell a soul! 

My husband wanted to go and get the cake alone, but Maly insisted and cried! Yes, finally they went together and I don't know how he brought the cake home, with Maly sitting behind  him in the motor cycle! He's just amazing! He must have balanced the cake on his lap while Maly sat behind him and held onto him for dear life and rode the motorcycle home in the heavy traffic! I love you darling! 

So we cut the cake and enjoyed ourselves! 

My daughter made a card for me, but she was too busy planning my birthday party (just for family) that she couldn't colour it and I'm not suppose to take a picture of it until she does. So photo to be uploaded soon!

And then my friends insisted that I should give them a birthday treat! So we met today at Petays and had lunch. Saushan brought this lovely cake! Yes, it was yummy! Too bad Niam couldn't come, I missed her  

Meet my friends! They are just super cool. We all have something in common! CAN YOU GUESS! Each of us have a 6 year old boy or a girl. Our children studied in preschool together! We have so many happy wonderful memories and we plan to stick together even though our children has gone to different school's for their primary education. You guys ROCK! The cake was out of this world delicious and as usual, we laughed a lot and had a super duper lunch. Thank you friends! Love you all.

Cake by: Saushan (Best baker in Male')

And lets not forget Facebook, thanks to Zuckerberg...so many friends and family members and students wished me. Some birthday wishes were so nice, I love you all too and I'm glad that I'm some of your favourite English teacher.

So turning 21 for the tenth time is not so bad after all! This is one of the best birthdays that I have had so far in my life and thank you everyone. You all have made me happy and I'm blessed to have you all in my life. 


The Helpful Shop Assistant

When was the last time you went for shopping? Yesterday, last night or did you just finish  your daily shopping spree? 

Last night I went for shopping with my husband. We were looking for some stationary and school wear for my daughter, plus clothes for my son. We went to this shop that sold foot gear and school items like bags and lunch boxes and I met this shop assistant that I would NEVER EVER forget!

Yes, I'm sorry if I've disappointed you...I'm not going to talk about shopping. I don't hate shopping but I go for shopping when I have no choice at all! Nope, sorry...I'm not a shopaholic!

Any way, back to the helpful shop assistant I just referred to at the beginning...he is a foreigner, perhaps he is Bangladeshi. I don't know him that well. He speaks Dhivehi (our mother tongue) fluently and I would say he's not one of those annoying shop assistants who breaths down your shoulder as you browse through the items and definitely not the sort of shop assistants who are too lethargic to lift their bottoms from the chairs and when asked whether a certain size was available, would careless mutter, "Every item available are over there, just check them on your own!"

This happened about 7 years ago. We were newly married and we were looking for a shoe for my husband. We were just browsing and then we came across a very nice shoe and we were checking it out when this helpful chap appeared by our side. I bet he must have been observing us for a while and couldn't contain himself, so he came over to help us out!

Helpful Shop Assistant: "That's a very nice shoe Sir". 

My husband: "Yes, it is. What can you say about the quality of this shoe? For how long can I use this?" (He prefers durable items and like good quality shoes). 

Helpful Shop Assistant: "Oh Sir, it's made in China!!!!! See the sole of the shoe, it's very strong, and it would be very easy to polish this shoe as well. Even after months, if you just polish it up, it would look like a brand new shoe!"

I looked at my husband, you know trying to warn him and the helpful shop assistant must have gotten my signal as well. 

He tried to promote the shoe with such passion that for a minute or so, I almost thought that this nice gentleman standing in front of us actually did own the factory where the shoe was manufactured! Seriously! His eyes were glazed as he went on and on about the product being the best shoe that they have important to Maldives. And my husband happened to be holding the only shoe of the kind made, EVER! It was the ONLY shoe important to Maldives from CHINA that year from this particular company where only one shoe was manufactured of this quality!

I know! CHINA!!!! 

May be we had a neon light which was only visible to him lit on top of our heads saying, "DUMB and DUMBER!!!" We didn't want to buy the shoe of course, so my husband kept it on the display shelf. 

The lovely shop assistant was so determined to sell it to us, that he finally yelled out with all his heart, "Sir, this would NEVER EVER break! As long as you use it, it would remain in 100% perfect condition".

We quickly walked out of the shop because we could hardly contain ourselves. Yes, as soon as we were out on the pavement, we laughed out loud! And I kept on laughing and laughing..eventually my husband stopped, but I laughed for the rest of the night....you know like...I stopped after sometime but the minute I was reminded of the incident (which was like every 5 minutes) I'd start again. No, it was not intentional...I found the whole promotion bit genuinely funny and laughed all night. Even after years, when we needed a good laugh or wanted to share a joke, we recall this incident and successfully manage to entertain our friends and in my case, my students most of the time!

I'm not surprised with the fact that he's still working in Maldives or the same shop. It would be hard, or I'd rather say, impossible to replace such dedicated shop assistants who put so much effort into promoting the items being sold in the shop. May be he was new when I initially met him because last night, he did promote the lunch boxes that I checked out but didn't go beyond extreme levels of human imagination!


Meet My Son....Mishaal

Dressed in Maldivian traditional wear.
Today I'm going to introduce the cutest boy I know! Yes, it's my son and he is one and a half years old. I think if you've been reading my blog, you'd know his name is Mishaal (Mohamed Mishaal Ahmed) and we call him Mummu.

In 2011 towards the end of the year we learnt that we were pregnant. Oh yes, we were excited! Firstly, Maly was 4 and half and both my husband and I had discussed about a second child quite frequently. It was like a dream come true for us. We were even more happy that our daughter was so keen about the baby that she sang to my bump every night!

Little bundle of joy <3 br="">

Mummu was born in ADK Hospital on July 16th 2012. It was about 9:50 pm. When the nurse brought him to me, his eyes were wide open and he was sucking his thumb. Of course, we fell in love with him the minute we knew that we were having a second baby, but holding him in my arms was like multiplying that love times 1 million. My heart over flowed with love and happiness. 

He was so tiny at first but so adorable. His first word was "dhatha" (sister) and he started walking at around 15 months. He likes to play hide and seek. When I pray he would watch me with a naughty smile on his ace. When I'm about to finish he would know, he would then run and stand behind me. The minute I give salaam, he would then shout "THAAAAA". He is actually trying to startle me and every time I do get startled! 

When my son starts laughing, you'll join him naturally because its so cute that you resist but laugh out loud with him. Sometimes I don't have to put much effort to get him started, all I have to do is just turn the other way and suddenly look at him. If you want to make him laugh, just show him Bubsy Baby (phone application). Like Talking Tom, Bubsy would record what you say and when you touch Bubsy's tummy, Bubsy would fart! Mummu finds the farting bit hilarious! Seriously, you should see him bubbling over! No matter how many times you show it to him, he would crack up every single time!

Today I've come back to work after my annual leave. I've been with my children for almost a month and I'm missing my son so much. I miss my daughter too, but I dropped her off at school and went to pick her up as well but Mummu was asleep when I left this morning and I haven't gone home today. Perhaps, that's the main reason why I'm missing him so much today. I've been with him 24 seven for quite a bit, no wonder I miss him and I'm quite certain that he misses me just as much!

Children bring so much joy and meaning into our lives. They give us purpose and something to look forward to. Like all the mothers who breath the same air as I do, I also love my children with all my heart and cannot even a minute without them (now that I know them). The most valuable assets that I have are my children and I believe that they are blessings from Allah and I am grateful that I've been blessed with two wonderful children. 

Going to Big Kids School, Yes!!! It's a big deal!

Yes! My little bundle of joy has now grown old enough to attend not just preschool (she has graduated from preschool), but proper BIG KIDS SCHOOL! 

I know! I've cried a river already and I'm successfully getting used to the idea that she's growing up fast! 

To begin with, ever since she graduated from preschool, I've been telling her about grade one. She have been so excited and could hardly contain herself as the day approached and when we got her unifom, bag and other things she would need, school was all that she talked about day and night! 

So finally, the day arrived. I woke her up early in the morning and we got ready and had breakfast together. As I was on annual leave, I didn't have to attend work and even if I wasn't on leave, I would definitely have taken family responsibility leave for this special day to be with her. 

My husband even went to the bakers to buy a snack for her to take to school! I know, we were all super excited! It was not just my daughter who couldn't sleep the night before the school started...both my husband and I were also sleepless. 


If you are wondering whether we were all smiles and excited the whole night, "NO"..we were a bit worried too! I know I sound..umm..how do you put this...clingy, over protective mom...but I can't help it. I was and still am scared for her. However, she's a smart and brave girl and I'm sure she'll make new friends and get along just fine.

So once she was ready, we got her bag and came out to get a taxi to take her to school. While we waited for the taxi, my husband took several photographs.

See the excitement bubbling over...focus on her smile and you'll see! 

Where was Mummu (Maly's little brother) when all this happened? I'm sure you'll be wondering about him since he is missing in all the pictures! 

Well!!! He was asleep when all this happened! He was up at dawn at about 4 am and slept at about 6, so no wonder he was asleep! 

But, we'll definitely take a picture of Maly in her school uniform and Mummu proudly standing next to his big sister soon!

When we arrived at school, there were so many parents with their cameras trying to capture this special moment of their child's life! All around kids smiled and waved at familiar faces from preschool. Though it was their first day, they were getting along just fine...and they haven't even gone to their classes yet! So IMAGINE what it would be like when they get to know each other! 

The teachers waited for quite sometime and then took the children to their respective classes. As they left, I took a few more pictures. Nope, I didn't turn on my heals and head towards home! No siree, I lingered for a bit more and peeked from the window to check how Maly was doing in class and also managed to take a few pics too!

So after this, I agreed to go home as my husband said, I looked like a loony mom! I didn't want my name on the top of "LOONY MUM TO BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS" list!

We came home and anxiously waited for her session to end! I know, I can't help it! When it comes to my children, I have this mama tigress instincts activated all the time and I worry all time, even when they are sleeping! Is it normal? NO! Then I must get my self hospitalized or something! 

I guess, almost all the moms go through this...at least at some point in their motherhood or perhaps, this is just a phase that I'm going through..(I hope!). However, at the same time, I'm so happy and proud that my daughter is growing up. She has reached another important milestone and we (my husband and I) are and are going to be by her side in this journey of life because she's our precious angel! 

Indeed, January 6th was a very important day for her...going to big kids school is a big deal! For us at least and we'll proudly go around bragging about how brave she was and how quickly she made friends! 


The Stalker!

Tonight at about seven, we went for a walk after going to a friend's son's birthday party. It was dark when we reached the Republic Square but it was windy and very cozy. We sat down on a bench and looked at the sea and the vehicles passing by. 

Just then Mummu saw the moon and cried out, "MOOOOOOOOOOOOON."  

Maly also looked at the direction Mummu was looking and said, "Oh no! NOT AGAIN! 

I was very curious so I asked her, "What is the matter?"

And then she explained, "That  moon has been following me! "Wherever I go, if the moon is out, it's always following me". 

So I asked her, " Are you sure love?" 

She looked quite certain when she said, "Of course, I've been stopping and checking whether it follows. When I stop, the moon stops. It doesn't follow others!" 

"May be the moon likes you", my husband said with a smile on his face. And added, "It use to follow me when I was little boy too!"

My daughter is quite knowledgeable about the solar system, planets and being an astronaut ever since she learned about planets in school. She knows that the planets revolve around the sun and why we are able to walk on Earth unlike other planets. I'm sure she'll understand someday what's actually happening! After all I even understood what was actually happening as grew up. 

Like Maly, when I was a child, I use to look at the sky and check whether the moon was following me! I remember one day I told my cousin Sirana that the moon was following me and she said that it was following her as well. We must have been six or something. Anyway, we wouldn't have been older than  my daughter.

So what we did was, first I walked for a distance and checked whether the moon was following me and at the same time, my cousin was checking too. Once I was done, I asked her whether it followed me. To my disappointment, she said no! So she took her turn and walked for a distance while I also kept any eye on the moon! I was planted on the spot and my cousin walked. Our eyes were glued on the moon and what we saw differed! Only then we realised that it was not following anyone! It just looked as if it was following us. 

When we came home, Maly tugged at my arm and said in an excited voice, "Look mum, there is it, it's following us!" 

I thought I would give it a try and told her, "it looks like it's following us because it's far away! It's not following us!" 

Maly looked at me as if I've just gotten the award for being the dumbest person ever! You should have seen the smile on her face so that you'll know what exactly I'm talking about! 

It was getting late and we wanted to get home soon as Mummu was getting grumpy because he was hungry but one of these days, I'm going to make her understand that the moon is not following us! 

I guess everybody thought that the moon followed us when we were young! I did, all my childhood friends did and even my husband did! So I guess the moon has been stalking us humans from the day we humans set foot in this planet Earth!

First Day of School

Posing for the camera at home before going to school. 
Whenever I meet a new batch of students, I always ask them whether they remember the first time they went to school when they were little tots. Well, they would have been just two and half when they join play school or three when they join nursery. Most of my students have blurred memories of going to school with their mommies. I believe we all would have cried our eyes out when our mommies left us with a bunch of strangers and a group of scared bawling bunch. Perhaps we've put the memory into a dark corner not wanting to go there very often and with time, forgotten vivid details! Well, I'm not an expert on how the brain works, it's just my theory!  

I think you'll want to know whether I remember my first day of school! Yes, I do and I remember minute details as well. Let me tell you about my first day. 

It was just a another Sunday morning. I knew I was going to school, I think my mum must have told me in order to prepare me for the first day like I did many years later when my daughter was ready to go to preschool. I wore this white uniform and my brother in law paid for a photographer to come and take a picture. Back then cameras weren't so common it was expensive. Few people owned one and there were these photographer who we could hire to take pictures of important events. 

I was enrolled in Aliya School and this preschool does not function anymore. I remember walking to the school with my mother and entering through the gates! I held on to my mum's hand as we entered the class. There were many people. Next, she showed me a wooden chair which was too big for me. When I sat down, my legs dangled to and fro. I was looking around at other kids and there were some women, they must have been the teachers! And as the parents started leaving, the ultimate crying started! It was horrible, I got scared and looked to where my mum was standing a few minutes ago and she was GONE! 

I searched the class frantically, I didn't get up of course! I was too scared anyway to even lift my bum! The noise of crying amplified as the number of crying kids increased. I was almost in tears now, my lips were wobbling and two big tears welled up in my eyes. I was searching for my mum by looking at the back of the classroom and front. And then I saw her standing outside near a pillar. I burst into tears and she came towards the entrance but to my dismay, she left! My mum told me much later that the teacher just sent her away telling her that the sooner the parents left, the sooner the kids would calm down! Perhaps the teacher was right. 

I cried and cried and I don't remember anything else except that the teacher took away the blue bag my mum kept on my desk. Yes, back then we had to buy our books and stationary and hand them over to the teacher on our first day (preschool). 

Do you remember your first day at school? I'm talking about the very first time you set your foot in a school to study! Tell me about it! 



Do you remember your dreams once you wake up every morning! I'm talking about those weird, sometimes funny dreams that are featured once we knock ourselves to sleep. Uh uh! Nope, not those dreams about becoming a world class singer or going to the moon. But those short movie clips that we watch while our body rests. 

Some dreams are so scary that I wish that I never dreamt them and there are those dreams that are so nice that  I wish that I never woke up or quite often I wish that I could re-dream again! Seriously, let me tell you about some of the dreams that I would never forget. 

1. When I was little, I must have been 8 or something, I dreamt that I could fly. Yes, I know! And I even remember how I felt too. I just lifted myself from the ground and stretched my right hand forward and there I went up like arrow into the vast blue sky. When I looked down, I saw the Earth like ball below me all around me there were white fluffy clouds! I dove into them and enjoyed a lot. I guess that's exactly how Superman must have felt too! 

Rhithik Roshan
2. Do you know Rhithik Roshan? Well he is a Bollywood super star and when I was a teenager, his first movie came out. Yes, we all thought that he was super hot and drooled over his picture and in front of the telly. I even had his picture under my pillow! (back then of course). And one night I dreamt that I was in a limo with him. He looked so handsome and both Rhithik and I were wearing shades. The driver just drove the limo through the thick crowd of his fans and photographers. The photographers kept on taking pictures. It felt so real, I wish I could order this exact dream one more time! Oh and perhaps switch on repeat mode for a couple of nights too! 

The bouquet I got in my dream was even more pretty!
3. I worked as a temporary teacher for one year. At the end of the year, I applied for a teaching diploma programme at the Maldives College of Higher Education back then, now Maldives National University (MNU). Back then, getting a placement to be trained as a teacher was hard! I mean it! One main reason is because students interested to become a teacher would apply from all over the country and as MNU was the only institute that offered teaching courses, getting a placement was very difficult. My cousins told me all sort of tales about interviews and everything and I was really scared. One day before I got my acceptance letter, I dreamt that my students gave me a bouquet of beautiful pink flowers. They were smiling and all the little faces radiated nothing but happiness! I asked them what they were celebrating and they just smiled at me! 

4. I bet all of you would know Rishmy! Yes, the Maldivian famous dancer/actress! When Maly was about one or something, in my dream I was watching TV. Rishmy was dancing on a little stage built over a pond! She was standing in the middle and waiting for the back up dancers to join I suppose and then men dressed as frogs jumped out of the pond and joined her on the stage.

They stood together and started singing, "Irililly kaaku kaaku!" and started dancing!

It means, who is Irililly in Dhivehi and don't ask, Irililly is not a name we give to Maldivian girls! I don't know from where it came from! Two years ago, her son started preschool and started going to Kangaroo Kids too. When I see her dropping her son at school when I go to drop Maly as well, I find my self singing "Irililly kaaku kaake! It just happens automatically when I see Rishmy! I don't suppose I'll ever forget this dream either! 

Professor Ugail

5.  How many of you all do know Dr Ugail? I guess everybody would know! Well, this year a couple of months ago, one night I dreamt that I was having coffee with him in a very quaint cafe. We just talked and talked! I swear I didn't think about him or no one even mentioned his name or anything to me, I just dreamt about the most famous Maldivian professor just out of the blue! I've never ever met him and I've just read a few articles written by him on Haveeru Newspaper! I guess the devil is playing games with me! 

Well, there you go! My dreams are quite interesting, isn't it! I know...it's a bit wired and half the time, I don't even understand what my brain is doing to me when I sleep! Any way, I do enjoy these dreams because there is no way that I would ever fly, meet Rhithik or Professor Ugail in real life. So I might as well have coffee with them in my dream world! 


Goodbye 2013

Another year has come to an end. Yes, it seems as if it was yesterday that the year 2013 started. Yet, here we are celebrating or welcoming the year 2014. 

Unlike the previous years, this year the capital city of Male' embraced the new year with live music and fire works. Nope, I didn't go to Alimas Ufaa Carnival but I went out with my husband at about ten thirty. As I came out of the house, the first thing I heard was loud shrieks. I thought a girl must seen a cockroach or something but then the noise seem to get louder. 

And then I saw a lorry approach and there were three girls and  a young man in it. They were giggling like made and one girl was laughing so hard that she was holding on to her tummy. They looked happy...well MAD sort of happy. I was looking at them wondering why they were screaming and going for a ride in a lorry late at night! Just then the guy saw me looking at them and he said something and two of the girls looked at me and you wont believe what they did next.

Well, not they, the GUY! He was trying to control his laughter and then he screamed like a GIRL. Yes, just like a girl. You know those screams you hear in Aminiya School when a wasp enter a class room! Yes, that's exactly what I heard! As I continued to look at them all confused (I didn't understand what they were doing...screaming in the middle of the night), one girl ducked and tried to hide her face. As it was dark, I couldn't make out the faces or anything and even if I did recognize them I wouldn't have said 'hi' and gone to their homes to tell their parents! 

The guy must have been so pleased with his work that he broke down and guffawed like a crazy old bugger. The girls joined in they were laughing loudly. As the lorry passed me and continued their sacred journey, they started to scream in unity and what a lovely music that was! 

I know, it's new year...we've lived another year and we are moving on making new resolutions, hoping and praying to do much better in the future, but what's the point of being a nuisance to the rest of the population who'd like to have a quite night in. What about the elderly and the children sleeping? If they wanted to scream and party, they should have gone to see the bodu beru show! I think we all should think about others as well.

Anyway, the year has ended. Hope the new year would bring much happiness, prosperity and good health to my family, friends, students and my readers.....oh alright....HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!. Have a great year and enjoy!