An old man’s confession

Today morning, my sleep got disrupted by some loud sound. I couldn’t clearly make out what the sound was. Though, the sound was familiar enough but either I have trouble hearing or I have become too immune to these sounds. It must have been another blast somewhere.

My body is all bathed in blood again today. I went to wash it off but oh, my clear waters have become filthy. I tried to have a look at myself through its reflection, not that I am a narcissist. Those lines on my face, they are not wrinkles but the boundaries, the territorial definition of all that is wrong with me. I am an old, weak, vulnerable person.

My memory is getting weak by each passing day yet I clearly remember the days of my youth vividly. What date is it today? Is it July 26, 2037? I guess it has been 72 years since the United Kingdom freed me. I was a new born, I was beginning to create a sense of my own identity. I loved meeting people from everywhere, I have a storehouse of million stories. People used to be so happy when they used to meet me, not even a person went unhappy back home after they had visited me. That was my charm.

I am a destitute today, my people beg, some are displaced in other countries,living with a loss of identity, while others are still here to fulfill their ulterior motives. They are still hoping that they would fulfill their economical motives using a destitute like me. Innocent people who are still a part of me often ask me about the fundamental loneliness their life has put them into. They have been warned 20 years ago by our neighbors, but I was friends with wrong people who pushed me into extremist violence. I became an orphan when my own caretakers ditched me and left more than a billion MVR loan for me to repay to my so called allies.

I feel ugly when I see myself, though the skies are still blue but the clear blue water I possessed during my youth has changed its color to Red. My people who are still hoping to give themselves and me a good start all over again are being killed on my streets. In all these years, their blood has been flowing in my waters, my tears are no more salty. It is well said by Isak Dinesen “The solution to anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea” but as I look around, everything has turned into red with bloodshed. Land shakes with every bomb blast. Nobody likes to meet me now, I am a nomad, without clothing , without proper socialization. I was my own home but I was thrown out.

My people are starving, there is not enough food for my children. My people are dying very young and naive. Some often come to me with the complain that the city of Male is so densely overpopulated that they often feel like they are trapped in boxes. They want to breathe the fresh air, most of my islands are sold off. People are often taken over by filthy water waves. Water calamities keep visiting me.

My own politically driven people are deceiving me, my neighbors often pass me by, some of them are generous enough to shed a tear while others act as a mute spectator. I am highly disappointed by the way my life is functioning. Is there a way out?

I can’t take this anymore. I feel like I am on a slow poison diet. Either destroy me completely or Save me.

I am the Maldives, ugly inside and out.

ABOUT THE STORY : The above story is a work of fiction inspired by an interview with an 70-year-old man. He has spend his entire lifetime living in the Maldives. He was asked about the current crisis the country is going through to which he gave us a fascinating imagery of what Maldives will look like in the next 20 years if the political drama doesn’t take an halt.