Yesterday evening, I went to Male International Airport to fetch my brother who was coming from Colombo. At the arrival terminal I decided to take a mini statement of my bank account, as it was announced an upgrade of the system will take place during the weekend and service will be discontinued from midnight Thursday night to Friday noon. But you can never be sure that the databases will be absolutely intact after an upgrade. I have reasons not to trust information technology to the extent of perfection (in Maldives).
I queued up behind three people. As I was standing in the queue, a young man walked to the person who was taking out the money from the machine at the time, and tried to grab the money from him. The older man behind, went to grab the "man-organ" of the culprit. A young girl in uniform looking at this smiled!
As I turned right, there were three young men in various uniforms, chatting. Another young man walked up to them, lit up a lighter and put it to the ass of one. He felt the heat and turned back, all started laughing; the girl in uniform watched and smiled heartily in absolute amusement!
All those around, were laughing and enjoying the fun of what was going on. I was shocked, I suddenly realized how much out-of-place I have become in the modern day Maldives. I couldn’t enjoy a single moment of all this!
Where are we headed as a nation? Our president preached the importance of "thandhoru dhanna" (educated) young people, in a sermon in Thaa Atoll about ten years ago. I couldn’t help wondering whether his lieutenants heard what the general had to say! And he had promised "ufaaveri kurimageh" (a pleasnt future) for the nation, in the run up to the presidential election four years ago. He had put together the youngest and most academically qualified cabinet thus far in his six five year terms in office, following that election.
Who is responsible? Why have we lost the decency, integrity and respect – values that were the cultural identity of the people of this nation! Did we lose it, or is it just my inability to come to terms with a modern soceity!
How can we make a difference?
Mohamed Shihab / Smile and Let Smile