Sultans Of Swing

This story tells about a British submarine sinking a British trawler on purpose - THAT NEVER HAPPENED

01.1 A Broken Wing

When the island falls asleep, I ramble to the jetty scrutinising briefly; those waves roll lazily on the shore. Surrounding in a glow of amber from...

01.2 A Broken Wing

“Central government posted spies and political officers to defy and infiltrate the course of the republic formed in January ’59 waving an independent...

01.3 A Broken Wing

I mentioned this woman spy to my Addu friends. Nobody heard of a woman spy. It was like the Maldivia Gardens in St Helena. Ten near perishing souls...

02.1 Vultures from the West

Major Phyllis entered, “Good Evening, sir!” “It happens to be four in the morning. Don’t you sleep, WW?” muttered Richard Whyte , Head of the Secret...

02.2 Vultures from the West

Sky turned grey over Moscow. Newly appointed Colonel General Sergei Shtemenko took a glimpse at the reports of nuclear tests taking place around the...
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02.3 Vultures from the West

Dirk Wyse Dwire saw the ship beyond Gadu. He picked his binoculars and stepped on the beach. In his focal view, he caught the hazing image in a full...

03.1 The Staging Post

A row of to-lets stood by the west wall and doors painted blue. Inside the confines of a whitewashed wall, forecourt covered of white gravely sand, a...

03.2 The Staging Post

RAF Gan – the British acquired base in Addu in the southernmost island in the Maldive Archipelago was used for transit operations. In 1956, Sri Lanka...

03.3 The Staging Post

Virgo was appointed as prime minister by Sultan Muhammad Mal Vatta on 12 th December 1957. Virgo was thirty-one years old. His immediate demand was...

03.4 The Staging Post

The Defence Minister of Wizarat-Al-Aman-Am or the Ministry of Public Security, Manan Rock , was twenty-nine years old. He sat behind the desk wearing...

04.1 Bird Watcher

First meeting with the Commandant took place on the evening Major Phyllis arrived in Gan that was 18 th October 1957. It was a very wet day...

04.2 Bird Watcher

The approach from the inlet waters of the atoll to Hittadu was spectacular with a vast lagoon glowing in turquoise as far as the eyes could see. Wind...

05.1 Birds of Paradise

Messenger reached the western shore to find the girls ravelling in the sand playing bìbala – a game of tackling that too often played on the beach...

05.2 Birds of Paradise

Mala entered a faintly lit room with a couple of white sofas and a rug under. A working desk and shelves by the walls. On one side, there was a white...

05.3 Birds of Paradise

Mosanic saw her play tennis at the park with some royal ladies wearing sari. They do not run. They tossed the ball over the net until it fell off...

06.1 Deeni

Her tan was gone, fashion changed and she looked young with a new hairstyle parted in the middle. She wore no makeups and no gold chains. She...

06.2 Deeni

Two months later, it was April, Footloose Habib arrived in Maradu shortly after Ramadan. He stayed at a house called Askeni on Vinamathi Higun in...

06.3 Deeni

It didn’t take long. She was called to attend Gan for an interview. She wore a beige midi dress and climbed the boat with several men and women...

07.01 A Nest in the Woods

Rains continued and sunny days occurred in between. Flight Lieutenant Marvin Edward was getting busier day by day. More locals arrived for treatment...

07.2 A Nest in the Woods

Shakir returned to the foreground and the girl had gone into the annex. He sat down and dug into some of the stuff she brought. Samara appeared from...

08.1 Dhekunu Mala

Footloose Habib rolled through the arch over the stone path and parked by the front door. Habib heard a sound like wet towel slapped on stone during...

08.2 Dhekunu Mala

By now they dropped a Styrofoam box into the brook and attached a rope to pull it up and down so they could cross without getting wet. Footloose...
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08.3 Dhekunu Mala

It was raining on Tuesday. Shakir was with Habib at Askeni. At dawn, they went for prayer at a mosque next to the Atoll Office on Mahan Magu. Habib...

09.1 First Infiltration

8 th November turned out to be a bright day and Mala was off duty. Footloose Habib biked up and down to make necessary arrangements. They took a...

09.2 First Infiltration

Don Raha joined Shakir at the pond. “The magic of orchidea makes a woman invisible. Nobody can see her when she’s without a dress,” explained Raha...

09.3 First Infiltration

Mala began to walk on barefoot in the dark over the grass, wet grounds and lumps of sand, scattered steel pipes and fallen logs. Sharp wire, nails,...

10.1 Strange Brew

Next day Mariam Mala entered the dark room to place the Negative 100, black and white film, inside the tank. She began a process to wash it in...

10.2 Strange Brew

On 14 th Friday, when Adaran summoned the folk to deliver an update on new developments, Savari Shakir entered the crowd and listened outside the...

10.3 Strange Brew

Officer Gold, Ali Takhan and Defence Minister Rock sat impatiently in the garden at Hakra House. Lance Corporal Moosa Manik entered through the gate...

11.1 Gadu Badu

An exposed Land Rover stopped in front of the magistrate’s house on Nares Road. Major Phyllis, Wing Commander John Knet, who was posted recently, and...

11.2 Gadu Badu

A large community stayed back in the islands. They grew desperate and sentiments towards the central government heard. Trouble was brewing. On 30 th...

11.3 Gadu Badu

A supervisor grabbed Amrish sleeping in a bunk on the top floor at the liaison office in Gan. He whispered, “Orchard asks you to remove all breakable...

11.4 Gadu Badu

Rebel boats that head towards the cargo ship to capture Orchard could hardly reach the vessel. The RAF powerboat 1374 circled around the vessel...

11.5 Gadu Badu

Adaran posted delegations to Fua Mulak and the Suvadives carrying letters of invitation to join the newly formed independent state. Major Phyllis...

12.1 Second Infiltration

“What is this?” enquired the Minister of Defence Deccan Sanders to find a note on his table. Secretary of State Chris Seamus replied, “A letter from...

12.2 Second Infiltration

Elisabeth Boye, a boat lent by the Government of Ceylon, arrived at Fua Mulak on 30 th March with a small force under the command of Sardar Bigfoot...
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12.3 Second Infiltration

There were lots of stories about sighting spooky things in the woods, spirits or ghosts, in the beliefs of the natives and folklore. For instance,...

13.1 Rahne Mari

A picture of Moyler cast on the screen. Educated at Rugby School and Queen’s College, Arthur Moyler was appointed to the India Office in 1930. Then...

13.2 Rahne Mari

HMS Strategy shadowed the trawler, observing carefully on its periscope and grabbing ground. It dived deep and passed the ship to surface on the...

13.3 Rahne Mari

Saeed switched on the light. Seated discretely on three armed chairs were Prime Minister Virgo, Defence Minister Rock and Officer Gold. “ Sir Arthur...

14.1 Suvadiva Uprising

Everyone had to play a crafty role with mistrust towards the other and wary not to fall into a trap of doubt and humiliation. Jealousy ruled, hate...

14.2 Suvadiva Uprising

Dirk Wyse Dwire viewed the crowd at the waterfront in Malé through his binoculars. Caribbean Queen, a steam-powered boat, arrived to pick him for his...

14.3 Suvadiva Uprising

Under the clouds, a motion of waves rose calmly and swept below the ship carrying the vessel on its belly into the trough. Maldive Star was doing six...

15.1 S-O-S

Conga Nasr saw a flashing light of a bike rolling down the narrow path in the woods. It was Sardar Lahuth approaching with a police patrol. Nasr...

15.2 S-O-S

Muskan was there among the topless brown girls bathing in the waters. She noticed a boat approaching and it didn’t stop at the reef or slow down. She...

15.3 S-O-S

USIR flags flew high over Addu Atoll and on doni carrying commuters to work in Gan. Adduans were paid in pound sterling. Some English teachers...

16.1 Third Infiltration

At this point of deadlock and oral confrontation, Lord Bandon, ‘The Abandoned Earl’, Commander-in-Chief of the Far East Air Force, stepped in and...

16.2 Third Infiltration

There stood six tube houses built of metal and canvas fabric, doors to the ends and without windows. A separate shed housed a generator to supply...

17.1 In Flagrante Delicto

Footloose Habib received a directive from Sayye Saeed to look for the letter that granted asylum to Adaran and remove it from his possession urgently...

17.2 In Flagrante Delicto

Marvin Edward arrived with some medicine that Adaran asked. He said that he would be at his office and to drop it there. Marvin went to fetch it from...

17.3 In Flagrante Delicto

The moon shown bright in the sky. Mariam Mala went to Feydu and packed her clothes. Then they brought her to Maradu where they prepared a doni for...

18.1 Along with the Birds

She was taken to a tiny island called Madihéra in Villingili lagoon, lying northeast of Gan Island, inhibited by birds – the White Fairy Terns. She...

18.2 Along with the Birds

Group Captain H D Newton arrived in Gan and sat meeting with Tony Cooper and the commander, John Knet, over concerns of invasion and to reinstate...

18.3 Along with the Birds

Habib and Shakir sat on the bank of rising dunes before a white sandy beach literally in hiding sheltered in yellow branches and waxy leaves of...

19.1 Havaru

Arthur Moyler received a memo and not a call. It read that a Maldivian woman was held in custody by the RAF in Gan for stealing things from the...

19.2 Havaru

Petty Cash ran into the office room and buzzed the director, “Minister is coming, sir!” Minister of Defence Harland Walkin entered the room, “...

19.3 Havaru

Three months later, there were talks in the atoll about an invisible woman seen by several sources. Bryan Williams reported seeing a topless woman...

20.1 Independence

On a very rainy day, end of January 1962, island folks meandered on the beach seeing no clear sky to cut the harvest. Someone saw a boat through the...

20.2 Independence

Mr D C Ron Waite, appointed as political official by Secretary Sanders, scrambled within the atoll going in through the offices without knocking on...