On P O L I T I C A L I S L A N D
Koi, Fitte and Lucky looks for diesel at island shops.
Koi says, “It seems not a single shop on this island has diesel. We can’t reach Malé even on slow run.” Somebody shows up on the road; a young chap wearing white shirt, yellow trousers, yellow tie and Polaroid sunglasses with label. His shoes packed with dust.
Fitte, “There he is. I think he’s the counsellor. Let’s ask! Maybe he can help.” They reach him, “Hello! We’re looking for oil…”
Peon asks, “What kind of oil? There are many kinds of oils, leaves and sugar on this island. You must be very specific.”
Fitte, “Diesel…for our boat. Are you the counsellor?”
Peon, "No, I’m not the counsellor. I’m the peon. But I can arrange you a diesel slip from the boathouse by talking to the girls there. Come!” They follow him.
At the I S L A N D O F F I C E
Fitte enters to find two independent girls; one by the computer tapping hard playing a game of cards and the other just turning around.
Peon, “People here to buy diesel…”
Other girl cries, “Where’s my mobile? I left it here a moment ago.”
Computer girl stops to reply, “I didn’t take it?”
Other girl says, “But I need it now to make a call.” She searches.
Computer girl stops again to reply, “You’ve already had that call.”
Door opens and Counsellor appears; blue tie, blue-on-blue lined shirt, blue trousers, in mid-fifties.
Counsellor, “Who are these people?”
Fitte replies, “We need diesel.”
Counsellor, “Come this way!”
Peon sighs, “Nothing works with this bunch.” shakes his head and turns to leave. Girls care not.
Fitte enters another room, counsellor sits behind a table. “We need eight gallons of diesel. I have only dollars to pay.”
Counsellor, “We don’t take dollars but I can fix an exchange.” He calls the boathouse on phone, “Eight gallons?” He listens and speaks to Fitte, holding the mouthpiece, “Fuelling officer says he doesn’t sell in gallons, he sells in barrels.”
Fitte cries, “Barrels! But we only need eight gallons. We can’t buy in containers!”
Counsellor speaks again, “Okay, eight gallons.” He places the phone.
Fitte stirs reaching for the wallet, “How much do I have to pay?”
Counsellor waves, “Now payment, wait, but before that I must ask your name.”
Fitte tells him.
Counsellor, “Where are you from? Have you got your identity card?”
Fitte asks, “Huh! What for? We’re only sea-farers, just here to buy diesel on a sea-going vessel. We run out of fuel, we buy diesel and go. That’s all.”
Counsellor hesitates, “Under the circumstances…” holding the fort. He scribbles. Taps the intercom, “Get Anwar right here, he needs to sign an issue slip.”
Computer girl, (on intercom) “He’s gone out for prayer,” still on her card game.
Counsellor, “Get him!”
At the M O S Q U E
Anwar, in his early-thirties, long white, sits deep in prayer. His beard in strings…
Computer girl enters, kneels next to him and taps his elbow, whispering, “Anwar! Counsellor wants you at once!”
Anwar, snoring in prayer, says nothing.
Computer girl taps, “Anwar! You’re wanted urgently.”
Anwar says nothing.
Computer girl, “There’s someone to pay for diesel…”
He fires like a bullet, picking his laptop and mobile, walks out briskly before the girl. He steps on his flip-flops and walks hurriedly to the office, spraying perfume behind.
Computer girl corrects her high-heels, “Anwar…wait!” and runs behind him.
Finally, boat sails to Malé (in the foreground) by nightfall. Lucky sits on the deck and shaves his clean jaws with a battery shaver, as a waiter he always does, in this case he wants to be fresh before coming down Malé.
At the P H O T O S H O P
Lucky goes to collect the film passed earlier to develop. Salesgirl picks the package and passes on.
Lucky checks them, “Coward! He swopped my Kodak!” He discovers a set of Shopay’s photos, frail man wearing underwear, posing like a body-builder. Somehow Shopay mistakenly placed a wrong reel in his camera.
Salesgirl picks some cards, “Who’s this smart boy?”
Salesgirl, “Tell my regards to him.”
Lucky says, “He’s stolen my Bandiya photos,” paying from the wallet.
Salesgirl, “So you put them on the internet.”
Lucky stares at her bewildered…