A week later, Captain Viggo arrived in Madeu on a dinghy with six men to pick Koì. There stood a small mosque on the climb to Rua Magu. This group of drunken sailors gathered outside to watch three men performing prayer. Captain Viggo stepped in and offered a bottle of wine to drink. The men refused. He grabbed a boy. “Kalé ama fuì!” he swore in Divas tongue. He poured wine into the boy’s mouth. “Filho da puta!” he barked.
One of the crews drew a musket and fired a shot killing him. Viggo realised he made some blunder but not unanticipated. Captain Viggo was a member of the Jesuit – the Society of Jesus constituted in Portugal in 1534. He was a missionary.
Murdur came out with a machete. Tapped on the wall and drew a line across the sandy road as he wheezed heavily. He cried, “Do not cross the line!” and stabbed the knife to a palm standing by. It bled blood. Koì saw it.
“Vamos!” called Captain Viggo to Koì to join him to the ship. Koì stood bewildered. Murdur knew somehow that Koì had contact with the ship. He gestured and four men seized Koì. Three sailors aimed their muskets at the folks gathered by the gates…and colourful flowers under the sun; oleanders, hibiscuses and bougainvillea.
Suddenly, a rock came whizzing towards them. Those sailors fired at the inhabitants and began to run to flee from more rocks thrown at them. One bullet actually hit the machete Murdur carried, flinging it from his hand and bending the blade in half.
In the backyards, folks accumulated coral rocks and split into pieces in order to build walls. It would take years to build a house. They had plenty of rocks to throw. Alternatively, sailors could not reload and fire a musket under a minute. They ran.
Captain Viggo and his crew scuttled in the water to climb the dinghy and hurriedly pulled away leaving Koì behind.
Murdur took matters to his control. He detained Koì and tied him down in the Varugé – a warehouse. Next day, Murdur set sail to Malé with Koì and Mala.
Four Portuguese ships were in atoll waters. They called nau and so did the natives. One in Bandos waters, another in Velessaru. Two in Malé waters. The Portuguese were in good trading terms with the Divas.
On the climb, there were lantern trees, bat trees, tiger’s claw, Cordia, derris and dry earth of space cleared. Beyond on the sides, thickets covered of love vines. There were a number of doni in the lagoon and products from the islands gathered under the shades of the trees.
Further inland, there stood huge breadfruit trees and mango, bullet wood, cork wood, avocado and passion fruit climbers, grand devil’s claw, tall coconut palms and mast trees. Here the vegetation was green and thick. Most of the houses were thatched. Some houses built of wood and some of coral. Earth looked black and muddy in the depths, the smell not good of cow dung and goat pee.
In the northern area around the palace, houses appeared white and tall with wood framed windows and gardens. They belonged to the wealthy and the noble.
Neatly arranged garden in the palace ground and waters clear in the lagoon. There stood a mosque carved of oak wood and coral stone. Beside the mosque stood a minaret that looked like a fort patched up of lime plaster that turned red.
Sultan Hassan IX was in naked bathe in the pool when Bodu Thiladummathi contingent was summoned. It wasn’t a good day. He was in a bad mood.
“Katib!” cried the eighteen-year-old king, “one of the palace ladies gave birth to a baby. She claims that the child belongs to me. Can you believe it?”
“Your Highness!” he coughed, “word should not go out. This child is stillborn.”
“What do you mean?” shocked the king.
“Stillborn,” uttered Murdur.
“Come here!” king grabbed his libas as Murdur was dressed to visit the palace, “Do it. And I appoint Koì as a page at the palace.”
“Aude ma sahib!” he agreed.
King Hassan climbed from the pool, dressed and wore perfume. He marched in a harube session – warriors blowing trumpet bones and horns – to a pitch called fas-gandu to watch hevikan – games of martial arts. The day ended with the most reddish sunset Koì ever saw. Murdur said, “You can expect rain.”
That night there was a storm. Murdur buried the infant in a recent grave inside Behrouz Kamana Mosque. There were things Koì couldn’t understand…
In the middle of the night, somebody called and Koì rushed to the lounge. King Hassan of Dhirukusa Loka regnal stood bare naked and heavily drunk with a bottle of wine in his hand. “Koì!” he cried, “Where’s your sword? Protect me like your skin.”
“Aude ma sahib!” and Koì stood as bodyguard.
It was a rainy night but some trouble began. An opposition trying to overthrow the Sultan wreaked havoc by setting fire to the huts in the villages. Rain helped to stop nothing. They threw straw torches heavily soaked in coconut oil and thatches just burnt.
Fires continued to burn for two weeks. It became known as ‘Bodu Hulhu’ – the Big Fire. Warriors abandoned the king. Adrianus and Vincent anticipated that the king should seek sanctuary in Koché; a Portuguese territory in India. So, King Hassan IX fled the country secretly on a Portuguese ship. He took Koì and Mala with him.
It was ‘Behrouz’ – New Year – observed on the 7th day of Assida – a seasonal classification – falling on 15th of April in 1552; a Friday. When they arrived at Koché in India, this coastal town was bidding farewell to an exalted priest, St Francis Xavier, who was leaving on a mission to the Far East. This priest just returned from Malacca after a mission to Japan. He wished to meet the people in Goa and Koché – thousands of followers of the Jesuits. He was received like a godly spectacle. He opened churches and schools. St Francis Xavier was unquestionably the most successful missionary of the era; the Apostolic Nuncio.
Whitewashed and lime plastered houses abreast quiet roads and gardens covered of piper vines. Ringing bells and flags strung across the lanes, thousands in tearful lament wished for his prosperous journey.
For the young king this was the world he dreamt about. He called Koì aside and said, “When I was a young boy, my father showed me a map of the world. Maldivas appeared like tiny dots and the coastline of India, he said, the entire continent is land en masse.
“It hit me like trauma and to this day I wondered why I was born to such a tiny little lonely place.
“Further, every Divas is a Mohammedan since we embraced Islam four hundred years ago. We’re supposed not to know of another religion or culture. My father said they exist in other parts of the world all together. And I just couldn’t have it any other way…
“Tomorrow we go meet the saint. I am humbled having given an opportunity despite his errands for I am a king. Adrianus arranged an appointment. It’s going to be brief. Sunday afternoon, the saint will leave for China. His schedule is tight. I feel very nervous.”
King Hassan IX met St Francis Xavier. He was a courteous man in mid-forties. The magnanimity around was imposing. Wealthy merchant, Diego Pereira, sat next to him. Sailors and servants worked around the clock to prepare the armada for his journey.
In late August 1552, the Santa Cruz reached the island of Shangchuan, 14 km away from mainland China but St Francis Xavier never made it. He died an incidental death and buried in three graves before his body arrived at the final resting ground. His body was placed in a glass container encased in a silver casket in 1637 to rest in Goa at the Basilica of Bom Jesus.
King Hassan IX converted to Christianity. He was known afterwards by the Lusitanian name; Dom Manoel. He resided in Goa until his death.
Koì wrote his first letter home while in Goa and hoping to return to Lisbon soon with his Divas wife who was pregnant.