One of my favourite things about myself is that I’m fluent in more than one language.
I can slip seamlessly from Dhivehi to English, switching between the two with such ease that sometimes I don’t even realise I’ve done it.
‘Aslutha?’ rests as comfortably on my tongue as ‘Really?’
Words like ‘dhoni’ and ‘kaashi’ and ‘moodhu’—words that, to me, feel distinctly Maldivian—never fail to make me feel just a little bit more at home.
I revel in the convenience of finding the perfect term in English for a experience I can’t quite capture in Dhivehi.
I feel my chest bloom with pride whenever I do exceptionally well in English at school, because I did so well, and this isn’t even my native language.
I feel so proud, and so grateful, because often, I consider my skill at English a privilege, too.
I stroll along this road of bilingualism with ease, with comfort.
More often than I’d like to admit—
I stumble with my words, and Dhivehi sits foreign on my tongue.
I find myself flustered and ashamed when I can’t remember the word in Dhivehi for something as simple as mathematical multiplication (‘gunakurun’).
My mother tongue.
The one I was supposed to be born with.
And I feel I do not do it justice.
R: Romanovs dictated oppressive rules
U: Until they portrayed themselves as fools
S: Spring blooming with promises*, through their abdication
S: Soon the Winter of Resentment** was to say farewell
I: In the midst of War time, Hope prevalent through the nation
A: A tragic Tsar replaced, muddling Russia, far too well
*Rise of Provisional Government (new hope)
**The repression and economic problems Russians faced due to Tsar Nicholas II
22nd January 1905,
Released wasps from the hive;
Under the power of Tsar Nicholas the II
The Golden Days nearly came to an end
Shy was he, a timid maiden.
His moustache—the one good thing he had then.
Though almost as dumb as the 16th Louis,
He, at least, didn’t marry a banshee.
He gave his people the Russo-Japanese War:
This was during the fun year of 1904.
He tried to make his people patriotic,
But alas! He just got more idiotic.
Russia was agricultural then,
While Japan was industrialised—since when?
Enough of that. It lead to starvation.
He blessed all with hunger, and a deadly vacation.
300,000 people and Father Gapon,
Were tired of the Tsar, and became so done,
That they marched to the Winter’s Palace with a petition,
To get back their food, and wages in addition.
Sadly their surprise party for the Tsar
Could not make it so very far,
Because they scared a baby Cossarc—
Who shot the people while it was still not dark.
And when Tsar got scared and ran away,
His people’s trust in him began to sway.
Badabim Badaboom, with a Bibidi Bobidi Boo—
He started the 1905 revolution too!
How, under one man, came 3 revolutions, I don’t know,
But it’s history; I guess it was just so:
All men start drama worse than a Hindi drama.
Goodbye TV. I’ll read a textbook instead.
One may wonder how a leader, once regarded a freedom fighter, now holds the title of the current longest-reigning dictator. Ruling for nearly four decades, the president of Zimbabwe, to this day, refuses to cease his power and control—even at the ripe age of 93.
President Mugabe was once a hero to the nation, as he fought against British colonisation and its disregard for the rights of black people in Southern Rhodesia, triumphing over their rule. In the process, he had been imprisoned for over a decade, for he had founded his own movement against the system, the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU).
Strongly holding Marxist beliefs, he opted for a guerilla war, and even carried out secret operations whilst in prison to launch such an operation. He eventually escaped from prison and assembled troops to initiate a war, which would continue throughout the 1970s. His long battle for freedom, however, had its setbacks as the war crippled the nation’s economy.
His reign began when the war was won and Southern Rhodesia—now named the Independent Republic of Zimbabwe—was freed from British rule by 1980, and he was elected prime minister. In 1987, he was elected the president of Zimbabwe, and for the first few years, he had managed to successfully execute a five-year plan. The country’s economy grew, improving living standards.
However, the public began to see their hero transforming into a totalitarian dictator. Mugabe began to seize the lands of the white people without any compensation. This began his dictatorial reign, which ironically contradicted with his own views regarding Marxism. He justified his actions by saying it was the only way to gain full liberty for the black. He even went as far as passing an amendment, in 2000, that the British were to pay reparations to the blacks for the land that they had seized.
Growing unpopular among his people, he further refused to allow members of other parties to be involved in the constitution, assuring his dictatorial power. To make matters worse, he has been alleged to scam the elections in his favour through means of violence or corruption. These suspicions have been largely assumed to be true, as he pardoned attackers of his opposition. He has even gone to the extent of recounting votes for an election that he had lost against Morgan Tvangirai, a democrat.
Zimbabwe’s foreign relations have been greatly strained due to Mugabe’s many doings, leaving them no support to overthrow such a government. Tvangirai may now be the prime minister but Mugabe has ensured that most power still lies in his hands.
Though some still believe Mugabe to be a revolutionary—a hero to Zimbabwe—he is now cited a controversial figure due to his power craze. He refuses to hand over authority till the day he dies and defies anyone who attempts to do so.
While he is noted nowadays for dozing off at events—he had even read out the wrong speech in the parliament—he has lived up to a shocking of age of 93, and even retained his power over a whole nation. This leaves one to speculate just how long this man may continue to rule.