“So who did you vote for in the first round?”
The question came from a close friend whose PC I was trying to disinfect from a whole plethora of nasty viruses and malware. Usually I would respond to that question with some idiotic joke about iBra and how his presidency would revolutionize the lingerie industry. But this time, possibly because I was a little preoccupied with trying to find a particularly nasty malware, I sort of automatically responded with the truth.
“The good doctor got my vote that time,” I said.
“Really? Doctor Jameela? The she-man? Why?”
“Why not? Seemed like the best choice to me and that’s reason enough to vote for him. Who did you vote for?”
“Maumoon, of course!” he said.
“But of course; you can’t imagine anyone else being president can you?”
“That’s because no one else is qualified,” he responded promptly. “What about in the runoff?”
“I’m undecided at the moment,” I said. “But I’m leaning towards Anni, much as I’d hate to have a moronic clown as a president, the alternative is worse.”
“Ah, but you’re wrong there!”
“Yessss!!! Let me give you a sneak peek into Aneh Dhivehiraajje and then you will see that our salvation can only come if Maumoon remains as President.”
“Sure, go ahead,” I said. “Knock yourself out. I’m almost done with your PC anyway.”
“Hmmm… so let’s say Anni becomes president,” he began in a soft voice. “Everyone knows that he smokes weed and probably does more hardcore drugs as well, which explains his bloodshot eyes and squeaky, cracked voice. He drinks alcohol and it’s no secret that many of his relatives aren’t even Muslim. So you have to agree that in Anni’s Aneh Dhivehiraajje most of our youth will be intoxicated and high on drugs. As a result crime will skyrocket, and national productivity will plunge. Since he’s not a Muslim he would allow people of other religions to go ahead and spread their filthy beliefs throughout the country. Anarchy is sure to follow and total chaos will reign. Most of the businessmen are behind him so almost all of the country’s wealth will be funneled into their bank accounts and nationwide poverty will be unavoidable. And let’s not even talk about the economy! Adhaalath Party is also behind him and no doubt that means religious fundamentalism will have a very strong foothold in the country. Women will be forced to wear those black, full-body veils and all their rights will be for naught! Maldives will become another Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia!”
By then I had begun ignoring the alert messages flashing on the computer monitor and given my full attention to my friend. His voice had become somewhat louder by the end of his monologue.
“Hmmm… daimn! That’s quite a dystopian future you’ve envisioned for Aneh Dhivehiraajje.” I finally said, deciding to ignore the numerous contradictions he had presented during his… er, vision.
“You know I am right! You aren’t stupid.” he said.
“Well, see… the thing is,” I tried to try and make him understand one last time. “What you’ve envisioned for the future is almost, if not exactly, the same as our present. What you’ve just said very accurately describes the state of Maldives right now. And quite surprisingly, we got here with Maumoon as our benevolent and fearless leader.”
My friend stopped. He opened his mouth to say something and then closed it.
“You know I am right!” I told him. “And since we already are living in your version of Aneh Dhivehiraajje, I’m thinking I’ll go vote for change and see if we could get back to our Maldives somehow. It’s worth taking the chance, right?”