"നാം അനുഭവിക്കാത്ത ജീവിതങ്ങളെല്ലാം നമുക്ക് വെറും കെട്ടുകഥകള് മാത്രമാണ്. "
"The stories of life we hear which we don't experience is just tall stories for us"
... but the reality is different.
I had plans of coming back to my past reading habits, and I got this book "Aadujeevitham" written by Benyamin. (Its in malayalam language - my mother tongue) . What a book to start with! It takes you away and steals your heart. It brings the real 'human being' in you. The theme is life in desert.
In India, especially in my state , Kerala, a lot of people go to the Middle-East for jobs. 'Jobs' here does not mean the high-profile professional jobs, but working as slaves because there is no other way for living. Surviving in an orthodox country for us 'keralites' is very difficult because unlike here, the rules are harsh..not liberal.
In this story, a person in Kerala living in a typical Kerala family is going to Middle -east. He is picked up by an Arabi person. He is taken to a deserted place, where he is made to work as a shepherd. The sufferings he face are very hard to believe.
In dire straits
In dire straits
I am sure that many people are stuck there even this moment waiting for someone to rescue them. The book gives you a clear picture of the maximum extent to which a human can be exploited. He has to live among the goats, as a goat... and at times , we feel that the goats have a better life than him.. We will get a deeper meaning of water, food, etc and the book will teach us how important they are and the huge role which they play in our lives. You may not be able to grasp the full extent of having water and food because all we know is that without water and food we will die, but we haven't experienced their utter scarcity.. The book tells how much simple or uncertain is human life when exposed to the violence of nature or say, the violence of his own species. He is lost without any help, all alone in the vast desert...
While reading the book, I have even wondered how can people behave like they have no heart. The 'arbabs' who have held this slave treats him so badly even worse than an animal. He is not given the position of a human being. I had deep thoughts of the thousands of people from families around me facing the same fate at this very moment. They go for a job in the middle-east with a hope of earning something by getting daily wages by doing difficult jobs , because this is their last hope of saving their poor family. Their dreams are shattered very soon and they vanish for ever...
Another thing I saw in this story is that the person's hope never fades.. He is a strong believer of Allah and prays to God for helping him. There is this constant hope in him that God will help him surely.. I don't know whether its God who have helped him in the final place, but I'm sure that it is the hope (that God is there for him) in him that helped him survive all this horrible conditions...
This book is definitely in the 'must-read' category..