Some words

A thousand blank pages wait to record a few lines,
Some serious, some trivial, some mixed like life,
All gathered from the same rambling mind,
Which has loved to dream, to love and to lose.

The serious thoughts were all about your loss
A vacuum that I have never been able to fill,
A turning point from the fact that I was loved,
Into a world full of options and crossroads.

The trivial thoughts were all written in joy,
A bundle of words on a beautiful morning,
When the fresh air and bright blue sky
Was more than enough to make me high.

But the best was always the mixed ones,
Not too sad or happy; just real like today's.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

goat days

Goat Days, written by the Gulf Malayali Benyamin and translated by Joseph Koyillapally, is worth reading and worth remembering as well. Like Yann Martel's Booker-winning Life of Pi, Goat Days captures the ordeals of an innocent man in a hell beyond his imagination.

Najeeb has the typical Malayali dream, of being in the Gulf and sending money home. His desires resemble the luxuries of a Gulf-returned Malayali: “ a gold watch, fridge, TV, car, AC, tape recorder, VCP, a heavy gold chain”. He lands in Riyadh on a visa sent by his friend's brother-in-law but the life that awaits him there does not even resemble his earlier dream.

He finds himself in a masara tending goats, camels and sheep; working day and nighting; feeding them and milking them; in fact, living like one of them. He forgets even the simple pleasures of his former life such as wasing himself or even the right to privacy while defecating. However, he finds the company of the animals more comforting than that of the cruel and inhuman arbab. He longs for his homeland, the bath in the river, the presence of his family and for rain...When Najeeb breaks out of his masara and runs away, it is a huge step towards the unknown. Like Pi, Najeeb thanks God for being with him during his ordeal.

Readable and memorable, Goat Daysrepresents the ordeals of many Indian immigrants across the Gulf countries, the reality of which is glossed over by the glittering opulence of the few lucky ones. It is surely a slice of real life. May be a goat's life.

Publisher: Penguin
Price: 250/-


കൊച്ചു മുതലാളി said...

Very nice book.. Must read by all malayalaees... :)

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

Good review. I started reding it.