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----aadujeevitham

ലകഷകണകകിനു മലയാളികള ഗളഫില ജീവികകുനനു, ലകഷങങള ജീവിചചു തിരിചചു പോയിരികകുനനു. ഇതില എതര പേര മരുഭൂമിയുടെ തീകഷണത സതയമായും അനുഭവിചചിടടുണട. ആ തീകഷണത തൊടടറിഞഞ, അഥവാ മണലപരപപിലെ ജീവിതം ചുടടുപൊളളിചച നജീബ എനനയാളുടെ അനുഭവമാണ ആടുജീവിതതതിനു പരേരണയായതെനന നോവലിസററ ബെനയാമിന പറയുനനു. പരവാസജീവിതതതിലെ തികചചും വയതയസതമായ ഒരേട.ലക്ഷകണക്കിനു മലയാളികള്‍ ഗള്‍ഫില്‍ ജീവിക്കുന്നു, ലക്ഷങ്ങള്‍ ജീവിച്ചു തിരിച്ചു പോയിരിക്കുന്നു. ഇതില്‍ എത്ര പേര്‍ മരുഭൂമിയുടെ തീക്ഷ്‌ണത സത്യമായും അനുഭവിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. ആ തീക്ഷ്ണത തൊട്ടറിഞ്ഞ, അഥവാ മണല്‍‌പരപ്പിലെ ജീവിതം ചുട്ടുപൊള്ളിച്ച നജീബ് എന്നയാളുടെ അനുഭവമാണ് ആടുജീവിതത്തിനു പ്രേരണയായതെന്ന് നോവലിസ്‌റ്റ് ബെന്യാമിന്‍ പറയുന്നു. പ്രവാസജീവിതത്തിലെ തികച്ചും വ്യത്യസ്‌തമായ ഒരേട്....

Title : ആടുജീവിതം | Aadujeevitham
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 10438154
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 220 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

ആടുജീവിതം | Aadujeevitham Reviews

  • Praveen Peethambaran
    2019-05-12 05:05

    ഇന്ന് ഡല്‍ഹി പുസ്തകമേളയില്‍ പ്പോയിരുന്നു....വാങ്ങിയ കൂട്ടത്തില്‍ ബെന്യാമിന്‍ന്‍റെ 'ആടുജീവിതവു'മുണ്ടായിരുന്നു...അത്താഴത്തിനു ശേഷം തുടര്‍ച്ചയായി നാലു മണിക്കൂര്‍.... കൊണ്ട് ആട്‌ജീവിതം വായിച്ചു തീര്‍ത്തു....തികച്ചും തീവ്രമായ ഒരു ജീവിതത്തിന്റെ പകര്‍പ്പെഴുത്ത്....മലയാളത്തിനു തികച്ചും അന്യമായ ഒരു ജീവിതം...സ്വപ്നങ്ങളുടെ ഭാരവും പേറി അറബിനാട്ടില്‍ എത്തപ്പെട്ടു..ഒടുവില്‍ ആടുകളുടെ കൂടെ ഒരു നിഷ്ടുരനായ അറബിയുടെ അടിമയായി ജീവിച്ച ഒരു പാവം മനുഷ്യന്‍റെ ചോരവീണ കഥ....ബെന്യാമിന്‍ പറയുന്നു.." നാം അനുഭവിക്കാത്ത ജീവിതങ്ങളെല്ലാംനമുക്ക് വെറും കെട്ടുകഥകള്‍ മാത്രമാണ്..." ..ശരിയാണ്.....വെള്ളം കുടിക്കാനില്ലാത്ത, കുളിക്കാനാവാത്ത.... വിഷപ്പുള്ളവന്‍റെ കഥകള്‍... എനിക്കെന്നും കെട്ടുകഥകള്‍ മാത്രമായിരുന്നു....കെട്ടുകഥകളില്‍ ജീവിക്കുന്ന നമ്മൊളൊക്കെ വായിച്ചിരിക്കേണ്ട ഒരു കഥ....പ്രവീണ്‍

  • Nandakishore Varma
    2019-04-26 06:01

    Way back in the 1990's, I remember reading a story by Ursula K. LeGuin: The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas. It disturbed me greatly at that time. It was about this perfect country, Omelas, where there was no sorrow or disease, and everybody was happy. There was only one catch: Omelas was paying for this happiness through the misery of one child, kept locked in a cellar and treated cruelly perpetually. This was the pact that Omelas had made with the powers that be: the misery of one human being in exchange for the bliss of one country. Quite a bargain, if you think of it.But there were people, when the truth became known, walked away from Omelas; because they could not make peace with the bargain. They were the hope of humanity. When I initially read the story, I proudly said to myself that I would be one of those. Now I hang my head in shame......because in reality, I do not walk away. I stay there and enjoy life.The term "Middle East" brings to mind images of prosperous towns populated by beautiful people, enjoying the glittering night-life with wine and song, all powered by the petro-dollar. What the casual observer misses is the depths of misery just below the surface-the misery the novelist Benyamin has brutally portrayed in his award-winning Malayalam novel, "Aadujeevitham" (Goat Life).The story is narrated in first person by Najeeb, your average lower middle-class Muslim youth from Kerala in India. He does not know anything of the Middle East, other than that the "Gulf" is an endless source of prosperity. Like many of his countrymen, he also yearns to work there, earn some quick money, pay off his debts, build a house and generally live a moderately good life. However, fate has something else in store for him: whisked away from the Riyadh airport in Saudi Arabia directly into the heart of the desert by his Arab sponsor, he is put to the job of tending goats.This is not your pastoral idyll. Najeeb is forced to stay all time in the open desert, whether it is the blazing hot summer noon or the biting winter night. He is given only Kuboos (Arabic bread) soaked in water to eat; water, and occasionally goat milk, to drink. He has only one set of clothes, which he is supposed to wear continuously. Baths are out of the question. Najeeb tends goats, sheep and camels without rest throughout the day. Any small mistake results in horrendous beatings. He slowly realises this is going to be his life from now on-like the goats, castrated and penned in, till one day they make the final journey to the slaughterhouse. He forms a deep kinship with the goats; gives them the names of his acquaintances from home and talks to them regularly. He rejoices when they give birth and mourns when they die. Towards the end of the story, as his humanity is almost totally stripped away, he even sleeps with a she-goat.Najeeb is a pious, God-fearing Muslim. True to the meaning of “Islam” (surrender) he surrenders to the will of Allah, the all-merciful. This, coupled with the fatalism that is the hallmark of most Indians, Najeeb is the perfect victim, the slave every owner would love to have. But it is also this unquestioning acceptance of his fate that allows Najeeb to survive his ordeal for three and a half years. Finally when he escapes, that too is orchestrated by others – even though, ironically, he is the only one who escapes.The depths to which human beings can plunge is narrated without any sentimentality or righteousness, almost in the tone of a child which has met unfair treatment at the hands of its parents. The tortures the sponsors mete out to their “employees” are mentioned so matter-of-factly that we catch ourselves flinching. Benyamin tells the whole story in unembellished, first-person narrative; while it makes for rather simplistic writing at times, the voice of the protagonist flows through clearly. The writer is all but invisible, and that is the novel’s greatest strength. This is a brutal book which does not pull any punches. But then, it should not. Thousands of the poor from India pay huge amounts for visas to the Gulf countries, to agencies who fleece them mercilessly; only to discover when they reach the Promised Land that they have sold themselves into virtual slavery. By then, it’s too late.Benyamin does a great thing: even though he does not walk away from Omelas, he shines his light on the abused child, not allowing us to forget its presence there. Maybe, in the end, it’s better than just walking away-for the child too, may ultimately get the justice that’s its due.

  • Arun Divakar
    2019-05-02 08:14

    Sitting in the air conditioned lounge of a coffee shop, sipping on freshly brewed coffee and mumbling that life is becoming dull to a good looking woman was I. That too was a way of fishing for her sympathy wherein she patted my arm and saidTalk to me about it why don't you ?as she intertwined her fingers with mine. I came back home after assurances of meeting each other again later. Knowing that the day has been a long one, I took a shower alternating between hot and cold water. Plopped down on the bed, picked up the mobile phone and started texting and being good at multi tasking, kept going through Facebook and after a while shut it all and yawned and recited again in my mindThis is so boring ! . From amidst a pile of books, I pick upAadujeevithamand with each chapter I looked back at myself with revulsion and contempt. It was a book that made ashamed at all the whining I had made of the little setbacks I faced in life. At the risk of sounding cliched, I must say that this book made me look with complete perplexion at all the things that I took for granted in my life. The titleAadujeevithamtranslates into Living like a goat and the meaning of this title is very deep. By deep I mean something you can feel piercing deeper into your skin with each word. A man's struggle for survival, one day at a time with only a belief in god as his beacon in the darkness is something I have seen, heard and read before but knowing that this was a true story made me close my eyes for a short while and shudder ! A lot many of my friends who have read this book have called this a depressing work but to me it was extremely uplifting a book. I could only marvel at the will of a single human being to survive against the titanic odds stacked against him. It is such little anecdotes that remind us that we are resilient beyond measure and none of the so called self-help books will even hold a candle against such blazing accounts from life.

  • Priyanka
    2019-05-03 08:02

    "നാം അനുഭവിക്കാത്ത ജീവിതങ്ങള്‍ എല്ലാം നമുക്ക് വെറും കെട്ടുകഥകള്‍ മാത്രമാണ് "ഈ നോവല്‍ വായിക്കുമ്പോള്‍ ഒരിക്കലും ഇതൊരു കഥ ആയി തോന്നിയതെ ഇല്ല. കണ്മുമ്പില്‍ ഒരു ജീവിതം തന്നെ കാണുക ആയിരുന്നു. നിസാര കാര്യങ്ങള്‍ക്കു പോലും പരാതിയും പരിഭവവും പറഞ്ഞു നടക്കുന്ന നമ്മളില്‍ പലര്‍ക്കും നജീബ്ഇന്റെ ജീവിതം ഒരു പാഠമാണ്. ജീവിത ഗ്രന്ഥി ആയ ഇങ്ങനെ ഒരു കഥ പറഞ്ഞു തന്ന ബെന്യാമിന് നന്ദി. പല ഇടങ്ങളിലും നജീബ് ഇന്റെ വേദനിപികുന്ന ജീവിതാനുഭവങ്ങള്‍ വായിക്കുമ്പോള്‍ വായന മുന്‍പോട്ടു കൊണ്ടുപോകാന്‍ പോലും ബുദ്ധിമുട്ട് തോന്നി. വളരെ ലളിതമായ ഭാഷയില്‍ ആണ് ബെന്യാമിന്‍ നജീബിന്റെ ദുഖങ്ങളെയും, പ്രാര്‍ഥനകളെയും, സ്വപ്നങ്ങളെയും, പ്രതീക്ഷകളെയും, സഹനത്തെയും നോവലില്‍ അവിഷ്കരിചിട്ടുല്ലത്. എല്ലാവരും തീര്‍ച്ചയായും വായിച്ചിരിക്കേണ്ട ഒരു പുസ്തകം തന്നെ.

  • Indrani Sen
    2019-04-26 01:22

    A supremely good read. Recommend very highly.This is the story of Najeeb, a not-so-well-to-do youth from Kerala who goes to Gulf to make money and ends up suffering unimaginable horrors. This is based on a true story and what a story it is. Everything from how little Najeeb dreams of, how his friends in Mumbai help him, how not knowing the language made him scared in the airport is supremely well described. Once the part where his slavery starts, the story scales to a different level. How Najeeb manages to hold on to his sanity by holding fast to his faith and befriending the goats he keeps, is truly inspirational. While the circumstances stay truly grim, somehow it's Najeeb's spirit that carries the readers along.

  • Remya
    2019-05-16 05:02

    ‎Aadujeevitham is not a cliche story of gulf malayalees..it's about the pain and sufferings of protagonist najeeb and also of hope and faith in God ..really heart touching story..a must read for all those who complains about their silly problems and belittle other people's sufferings..The style of narration was really good too :)

  • Radhika S Nair
    2019-05-12 08:16

    ബെന്യാമിന്റെ ഈ പരകായ പ്രവേശത്തിന് അഭിനന്ദനങ്ങൾ...മരിഭൂമിയുടെ വിവരണം ഗംഭീരം എന്നതിനെക്കാൻ തീക്ഷ്ണം എന്ന വാക്കുകൊണ്ട് ഞാൻ നിർവചിക്കാൻ ആഗ്രഹിക്കുന്നു... അല്ലെങ്കിൽ ഇതിൽ എവിടെയാണ് ഞാൻ ഗംഭീരം എന്നാ വാക്കുപയോഗിക്കുക എല്ലാം തീക്ഷ്ണം തന്നെ ..ഏതു മനുഷ്യന്റെ ജീവിതത്തിലും അദൃശ്യമോ ദൃശ്യമോ ആയ മൂന്നാമതൊരാളുടെ സാന്നിധ്യം ഉണ്ട് എന്നതിന് എനിക്ക് തര്ക്കം ഇല്ലാത്തതുകൊണ്ട് അവിശ്വാസ യോഗ്യമായ ഒന്നും ഇതിൽ എനിക്ക് തോന്നിയില്ല ....പക്ഷെ എല്ലാം സമ്മതിച്ചു കൊണ്ട് തന്നെ പറയട്ടെ ഇനി ഒരിക്കൽ കൂടി എന്നെക്കൊണ്ടിതു വായിക്കാൻ ആവില്ല.....ക്രൂരതയുടെ മൂര്ധന്യതയിൽ എവിടെയോ വായന ഉപേക്ഷിച്ചു ഞാൻ കുറച്ചു സമയം മിണ്ടാതിരുന്നു...... വര്ഷങ്ങള്ക്ക് ശേഷം നജീബിന്റെ ശബ്ദം കേട്ട സൈനുവിനൊപ്പം ഞാനും പൊട്ടിക്കരഞ്ഞു .....പ്രിയ ബെന്യാമിൻ ,ഈ മരുഭൂമിക്കഥ മനസ്സിൽനിന്നും മായില്ല എന്നതുകൊണ്ട്‌ തന്നെ നിങ്ങളും എപ്പോളും ഒര്ക്കപ്പെടും, എല്ലാ വായനക്കാരുടെ മനസ്സിലും...നന്ദി ( രാധിക)

  • Anand Neelakantan
    2019-05-17 02:30

    This is one of the best work of fiction I have ever read in Malayalam. A land mark book. We can feel the pain and emotions that the author would have undergone while writing this book. The book is as raw as life could be and as beautiful as life should be. Being an author myself, I could associate with the afterword in which the author describes the process of writing. Writing itself is a tough task, writing so beautifully, so lyrically is nearly impossible. Benyamin has achieved the near impossible- writing a great piece of fiction, while keeping the reader engrossed like he is reading a pot boiler. That, is the mark of a true classic. There are popular books that are page turners, but very poor in literary value and then at the other end of the spectrum there are good literary works that intimidates an average reader or even perhaps bore him to death. Good literature is that which makes the reader engrossed and enthralled at the same time. Aatujeevitham is one such work. Future generation will refer to this work as an example of how a beautiful piece of literature should be written. Great indeed.

  • Syl
    2019-05-17 04:06

    Was a stunning read, made more authentic by the malayalam language which I was reading after more than a decade. I was totally immersed in the story, to the extent that I felt a discontent even while leading a highly covetable affluent life, according to the standards of the protagonist. I dreamt weird, scary dreams, felt low, and had a low grade headache throughout this period. Every time I ate or drank, or just relaxed, I felt I was committing a terrible crime.This is the story of Najeeb, a lower middle class Keralite, who assumed that his stars have suddenly become bright when he unexpectedly got a chance to go to Saudi Arabia as an employee. But what he expected and what greeted him there, was diversely opposite.He was enslavened and made to work under inhumane circumstances. But all this somehow built his mental fortitude and he never lost hopes. There are few minor characters, who were not that lucky. I lament them all.And I hope against hope, that this atrocity is just a seed of the authors fertile imagination, and not the reality.I want to recommend this book to one and all, but I feel bad in knowingly recommending them a life of hardship (though imaginary)So I would modify my recommendations to only those with a stout heart and a diminished sense of empathy. Otherwise one may not survive this book.

  • Gorab Jain
    2019-05-21 06:05

    Original Malayalam title: ആടുജീവിതം (Aadujeevitham) - winner of 2009 Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award.Though its said to be fiction, but actually is inspired by (many?) true lives of Malayalis. They say - "The grass is always greener on the other side" and our protagonist Najeeb leaves behind his family and expecting wife, for finding greener grass (big moolahs) in the deserts of Saudi Arabia.The beginning of the book describes how desperately he wants to end up in a jail in Saudi, and rest of the story follows in flashbacks. For obvious reasons, this book has been banned in Saudi and UAE. Great and simple narration which keeps you yearning for more. Though its a dark one which might disturb your sleep for quite some time.Perfect 5!Thanks Smitha and Girish for reading it along. And kudos to Smitha not only for this awesome reco, but also for reading the original Malayalam version in spite of small fonts :)

  • Girish
    2019-05-18 05:02

    Benyamin's Goat Days,translated from Malayalam (Aatujeevitham), is based on a real story. And so, it is far more haunting than any fictional account you could read of despair and hope (loosely comparable to Thousand splendid suns?)Set in 1990s when the 'Gulf moham' was prevalent in Kerala, the book describes the story of Najeeb Mohammad who leaves his pregnant wife and mom to work in the gulf. Destiny has other plans and he finds himself pushed into a life of slavery rearing goats in a vast desert. Najeeb accepts it as Allah's test of his fortitude and devotion and undergoes unsayable horrors. In the midst of this all, he develops a bonding with the goats giving them names and thus holds on to sanity. The book is an achievement in the sense of making the reader go through as much sadness and depression as the main character. The gory details can make one squirm, but the hope in the face of utter gloom is sort of uplifting. In mounting the odds, the book keeps getting worse and worse with the only hope being the first chapters that assures you all is well at least temporarily. The end is all too easy maybe?The unsaid fear on foreign shores or new cities - is something I am well aware of. So personally it is just a nightmare of every traveller in a way. An achievement and a haunting portrayal of life on unknown shores.

  • Manju
    2019-04-29 01:15

    ഒരു സാഹിത്യകൃതിയുടെ ജീവൻ അതിലുപയോഗിക്കുന്ന അലങ്കാരങ്ങളിലോബിംബങ്ങളിലോ മാത്രം അല്ല അതുപറയുന്ന ജീവിതങ്ങളിലും കൂടിയാണ് .ആടുജീവിതവും അത്തരത്തിൽ ഒരു കഥയാണ് .ആധുനിക സാഹിത്യ കൃതികളുടെ യാതൊരു വിധ ചമയങ്ങലുമില്ലാത്ത ഒരു പാവം കൃതി . ഇവിടെ നമ്മളോട് സംസാരിക്കുന്നത് നജീബ് എന്ന സാധാരണക്കാരനാണ്,ഗൾഫ്‌ സ്വപ്നവുമായി ജീവിക്കുന്ന അനേകായിരം മലയാളികളുടെ പ്രതിനിധി,പറയത്തക്ക വിദ്യാഭ്യാസ യോഗ്യതയോ സാമൂഹിക ജ്ഞാനമോ ഇല്ലാത്ത സമൂഹത്തിന്റെ താഴെത്തട്ടിൽ ജീവിക്കുന്നവൻ , അയാളുടെ സ്വപ്നങ്ങളിലെ ഗൾഫ്‌ അതുകൊണ്ട് തന്നെ സ്വപ്നങ്ങളുടെ മാത്രം രാജ്യമാണ് .എവിടേയും നമുക്ക് ഇങ്ങനെയൊരാളെ കണ്ടെത്താനാകും ,ആടുജീവിതത്തിന്റെ ജനപ്രീതി സൂചിപ്പിക്കുന്നതതാണ് . ആധുനികതയുടെ മറവിൽ ബുദ്ധിയും മൂല്യങ്ങളും വിറ്റ് ജീവിക്കുന്നവർക്ക്‌ ഒരു പാ0മാകും ആടുജീവിതം,,,സമൂഹത്തിൽ ഇങ്ങനെയും കഷ്ടപെടുന്നവരുണ്ട് എന്ന് ...

  • Mark Staniforth
    2019-05-14 09:25

    'Goat Days' is an unusual novel: probably quite unlike anything else you'll read this year. A relatively rare translation from Malayalam by Joseph Koyipally, it is, as its title suggests, a book in which goats feature prominently. So prominently, in fact, that by the end you'll know more than you ever thought you'd know, and ever wanted to know, about the frisky beasts. You'll know how to feed them, how to castrate them, how to dodge a buck if it turns nasty (see previous operation). You'll know how they smell. You'll know how to milk them, too.In fact, all flippancy aside, you will be relieved to hear that 'Goat Days' is far more than a reference guide to animal husbandry. For all its slices of deadpan humour, it is in fact a rather numbing account of the slave-labour life of an Indian emigrant in Saudi Arabia.The most shocking aspect is that it is almost entirely true: Najib, the main character, is based on a man Benyamin got to know, and whose real-life story inspired him to write this book.Millions of Indians apply for visas to work in the kingdom in the hope of earning enough money to send home to their families: what 'Goat Days' proves (though obviously to an extreme) is that the reality is often rather different,as they find themselves effectively held hostage by their rich Arab sponsors, with little or no means of escape.Leaving behind his pregnant wife, Najib arrives in Saudi where he is whisked straight into three years of hell, tending herds of goats on the desert plains for a cruel arbab, or master, who beats him for the slightest infringements, and denies him anything beyond the most basic levels of food, shelter and sanitation.That, in essence, is that, and as Najib tends his goats for days on end the novel becomes more of a meditation on faith and fate, and a study of the mental and physical limits one reaches when faced with a life of such grinding loneliness and the apparent impossibility of escape.'Goat Days' remains much more of a page-turner than you might expect. Its momentum comes not so much from any fast-developing plot lines - its narrative is clunky in parts, and it's fair to say in certain sections it does drag a little - but in the desire to see Najib back to a better life.By the end, you may need time to decide what to make of it all. It's probably not a book you'll want to clutch to your heart through winter nights: it's too stark and blunt and - well - goaty for that. But it is a story and a truth that will stick in your mind. Benyamin deserves credit for tackling such an important issue with cleverness and clarity. The plight of Saudi Arabia's Indian emigrants is one that deserves to be brought to light.

  • Yassmeen Altaif
    2019-05-14 09:26

    يرى البعض بإن قراءة الروايات غير هادفة لا تعود بأي نفع للقارئ هذا ما تنطبق عليه هذه الرواية.. أسمها ملفت للانتباه وسمعت عنها بعض الحديث فأثارت فضولي قرأتها، مملة من بدايتها لكنني اصررت على قراءتها لأحكم في النهاية ما استغربته هو ظهور صدمة في النهاية وهو كفيل نجيب الهندي لم يكن كفيله بل سرقه من المطار الرواية بأكملها تحتوي على أشياء غير واقعية، أهمها بإن الهندي شخص نظيف أكثر من السعودي، والهندي يتقزز من القذارة والأماكن الغير نظيفة عكس السعودي.. هو ليس استنقاص بس البيئة الهندية تقريباً مثل هذا الوضع أنا أعلم بإنه يوجد عندنا بالخليج أشخاص يعاملون الآسيويين بقسوة لكن التعامل في هذه الرواية مبالغ به، نحن أرباب قساة قلب لا رحمة بنا، لا طعام لا استحمام لا تواصل مع الآخرين الرواية كلها استغربت منها بمقدمة الكتاب مكتوب إنه هذا العمل طبع خمس وسبعين بلغته المالايالامية والترجمة الإنجليزية رشحت لجائزة ما ضمن عمل لأورهان باموق وكما تدرس في العديد من الجامعات والمدارس الهندية ما اعتقد هذه الرواية تستحق ليس بها حس أدبي أو حتى قصة عبرة ما تستاهل نجوم، لا تقرأونها من الكتب اللي إلى أبي اتخلى عنها

  • Sharlene
    2019-05-07 08:05

    Originally published at https://reallifereading.com/2017/05/2...Yes there are goats in this story.But first, we meet Najeeb, and he and a friend are trying their very best to get arrested. Life in prison is far better to what he has suffered through recently.What could be worse than prison?It is the 1990s. Najeeb is from Kerala, a state in India. He’s intrigued by all the stories of those working in the Gulf and thinks it a quick easy way to make some fast cash and take care of his pregnant wife and their future child. But things do not go the way he expects.He is put to work with goats. He tended to goats, milked them, fed them, herded them. The goats were treated better than he was. He didn’t have a cot to sleep on, or shelter. And this is the desert, which means ridiculously hot days and freezing cold nights. The precious water was meant for the goats so he wasn’t allowed any water to wash up with. He is only given khubus (a kind of bread) to eat for lunch and dinner, and some raw goat’s milk in the morning for breakfast. And barely enough water to drink.We follow him through his days. His hard, painful, extremely dirty days where the only other human he sees is his Arab owner, a mean man who watches him through binoculars to make sure he doesn’t run off while herding goats – and won’t hesitate to shoot. When finally Najeeb meets other people, two Sundanese men who come to shear the sheep, although they don’t have a common language, he is just thrilled to see different faces, to smell a different smell. “The sense of dejection that descended one me as they departed! I had been enjoying the scent of two humans till then. Now, there were only the animals and me. Grief came, like rain.”He didn’t expect to be a goat herder. He just wanted to make easy money – his relative got him a work visa. And when he landed in Saudi Arabia, not speaking a word of Arabic, not knowing any details except a name. Someone comes to claim him and they drive far off into the desert where he begins work. There is no choice for there is nothing but sand around. Where can he go? He doesn’t know where he is. He can’t speak the language. And somehow he survives three years, barely human, treated worse than an animal. He is a slave.“My thoughts were not of my home country, home, Sainu, Ummah, my unborn son/daughter, my sorrows and anxieties or my fate, as one would imagine. All such thoughts has become alien to me as they were to the dead who had reached the other world. So soon – you might wonder. My answer is yes. No use being bound by such thoughts. They only delay the process of realization that we’ve lost out to circumstances and there is no going back. I realized this within a day. Anxiety and worry were futile. That world had become alien to me. Now only my sad new world existed for me.”What a painful read, brutal even. It’s hard to attract people to read such a book, I know. But I am glad I read it. It is a short read, at just 255 pages, and essentially while it is a rather simple story, it is well portrayed, it is moving and a very unique look at life in Saudi Arabia, far from the towering skyscrapers and modern amenities, far from another human face. It is terrifying to think that this is happening out there. “Every experience in life has a climax, whether it be happiness, sorrow, sickness or hunger. When we reach the end, there are only two paths left for us: either we learn to live with our lives or protest and struggle in a final attempt to escape. If we choose the second path, we are safe if we win; if not, we end up in a mental asylum or kill ourselves.”

  • Mohammed
    2019-04-30 02:15

    يا إلهي الرحيم !كيف يكون السجن هو الحرية ، وكيف تتحول الحياة إلي سجن ؟ !نجيب الذي فقد الحياة في صحراء اللانهاية كان عنده حلم عذري ظن يوما انه محققه ،لكن في ظل جبروت مجموعة عربية غير مكترثه للانسانية كادت ان تجعله حيواناً بل بالفعل جعلت منه حيواناً ادمياً ،جعلت البؤس والشقاء مع الإنسان و السعادة والفرح مع الماعز !مناجاة نجيب بطول الرواية نسجت ثوباً من الأمل ارتداه في النهاية .إيمان نجيب القوي وثقته بربه كان قارب النجاة ، لولا ذلك لكان من الهالكين .كنت أظن ان الصحراء فسلفة ، لكنها مع نجيب كانت لعنه .، الصحراء السعودية الشاسعه جعلت نجيب يظن انها نص الكون وان لا مفر منها ، كان مقبرة لصديقة عبدالحكيم وكادت ان تكون له أيضا .وتساءلت من هو هذا الصومالي "ابراهيم القادري" هل هو منقذ من عند الله "كما شبهه نجيب بالنبي بموسي عليه السلام " ، القادري بخبرته ورباط جأشه وهمته التي لا تنقطع كان عاملا مهما في مؤازرة نجيب ، ولكن أين ذهبت يا ابراهيم ولماذ تركتنا والشكوك والتساؤلات تتقطر مننا !تساءلت وأنا أقرأ ، هل تصدق تلك القصة ؟ نعم أصدق ولماذا لا أصدق وأنا أعرف أشخاصا غلاظ القلب قساة لا يرجي منهم رحمة ، فما بال ذلك " الأرباب " الذي لا يشبه الأنسان إلا في هيئته .هنيئا لك يا نجيب علي صبرك ، ولترقد في سلام يا عبدالحكيم ، وشكراً يا ابراهيم وكنجيكا علي المساعدة ، ولعنه الله علي هذا " الأرباب " .

  • Shaonli Nath
    2019-05-07 03:10

    A captivating account of a man named Najeeb who is stuck in the middle of nowhere along with goats and a typically savage arab master.It is a story we have all been hearing for for years, sordid grim tales of Indians wedged in slavery-like situations in the badlands of Arabia.This isn't your multidimensional novel with complex sub-plots. Characters are what they are. Even the goats. But the rustic plainness is what makes the book distinct.Goat days is about a simple man's ordeal, the strange relationships he forges in order to survive and ultimately, his determination and survival urge. Avoiding ornamental writing, Benyamin creates an honest narrative that is as simple as Najeeb himself. It works.

  • Bindiaa
    2019-05-15 09:25

    Buy it. Read it. Recommend it and have no regrets.I was so captivated by the book that the scene when Najeeb's friend Hamid was about to be handed over to his Sponsor he broke down saying ,"Ente Najeebe" and then I realised that I too was crying. It was too much for me that I continued with the reading only the next day.The poor fate of Hakkim was another torment for me. After reading what had happened to Hamid and Hakkim I was nervous whether the same fate was about to follow Najeeb. And all I can say is that I was absolutely satisfied with the ending.I wish I could go back and read this book for the first time. Aadujeevitham made me cry, made me smile and also has influenced me in an exceptional way. And I'd highly recommend this novel to all, whether you enjoy reading or not.

  • taghreed
    2019-05-12 05:26

    عجيبة الرواية ومؤلمه هي قصة الهندي الذي كان في بلاده يعمل في النهر ويستخرج الرمال اقترض الاموال وباع ذهب زوجته ليحصل عَلَى فيزا للعمل في الخليج لكنه فوجئ عندما وصل برب عمل قاسي يطعمه فقط الماء والخبز ويضربه ويعامله معاملة الحيوانات ظل يعمل ويرعى الأغنام وعانى ما عاناه من تعذيب اربابه ولكنه لم ييأس من رحمه الله الى ان هرب وتاه في الصحراء وشملته العناية الإلهية ليصل الى ايدٍ امينه .اقتباس:((يقع ذلك في أحيان كثيرة.. ندعي أن اندفاعات النفس المستعجلة هي إشارات من الله .والله وحده يعلم متى يحين للعبد يومه المنتظر ..)) ..((سافرنا جميعاً إلى متن الطائرة ..خيّل إليّ حينها أن ثمانين نعجة تساق إلى ((مَسَرَة)).. مكبلة بالقيود .. كنت واحداً منها.. الإنسان الماعز..! ))

  • Fleme Varkey
    2019-04-21 02:15

    Goat days is a heart-warming account of a Malyali muslim stuck in the Gulf. I can relate to this story as I have had heard many horror stories being recounted of men who have gone to SaudiArabia only with dreams of gold and VCR. What they do there is secondary.. they may be a janitor for all you know, yet when they came back, they had to show proof of their good wealth and standing. So many homes have been destroyed and buikt because of this mass exodus to the Gulf at one time. Najeeb's character according to me has one flaw, he is plain stupid. I don't blame him for that though. However, the accounts as narrated in the story do make for a compelling read. The constant reference to Allah, every five minutes makes it a bit to cheesy sometimes, but one must grant him the benefit of doubt that being deserted and tortured one does turn to God alone. Finished this book in two days. Is interesting in bits and places, gets monotonous in the middle.All in all worth a read.

  • Faisal
    2019-05-16 01:23

    ഗള്‍ഫ്‌ എന്ന മലയാളികളുടെ സ്വപ്നഭൂമിയെ കുറിച്ച് ഒരു പുതിയ കാഴ്ചപാട് തരുന്ന പുസ്തകം. മരുഭൂമിയില്‍ പെട്ട് പോകുന്ന ഒരു മനുഷ്യന്റെ ജീവിതം അതിന്റെ എല്ലാ തന്മയത്തത്തോടെ അവതരിപിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നു. പലപ്പോഴും അനുഭവങ്ങളുടെ തീവ്രത കാരണം എനിക്ക് വായന നിര്‍ത്തി വെക്കേണ്ടി വന്നു. പുസതകത്തിന്റെ ചട്ടയില്‍ എഴുതിയിരിക്കനത് പോലെ "നാം അനുഭിവക്കാത്ത ജീവിതങ്ങള്‍ എല്ലാം നമ്മുക്ക് വെറും കഥകള്‍ മാത്രം"

  • فارس
    2019-04-27 01:28

    يالله يا ناصر المظلومين يا مغيث الملهوفين أفض عليهم رحماتك وآنسهم بلطفك وانصرهم على من ظلمهم.اللهم لا تؤاخذنا بما فعل السفهاء منا.قصة موجعة مؤلمة لرجل مسلم بريء يتعرض لصنوف من العذاب والبؤس والقمع.صاحب القصة نجيب محمد رجل هندي من فئة لا تسمع لهم همسا وليس لهم صوت ولا نعرف وجهة نظرهم بل لايؤبه لها ولا يعبأ بها ، يسلط الله عليه أرذل خلقه يسومه الخسف والجلد والذل ، وللأسف الشديد فإن أحداثها واقع وليست منالخيال المحض والحمد لله أن هذه الظواهر خفت كثيرا ولكن لا زالت بحاجة إلى محق .القصة زمانها في التسيعينات الميلادية ، والمكان في أحد براري نجد ، سردها جيد متتابع يفتر في الربع الثالث من القصة ثم يعود بقوة حتى النهاية، اللغة أدبية جيدة ولا تخلو من أخطاء لغوية وصرفية وإملائية ولا أدري ألا يوجد في الدار محررون يراجعون النص قبل الطباعة؟!. العاطفة في الرواية مؤثرة تفيض فيضاناً وتجيش جيشاناً والإيمانيات والروحانيات محلقة مبهرة.

  • Teena
    2019-04-30 04:29

    I badly wanted to read this one for years. I wonder how it failed to impress me. :(

  • Che Hypatia (Alanoud)
    2019-05-15 02:09

    لِنبدأ بالقول أنها رواية لا بأس بها، سلسة. بإمكانك الإنتهاء منها في جلسة قراءة واحدة. لكن السؤال، هل ستخرج من هذه الرواية بِشيء؟ أشك في ذلك كثيراً. هي من نوع الروايات التي ما آن تنتهي من آخر صفحة، حتى تنساها تماماً، فهي لا تعلق بِذاكرتك، أثرها لحظي. وهُنا أظن يكمن فشل الكاتب، أغلب الروايات التي تتحدث عن صراع الإنسان لِلنجاة عادة ما تترك أثر كبير في القُراء، الرواية هُنا، لم تفعل ذلك (على الأقل بِالنسبة لي). الأحداث الميلودرامية كانت مُبالغ فيها في بعض المواقف، حتى أنني لم أستطع التعاطف مع نجيب. نجيب هو بطل الرواية، ترك بلاده وزوجته الحامل من أجل الحلم السعودي، لكنه لم يجد سوى صحراء قاحلة، وشمس حارقة وقطيع من الأغنام التي كانت ملجأه في حالة البرد والحزن والشهوة! السرد في الرواية يشوبه بعض الأخطاء، انتقال الكاتب من ابتهالات نجيب، إلى وصف الحدث ثم العودة عشوائياً إلى أفكار نجيب يدل على أن السرد بسيط وركيك، ايضاً تذكر نجيب واستيعابه لما يقوله "الأرباب" في حين أنه قبل أيام (عدة صفحات) كانت اللغة العربية تستعصي عليه أمر غير مُقنع.التشبيهات في الرواية، لا بأس بها، عدا تشبيه نجيب نفسه بالأغنام، يتضح من خلال الرواية أن الكاتب ملتزم بالتشبيه "الإنسان الماعز" وهذا تشبيه أجد له المُبرر أو المعنى من خلال الأحداث. لكن تشبيهات نجيب لِنفسه بالأغنام كانت دائماً تجيء غير متسقة مع السياق؛ مثلاً تشبيه نجيب لنفسه بالأغنام لأنه وحيد ولا أحد يشاركه غير مُقنع لأن الأغنام دائماً ما تكون في قطيع، ايضاً تشبيهه لِنفسه بالأغنام لأنه خالِ من الرجاء والأحلام كان يُناقض ما كتبه عن الأغنام قبل صفحات قليلة. الترجمة في الرواية لا بأس بها، لاحظت وجود بعض المفردات العامية، التي لا أظنها خدمت الحوار أو النص. بعض الجمل ايضاً جاءت غير متسقة مع النص.الجملة الوحيدة التي توقفت عندها كثيراً هي"كنت أحاول أن أقنع نفسي بهذا الإعتقاد، ولولا هذا الإعتقاد فكيف تكون حالتي عند ذاك" دائماً كان أثر المعتقد على طمأنينة النفس أمراً مثيراً للإهتمام بِالنسبة لي، أميل للإعتقاد أن الكاتب كان يجب عليه توظيف هذه الفكرة لإعطاء الكتاب عمق وبعد فلسفي يُثري روايته.ختم الكاتب روايته بجملة الإنسان الماعز، وبِالعودة إلى هذا التشبيه، هل الكاتب مُقصر في هذا التشبيه؟ هل فقط المغتربون (العمالة من هم على شاكلة نجيب) كالماعز؟ ألسنا جميعاً في مرحلة من مراحل حياتنا كالماعز؟

  • Rohit Enghakat
    2019-05-21 01:15

    This a very depressing book. There are thousands of people lured by the dream of working in the Gulf countries and earning money. While a handful of them make it, there are scores who are duped and cheated by their sponsors who make them work for a pittance and exploit them. One such story is that of Najeeb Muhammad, who is dreaming of a cushy job in Saudi Arabia and sending back the money so that he can pay off his loans and earn enough to provide for his family. However, he gets duped and is made to work as a shepherd in a remote area in Saudi, far away from the city. This is a story of how he fights against all odds and escapes from the cruel arbab to freedom. The book is an easy read and seems like a very simple translation of the Malayalam version. Hope the translator has done justice to the much acclaimed Malayalam novel.

  • Noor Nazar
    2019-04-25 06:06

    the way Najeeb surrenders to the will of Allah was truly motivating and inspiring... there is a verse in Quran which says: Inna maghal usri yusra which means "Surely there is ease after hardship"... if this story is true, then its the best proof for this verse that there is definitely ease after hardship... bcoz each time the story twisted and turned in unexpected ways...this story wud be an inspiring one for many going through different difficulties in life that there would be something good to end it all... i loved the way "water" was described which is a necessity and which is used extravagantly by us Malayalees without any guilt (yes, I am one of them too :D)

  • Santhosh Michael
    2019-04-20 08:19

    പ്രവാസി ജീവിതത്തിന്‍റെ പൊള്ളുന്ന അനുഭവങ്ങള്‍, ഇത്രയേറെ പകര്‍ത്തിയ മറ്റൊരു കൃതി ഇല്ല ..പക്ഷെ ഇതിനെ പൂര്‍ണമായും ഒരു നോവല്‍ എന്ന ഗണത്തില്‍ പെടുത്താന്‍ പറ്റുമോ എന്ന് എനിക്കു അറിയില്ല...പക്ഷെ വായിക്കുമ്പോള്‍ ഏറെ രസകരമായി തോന്നുന്ന ഈ ജീവിത കഥ....ഏറെ രസകരമാണ്

  • Praveen Palakkazhi
    2019-05-04 05:25

    The Middle Eastern Arab states have always been a begrudging moral conundrum for me. Having grown up there and later on worked there for a while, I do appreciate the comforts and safety its relatively chaos free world provides. However, beneath the gleaming concrete odes to mankind’s progress lies an unmistakable and inescapable truth – the region is seemingly bound to a false sense of security and freedom. In truth, most people have no real powers or rights in the law of the land. That is controlled by the meager natural populations and the monarchies which have the financial clout to command the rest of the expatriate population who virtually run the land. Sure, this may be fine if you’re a white collar worker simply looking for a more comfortable existence or to raise finances to live in relative luxury back home. It may even be fine for some of the blue collar workers who make do with their lot in life and still have the freedom to choose to go back. But what about the rest? Those who arrive with stars in their eyes from the lower strata of the educational and social spectrum and whose desperation and naivete are taken for granted by an unforgiving system. In the Gulf we see them all around us, but mostly choose to ignore the blight to the ultra-modern landscapes. Does that make us culprits? Do we just wallow in our relative good fortune in a land serviced in a great deal by the unsighted and uncared for labor? Sure, this happens in a lot of the developing countries, including India, but the ‘Gulf’ is supposed to be different. The land of wealth, opportunities, peace and some of the pinnacles of artificial man made endeavors should be able to take care of its workers, shouldn’t it?It is the plight of one of these unfortunates that Benyamin’s Malayalam novel (the English translation of which I read) deals with. What makes this bleak tale of survival and near-slavery even more astounding is that the author is supposed to have based this on a real life character’s experience. Even if it were not so, we know this story is not so far from truth. Najeeb is an uneducated young man from Kerala who jumps at an opportunity when an acquaintance mentions a visa up for sale. With a young family to take care of and plans to expand his modest house, his dreams are par for the course for a lot of the people in his strata of society. He arrives at his destination via Mumbai with a fellow traveler. With no idea on who they have to contact and where they should go, they are whisked away from the airport after a long wait by an Arab in a beat up pickup truck. From here on in, the nightmare begins in earnest for Najeeb. Taken deep into the desert and dumped in a ‘masara’ he is forced to endure slave like conditions tending to the goats and camels in the farm. This ‘farm’ is a barren and bleak landscape where human contacts are at the minimum and where Najeeb works from dawn till dusk with just the bare necessities of food and water to survive. He is under the dictatorial eye of his ‘Arbab’ or master, and is beaten for small infringements and threatened with death if he tries to escape. His only companions being the goats he tends to, Najeeb forms intimate emotional bonds with them and lives his days mostly in an unending struggle to just survive. While the battered and barren vista of the desert lies all around him, he tries to shut out the memories of his lush, verdant village back home in Kerala and his loving mother and wife (and his child, who he has never seen). His faith in his God helps him survive his days with the disarming conviction of the simply faithful that everything is a test and the one above will pull them through this too. Sure, it may appear unconvincing for a skeptic like me, but Benyamin has done a good job in capturing Najeeb’s mind’s inner depths and we can empathize in his belief. Irrespective of whether Najeeb escapes or not, it should be pointed out that at no point is Najeeb shown to be a superhero or a particularly resourceful protagonist either. He is simply an ordinary man thrown into a seemingly never ending nightmare, the sorts of which can befall any other person caught up in an unfortunate place and time. However, what Najeeb has is a reservoir of patience and determination to cling on in the face of obstacles which may have driven many a person to the point of no return and it is this determination for life that we should take away, ultimately, from this hard hitting book.Benyamin does not ornament the prose or the story unnecessarily– this is a tale which will strike at you with its unflinching honesty and simplicity. While we complain about the problems in our relatively cushioned lives, it reminds us that there are stories like this happening all around and it laughs at our inability to rise above our own mediocre obstacles. It is also a story which is remarkably effective even in translation, something which not a lot of Malayalam novels manage to achieve.It’s a relatively small book, but the impact it has on our psyche is anything but. Recommended for all readers, irrespective of where they are from.

  • Margaret Lesh
    2019-05-18 07:13

    Imagine being thrust into a situation where you’re expected to have unique skills and knowledge (which you don’t possess) and then not having any way to communicate and learn other than through charades, being beaten when you guess incorrectly. Goat Days by Benyamin was an eye opening account of a man simply looking to provide for his wife and unborn child--to raise their standard of living. When a friend tells Najeeb there is a visa available for purchase (through the friend’s brother-in-law), Najeeb makes arrangements to buy it and travel to Saudi Arabia as a guest worker. The arrangements are somewhat nebulous, though, and when Najeeb makes the long trip with an acquaintance from his village, things quickly go awry when their contact doesn’t meet them at the airport. They are stranded and have no way of communicating because of the language gap. The construction job he’d expected soon evaporates, and because he doesn’t speak Arabic, he finds himself in the middle of the desert, enslaved by an unscrupulous boss, forced to work with goats--something he knows nothing about. He quickly realizes that his survival depends on his acclimating himself to his new “job.” What he experiences is truly a trial by fire.Stripped of his possessions and forced to wear a disgusting, smelly robe, he sleeps on the bare ground. With no plumbing or access to basic hygiene, he experiences the equivalent of the cable show “Naked and Afraid” where the participants are dropped into a harsh environment with nothing but a single article of their choice. (Except the participants willingly sign up for this and have an idea of what’s in store for them.)With the extreme deprivation and abuse he suffers, it’s a wonder he survives. But he relies on his strong faith to get thim through. Based on a true story, the author did a good job depicting Najeeb’s struggle and also shedding a light on the predicament of the guest worker in different parts of the world where they are prey to exploitation--especially if they’re working illegally and are undocumented--often being denied basic legal counsel and due process.Here is a link I found to a recent article about guest workers facing execution in Saudi Arabia for practicing “witchcraft.” http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles... At times hard to read, I felt such empathy for Najeeb yet also inspiration. This story is a real testament to one man’s inner strength.

  • Rameez Rahman
    2019-05-20 08:17

    Ever happened to you that you picked up a book to read in your bed and spent the first few hours of the night reading it in one go and spending the rest thinking about it? That's what this book did to me.One of the most hard hitting books in Malayalam that I have read recently. I haven't read any other works of Benyamin (yet) and so I dont know if its his style of writing, but what stood out was the simplicity so befitting the narrator in the language being used for telling the story, and all the while I couldnt think that anyone other than Najeeb himself could had written this.The more I read the less reasons I found to crib about my life. Amazing tale of human perseverance, hope and belief. Highly recommended.