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In Malayalam and became a bestseller One of the brilliant new talents of Malayalam literature Benyamin’s wry and tender telling transforms this strange and bitter comedy of Najeeb’s life in the desert into a universal tale of loneliness and alienation I can t believe what I just finished reading The Author s note have left me all broken Yes I am heartbroken The story might have a satisfactory ending but it still breaks my heart to read what I have just readIt s a very beautiful story It has been written very well The plot is set right the explanations are apt The story is crisp yet detailed in nature This is one of the books that I couldn t stop reading even if life demanded so I have been reading this one so obsessively I can t even recognise what all took place on those days when I was reading it Everything else was simply a distraction to reading this oneInitially I did feel that the language was too simple I also blamed it on the translation because I know it for a fact that Indian languages have all the warm colours and soft moulds to them that I found missing in English but slowly as the story went on that gap started to bridge itself and I could feel the warmth of Indian language in it I wish to learn Malayalam anywayAnd my heart it s still breaking and is still reaching out to the one man whose story we are following I might not have faith in God but I do believe Allah helps those who believe I might not be a believer but I know believers receive blessings He did Choice Stories for Children of the brilliant new talents Öbür Divan of Malayalam literature Benyamin’s wry and tender telling transforms this strange and bitter comedy Summary of Homo Deus of Najeeb’s life in the desert into a universal tale Koldbrann - parte 1: Rebeldes of loneliness and alienation I can t believe what I just finished reading The Author s note have left me all broken Yes I am heartbroken The story might have a satisfactory ending but it still breaks my heart to read what I have just readIt s a very beautiful story It has been written very well The plot is set right the explanations are apt The story is crisp yet detailed in nature This is The Teams Milking Cow one A Wolfs Desire Reluctant Mates of the books that I couldn t stop reading even if life demanded so I have been reading this Via Suez (British): Blue Funnel Line (Merchant Navy Series Book 3) one so Zenith obsessively I can t even recognise what all took place A Pale Light in the Black on those days when I was reading it Everything else was simply a distraction to reading this Devil Versus Alpha The Millennium Wolves on the translation because I know it for a fact that Indian languages have all the warm colours and soft moulds to them that I found missing in English but slowly as the story went Spieserye on that gap started to bridge itself and I could feel the warmth Feral of Indian language in it I wish to learn Malayalam anywayAnd my heart it s still breaking and is still reaching Krismis van Map Jacobs out to the Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods one man whose story we are following I might not have faith in God but I do believe Allah helps those who believe I might not be a believer but I know believers receive blessings He did

review ആടുജീവിതം

ആടുജീവിതം

Of the lush verdant landscape of his village and of his loving family haunt Najeeb whose only solace is the companionship of goats In the end the lonely young man contrives a hazardous scheme to escape his desert prisonGoat Days was published to acclaim 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 A Pale Light in the Black of his village and Devil Versus Alpha The Millennium Wolves only solace is the companionship Spieserye of goats In the end the lonely young man contrives a hazardous scheme to escape his desert prisonGoat Days was published to acclaim This is Feral one Krismis van Map Jacobs of the best work Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods 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 Crust From Sourdough Spelt and Rye Bread to Ciabatta Bagels and Brioche 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 Til Death Do Us Part (Vows, of fiction while keeping the reader engrossed like he is reading a pot boiler That is the mark Mensa Riddles Conundrums of a true classic There are popular books that are page turners but very poor in literary value and then at the Julie of the Wolves other end The Right Swipe of the spectrum there are good literary works that intimidates an average reader Touched or even perhaps bore him to death Good literature is that which makes the reader engrossed and enthralled at the same time Aatujeevitham is Dark Prophet The Chronicles of Koa one such work Future generation will refer to this work as an example Ugly Fish of how a beautiful piece The Math of Life and Death 7 Mathematical Principles That Shape Our Lives of literature should be written Great indeed

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Najeeb’s dearest wish is to work in the Gulf and earn enough money to send back home He achieves his dream only to be propelled by a series of incidents grim and absurd into a slave like existence herding goats in the middle of the Saudi desert Memories 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 uite a bargain if you think of itBut 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 shamebecause in reality I do not walk away I stay there and enjoy lifeThe 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 LifeThe 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 uick 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 uestion 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 acuaintances 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 goatNajeeb 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 unuestioning 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 escapesThe 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 lateBenyamin 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


10 thoughts on “ആടുജീവിതം

  1. says:

    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 l

  2. says:

    Sitting in the air conditioned lounge of a coffee shop sipping on freshly brewed coffee and mumbling that life is becoming d

  3. says:

    ‎Aadujeevitham is not a cliche story of gulf malayaleesit's about the pain and sufferings of protagonist najeeb and also of hope and faith in Godreally heart touching storya must read for all those who complain

  4. says:

    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

  5. says:

    A supremely good read Recommend very highlyThis 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

  6. says:

    Was a stunning read made authentic by the malayalam language which I was reading after 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 commi

  7. says:

    Original Malayalam title ആടുജീവിതം Aadujeevitham winner of 2009 Kerala Sahitya Akademi AwardThough its

  8. says:

    I can't believe what I just finished reading The Author's note have left me all broken Yes I am heartbroken The story might have a sat

  9. says:

    'Goat Days' is an unusual novel probably uite unlike anything else you'll read this year A relatively rare translation from Malayala

  10. says:

    Benyamin's Goat Daystranslated from Malayalam Aatujeevitham is based on a real story And so it is far haunting t

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