“The stories of life we hear but which we don't experience are just tall stories for us”... but the reality is different, says Gayathri Ajith in her blog.
I wanted to start reading again so I borrowed a book titled, Aadujeevitham written by Benyamin. (It's in Malayalam, my mother tongue) . What a book to start with! It takes you away and steals your heart. It brings out the real ‘human being' in you. The theme is life in the desert.
In India, especially in my state, Kerala, a lot of people go to the Middle-East for jobs. ‘Jobs' here does not mean high-profile professional jobs, but jobs as slaves because there is no other way to live. Surviving in an orthodox country, for us Keralites, is very difficult because unlike here, the rules there are harsh, not liberal.
In this story, a person in Kerala living in a typical Kerala family goes to the Middle East. He is picked up by an Arab and taken to a deserted place, where he is made to work as a shepherd. The sufferings he faces are unimaginable.
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 and so on and the book will teach us how important they are and the huge role 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 utter scarcity. The book tells how simple or uncertain is human life when exposed to the violence of nature or say, the violence of one's own species. He is lost without any help, all alone in the vast desert.
While reading the book, I even wondered how people can behave like they have no heart. The Arabs who have enslaved this man treat him so badly — even worse than an animal. He is not even given the consideration of being 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 to the Middle-East with a hope of earning something by doing difficult jobs, because this is their last hope for 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 to help him. There is this constant hope in him that God will help him. I don't know whether it's God who helped him at last, but I'm sure that it is the hope (that God is there for him) in him that helped him survive all these horrible conditions.
This book is definitely in the ‘must-read' category..