Goat Days Novel review
Goat days is an English translation of a Malayalam novel written by Benyamin in the year 2008 under the name “Aadujeevitham”. Goat days grew in popularity for its harsh and uncensored reality of the people who migrated India to work abroad. It paints a torturous but realistic image on the hardships faced by people who had to move abroad to feed their family. It put forward the lack of proper machinery set in place to prevent human trafficking and also established how weak and powerless people where on their own in a land foreign to them. As a former immigrant it was an eye opening phenomenon to see the impact that a book may have in the lives of people suffering from human trafficking there has not been an influence of than aadujeevitham.
Benyamin took a broken character to an extreme with the portrayal of Najeeb Muhammed, a poor young man from Haripad, Kerala. The plot revolves around the revolting lifestyle that Najeeb has to go through when he gets trapped and forced to work on a goat and camel farm in Saudi Arabia. Even in such a hard environment he sustains himself on the thoughts of his wife and a child whom he had never seen before as his wife was pregnant when he left.
It is a truly heartbreaking story on the losing of a person’s individuality and being turned into just another cattle in the farm. Even though the ruthless and depression inducing actions of his “Arbab” destroys all hope in ever returning back to his homeland, Najeeb does not lose his hope or his belief in his god. Him believing that his god is punishing him as such for his betterment he carries on and he negotiates the challenges thrown at him.
The book garnered a lot of attention not only in Kerala but also the world as the theme of hardships and struggles are something all of humanity can recognise and side with. The book has been reprinted over 100 times and made Benyamin a one hit wonder and an overnight sensation even with such a difficult topic to deal with and write about. Benyamin gave justice to the real life story the book was based on. Both the English version and the original garnered him recognition and fame as an exceptional writer, but his future endeavours have yet to match the popularity of this masterpiece.
This rise also made the united Arab emirates and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ban the book for its portrayal of their country as one supporting human trafficking and indentured labour but this has not reduced its sale and worked to educate the generation on the risks associated with travelling to another country without proper knowledge and care.
The book is soon to be made into a movie in the Malayalam language and is expected to release shortly. This has revitalised the sales of the book and has expanded its fan base to include a new generation of avid readers. This book is a must read for a new adult to ensure that they do not forget the values to struggling against the chains that bind us and for escaping from difficult situations without losing faith.
Even without possessing a sophisticated palette the novel is easy to understand and digest for all ages but the direction of the story is best left to a more mature audience as it has a lot of dark themes of violence, starvation and torture which may not be suitable for young minds.
This book is one of the cult classics of modern Indian literature and will remain in the spotlight for years to come for both its representation of faith and for the strong message off the importance of willpower and as such I award this book a 7.9 out of 10.
This is the best review that i have read in my life it is the reason for my existence