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 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 prison. Goat Days was published to acclaim 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.
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GOAT DAYS It s original Malayalam title is ADUJVITAM/AADUJEEVITHAM. This grate novel was published in Malayalam on 2008 by BENYAMIN(Benny Daniel-Indian novelist and short story writter). He also won the KERALA LITERACY ACADEMY AWARD for this extraordinary writing. The English translated version of this book is coming on mid july(may be7th july) 2012. And the English translation of the novel for Penguin Book is done by Dr. Joseph Koyippally. Benny Daniel wrote the novel originally for Matrubhumi Magazine. The book is portraying about Malayalam language speaking labourer s(Indian emigrant) struggle in Saudi Arabia. The main character of this book is Najib Muhammad...from Kerala state..recently married young man. His dream is to get a job in Golf state and earn a lot of money...and finally come back to home to settle his family. But his dream shattered when he got trapped by a rich Arab animal farm supervisor. There he used a "slave" laborer and shepherd assigned to look after goats, sheep and camels for almost three and half years in the remote deserts of Saudi Arabia. He is forced to do back-breaking work, is kept half-hungry and is denied water to wash and suffers unimaginably. In a country like Saudi Arabia...Najib doesn t not know their language and unknown for everyone. So there is no chance for escaping..Finally he has considered himself as a goat..and his dreams, desires, revenge, hopes he identifies all it with them. He talks to them, eats with them, sleeps with them and virtually lives the life of a goat. Still he believes one day he will get the freedom and all of his sufferings will come to an end and live a better life....This part of the story is very much heart touching. Finally one night he get a chance to escape from this horrible life with his two friends..But the three friends get confused to find a way in the desert. One of them dies. However Najib and other one manage to reach at Riyadh, where Najib gets himself arrested by the Regular Police in order to get deported to India. So again fortune axe on their future. Najib spends several months in the Sumesi Prison before being put on a plane to India by the Saudi Arabian authorities. --Debasish Ray Mohapatra Jun 27, 2012
Very few literary works deal with the topic of the life of the huge expatriate contingent in the Gulf States. Of these, Goat Days (2012) has been outstanding both in the narrative style, approach to the subject and storyline. Originally published in Malayalam as Aadujeevitham (Green Books, Thrissur, 2008), this became the all-time best seller in the history of Malayalam literature and went into 50 editions in less than five years. --DCLCUK CLAI Mar 3, 2013
I actually thought of buying this book after reading a small excerpt of it in CARAVAN a year ago. For me, the fascination of Gulf for Keralites was quite an exciting theme and the way this book is written is extremely simple . Of course it is a translation (the original is in Malayalam) but in that simplicity, it hits you hard at certain points and almost brings you very close to the the character and his struggles. It is inspired from a true story and it has been beautifully created by the writer in this book. --Chanakya Vyas Apr 15, 2015
Benyamin is a writer and novelist of Indian origin. Abeesagin, Euthanasia, EMSum Penkuttiyum, and Penmarattam are a few of his other published works. Benyamin was born in the year 1971, in Kerala, with the birth name Benny Daniel. He has been writing for various Malayalam publications since the age of 20. He moved to the Kingdom of Bahrain in 1992 and has been living there ever since. An engineer by profession, he works in an electro-mechanical company as a project coordinator.
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