Unboxed Writers App for Phone and Tablet

Here are more ways to stay at forefront of Unboxed Writers and stay informed and inspired! Download our app for Android Phones and Tablets. Click on the image to Download Now!


Justice

Like Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Twitter

 

Archives

Cattitude: Cause We Support

Cattitude!

The Cattitude Trust is a Public Charitable Trust started to reach out to cats in distress, particularly in Chennai (India).

To know more about Cattitude, 'Like' them on Facebook.

Copyright

Creative Commons License
All content displayed here by Unboxed Writers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://unboxedwriters.com.

Excerpt, Don't Copy: You may not publish an entire post. You may republish an excerpt of not increasing 250 words.

Give Credit: You may not use any material from our site without giving due credit to the individual author and Unboxed Writers. You must hyperlink directly to the post.

Author: Author of the post retains all copyright, and reserves all rights not explicitly granted here.

365 Days Of Thirst

 

1

A prospect with promise. A gleam of hope for a better future. And then the shattering reality. This is not the story of just one man, but many like him who left their homelands to find hidden treasures in golden desert fill of mirages. 

Nikhil Ramteke’s debut novel ‘The 365 Days’ recounts a year of Shijukutty’s life who leaves the familiar for the dream of abundance but realises, ‘There are no revolutions in the desert.’ This he says perhaps after the resolve to prosper has been broken by circumstances.

Life was simpler at Vizhinjam, a coastal village on the outskirts of Thiruvanathapuram where he led the life of a fisherman with his beloved wife, Dhanya and his little boy Sooraj.  Where after years of treading the waters, he was drawn to the kingdom of golden sands to make his fortune. 

And so on a New Year’s Eve, the dreamy-eyed fisherman had taken wing, left his loved ones behind and headed like millions of others to Dubai to make his fortune. 

Landing in Dubai along with two others like him, he soon  finds himself at a labour camp, a far cry from what he had imagined. Shiju begins to come in terms with reality, one piece at a time. The camp, a world in itself is home to a lot of expatriates who had stars in their eyes but are soon disillusioned.

Shiju finds this most desolate part of the desert, overwhelmingly depressing. His dreams begin to fade as he is led to the truth about his ‘new life’. But, Shijukutty is not alone. There is Jabbar Chettan, the Gulf ‘veteran’ with an experience of over 20 years in the sands and a seemingly well-settled life back home in Kerala, all thanks to his hard work. The ever-friendly Thavamani from Madurai is a helping hand at all times . Santosh Singh also known as ‘Bhaiyya’ to all is a loud-mouth from Bihar. Chacko is an electrician from Kerala who is spiritually and materially well-connected. Finally, the family of five is completed by Saiful from Bangaldesh who is self-contained most of the times.

Religion and boundaries divide, but the drive to transcend poverty keeps them together – most of the times. Like all the others, Shijukutty embraces the harshness of the desert physically and psychologically as he enters the first day of work.

Thereafter, life begins to seem more and more monotonous, gloomy and miserable each day. There are moments of laughter, reminiscences of good-old days, religious banters and ego-clashes. Amidst the din, there are moments when each one of them looks out for solace in their own ways. There are insights in each life; a few visible to all and mostly hidden in the deep recesses of mind.

The period of Ramadan is when Dubai looks different. The air is festive all around and is the period of happiness and contentment in abundance. The non-Muslims as Shiju puts it, synergise with their brethren in their fasting and celebrations. It is the time of longing and home sickness.

Life moves on mechanically until Shiju’s life and integrity are toppled in one moment. One unfortunate incident erases the final hopes of surviving in the desert as Shiju faces the harsh side of Dubai law. 

Life after this takes a rough course for Shijukutty as he and millions of the expatriates face the most dreaded word – recession. Many are shut out, many resign and some even lose lives.

Death does not matter much but only until you experience the loss of a dear one. Shijukutty is torn apart emotionally with a loss of life he had come to appreciate and cherish and is battered psychologically when he is enlisted amongst the many deportees.

With the life in the desert coming to an end after a period of 365 days, Shijukutty has nothing to lose anymore. His spirit has been defeated, but something remains.  His eyes eagerly await the sight of his beloved ones awaiting him on the threshold of a happy life. Those priceless memories come rushing back as he returns home.

The 365 Days by Nikhil Ramteke is a story worth reading and reminds us that the promise and prospect of a better future in a far-off land may not always be everything it seems to be. And yet, there are millions of Shijukuttys with a dream in their eyes and a hope in their spirits, ready to explore the unknown. 

About the author: Nikhil Ramteke is a UAE-based Marathi engineer turned novelist. Born and brought up in Nagpur, Maharashtra, he currently stays in Sharjah, UAE. The 365 Days is set in Dubai during the years 2007-2008, and features Indian expatriates and their exploitation.

Madhusudan M has a B.Tech degree in Textiles and is an MBA. Writing is his passion and so is connecting with anything that inspires the writer in him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you like this, you may also like:

  1. The Dawn Of The Soul..
  2. On Hope…
  3. Forever..

Similar posts
  • Book review- The Shock Doctrine Certain books outlive their prime years not only due to their authors’ brilliance (which in this case was never in doubt), but also due to the core issues they analyze and address. The Shock Doctrine, currently in its 10th year of publication since its release in September 2007, falls in that category. Although yet to [...]
  • Book Review: The Golden Legend The master story-teller is back, weaving the usual magic with his words, writing a familiar yet brand-new tale of love in the times of bigotry and xenophobia.“ I wake up every day approaching life’s problems through fiction,“ says Nadeem Aslam.  Which explains the prose that soars even as it touches upon, examines, parses all the conflict life [...]
  • Askew: A Short Biography Of Bangalore By TJS George It is neither compulsory nor mandatory but I feel the need to make this admission: I am not an outsider. Though not of Kannada origin, I have been a resident of Bangalore/Bengaluru since the start of the 80s. That’s been over three decades, during which I have lived, worked, married, learned the language, savoured the [...]
  • Feminine Grace Under Fire     Lakshmi Kannan’s debut novel in English charts the life of two remarkable women, Kalyani, a child bride, and Vishalakshi, a young widow in pre-Independence Madras. Both the women display admirable grace under pressure and at some point, the story becomes a celebration of woman power. Kannan deftly highlights the various issues women had to face [...]
  • Review: In the Jungles of the Night   First a sort of disclaimer: I grew up on a steady diet of Corbett’s tales of the man-eaters he had encountered and bested; and later on, I grew to really like Stephen Alter’s accounts of life of men and mountains.   So this was a double delight for me: Stephen Alter in the voice [...]

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Authors

Be the first to read the latest on Unboxed Writers!

Subscribe for FREE and get the latest in your Inbox! You can unsubscribe at any time.
Name
Email *

Admins

Editor & Founder:
Reema Moudgil
Design Director & Founder:
Vani Bahl
Media Consultant:
Poonam Goel

Mission Statement

Who are we? We are writers. And here, in this space, we put pride and passion back into writing. We give ourselves and each other creative freedom and respect.

* We create an environment where content generation does not entail degeneration of inspiration and spirit.
* We create content that we believe in and identify with.
* We recognise that to create is always of more value than to berate.
*We critique without malice and arrogance.

This site is about us writers, what we stand for but more importantly, about creating something valuable, inclusive, thought-provoking. In this space, we do not just stand for ourselves but for all those who listen to a compelling inner voice that tells them, "Create!"

Unboxed Writers Share

Join the other awesome people who get the new posts right away by email!
Be the first to read the latest on Unboxed Writers.
Enter your email and stay on top of things!

Subscribe!