‘The 365 Days’ by Nikhil Ramteke is debut novel from the author. This book has been dedicated to the late Ranibai. Shijukutty is the main character of the story and the whole story revolves around the struggles faced by him during his job in Dubai. This is a heartbreaking story of the harsh experiences faces by labors in UAE.
Shijukutty, a Malayali fisherman, leaves his life of poverty in the coastal village of Vizhinjam on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, along with his wife Dhanya and his only son and left for Dubai, the city of gold to earn more money. He believed that this city will fill his pockets with silver and gold and he will not have to catch fishes daily to survive. But what really happens there make him weak and heartbroken. There were many other laborers who work there for few pennies and were living in pathetic condition. The reality was far different than what he imagined after listening to stories. There was no good food or good accommodation and even he was paid less than he expected. This was not only his condition but every worker was going through same inhuman conditions. Shijukutty who came to this city of dreams with many hopes, his hopes were shattered down, will Shiju be able to hold on to his dreams or he will give up? Will he able to pull out himself from the whirlpool? Will he survive against all the harsh conditions? Will he return to his homeland or continue working daily for twelve hours? Nikhil Ramteke has presented this story in a very beautiful way. The emotions poured in this story are worth experiencing. This book is not just a story, it is a hell of an experience.
The character of Shiju is beautifully highlighted in the story. The contrast of love, emotions, feelings along with the survival against the odd displayed in the plot is very creative which completely describes the saying “Survival of the fittest”. He among all odds survives and this quality of this is really good. The plot was beautiful and unique. I completed the book in one go and really enjoyed reading it. This book is worth every penny. The title and the cover of the book are really eye catching and interesting. This book is not only about struggles of the main character but the struggles of many other laborers who work there like donkeys and they can’t complain. This book is a must read.