A straightforward story

Suppose, a men-like thousands, who built up the pyramid -got a chance to write about his experience in building up the great monument. Further suppose that his writing somehow survived the claws of time. What will we have today? The story of once a free man in chains or of endless blood and sweat or of endless sufferings or of new bonds –new relations thicker than blood being identified.
Or perhaps we get a combination of all of them.
I don’t know why-but that’s the first impression that crossed my mind when I started reading Nikhil Ramteke’s ‘The 365 Days.’
Times have changed. We are now hundreds of year’s ached of Uncle Tom’s days. Slavery is merely a nightmare to the civilized world today. Human races across the nations have accepted that equality, fraternity and justice will be their guiding principles.
Or are they merely jargon? Slavery has changed its proportion-in the past Gladiators fought for the compulsion of their lives. These days’ modern serfs are lured for a better living to go to alien conditions-completely unknown to them. It may sound May Fly jumping to fire- but everything has logic. And when you are from an underdeveloped country-with very limited work opportunity and lesser economic freedom –what more can you expect.
So like thousands from his native state Kerala -Shirjukutty- from an ardent fisherman family-migrated to Dubai-in quest of a golden future. The recruiting agent had promised him the rainbow- One thousand five hundred Dirham per month plus good accommodation and good food with a mild job in a construction company. But when our protagonist had landed in the land of opportunities with a hefty burden of loan on his shoulder-he shockingly discovered the sad truth behind the proverb-all that glitters is not gold.
The story is of broken faith, mislead promises and of labor that no civilized labor law can script down. His story began with his confrontation with the camp boss- a sporting person to whom his workers are….what we can say? May be Merely machines or cattle? And the story continues with workload that can bend anybody’s spine in a single day- the work hour stretched beyond imagination-food that is may be suitable for minimum calorie value intake ,but from the viewpoint of giver, not the taker-and a residential condition that can remind you of fascist Concentration camps!
Nikhil has a trustworthy style of narration. His long association with gulf countries and his association with migrant workers gave him a simple yet intriguing style of storytelling. Do not expect something dramatic-something stunning- it is simple truth –but as they have said- truth is stranger than fiction.
In between there are precise creation of artistic pictures of festivals-celebration for somebody and despair for the others. The contrast of colors-bright and dark gave these narrations vivid looks.
Nikhil has also portrayed a number of characters-they came to serve the purpose of the story. They are portrayed with considerable ease to make the flow of the story spontaneous.
Sketches are assets of the book-from the viewpoint of story they serves the purpose more than required. We will wait for the day when a book of illustration of Nikhil to be published.
Let us come to the story once again. In spite of all the suffering that our protagonist and his friends experienced-some strong bond did develop between them. Instead of having vacant eyes- what made their eyes gleaming? What was the mystery of their driving life force?
Life is fragile- but the human will indomitable.
And what happens at the conclusion? Will our protagonist and his friends were able to be called the fittest as per Darwin’s theory of evolution?
Life is strange folks and possibilities are endless!

Grab a copy at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s