Goat days is a novel based on real life events by Benyamin that is translated from Malayalam by Joseph Koyippally. The book has received the Kerala Sahita Academy award for its original work. Though it is a fiction, it is based on the real happenings of Najeeb, an immigrant who came with high hopes and dreams to work in Saudi.
Leaving behind a mother and a pregnant wife- Sainu, Najeeb boards the plane to Saudi from Bombay in the hopes of realising his dreams. He is a resident of Karruvatta and like thousands of Malayalis hopes to make it big in Saudi Arabia.
But what waits for him is a horrible surprise. Made to live the life of a shepherd, in a desert where there is not even human company to even talk to, other than the Arbab or his sponsor who is cruel in his ways of treating both Najeeb and the animals, he takes solace in the company of the goats, sheeps & camels he herds. In short, he lives a Goat's life. He talks to them, names them based on real life characters in his village in order to maintain his sanity.He considers them as his true brothers as they even save his life in certain situations.
Giving a vivid description of all the tortures that he has to undergo in order to save himself and finally escape the vast Desert, the narrative can be easily related to. Undergoing the painful torturesfor more than three and a half hours without being able to contact his family once during this time, Najeeb proves that hope & faith would eventually take you home.
I definitely recommend it. It is one of those books which stay with you & haunt you for days to come.