REVIEW OF THE BOOK- The 365 Days
By- NIKHIL RAMTEKE
• Paperback: 192 pages
• Publisher: Write India Publishers; First edition (20 November 2016)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 8193298845
• ISBN-13: 978-8193298848
THE PLOT AT A GLANCE-
This is a story that falls through the crevices of pitiless anonymity, yet miraculously waits to be told.
Shijukutty, a Malayali fisherman, leaves his tiny hamlet of abject poverty in the coastal village of Vizhinjam on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, that picturesque vignette of searing beauty on the south-western coast of India. Shiju, like millions of other Malayalis, seeks his destiny in Dubai, that gleaming global hub of fortune on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf. What unfolds is a stirring story of distilled hardship, exploitation, identity, and friendship, and the heartbreaking choices Shiju is often forced to make. So what he sees is not what he experiences when he lands in a world of glimmering towers, fast-paced life, and unabashed opulence. For what he was not prepared for was the dark underbelly of Dubai beyond the shimmering mirage.
Shiju’s life is no more the same. But he holds his ground, drawing on ancient instincts of his seafaring ancestry. As things settle down around him, he is inexorably pulled into the canyon of recession… Will Shiju be able to hold on to his dreams? Will he able to pull out himself from the whirlpool? Will he survive against all odds? Will he redeem himself? Nikhil Ramteke unfolds an extraordinary saga about Indian expatriates, their struggles, their alienation, and their dreams. The 365 Days is more than a story of a year in Shijukutty’s life.
The title itself gives us a hint that the plot is an amalgamation of dream with struggle keeping time as the catalyst. It’s a fact that every year it minus or subtract a percentage of your life. That is why when we grow, the time is faster, the months are faster, and days are faster. We are hardly able to keep track of time. We are also getting closer to death than we were. Moreover the title gives us a tinge of a time frame of a year. It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all the human mind has ever accomplished is but the dream before the awakening. The 365 days of Shijukutty’s life are vividly described in the story making the title ‘THE 365 DAYS’ a perfect one.
REVIEW OF THE BOOK:
We all believe that a lot can be changed in a span of a year. A thousand lives can be moulded, a lot many lessons can be learnt and life can show its unpredictability. Even so, one year is enough to prove to yourself that you are worth the struggle that you undertake just to reap a momentary fruit of that labour. If fighting a new fight keeps us motivated each year, so be it. The story here deals with dreams and emotions too keeping time in the backdrop. Shiju who is portrayed as a very simple person goes abroad to in hope of earning more money. But is money all that we want? He leaves behind his wife and son along with his native love. A story of hope and an instinct of surviving the odds will definitely make you feel strong and motivating. You were born a winner, a warrior, one who defied the odds by surviving the most gruesome battle of them all – the race to the egg. And now that you are a giant, why do you even doubt victory against smaller numbers and wider margins? The only walls that exist are those you have placed in your mind. And whatever obstacles you conceive, exist only because you have forgotten what you have already achieved.
The character of Shiju is beautifully highlighted. The contrast of love, emotions along with the survival against the odd displayed in the plot is very creative. It wonderfully reflects upon the point that the gift of life, gives you the greatest opportunity to live and chance to rise above any situation. With hopeful attitude you can overcome any struggle. Frankly speaking the plot was so risky and so scary, and yet at the same time, so beautiful. Maybe the truth was, it shouldn’t be easy to be amazing. Then everything would be. It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth. When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder -if not impossible- to lose.
It’s very sad know that people offers lucrative packages and money to the poor workers. Just because they are not as educated as most of us they fall in the trap. And do you know the saddest part in the entire thing? Once these poor persons are taken abroad, they are forced to work day and night with a very less salary. To add on, one cannot also return back to your own country. This beautiful story describes the painful journey and illustrates what actually happens in those poor people’s heart. But amidst all these situations, how does Shiju survives? In the journey of life, certain paths may seem to be leading nowhere because of a mountain or hill on the way which may seem to be the end of the journey, but should a pilgrim of life climb such a mountain with tenacity and courage and gets to its apex, he would not only deeply feel and understand the tenacity and the courage it takes to climb the mountain, but he would also see ahead and have a clearer picture of the way forward better!
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK-
• The lovely amalgamation of dreams with struggle
• Beautiful presentation of the character Shiju in the story.
• It will prove you “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”
• The emotions brought about by the story.
• The moral and the teachings which was portrayed through the stories.
Overall I would like to rate the book 47 on a scale of 50.
5 stars out of 5
1. Originality of the plot and sub plots- 8/10
2. Net emotions in the story- 10/10
3. Usage of words and phrases-10/10
4. The title, cover and the illustration-9/10
5. The net impact on the readers- 10/10
Once again I would love to convey that Life will throw all kinds of obstacles our way. It’s our job to scramble over them and hunt for the little miracles tucked away, then leave some reminders for the people that follow behind us.
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About the Author
Nikhil Ramteke is an M-Tech in Chemical Technology .He is currently working as a Production Manager in a leading multinational FMCG giant -IFFCO, since 8 years. Born & brought up in Nagpur Maharashtra, he currently stays in Sharjah, UAE. Apart from his passion of writing, he is a qualified painter, nominated photographer & an avid traveller. Intrigued by Indian labor’s situation in gulf, he narrates a heartbreaking story & his experience in UAE. The 365 days is his debut novel.