Book review: The 365 Days by Nikhil Ramteke

Author: Nikhil Ramteke

Genre: Drama

No. of pages: 178

Published by: Write India Publishers

Published on: 20th November 2016

Format: Paperback

My rating: ★★★★/5

"Being buffeted by wind or tossed about by the waves after a while becomes routine, so much so that anything other than that can be alarming."


Shijukutty (or Shiju) grew up in the tiny coastal village of Vizhinjam in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, situated along the south-western coast of India. Vizhinjam is a tiny fishing village of Kerala and throughout his life Shiju has known the fisherman's life. His forefathers and he were fishermen who knew how to satisfy their hunger through fishing.

Like most Malayalis, Shiju leaves his small abode which consists of his wife and his toddler son, and tries his luck abroad in Dubai to help his poverty struck family. Shiju gets work in a construction company called Gulftech through a middle man. As soon as he lands on the Arab land his passport is confiscated and thus starts Shiju's struggle for steady income and employment amidst harsh weather, poor living, working conditions and exploitation. By and by Shiju realises that the wage he received is lesser than what he was promised. It is through Shiju that we come to know about the harsh labour conditions prevailing abroad in Dubai.

When recession hits the world and Dubai specifically, the debt-ridden labourers are deported back to their countries. With frequent labour strikes and deportation, will Shiju be able to survive this deportation or will he have to return back to his home empty handed? Read this book which has a lot to teach the masses about real life to find out.

Writing style:

Author Nikhil Ramteke' writing style is very easy going and I would say that as a debut author he has done a commendable work. The language and the style is suitable for first time readers. The book is written in first person, from Shiju's perspective. So the little anecdotes and the experiences that Shiju goes through seem very personal. The only thing that lacks in the book is flow. Each chapter talks about different situations that Shiju and his friends faced in Dubai so I could not really get 'hooked' to the book.

About the book:

Author Nikhil Ramteke's book is eclectic. The book offers information about Kerala and its culture; the life in Dubai; and life of the labour class in the arid deserts of UAE. Along with these things, the book also showcases how friendship develops between men from different classes, castes and nationality even in times of hardships. I loved how Shiju's friendship with his 5 roommates developed in the story. Each of the roommates are from different backgrounds and yet they had something to teach Shiju. Each of them are there for each other and the story beautifully portrays their life story as well. This is a delightful book and it brings forward the unfathomable reality of the exploited labourers in Dubai.

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.

I received a copy of this book from the author and the publishers is exchange for an honest and unbiased review.


Popular Posts