In a country where he does not know the language, places or people, he is far away from any human interaction.
The English translation of the novel appeared in the long list of Man Asian Literary Prize 2012 and in the short list of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2013.
It also won the Kerala Literary Academy Award for Benyamin in 2009.
The book is divided into four parts (Prison, Desert, Escape and Refuge).
Najeeb Muhammad, the protagonist of the novel, a young man from somewhere near Haripad, Kerala state, is newly married and dreams of a better work in any of the Persian Gulf states.
However, at the King Khalid International Airport, he gets trapped and is taken away by a rich Arab animal farm supervisor to his farm.
He is being used as a "slave" labourer and shepherd and is assigned to look after goats, sheep and camels for almost three and half years in the remote deserts of Saudi Arabia.
He is forced to do backbreaking work, is kept half-hungry and is denied water to wash and suffers unimaginably.
The farm's brutal supervisor keeps Najeeb in control with a gun and binoculars and frequently beats him with a belt.
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