Book Review: Ten Days

I remember being in Sydney during the heights of the ‘racist clashes’ in Australia. Though I do not deny there being riots and fights; but I personally haven’t experienced any untoward incident while being there. Infact I know many such people who have had a pleasant stay in Australia for ages. So when I see someone talking about prejudices against Indians there; I personally feel it being a little too phony. My question is why on earth will an Australian treat you as their own as you clearly are from a different land? But still if you want that; first change a few basic things in your own self.

We Indians within India create demarcations between North and South Indians; we refuse to recognize the north east as a part of our country or even treat the people from there as fellow Indians; we comment on each other’s traditions, eating habits and dressing styles within India; we go so far as branding people as outsiders if we do not belong to the same state or district and more. But the moment we land in a foreign country we want the locals there to treat us with respect; the very respect we do not want to give to our own brothers and sisters back in India.

Having been in Australia for some time; I realized that our Indian brothers and sisters who go there for further studies (what courses are a totally different topic altogether) live in dingy neighborhoods mostly populated by the not so law abiding percentage of the Australian population and not only that they move around in the depth of nights flashing their iPods, laptops and flashy smart phones. Now tell me which place in the world is totally safe at night? There are bound to be elements which wait for such opportunities to rob people and sometimes that ends up in clear bloody mess resulting in the same being painted in the cloak of racism.

Though I do not deny that racism exists but such a hue and cry from Indians who forget their own identities and roots once outside and who forget that being in an unfamiliar land one should exercise more caution; is to an extent ridiculous. A person who in India taunts an inhabitant of the north-east as ‘chinky’ due to his or her ‘unusual looks’; goes to Australia and when subjected to a similar treatment complains of being subjected to unfair ethnic attack. Well that to me is utterly hypocritical and I surely do not endorse it.

So here is a book ‘Ten Days’ by Azharuddin which begins with the scene of racial attacks in Australia. It is the story of Zeeshan and his self realization. For me honestly the book does very little as the story falls flat. The author could have done so much and exploited this very interesting topic and made for a gripping read. Instead it is just an attempt to showcase his command on the language by way of narration, conversation among the characters or lines in the protagonist’s diary. It is disappointing. I began reading this book as something that wouldn’t only be a love story but a tale woven around a serious issue.  I find the plot vague and there is not one character that builds an urge in you to turn to the next page. The author tries to create an enigma around Zeeshan but I just couldn’t get on board that chain of thought!  Well that’s my analysis of what the book was or perhaps wasn't!

Publisher: General Press