|Image Credit : Fluttering Butterflies|
This isn't the first book I have read this year. Erm no. I read this I think maybe 3 months ago, but somehow it was pushed back in the review pile, and spilled over into this year. This year has been a bit whirlwind even by my standards. It's nice therefore that I have this day where I can just laze around to read, and well, try and concentrate on my Chinese, which is really going nowhere in the absence of my teacher. :-(.
But back to the book. In The Sea There Are Crocodiles : Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari by Fabio Geda was a real gem.
What would you do if, when you were ten, you were left to fend for yourself, and, in order to survive, you had to undertake a harrowing journey all the way from Afghanistan to Italy?Enait's is one of the most engaging voices I have read in literature. Bear in mind that this is a fictionalized account of a true story. Do not steal, cheat, take drugs or use weapons, his Mom makes him promise. And then when Enait wakes up the next day, she is gone. Just like that begins his remarkable adventure. All the way to Iran, Turkey, Greece before settling down in Italy. And why does he choose to settle in Italy after all his travels? "You recognise it because you don't feel like leaving." And I thought to myself. That's true. I truly felt like that when I left Chengdu last year. Through all the wheels on my feet, that was the one place that where the wheels came undone. It was really a recognition that deep down this is where you want to be. The place you don't feel like leaving.
In early 2002, Enaiatollah Akbari’s village fell prey to the Taliban. His mother, fearing for his life, led him across the border. So began Enaiat’s remarkable and often publishing five-year ordeal—trekking across bitterly cold mountains, riding the suffocating false bottom of a truck, steering an inflatable raft in violent waters—through Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, and Greece, before he eventually sought political asylum in Italy, all before he turned fifteen years old.
Here Fabio Geda delivers the moving true story of Enaiat’s extraordinary will to survive and of the accidental brotherhood he found with the boys he met along the way. In the Sea There Are Crocodiles brilliantly captures Enaiat’s engaging voice and humor, in what is a truly epic story of hope and survival, for readers of all ages.
In The Sea There Are Crocodiles is not about woe. It's not uplifting either. It is not inspiring. It's not despairing. It's not any of those because I hate all those cliches. Enait's journey is a journey of life - his struggles and his five-year ordeal across continents a lesson to learn. I was reading in the Perks Of Being A Wallpaper (review is up next!) as to how to a book makes sense only when it elevates you. Do you emerge change from reading it? Has it enhanced your experience of life even a little? Or even diminished it? There is something doggedly determined about Enait's journey. And that is where the reading experience changed for me. I am known to stop - and not pursue. Perhaps, I would have found a life that I could have endured if I had been in Enait's place instead of the beautiful life he eventually found in Italy. That's where books make a difference. It's a sensory experience. Really. Reading is. It's the ninth sense.
Rating: A brilliant story and a little gem that must be read.