on Feb. 18, 2018 :
I enjoyed reading Five Lives - One Day in Bahrain. Rohini Sunderam does an excellent job of creating 5 characters and drawing the reader into their lives.
(reviewed 12 months after purchase)
on Sep. 20, 2016 :
Rohini manages to convey with subtle sensitivity the trials and tribulations of the migrant life. Where workers alienate themselvers in an estranged environment that pays better for their families back home, but one that cannot grant them the same comforts. A meager ghostly existence, where one's duty to do right by their family is the only thought that propels them forward with the promise of reward for a lifetime’s work which will be reaped at the very end, back home. Home, thus, becomes more than just a place, it becomes the long awaited heaven—the next life. Therefore, the life in heaven is dependent on their behavior in this one and failing to do their best or at worst incurring physical injury or even deportation is a source of much worry and anxiety. 'Deportation' is the ‘d’ word equivalent to 'Death' in their minds--maybe even worse. All this is orchestrated from the perspectives of variably different characters each with a unique story. The hardships of survival are, however, soothed by the benevolence of the creator. A creator whose presence is felt through the call for prayer, through the supplications of the characters, through their cries and interestingly enough through the great deeds they are made to do for their fellow residents in this estranged Island, that they never cared to befriend. ‘God is indeed great, but his greatness also lies in you’, seems to be the underlying message of a book that is written with such life and fervor that it touches at the roots of what makes us human.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)