Thursday, May 18, 2006
When you finish reading this book, its hard to beleive that its a true life story.. its hard to beleive that people can actually undergo such things in this world.. it really is! stolen lives is an autobiographical account of malika oufkir's real life. What started as a life pampered with luxury, fun, frienship, affection, joy etc etc turned to one filled with misery, hopelessness, struggle etc etc.. heart wrenching!
malika oufkir is the daughter of general oufkir, who happened to the closest aide to the king of morocco.. yes!.. the king had a daughter of malika's age and adopts malika at a tender age so that she can be his daughter's companion.. though malika lived inside the palace and had the best things she could ever ask for, she missed her home terribly.. she was allowed to see her parents very occasionally and had hardly any touch with them or her siblings.. a few of whom were born after she was adopted..(so, she didnt even know them!). she grows to think of the king as her father and he's pretty fond of her too!..her life was totally sheltered and secure and luxurious..but she was bound to the palace and didnt have her freedom.. despite all this, she lived a happy existence completely unaware of the misery ahead..
One fine day, out of the blue, malika gets to hear that her father had tried to assasinate the king. he was killed and the rest of the family was put in jail, malika included..for malika(then 19 years old), this came as a total shock..for one, she couldnt understand why the king was being so cruel with her..she was like a daughter to him and yet, he even refused to speak to her! she was shut in one desert jail after another for 20 years! the misery they experienced in the jail followed by their attempts to escape and finally their release - this is what this book is essentially about.
The story is gripping and the fact that it is a true life story gives it a totally new dimension.. there has been no exxageration of the conditions of the places where they were imprisoned and their state is really really pitiable..
for all the suffering, the book ends on a happy note.. after 20 years of torture, malika and her family have been released and now lead "normal" existences..("normal" because they are still getting used to the life outside the jail and the technological advances that happened in the 20 years).. this book is really worth reading..