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  • Writer's pictureSamir Dhond

NIGHT by Elie Wiesel


I have always been sad to read and hear all those stories of people from the concentration camps. I have been curious to find out how a human spirit can withstand so much pain, agony and suffering and live on. Live with some ray of hope! I have had friends and people I have known over the years who had relatives who suffered during this time. I have met couple of people who have survived these ordeals and then when I watched Alan J Pakula’s fantastic film ‘Sophie’s Choice” and when I read William Styron’s captivating Novel by the same name, I was left numb thinking about all those people. For some strange reason, when I think about the holocaust and the aftermath of those things, I see Meryl Streep’s Sophie from the award winning film making a choice between her son and daughter. It always is disturbing but somewhere deep inside, I want to learn how to deal with disappointments of life, and I want to learn how to make myself fitter to go on with life’s battles. I think these stories not only give you an insight into what it takes for people to survive such extreme odds but also make one aware that one’s problems are not that grave as compared to everything that these people endured during the holocaust.

Night by Elie Wiesel

I had heard about Elie Wiesel and his Nobel peace Prize in 1986 but have never had a chance to read anything he wrote. Then one day, I came across this book. What a crisp yet absorbing story of a young boy. While I was reading the book, images from those times were right in front of my eyes. Life in those concentration camps must have been so hard and the feelings must have been terribly morbid as well. I think, it is important to let the younger generation to read such books to know that there are such gory, ghastly things happen to people and no one else is responsible but for other Human Beings. We talk of the Human Being as an animal but at times, I think that Animals show much more mercy and dignity to their Prey. Here people dealt with other people. Somewhere the respect for fellow human beings took the beating.

Read this book to understand and internalize that there are many things we take for granted in our lives. We all do! However, when one does not get those, life becomes difficult. Very difficult! Many of us take the simple everyday things such as clothing, food and shelter for granted. When Mr. Wiesel writes about his ordeal where one had to walk without clothes, footwear, eat anything that came there way, at times, go without food for days together, a numbness strikes. There have been many instances when I have just sat back wondering how it must have felt. To see young babies (he says they were alive) being thrown in the fire. To know that if someone was weak, he would be sent to the crematorium and those could be any of your immediate family members. My god! It’s impossible to fathom the trials and tribulations of all these people.

My take away

This is not a conventional book review but I decided to write this because I think it is high time, all of us look at what “we have” and not look at what ”we do not” have. Thank almighty for all that and make a difference to this world. Do something, but uplift a life somewhere in our own tiny way. Bring peace in this world and extend a hand of help to those who really need it.

I took that away from the world and felt that I have much to thank god for than to sit here and sulk about my unfulfilled aspirations. Please do read this book. I think this book is also available on the internet.

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