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Dubai Dreams at Delhi's World Book Fair

NRI author Shamlal Puri, was in New Delhi to attend the release of his novel DUBAI DREAMS: THE ROUGH ROAD TO RICHES at the World Book Fair. The novel is jointly published by Har Anand Publications of New Delhi and Crownbird Publishers of London. His novel presents the current situation in Dubai which is very much in the news.

New Delhi, Delhi, February 2, 2010 /India PRwire/ -- NRI author Shamlal Puri, has specially arrived from London to attend the release of his novel DUBAI DREAMS: THE ROUGH ROAD TO RICHES at the World Book Fair in New Delhi. The novel is jointly published by Har Anand Publications of New Delhi and Crownbird Publishers of London. His novel presents the current situation in Dubai which is very much in the news. Shamlal Puri, a veteran journalist, stayed in Dubai for three years, and observed the Indian workers and their struggles and challenges. It brings into sharp focus the problems faced by around three million workers in the Gulf. It revolves around the lives of Indian taxi drivers and how they cope with their tough working conditions and the tensions of their families back home in India.

How the current situation in Dubai, which is very much in the news, affects Indian immigrants is the subject of a novel 'Dubai Dreams: The Rough Road to Riches' released at the World Book Fair in New Delhi.

"Dubai is very much in the news now and 'Dubai Dreams' is a timely reminder of the tough lives and shattered dreams of Indians who are paying a heavy price in the current credit crunch that has also touched this Middle Eastern Emirate," said Shamlal Puri, the NRI author who has come especially from London for the release of his novel,"There was a time when all the flights used to lead to Dubai from India as Indians paid any airfare to chase their dreams in Dubai. Today, ironically, they are heading back home leaving their shattered dreams behind."

"This is a dramatric reminder of the travails of about three million Indian who have gone to work in the Gulf," he said, " Now many of them are facing a bleak future after their toil amid very harsh conditions in these states," said Shamlal, " I finished it only a few weeks ago when the Dubai crisis had hit the global headlines. So it is very topical now and has value as a historical record as well."

The living and working conditions of the unskilled and semi-skilled Indian workers in the Gulf leaves much to be desired. A majority of these NRIs are young, mostly unmarried males. More than half their numbers have invariably gone from Kerala, while the remaining persons have mostly been from Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. Over 60 per cent of them have had little formal education. On arrival in their country of destination in the Gulf, they are usually fed and housed in barrack-like tenements and engaged as labour on construction projects. Now thousands have been laid off and have returned home to a bleak future.

Shamlal Puri, a veteran journalist, stayed in Dubai for three years, and observed the Indian workers and their struggles and challenges. It revolves around the lives of Indian taxi drivers and how they cope with their tough working conditions and the tensions of their families back home in India. Part of the story also happens in Mumbai.

Newstech Publishing Inc handled the publishing project for the joint venture between Har Anand Publications of New Delhi and Crownbird Publishers of London. The book traces the hard lives of these poor migrants in search of their pot of gold in Dubai. Exploited at every turn, the author's low-key style highlights their plight and shows how easy is it for simple, honest men to turn to crime in desperation. It captures the humour and pathos of the sweltering classes in thankless, low-paid jobs. Here is a sympathetic insight into the lives of taxi drivers who keep the transport system of Dubai well oiled. As the traffic rolls on, the drivers go nowhere in their lives with their shattered dreams.

An international journalist, editor and author, Shamlal Puri has worked with the media in East Africa, Britain and the Middle East for over 30 years. While in Dubai, he observed blue collar workers at close quarters and 'Dubai Dreams' is the outcome. Shamlal has published several other books including 'That's Life: Michael Matatu at Large' and 'Axis of Evil: Blood Money'.