Book Review: Men and Dreams In the Dhauladhar By Kochery C Shibu

Book Title: Men and Dreams In the Dhauladhar
Author: Kochery C Shibu
Format: Paper Back 
Total Number of Pages:  284 pages
Language: English
Publisher:  NIYOGI BOOKS (2015)
Publishing Date: 2015
ISBN-10: 9385285009
ISBN-13: 9385285009

In a project site in the remote Himalayas where superstitions and religious beliefs are as important as the engineering Nanda, Khusru and Rekha come together through a series of twists and turns in their lives. The dreams and aspirations of people come alive as the story progresses. Each has a story to tell and a dream to realize. The fury of nature and the hardships of project life have no mercy for the weak and no time for the dead. Even Nanda who has seen death from close quarters and is hiding from the law is taken aback by the callous attitude towards life. He is the silent man of the project, the one who never talks. Intrigue and real life get mixed with the sudden appearance of Rekha, the lady doctor, at the camp site. Rekhas quest for a man whom she can love and worship takes her on an unforeseen journey from where she has to choreograph her way out. The handsome Kashmiri youth Khusru is envied by all at the site. Little do they know that the ghosts of Khusrus past are plotting to turn his world upside down. Nanda is torn between his love for his dear ones and his kalari code of revenge. He looks to the Dhauladhar ranges for answers to come to terms with his personal loss and a little more dignity for those who perish. Like an eternal spectator the Dhauladhar watches as men risk life and limb in their quest.

Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is a novel inspired by the numerous years the author spent working on a Hydro electric project in the Himalayas.

My Take

The cover is attractive enough to catch attention. The Title of the book Men and the dreams: In the Dhauldhar is thoughtful, and completely justifying the story. They complement each other well and also is according to the story, so its a perfect combination.

The story of three different people who accidentally met each other in the Dhauldhar. The story revolves around three main characters Nanda, Khusru and Rekha. Nanda is an engineer from Kerala who comes to Dhauladhar for a dam construction. Khusruis a Kashmiri youth who is a part of a terrorist group which is planning to blow up the dam.  Rekha who is a doctor cum dancer. Language of the book is lucid and written in a simple way to comprehend for any kind of reader.

The plot is strong and the author has been able to do full justice to it.

The language is simple to follow which make it easier for the reader to connect to the characters in the stories and resonate with them.

The author has portrayed each and every character with utmost significance of their own and every one of them has done justice to their respective roles throughout the story. The characters are well developed and one can easily relate to their actions, reactions, mental agony, outbursts, etc. The only character that left me a bit confused was that of Khusru. The best part is that even the supporting characters are well- developed and merge smoothly into the story.

The book have been portrayed in such a way, that any reader will be able to connect with the story and live the journey with them. The writers words has the capacity to hold the reader till the last page. Looking forward to read more book by this author.

I would like to recommend this book to all avid readers.

Overall Ratings 4/5 Stars

About the Author

Kochery C. Shibu is a retired naval officer. A graduate from the National Defence Academy he has held several important posts in the Indian Navy. Post his retirement he has executed hydroelectric projects in the Cauvery river basin in Karnataka, Beas river basin in Himachal and lately Teesta river basin in Sikkim. He holds a postgraduate degree in Defence Studies from Chennai University, and MA in English Literature from Pune University. Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is his debut novel. The technical content of the novel, namely the setting up of a hydro-project is drawn from his experience in these projects since 2005, as are many of the characters inspired from those whom he encountered at the project site. Kochery C. Shibu was born in Kochi and now lives in Bangalore with his wife and daughter.

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