Book Review: Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar -by Kochery C. Shibu

I read the title of the book and was instantly attracted. Hey! Don’t judge me yet, nobody said that I can’t judge the book by its title. Dhauladhar holds a special place in my heart, partly because their sheer mightiness has enchanted me since ever. I have read several travelogues and guide books on the trails and treks of Himachal.

The book starts with familiarisation of characters by introducing chapters about them. These chapters of each character makes the reader more comfortable with the main story. In any given narrative, it is very important to understand the characters and the Author has introduced them well to readers by giving several insights and background stories in the initial stage.

The plot is set in the backdrop of Mighty Dhauladhar range of Himalayas where a construction of dam is under process. Nanda, the engineer on the dam who has just joined the project comes from Kerala where he has had a series of unfortunate events, has evaded law and is on the run. He finally finds solitude and peace in this place.

It also takes us on the journey of Khusru, a Kashmiri boy who tripped into the hands of terrorists and became a part of them. Rekha, a doctor by profession and Kathak dancer at heart; treading on her own set of journey. The book amalgamates these three characters such that their destinies collide and magic happens.

The tonality of the narration is simple and easy to understand with in depth technical description of the hydro project. The story line sets a ground for characters to build and finally find place in the narration. As a debut novel of the Author, he has done a commendable job towards every aspect of the book. At times, the book seems to dwell into the details and may seem a little slow to read but it picks up quite quickly and smoothly.

It has a fresh story line and new characters which will start to intrigue you in the first couple of pages; but as the book progresses, the readers might not like the lengthy technicalities of the dam project. It is not a complex story and gives fresh perspective on the lives of its characters without once being judgmental. Having said that, the sub plots are much more interesting; though climax could have been a little better.

All in all, it is a good read which imbibes local culture and traditions; makes good use of characters and transfuses them into a beautiful story. The heart of the book is in right place.

I received a copy of the book from Writersmelon in return of an honest review.


Book Information

Pages: 283

Language: English

Genre: Fiction

My Rating: 3.5/5


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