Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar — Book Review

Author: Kochery C. Shibu

Publisher: Niyogi Books

Pages: 284

A hydro power project in the remote Himalayas.
Three people brought together by fate. Nanda, an engineer from Kerala at the dam construction site hiding from his past, from the law, torn between the love of his dear ones and the traditional kalari code of revenge.
Khusru, a boy displaced from his native village in Kashmir, a gambit in the terror plot threatening to blow up the dam, working as a labour at the site.
Rekha, a Kathak dancer in heart, a doctor by profession, arrives at the campsite as the consort of Khusru.
A village that accepts the dictates of modernity with a heavy heart, its population steeped in superstitions and religious beliefs.
All throng the camp site like moths to a flame. Some escape untouched,successful; some miss a step and perish.
Each has a story to tell and a dream to realize. The fury of nature and hardship of project life has no mercy for the weak and time for the dead.
Like an eternal spectator the Dhauladhar watches as men risk their limb and life in their quest to full fill their dreams.

This book is quite simple. Nothing wow or mind boggling in it. But its simplicity in language and approach is its USP. The story is about life and decisions humans are often forced to take driven by circumstances. The back stories are interesting of how the central characters reach Dhauladhar. Some back stories could be skipped, those characters didn’t have much importance, but they’re nonetheless interesting. However, too many flashbacks on too many characters from way different cultures can be overbearing for the readers . Then there was lengthy descriptions of the dam construction which will be of interest to a limited crowd, others might find it difficult to get the picture. But overall the book is well researched, well taken care of. But the main story if you extract out was quite short, the details lengthened the book. The usage of local language gives the various personal accounts a more personal, familiar touch. I would have appreciated a little faster pace and little more substance in the central storyline.

Rating: 3.8/5

P.S. I had received the book from the Author in exchange for an honest review. Thank You Mr. Shibu

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