Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar (Book Review)

A book that takes you to different places. I have to say this in the very beginning because it literally does!!!!

Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is a hugely discussed book among the readers. So I was extremely excited to read this particular book.

Do not look up for a Hero or Heroine in this story. Each character plays a unique role here. The whole plot revolves around a Hydro Power Project in the Dhauladhar Ranges. Nanda,Khusru and Rekha are the highlighted characters. Destiny brings them together at the hydro project site. They come from entirely different backgrounds. Nanda is an Engineer, Rekha a Kathak dancer and Khusru a terrorist. Are you able to connect the dots between these unique characters??

There is a threat of the Dam being blown up by the terrorists and Khusru is a part of it. You will see various faces of Khusru from time to time throughout the story. Till the end, you cannot decide whether he is a good or a bad character. Now the question is, will the terrorists succeed in blowing the Dam?

There are so many other characters like Lalaji, Vijay, Gorahji, Kokki etc who are closely related to this Project. Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar speaks about the dreams of every category of people who work in the Dam project.

My Review

A well researched work by the Author. Every character is explained in detail leaving no question in the reader’s mind. You will get to know even the great grand fathers of some characters. Also the narrative is very good. I liked the usage of local words in the conversation of characters. The Author has used Malayalam as well as Hindi words here and there to add to the authenticity of local language. Since I am a Keralite myself with fluent understanding of Hindi as well, I simply enjoyed the read.

Coming to the plot, it is all about the lives of people related to the Hydro project. The story moves forward in a very slow pace. Certain aspects of the Dam project are way too explained that I lost track of the story many times and had to re-read to understand what was happening. But that may not be the case with every reader, it is just what happened in my case.

Now let me tell you some plus and minus of this book.

Plus

  • Reader gets some knowledge about the technical sides of a Dam work.
  • The culture and beliefs of the village people are well portrayed.
  • Each character is explained in detail.
  • Cover looks beautiful. (Even though I read the kindle copy)
  • You get to see the people from extreme south and extreme north of the Country.
  • You will enjoy the description of regional and climatic differences.

Minus

  • Some dragging could have avoided by cutting down excess explanations.
  • I found no relevance of introducing certain characters in detail. (Not taking names of characters since that could be a spoiler).They could have introduced in a few sentences as they had no role to play in the further story.
  • Number of characters could have been less. I understand it is about Men and their Dreams. But still.
  • Chapter headings could have set in simple words rather than using regional sayings.

My Rating

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

I recommend this book to every book lover other there. It will definitely give you a unique feeling different from your usual reads.

Buy the Book here : AMAZON

Few words 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.

Review by Maya Bhat



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