Men and Dreams in Dhauladhar by Kochery C Shibu

Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar

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My Rating: 3/5 stars

397 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Amazon


About this Book:

A Hydel 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 for his dear ones, and the kalari code of revenge.
Khusru, a youth displaced from his native village in Kashmir, a gambit in the terror plot that threatens to blow up the dam, working as a labourer at the site.
Rekha, a kathak dancer at 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 campsite 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 realise. Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is about the aspirations of these people, with their cares and worries woven to the site life. The fury of nature and hardships of project life have no mercy for the weak and no time for the dead.
Like an eternal spectator the Dhauladhar watches as men risk their lives and limb in the quest to fulfil their dreams.

My Review:

There is one thing I really like about this book and that is its characters. The author has a great way of portraying his characters so as to give them life, but he also fell prey to what I call ‘the classic Bollywood writer flaw’ in which an author adds unrealistic and unwanted elements to a character or the story.
Whether it is Khusru’s eventful love life or what happened when Khusru met Rekha, it just didn’t suit their characters at all and I don’t understand the author’s intentions for it.
The reason I give this book three stars is that it has an equal negative point for all its plus points.
Like, the narrative is interesting and I enjoyed the writing of the author but often the details and the regional touch (that got tiresome after a while) just started bothering me after a while.
The plot was good, interesting and original but it took so long for things to finally start happening that by that time the book was almost ending so it had to be rushed and wrapped up quick.
As for the premise, the Dhauladhar ranges didn’t really play a role in creating an overall setting for the book.
So while it was an interesting book to read and I just glided through pages, it wasn’t entirely up to the mark. Much like most other Indian Fiction books as of now. There was just so much potential to these books with such strong characters and with Khusru’s past, I had expected it to blow my mind, until of course, the author messed it up.
I’m not saying that it’s not a good book anyway. It is still good comparing to the standards Indian authors have set but that’s not setting the bar too high.
But I would be trying out more stuff by this author, if ever written.

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