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Book Review: Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar

Title: Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar

Author:  Kochery C. Shibu

Publisher: Niyogi Books

Genre: Fiction

Pages: 284

Source: Author

How long it took me to read: 4 days

Rating: 4/5

About: A hydelpower 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 labourer 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 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 into the site life. The fury of nature and the 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 life and limb in a quest to fulfill their dreams.

My Thoughts: If you are looking for a story with detailed portrayal of characters, the backgrounds, surroundings and are curious to read how they are inter-wined together by fate or simply in a story. Then this is it. Being an Indian who possibly loves reading the likes of Khaled Hosseini are surely going to enjoy this book. The narrative is marvelous in every aspect and I especially loved how the author has written about the thoughts of each character. This to me helped understand each person a lot better and sympathies with them as I turned the pages ahead (sometimes even going back to re-read).

This is not a book I would have personally picked, but glad that this book found me. I love stories, especially when it has to do with the lives of people. I love to know a person better with their thoughts and the critical points in their lives which made them who they are. So this this book to me was a treat and an adventure. I not only got to read about the people I never might have encountered in life but also learned so much! This book holds diversity and is highly recommended!

Having said all of it, I feel this book could have been 400+ pages. Maybe the next book by this author will be.

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