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Men and Dreams: In the Dhauladhar Paperback – 3 Aug 2015
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Description for Men and Dreams: In the Dhauladhar
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.
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The plot majorly revolves around the lives of three individuals who in return somehow get intertwine with each their. It starts at a hydro power project in Himalayas where an engineer running from his past, after losing almost all of his family. Another individual, a Kashmiri boy displaced in his youth from his family, gets involve in terrorism and some how lands working as a labour at the Dam construction site. Lastly, a doctor with passion for classical dancing arrives at the construction site through the medium of love. Each of their story involves drama, passion, skeletons in their closet and extraordinary hardships and struggles of their lives. Like an eternal spectator, the Dhauladhar peaks watches as these beings risk their lives to full fill their dreams.
The storyline is somewhat different, unique in its own wa and in terms of contemporary fiction. It is smooth, using the element of third person narrative. There is flip of narration as it changes almost every chapter but in the end, the author does combine to drive the forward story. As a reader, I realise how important the role of this multiple narrative format in not only driving the plot forward, but keeping things interesting for the reader as well as development of characters. It touches various themes such as love, tragedy, and monologue of multiple protagonists. Use of local and regional dialects makes the dialogue formation more interesting and a proper translation is given for the reader to understand the context better.
The characterisation contains multiple characters. Most of them are like satellites that revolve around our main protagonists. The characterisation is well organised as the characters are developed through out the story with a steady pace. As a reader, I did enjoy this part very much. Rare to be seen such an element used by modern day Indian writers. Another impressing thing is the fragments of scenic places and in-depth knowledge of a dam construction site are taken by the author from his own experience. Though some readers might argue that there too much in-depth context provided and I agree with that but I also understand that the author likes to put touches from his own reality. The writing style is mature, carried with grace and engaging. There are traces of thrill in between the subplots, another enjoyable moment for a reader. The climax is good, a bit too late in my opinion.
If you like to read a contemporary Indian novel, this one is for you.
4 out of 5!
It is probably the glorification of India, the struggles of Indian Men and Women everyday to aspire for a better life that appealed to me the most in Shibu's novel that will stay with me for a long time now.
The cover acts as a prelude to the book's plot and content and even though it looks minimal, it has much more to offer as you turn over the pages. The Himalayan range's beautiful sketch is the location of the novel as it focuses of three very different characters who unite at a certain level during the construction of a dam.
The Characters in a novel are the driving force behind its flourishment and Shibu has made his characters as real as flesh and bone.
Khusru : Khusru was the character who intrigued me the most in this novel, because the rest of the characters have too much rounded characters. You probably know everything about them but Khusru is the one who attracts your thoughts most of the time.
Rekha : I have mixed feelings about this character. At times she felt so mature, and on the other, so obstinate! But by the end of the novel she had my proper respect for her ability to cling to her decisions and responsibilities.
Nanda : Nanda's narration is probably the most diverse one in the novel because his life draws upon so many events and shows several shades on his life.
The driving force of the novel is the back stories that are small snippets full of action and emotion which the author beautifully combines to create a larger picture - that of man's eternal struggle and never losing hope. He has a beautiful writing style which makes the reader feel at home with the book and prevents the book from becoming a drag.
According to me, you should definitely read this book. Although the book doesn't have a properly moving story, it is still worth a read because of its entirety that knits a strong image of India. I would give this book 4 🌟 out of 5 stars because I would cherish this read probably for a long time from now.
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Most recent customer reviews
The story is told mainly from three POVs; Nanda, Khusru and Rekha. A Hydel project in the remote Himalayas brings them together.Read more
Set in the dhauladhar range, the book is full of that cool mountain vibe.Read more
Disclaimer: The fact that I received this copy for a review by the author does not affect my views in any...Read more