Book: Men And Dreams In The Dhauladhar
Author: Kochery C Shibu
Publication: Niyogi books
I am back with new book review. It has been some time since I last read and reviewed a book. But I was on self-imposed sabbatical as I couldn’t find interesting books to read!
Men and Dreams seemed interesting from the blurb on the back cover.
The story is about three people very different to each other who end up at a dam construction project site high up in the Himalayas, more precisely the Dhauladhar Range. Nanda, an engineer from Kerala is running away from warring communities who are baying for his blood in revenge. He leaves his family and goes in hiding as a supervisor on the dam site. Rekha is a trained and accomplished Kathak dancer who gives up her medical profession to follow her passion of dance. She dreams of finding a man who would spark love and longing in her. On a trip to Vaishnodevi temple in kashmir her group is attacked by a group of terrorists. One of the terrrorists ends up instead protecting her from harm’s way. Khusru, is from a small village Deran in Himalayas who falls in wrong hands and ends up being trained as a terrorist and is supposed to help execute the plan of blowing up the dam site. Khusru despite becoming a terrorist despises hurting women. He foils the plan of other terrorist in the group by saving Rekha from their clutches and misguiding them leading to their capture by army. Khusru and the girl fall in a wild passionate love and escape to dam site to stay in hiding.
The story goes on to describe the life of the three along with all men and women at the construction site. While the challenges of the life in hills with changing weather, the infighting between laborers, the changing lifestyle of locals make the backdrop of the story, the story revolves around the three people; their fears, aspirations, interactions and their dreams of a brighter tomorrow. And while the men and women at the construction site strive to achieve their dreams the majestic Dhauladhar watches over the twists in tale.
The story though well conceived and written, dwells too much, for my comfort, on technical side of dam construction. I for one did not want to read so much about ‘fore bay’ or ‘gulle’ etc.
The background of each character was interesting though and built up the story of how they all reached at same destination. I would have liked to read their interaction more. The end seemed little abrupt as everything happens suddenly. The part about intelligence agency tracking the movement of terrorist is too short and doesn’t build up the anticipation enough.
The story ends in interesting way. While some dreams are crushed but some are met and for those characters of the story all ends well.
In all, story doesn’t disappoint but it could have been shorter. I liked the idea of the story but skipped some part when it became a little too much about the construction and less about people.
Read and decide for yourself.