Review- Men and Dreams in the dhauladhar

Author – Kochery C Shibu

Publisher – Niyogi books

Pages – 283

Genre- fiction

I purchased this one because of lovely cover, but now I am happy to own it. If Indian fiction has to grow taller, these are the books which should be bestsellers in place of too many love story paperbacks floating around.

I really think mature Indian reader will love this book.

Book is about life of characters which are too alive, too vivid, too raw and too intervined. This revolves around Nanda, an engineer from Kerala who escaping from his past reaches dhauladhar mountains of Himachal and encounters many similar characters escaping from something and finally resting in the lap of dhauladhar.

Lots of characters but they only make story a rainbow of Indian diversity. Story is gripping with detailed version of each character with real depiction of their action even if amoral and controversial. Story starts in Kerala and tightens in Kashmir and Pakistan to finally reveal itself at dam construction site in Himachal.

A little patience from reader will make effort worth it to taste real India and atrocities faced by poor and unlucky people who cannot choose their destiny and live day to day. Technical details of construction may seem heavy but even if we don’t understand them, story has same punch.

You will have smell of kashmiri, Gujjars, Kerala, Gujarat, Chamba cultures and realistic characters which you may find if put the book down and walk a bit in your neighborhood.

Being realistic don’t imagine filmy ending or rapid twists but story leaves you happily contemplating and ruminating.

Prose is in past tense, simple,fast paced and easily connectable to each event.

Talk between Nanda and dhauladhar is really enjoyable and you feel for sufferings of the weaker beings at construction site.

Rekha and khusru, Two other main characters are also well developed and narrated.

Only thing I could not make out, was behaviour of Rekha, a doctor who wants khathak dance, but ends up dreaming for a hospital after falling for khusru.

This is a book for mature and seasoned Indian reader

Rating 4/5 🍩🍩🍩🍩


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