Book Review: Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar

Their fears, their anxiety, their love and new found feelings, Dhalaudhar looked over everything from a distance. Constant it was, they  could speak their heart out to it and it kept all their secrets.

Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar by Kochery C Shibu is a story where people come together to work on a project; construct a dam owned by L.L.C (Lala Construction Company). Nanda, the protagonist is an engineer who is escaping his dark past, which makes his blood rush to his brain whenever he spots police anywhere. He is escaping the code of revenge of his native village so that his family could be safe. Khusru is a displaced teenager who is in clenches of a Terrorist group. On a mission, he is supposed to carry a task that will define the future of his community in India. Rekha, a Kathak dancer out of love and doctor out of the profession, is travelling to Dhauladhar. But her life turns upside down when she meets Khusru. A village, that consumes them all, a project being constructed in such treacherous condition that doesn’t guarantee your life or death and the mighty Dhauladhar which watches them all over from far.

Overall, the books is an average read. This book is Kochery C Shibu’s first and he has written a story which is close to his heart. Before becoming an author, Kochi was involved in the construction of dams only. His first-hand account helped him in creating a background of this book. But the problem is not the background, the problem is characters of the book.

There are too many characters in Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar that your mind cannot register when you are reading it. We literally had to turn a few pages to remember who the character was. Also, the book turned out to be a little bit bland and mechanical. The climax is something which author would have definitely improved. The terms mentioned in the book are somewhat explained, but not in the way a layman would understand in one go. Thanks to google, I was able to understand a few tit bits about what happens when you construct a dam.

The only good part about the book is the way each character’s past was explained and how they are interconnected with each other. Also, how each character confined their feelings and dreams to the mountain range of Dhauladhar. The Dhauladhar acted like a temple that overlooked them all with its pure and pious presence.

Overall, The Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar turned out to be an okayish read. This is one book that you can only grab if you don’t have anything else on your #TBR.


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