This is a story of Nanda, a story of Khusru, a story of Rekha and a story of many other characters who find themselves near the Dhauladhar range while working for a hydel project in Himachal Pradesh. It recites the life events of individuals from different backgrounds and what cost they are made to pay for the fulfillment of their dreams!
Starting with the book cover, I must say that it truly captures the beauty of the Dhauladhar ranges as well as the gist of the plot of the book. The author provides a highly – detailed narration that do not lack its pace or becomes stagnant at any point in the book. The diverse characters in the book had their own vibrant back stories that never confused the reader but acted as individual strands that when braided together formed a unique piece of beauty. The back stories were important as they provided different perspectives on different societies, situations as well as life chances that explain the actions of the characters and their personalities. I personally loved the character of Khusru the most as he roamed across varied picturesque landscapes and enjoyed each moment of his life and maintained his conscience even while facing fatalistic hurdles in his life.
I have never been this much attached to a book of any other genres than mystery. This book was the first that kept me glued till the very end. It was not because of the whodunit factor that keeps one guessing and so unable to put down the book; it was the emotional ride that the author takes the reader on that keeps you going. In the end, my heart was filled with many emotions as the project came to a close, as if I was part of the project and it was time to say goodbye!
I would highly recommend this book to any avid reader of fiction.
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.
Review by : Pari