(Originally posted in my blog reflectionsofmindblog.wordpress.com)

I received Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar by Kochery.C.Shibu as a review copy from the author.

The Blurb:

A hydel power project in the remote Himalayas. Three people brought together by fate.

Nanda, an engineer from Kerala at the dam construction site, hiding from his past, from the law, torn between the love of his dear ones and the kalari code of revenge. Khusru, a youth displaced from his native village in Kashmir, a gambit in the terror plot that threatens to blow up the dam, working as a labourer at the site. Rekha, a Kathak dancer at heart, a doctor by profession, arrives at the campsite as the consort of Khusru. A village that accepts the dictates of modernity with a heavy heart, its population steeped in superstitions and religious beliefs.

All throng the campsite like moths to a flame, some escape untouched, successful; some miss a step and perish. Each has a story to tell and a dream to realize. Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is about the aspirations of these people, with their cares and worries woven into the site life. The fury of nature and the hardships of project life have no mercy for the weak and no time for the dead. Like an eternal spectator the the Dhauladhar watches as men risk their life and limb in the quest to fulfill their dreams.

My Take:

I loved the book and it was a page turner for me definitely. Right from the premise, characters and the language, everything about this book has left me spell bound. The story was so gripping that I could not put the book down before finishing the entire story. One of the high points of this story was the characters. Though there was an influx of characters, each one had a role and importance in the story. The other high point was the language. When I was asked to review the book, I was apprehensive because of all the technical jargon it had. But when I read the book, the vernacular language excited me.

Every character had a proper back story. I felt like I was watching a movie rather than reading a book. The story was moving from the present to the past and forth. The author has depicted the emotions of every character in a beautiful way. One point which disappointed me was the pace of the story. Though the author has described every facet of the story in detail, such detailing brought down the pace of the story. It makes you lose interest in the story sometimes but still you cannot put down the book without finishing it.

I highly recommend this book to everyone for its story and language. Go, grab your copy and give it a try. You will love it.

My verdict - This book is a delight.

Rating - 4.5/5

[About the Author: He 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. 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.]

Published by Swarnalatha Anumula