This is an authors perspective on Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar as part of Fiction Books using a variation of a book review by Tamanna. The author has visualized starting a series of fiction books when he started on the first novel.
Shelves: Indian Fiction Books-authors, non-fantasy, adult I received a copy of Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar in return for an honest review. This book is the first of the fiction books by Kochery C. Shibu and is part of a series of fiction books that is expected from the pen of the author. As the name suggests the novel is about a lives of a few people who end up in a Hydro Electric Project construction site in the vicinity of the Dhauladhar mountain ranges. Their life gets intermingled with the life of the project workers and that of the village around them.
The fiction books series novel details the journey of the three main protagonists culminating at the remote project construction site in the Himalayas through a series of twists and turns in their life. There is the ever reserved Nanda, the silent man at the site, escaping his sorrowful past in Kerala. Khusru comes with a haunted past. Rekha is a Doctor with a dancer's soul.
Nanda is here hiding from the law and to escape the death and hate that has been a part of his life at his hometown in Kerala. He is torn between the love forhis dear ones and hid Kalari code of revenge. He immerses himself in his job as an Engineer on the Dhauladhar dam project, keeping to himself, allowing no-one to get close or trace him. The author’s fiction books series seems to have drawn from his own experiences while writing Nanda's chapters. One cannot help but wonder if there is some kind of autobiographical twist in the story of Nanda.
As in many fiction books of the recent times, we see the corruption that is rampant in the system and it seems to be omnipresent. The novel conveys the influence of avarice on human beings as the driving force. To many in the novel, money is more important than human lives. We see that during construction, safety norms are not always followed. The life of the workers doesn't seem to matter to some contractors when it comes to deadlines and they do not believe in paying compensations. Even when human tragedy occurs due to the clash of humans with nature and when lives are lost, due to flash floods or human error, mouths are kept shut fearing backlash and monitory loss. But as is synonymous with any institution in India, there is a healthy dose of superstition and prayer present. A temple is constructed to the mountain goddess. Prayers are offered to counter any natural calamity. The direction of the temple is changed in accordance of a monk's sightings. The superstitions and religious beliefs seem to be as important part as that of engineering. The fiction books series of the author seems to have kept Nanda's role mainly as that of an observer. Seeing, yet unable to do much. The soliloquy of Nanda with the Dhauladhar mountains is endearing.
Khusru's life gives the reader a glimpse into the terrorist occupied parts of Kashmir. The fiction books series from the author traces his journey from the border village of Deran in Kashmir, through Pakistan and back to the Dhauladhar. In many ways the story of Khusru seems to be a reflection of the life of many misguided youth in Kahsmir. The book has dwelled on the aspect of hate that brews between people. Either it is between Hindus and Muslims, Indians and Pakistanis, or between Shias and Sunnis. No matter what, people seem to find a way to hate each other. Brought up in such a life is Khusru, the innocent, who finds himself recruited to the 'cause'. He finally finds a purpose and a way to make many wrongs right, and an outlet for his anger. But truth is always multifaceted. The world isn't divided in to black and white as Khusru finds to his sorrow, in his journey from the divided village of Deran, the training camps of the Al Queida to finally Kashmir and Chamba.
Rekha gives up her grandmother's dreams of seeing her as a surgeon for dance and hopes to find true love. Even for some one as accomplished as Rekha; the fiction books has led her to finding eternal love in the strangest of circumstances and in an unexpected way that would change her life for ever.
There is a freshness to the writing of the novel. The fiction books series has given an interesting concept and plot which deserves due credit along with the writing and structuring of the book.
The author in his maiden venture of Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar as part of a fiction books series has tried a novel approach of merging the fiction thriller story with the classical background. He has managed and has merged the stories by bringing in a terrorist plot involving the bombing of the dam to the classical background of the project and village life. But the concept does get lost at times in between. It goes with out saying that there is so much to be told about Nanda, and Khusru but the author seems to have abridged their stories to keep the book to be within 250 pages. There are stories within stories in this fiction books series that deserved expanding, some of them seemed to be condensed and summarized. This takes away some of the emotion that could have been conjured up for the characters. The journey of Khusru could have been a book in itself, so could the story of the Pathinezhara Kalari and Nanda’s life.
Another beauty of this fiction books series is the character detailing and sketching. The history of almost every character interacting with Khusru or Nanda is given and their purpose is understood only at the end as the intertwining of the plot comes to the fore. The characters come live with the detailing and get etched to the readers mind.
When it comes to Nanda's chapters, the fiction books series seems to have focused and used him to tell more about the dam construction than about the character itself. Each and every engineering aspect of the building and commissioning of a hydro electric project is detailed. I kept up with the plate bending machines and the rigging and the blue print drawings. I tried to wrestle with the rest and finally my eyes glazed over at pen-stock. The book could have been better without the engineering lectures to some of the readers. But some would love all that break heart stories of engineering in execution.
Overall the book deserves due credit for the idea behind this book and the freshness in writing and the gripping nature of the story. It is a must read fiction books series and must be read for the concept and the plot and a new author who is there to stay for good. I would recommend this book for reading to all the keen readers and the lovers of good writing.