Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is a good choice to read from Indian writers. There are many readers who believe that Indian writers do shallow writing or do not take the effort to do researched writing. This book would be a good example to assuage such thinking and to bring to light the true potential of Indian writing. More so about the trend of more and more professionals from various walks of life taking to write and telling about a life which is otherwise not known. The following is a variation of one of the book reviews on the novel.
One of the hall marks of any good book is the amount of research and detailing which is at the very essence of serious writing. I must admit the novel Mena nd Dreams in the Dhauladhar definitely stands out in this very aspect and so also the author amongst the Indian writers. As I mentioned sometime earlier about a recipe, this book is a delicious mix of so many ingredients in one book. Let me give you a scale of how detailed and hence intricate the weaving of the story really is. I was caught by surprise on many occasions by the way the author linked the story to the events and characters at various points of time and places in the novel.
The story telling begins wonderfully with two chapters each dedicated to two of the three main protagonists, Nanda and Shahzada viz. Khusru. The beauty of the novel is the amount of detailing and back stories of the many characters who are introduced. One tends to get immersed into the lives of these characters when the Indian writers author pulls out and brings you back to the main protagonists. With the introduction of new characters in their lives, the author goes on to describe each of the characters’ life stories, some of them short and sweet & and others long and lingering with more than a fair amount of detailing. During the first few chapters, I was being flooded with many characters who were almost real life and I found it difficult to believe that all these characters were fictional. I was amazed by the ease with which the author brought in characters and breathed life in to them as the story progressed. Every page I turned made me yearn for more and I could not put the book down. It is a fabulous feeling to see the Indian writers coming of age with such professional writing that makes one sit glued to the chair not able to put the book down.
I was fascinated by Khusru and his life in Kashmir and in Pakistan. Of course there were too many women who seemed to be more than ready to jump into bed with this tall handsome Kashmiri lad. Some of those passionate scenes regarding Khusru I felt were way too abrupt. I wonder if Khusru could really feel and love so many women in his life. Or was he just another slam bam thank you mam kind of character. The life in the campsite seems to thrive on expletives. Even if it is a reflection of the life as it is in the camp, I thought there were too many cuss words. Bu then there was also the beauty of the various usages so well brought out in the Indian writers novel.
The plot of the book is extraordinary and the best part about the Indian writers novel. The plot moves from one point to another and from one character to another and from one place to another that one is left awe struck by the coordination of time and space of events spanning countries and years. The plot moves like a magical thread weaving and holding together everything in the novel. There is a smooth flow of the plot through and through. Of course as a reader one does empathise with many of the characters who seem to be struggling it out against the odds.
The golden glow of this debutant Indian writers novel indeed is that one feels the novel has delivered an outstanding novel. After going through the book I must confess that the author has indeed focused on each of the numerous characters and brought them to life more than convincingly. Giving each one of them them time and space and telling the stories of their past which made me want to continue reading without putting he book down. I could not help the urge to find out the life and times of each of those characters etched so well by the author.
Another beautiful thing about this novel is that it is well edited. I must admit that Indian writers are not well known for their quality of research and writing. This book is an exception and hence I could not help mentioning this. The book has a print version as print published by the Niyogi Books and there is e-version on Amazon.
The Indian writers effort has shown a number of twists and turns in the lives of the many characters and they all come together at the construction site of a Mega construction site in the remote corners of the Dhauladhar Mountain ranges. The beauty of the book is that the fiction and thriller part of the novel is in the fore ground but there is an equally strong classical background story. The novel and the development of a sinister plot in the midst of innocent souls is at times disturbing. So when the final climax does come, in many ways I felt relieved that there is not another set of tragedy that the people have to go through.
The one thing that I must commend the Indian writers author is for the incredible detail in which he has described the life of the people in and out of Dhauladhar. Being an Indian, I could definitely relate to some, if not all of the Indian dialogues and the state if minds of the people when faced with certain situations. He has accurately portrayed the truly sad state of affairs in India regarding internal politics, greed, sex, scandals, money etc.
The Indian writers book Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar has indeed made an indelible impact on me. The book is a racy thriller woven through the many life stories of the numerous characters and events to perfection. Though I cannot help wondering why the author did not write a classic novel about the project life and the village life in the Dhauladhar, with the incredible detailing that the author is capable of. Or may be why he has not opted to write a pure racy thriller adding more of the cloak and dagger stuff, which seems to come naturally to the Indian writers author.