The following is a perspective on the Important Books and Authors as it applies to the famous Indian Novel “Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar” written by debutant Indian author Kochery C Shibu.
In many ways Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar could be classified as a realistic fiction novel which figures in the Important Books and Authors list. Fiction stories in Literature refer to the form of prose, especially novels, that describes imaginary events and people. The fiction stories as in this novel has a setting in the hydro electric project work site in the remote Himalayas and related to events happening in the 21st century and some which have happened in the 20th century. Whilst the novel itself is fictional the events could happen in the real world as we live today. This is in contrast with many novels in the Important Books and Authors list which typically set in an imaginary world or universe that as the reader would understand is not true.
As with any reader RK Narayan would figure out prominently amongst the Important Books and Authors. His novels and short-stories are timeless classics and have been instrumental in the development of interest in English stories. The Malgudi days would top the list in Important Books and Authors. The word Malgudi is believed to be a combination of the first three letters of Malleswaram and last for letters of Basavana gudi. believed to be a word Best known for the fictional town of The Important Books and Authors in the case RK Narayan would include “Swami and Friends”, “The Guide”, “A Tiger for Malgudi”, “The English Teacher”, etc.
The famous Indian Author Kochery C Shibu has maintained the traditional separation between the fiction and the non –fiction stories in this novel which figures among the Important Books and Authors. The lines may be blurred at times with more over lap than mutual exclusion. Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is well researched and has the necessary ingredients and the elements of truth which are grounded well to the background. The reader would be able to connect with the events of history and the people who were affected by the time and events being referred to.
Important Books and Authors would of course include Mulk Raj Anand, one of the pioneers of Anglo-Indian fiction. His works are known for their depiction of poorer castes in a conventional Indian society. He is one of the first Indian writers in English among the Important Books and Authors to have gained international readership with his first novel “Untouchable” published in 1935. His other notable works include “The Village”, “Coolie”, and “The Private Life of an Indian Prince”. Mulk Raj Anand is one author whose every book would figure out in Important Books and Authors list.
Important Books and Authors as in Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar, as also with similar well researched and well written novels, cover a vast canvas of fables, myths, fairy tales, short stories, epics, poetry, plays and dance forms. It also includes comics, cartoons, films, video games, radio and television programs etc. The creation and distribution of fiction stories has been accentuated by the advent of the internet and digital revolution.
The Important Books and Authors would be incomplete in the sub continent without Arundhati Roy. She rose to international prominence after winning the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1998 for her novel “The God of Small Things”. Arundhati Roy began her career writing screenplays for television and movies, and went on become one of the most recognised names in Indian writing in English. Arundhati Roy’s other famous books include “The Algebra of Infinite Justice”, “Listening to Grasshoppers” and “Broken Republic”.
The Important Books and Authors would include Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar written by Kochery C Shibu with its powerful writings. The traditional approach has been to look at fiction stories as written between 2500 to 7500 words as short story and between 7500 to 17500 words as long story, between 17500 to 50000 words as novella and above 50000 words as novel. This distinction has also been blurred with many overlaps with the advent of the digital media based publications. Needless to say Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar would be the classic novel.
The Important Books and Authors list on Indian writing in English would be incomplete without Jhumpa Lahiri’s name in it. Her debut short story collection “Interpreter of Maladies”, after facing rejection for years was finally released in 1999, and subsequently won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the O. Henry Award. She has written three other books since then – “The Namesake”, “Unaccustomed Earth” and “The Lowland” which was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. Her writing is distinguished for her plain, yet deep, language and Indian immigrant characters.
The Important Books and Authors new entrant Kochery C Shibu has taken the approach of treating fiction stories also as a means of communication to bring to fore many interesting aspects of writing. These would include the theme, context, degree of fictionality, suspense, the perspective, the length and possibly the motive of the whole effort itself. To the reader this would be in terms of the plot, the sub plots, parallel plots, structure, scenes, characterizations, dialogues (or the lack of it), emotions and the most important factor of the freshness and readability of the fiction stories.
The Important Books and Authors would include Salman Rushdie. He is most notably known for “The Satanic Verses” which provoked Muslims from across the world, and led to a fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to literature, his famous works include “Midnight’s Children”, “Luka and the Fire of Life”, “Shalimar the Clown”, and “The Enchantress of Florence”. His fictions are generally set in India, and are a combination of reality and history.
Kochery C Shibu as part of being Important Books and Authors believes that the traditional readers and authors would not have considered fan fiction as anything serious to reckon with. The rise to fame of fan fiction can be credited to “Fifty Shades of Grey” the erotic novel by EL James. The novel started as “Master of the Universe”, which was inspired from “Twilight”. The novel was initially published with on the fanfiction.net. Subsequently it gained popularity as an e-book and eventually ended up in the form as it is known today with over 100 million copies sold. The fan fiction has also spread its tentacles to include real person fiction, homosexuals and inspirations on the star trek character Spock. Then there is the supernatural dose and magical characters and the alien world with Harry potter characters sprinkled in. Whilst some of the authors like JK Rowling of the Harry Potter series and Stephenie Meyer the creator of twilight may have been indulgent to the fan fiction novels copying their characters, most of the authors do not subscribe it favorably as like Kochery C Shibu.
A contemporary of R.K. Narayan and Mulk Raj Anand, Manohar Malgonkar is not to be ignored in the Important Books and Authors. There is a perception that he has largely been ignored in spite of his stellar contribution to Indian writing in English. At a time when mysteries and thrillers were not very well read in India, Manohar pioneered the genre and contributed immensely to it with books like “Spy in Amber”, “A Bend in the Ganges”, “Bandicoot Run”, “Cactus Country”, etc.
Among the Important Books and Authors of today, Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar would surely find a place in thriller writing with the likes of Jeffrey Archer, Clive Cussler and James Patterson.
The Important Books and Authors would also include many other names in this list – Vikram Seth, Kiran Desai, Rajarao, Anita Desai, V.S. Naipaul, Khushwant Singh, Amitav Ghosh, Sudha Murthy, etc. as also modern Indian writers like Kochery C Shibu, Amish Tripathi, Ashwin Sanghi, Krishna Udayasankar, Anand Neelakantan, Aroon Raman, etc.
The following book review is a perspective on Important Books and Authors novel
BOOK REVIEW OF KOCHERI C SHIBU'S 'MEN AND DREAMS IN THE DHAULADHAR'
“Men and Dreams of Dhauladar” is the debutant novel by Kochery C. Shibu. The book is being published by Niyogi books.
It is a very inspiring novel despite the large quantity of vernacular jargon and references which brings out the theme very well. The research into the vast sub-regions of the Himalayas, the pulse, aspirations of the people and their driving phenomena and forces on their cultures, lifestyles, prejudices and loyalties are very telling by the quality of the narrative and is a compelling factor on the inquisitive reader whose regular sources of scattered and disjoint information on these are the crude media presentations, where facts on ground are always left out of reckoning. The narrative of the industrial march to reach the far remote locations, which hold promise for wealth generations, the brilliant and the well rounded descriptions of technical operations of hydro plant engineering have been well balanced with the stories of grime, sweat and transience of the individuals, who makes it all happen and are forgotten. He maintains the curiosity of a reader on, without becoming tedious.
The book revolves around three main characters: Nanda from a family of Mathatil Kalari of Ernakulam district, Khusru a young lad from Deran of Kashmir, had a difficult past yet believing in the idea that there is a higher cause for life and Rekha, a Kathak dancer and a doctor by profession. This book as the tittle says “MEN AND DREAMS” revolves around small yet heartening dreams of those who tried to live their life their way. Nanda is an engineer, who opted to change their family tradition of killing for kill but now he is running from his past to save his life but more importantly the lives of those he loves. His only dream was to live a good life. Khusru, a youth from Kashmir, because of his rough past of terrorism, refugee camps and the wrong influence became a gambit in the terror plot that is a threat to the Dhauladhar Dam. At heart, this man was talented and intelligent, yet the path he chose dragged him to many wrong deeds but he rose above all that. His dream was to live a simple life with his parents and the love of his life but he ends up hiding from the past in the same camp of the Dhauldhar project. Rekha, a girl of dreams who believed in love and the connections of heart., she became the consort of Khusru in the camp.
The author has accurately portrayed the true state regarding internal politics, greed, sex, scandals, money etc. The easy but vibrant narrative which has been put down in a lucid language, makes it an enjoyable story.