I am sharing a book review of my novel Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar by Sanjeev Dua as seen from the perspective of an Indian Author.
Kochery C Shibu was here at India International Center on Nov 28th, for launch of his book “Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar” in Delhi ( Niyogi Books @ Rs. 395). Few of us from NDA 60 were there. Shibu surprised me with his address and I can say so having heard luminary of Indian Authors in all the editions of Jaipur Literature Festival for last 8 years from inception.
Shibu in his address has a style of his own as a refreshingly new Author, used metaphors and similes to get his point across or emphasize. This reflects in his book too. I am little more than half way through with 150 pages done of this wonderful book by this very different Indian Author, which I started reading with no certain expectation, but just because it happens to be one written by my course mate.
First two pages and I knew the book is different. The plot is gripping spanning not just time and space across the subcontinent, but also bookmarks the events of history as they have unfolded and influenced in a sublime manner the lives of people in the subcontinent from Partition to Russian occupation of Afghanistan to Godhra and beyond.
The debutant Indian Author has made sure to introduce nuggets of passion, with all his major characters high in libido – even the grandmother is not spared as author recounts her youth days in Helsinki in her rounds of orgies with great fanaticism. Wonder who was on Viagra – Author Shibu or the characters he crafted ?.
This is one of the rare fiction books in English which gives a glimpse of the society dynamics of Kerala and the pressure it asserts on individual in a very unobtrusive and poignant way; the churning of terrorist – both in terms of character’s internal strife and the surrounding structure trapped in their era - be it in any organization Mossad or IS or another. This book is also the first I have ever read by an Indian Author which dwells in commissioning a Hydro Project and the nuances associated.
The narration is different too. The chapters interestingly are titled not on the standard format of events or place or time or just a number but by name of the character. The story of characters run not just parallel but author keeps the suspense by divulging their past and motives only in small bit and pieces. The philosophical reflection and entreating the Dhuladhar Mountain range at end of chapter is uniquely Shibu the rising Indian Author.
I have loved reading the book. It has all the ingredients to make a great screenplay for a movie ! Do pick a copy today.
And, Where was Shibu at NDA when SI Singh was winning all the declamation contests?
Sanjeev Dua / J
I cannot help saying that I have loved reading this review as the proud Indian Author of the novel Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar