Book review: Men and Dreams in the Dhauladar

He looked for the snow capped peaks of the Dhauladar. They looked far away. He heard the voice from the past echo in the mountains…
“Malika ketti uyarthanalla, Mattuppavil uranganalla,
Piranna mannil orithirinal Jeevikkananisamrambham.”
(It is not to make mansions, nor to sleep on the terrace, but to live in your birthplace for the few days that this struggle is all about.)


Men and Dreams in the Dhauladar by Kochery C. Shibu
Genre: Fiction/Thriller
Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publication date: August 3rd, 2015
Publication house: Niyogi Books
Links: GoodreadsAmazon
Source: Author

A hydro 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 traditional kalari code of revenge.
Khusru, a boy displaced from his native village in Kashmir, a gambit in the terror plot threatening to blow up the dam, working as a labour at the site.
Rekha, a Kathak dancer in 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 camp site 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. The fury of nature and hardship of project life has no mercy for the weak and time for the dead.
Like an eternal spectator the Dhauladhar watches as men risk their limb and life in their quest to full fill their dreams.


I’ll dare and say that the style reminded me of Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. The words, the language used in the book is, if I have to say in one word, professional. It is not always direct and sometimes a single sentences led me to many different meanings.

The characters, their backgrounds, their habits are so beautifully described that I found myself looking forward to all their roles. What I love most about these details was that how the author described the villagers, workers, the terrorists and their such basic desiring mentality. The author sketched that very wonderfully.

The story is slow and so indirect, a bit philosophical sometimes. I really enjoyed the starting of the book where the character: Nanda was a quite man with secrets from the past, then his history and as the other characters join the story, it became more and more interesting. Though the story remains slow but the detailed part made it interesting. The last 100 pages turn the book into a thriller and story becomes quite fast. I like the details of those camps the writers have mentioned and the character of Khusru and his history and how he got himself in the middle of the terror. Though the story kept me into the book, the plot was not that pushing and was light. I found the ending disappointing. There was this little chaos and suddenly the books ends.

All and all it was an interesting, one time read and I’d recommend this to the people who loves to read authors like Khaled Husseni and Paolo Coelho.

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