Saturday, 13 January 2018

Men and Dreams in The Dhauladhar by Kochery C Shibu : A Tale of Indian Unity in Diversity

When my friend S was reading Men and Dreams in The Dhauladhar she looked really annoyed by the use of Indian words in the book. Her view was not so wrong, as probably her reading habits have not made her encounter books that bear their native language in them. However, when I was reading the same book it were the uses of Indian words that made me like it more. When Chinua Achebe and Adichie use Igbo terms in their novels and we being Indians enjoy exposure to their culture, why shouldnt we appreciate the glorification of our own culture?

It is probably the glorification of India, the struggles of Indian Men and Women everyday to aspire for a better life that appealed to me the most in Shibu's novel that will stay with me for a long time now.


The cover acts as a prelude to the book's plot and content and even though it looks minimal, it has much more to offer as you turn over the pages. The Himalayan range's beautiful sketch is the location of the novel as it focuses of three very different characters who unite at a certain level during the construction of a dam.


The Characters in a novel are the driving force behind its flourishment and Shibu has made his characters as real as flesh and bone. 

Khusru :  Khusru was the character who intrigued me the most in this novel, because the rest of the characters have too much rounded characters. You probably know everything about them but Khusru is the one who attracts your thoughts most of the time.

Rekha : I have mixed feelings about this character. At times she felt so mature, and on the other, so obstinate! But by the end of the novel she had my proper respect for her ability to cling to her decisions and responsibilities.

Nanda : Nanda's narration is probably the most diverse one in the novel because his life draws upon so many events and shows several shades on his life.


The driving force of the novel is the back stories that are small snippets full of action and emotion which the author beautifully combines to create a larger picture - that of man's eternal struggle and never losing hope. He has a beautiful writing style which makes the reader feel at home with the book and prevents the book from becoming a drag.

According to me, you should definitely read this book. Although the book doesn't have a properly moving story, it is still worth a read because of its entirety that knits a strong image of India. I would give this book 4 🌟 out of 5 stars because I would cherish this read probably for a long time from now.

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