Standing at the base of a hill, looking at the clouds enveloping the graceful peaks and asking the giant structure: What is it that you see and not share with us?
There is a general opinion that when someone faces problems beyond his comprehension, then he goes in search of forces that are strong enough and large enough to fight his battles for him.
I felt such a thing twice. Once on top of Kodchadri hill. Other, while reading the book:
“Men and Dreams of the Dhauladhar”
Name: Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar (Click on the link to buy)
Author: Kochery C. Shibu
Publishers: Niyogi Books
Description of Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar:
Men come and go in this universe as a part of the life and death cycles. How they come together is a story worth sharing.
Men and Dream in the Dhauladhar tells a tale that ranges over the two ends of India. The story of a Kalari warrior from Kerala who leaves his birthplace to defend himself from his enemies entwine with the story of Khusru, a Kashmiri boy entangled with the terrorists, who wants to get out of the web. In his life enters the beautiful Rekha, a Kathak dancer by passion and a doctor by profession. Her life flows with the rhythm of her heart leading her to explore the world of art, struggles and even a perilous journey of explosives.
In between are the stories of many faces and many strong and weak people who build the story with their presence, their charm, and their lives. Throughout the journey, only one entity lives and looks over the changing times and changing lives of these people. That is the mountain range of Dhauladhar.
Take a look at the trailer before jumping into the story:
My take on Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar:
First and foremost, I should thank the author for asking me to take a look at this book. I promise that this has not affected my views on the book even the slightest.
Now coming back to the book: 3 things that are super amazing about the book
- The story is weaved using threads of myriad of colours that dazzle with the depth of understanding and plot development.
- There is no protagonist and the only permanent fixture throughout the story is the Dhauladhar itself.
- There is no “good guy” who survives against all odds and wins the girl and no “bad guy” who finds his doom. There is a “good guy” within every character and a “bad guy” who emerges when there is too much stress and undue struggle.
What made me connect to the story was the way the author has brought the elements of culture, the unique beauty across the lands and time in a really simple way and within the context of the story rather than an index or dictionary at the end.
That is epic in my opinion as this shares so much of about my own country that I never knew or would understand on my own. That’s why it was as good as winning a free ticket to Kerala and the Dhauladhar.
The best part in my opinion is: There are many people who look at the Dhauladhar simultaneously, their own thoughts get echoed back and they find solace in knowing that there is at least one strong entity in their lives.
When such a belief is washed away with the rains and land slide..
There were cold and gripping moments when the author described the deaths of many without a second glance, I was shocked. However, then I realised that the author wanted to portray that with time and greed there is nothing as a minimal price. It could be a life or a smile that was present today and would never light up in future.
The dispassionate deaths and cold fear along with the burning requirement to survive every odds, makes this book one of the best reads of this year.
However, no book is without a sin. The book sometimes feels like a vegetable soup of culture and unless you don’t understand it, you won’t love it.
Another major fault that I faced was while reading the English version of Malayam and dihaadi Hindi. It was hard to understand and I couldn’t connect to the jokes or taunts that flew about between the characters.
All together, I rate the book a 4/5 stars! Loved the story and each of the characters that made their presence. They taught me so much in the small number of pages that they appeared in!