“Suddenly he tensed. The sound of shuffling feet behind him had alerted him. His hands tightened on his belts…”
The moment we read this our interests perk up.
“There was a dam being built there. Allah’s men will come flying from the skies and blow up the dam”.
The sinister words keep us frozen.
“Whole of Delhi would be flooded.”
We swim in the sea of anticipation and fear of the impending doom.
Kochery C. Shibu is a debutante author has published his first work “Men and Dreams in Dhauladhar.”
A story of violence, retribution and at last peace.
My thoughts:- The main plot is a Hydro-Electric dam is being built in the hilly area in Jarthu near Dhauladhar range. And a group of terrorists are trying to blast the dam.
The story revolves around three possible main characters. Nandakumar a.k.a Nanda, Khusru and Rekha.
Nanda is an engineer of Kerala origin, the son of a renowned Jaminder and a master of Kalari arts. Living a childhood amidst violence his mother wanted him to have a different life. But unfortunately to save his cousin Dileep he had killed a man. After that the rival gang is after his blood for retribution and he fled his home and took a job in the far Himalayas.
Khusru, a young Kashmiri boy is the next in line. His parents left him to his uncle and left to another place. The boy was brought up by his uncle. Unfortunately his uncle died in a mine blast and he jumped into the river to save himself. He was saved and later taken in by a group of terrorists. He was trained by them and was made a soldier for Allah’s purposes.
Rekha, granddaughter of a renowned Kathak dancer, a doctor and an eminent dancer herself, went to Amarnath yatra. Unfortunately was kidnapped by a terrorist (who happens to be Khusru) and later fell in love with him. She finds her heart went away dancing "dha dhin dhin na" .With him she wants to have a family and has a dream to set up s hospital in Khusru’s home village Deran.
There are myriad other characters in this book. Every type of people regardless of their country or religion has been portrayed deftly.
A huge area has been covered in this novel. From Kerala to Kashmir, Afghanistan even France and Russia. But at last every person comes and their lives merge into one place, The Dhauladhar.
The author has sketched a picturesque description of Himalayas. The rough lifestyle of hilly areas and the people has been well described, especially the transience of life. The young labour men are dying and there are no guilt feelings in the hearts of their seniors. They are just compensating a life with money.
Dhauladhar range is symbolic of Fate and God. A silent observer of human hardships and toil, the Dhauladhar speaks to them who tries to listen (and mostly it is Nanda).
“Nanda looked at Dhauladhar peaks. He thought the snow the snow capped peaks were shedding tears. He was not sure what it meant and for whom.”
At the end police intercepted and the blast never happened. Rekha went with her grandmother. Nanda too went to his home. What happened to Khusru remained a mystery. It would have been better if we knewthat.
The treatment of women has been portrayed horribly. The foreign men have taken the Nepali girls as paid women. Zohra has been described as “men’s comfort” by Mohammed. An innocent girl is tortured by two terrorists. The wives of dead labour men were sometimes kept as paid women or sold. I felt sick. But then realized that this is the truth even the real world and my heart was broken.
But at the end when Rafiq stops Dhoni from selling Maya to the red light area of Mumbai and marries her I felt overjoyed and was cheering inside like the others characters “Badhai ho, badhai ho!”
The writing style is well, keeps us intrigued now and then. A little bit profanities are there but when labour men speak…well…they speak slang.
Drawbacks:- I had been warned by the author himself that the ebook version contains some hundred pages more.
Still that aside the main drawback of the story is its slow pace. And there are too many details which seemed unnecessary. I believe some things should be left to the reader’s imagination.
And another drawback is multitude of characters. Every now and then a new character is presented. Why is he there and what is his purpose in the main plot is remains unknown for a long time. And we find one particular character after a long absence and it is natural to forget where we finished with him last time.
But still it was a very good read. 4 stars out of 5. Recommended strongly. You will like it.
Thanksgiving Thanks to the author for giving me the opportunity to read and review his book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)