Man and Dreams in the Dhauladhar: Where traditional India meets the contemporary

9 months ago | 29-06-2016 | IBNS

Kolkata, Jun 29 : A defence person's sense of precision and an engineer's eye for detail are two of the key elements that mark Kochery C Shibu's book first book, Man and Dreams in the Dhauladhar, was the recurring theme of the conversation that preceded the Kolkata launch of the book at Starmark (Quest Mall).

On Friday, Starmark Kolkatas largest bookstore chain in association with Niyogi Books and Ahava Communications, launched Man and Dreams in the Dhauladhar, with a short film, which was followed by felicitations and a discussion between author Shibu, author-entrepreneur Antara Banerjee, drama therapist and theatre director Shuktara Lal, actor and Associate Partner IBM Sourabh Mukherjee, and CEO of Last Peak Data Vasant Subramanyan.

The book revolves around a hydel 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 traditionalkalaricode 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 labourer at the site. Rekha, a kathak dancer at heat, 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.

{image_1}Author Shibu said that in Man and Dreams in the Dhauladhar, he has tried to follow the art of storytelling, an important characteristic of Indias tradition of oral culture. A retired naval officer, Shibu executed hydroelectric projects in Cauvery, Beas and Teesta river basins. But he had always treasured a dream of being a writer. I spent about 50 per cent of my time in character sketching rather than the plot, said the author.

Besides the three protagonists, there are innumerable characters in the book, pointed out Antara and Vasant, who according to them were like faces around a campfire. Each person lives an independent life but has a story to tell, which contributes to the overall plot in more ways than one. The minute details were much praised.

Saurabh appreciated how Man and Dreams in the Dhauladhar can also be seen as a record of our times through the use of different phases of history, from the partition of India to Godhra, and how different law agencies work.

Author Shibu was also very appreciative of his editor.

Published by Niyogi Books, and priced Rs 395, Man and Dreams in the Dhauladhar by Kochery C. Shibu, is available at all Starmark outlets.

Images by Souvik Das/IBNS