After graduating from the from the prestigious National Defence Academy (NDA) in 1981 , Shibu Kochery, served in the Indian Navy and commanded two warships ! The life he lead and the places he served inspired him to write this book. Here is his more about his book & his very interesting writing journey.
During my days in the Navy , we were required to make notes to the bureaucrats in the defense head quarters on complex weapon systems, torpedoes, sonars and such cutting edge technology subjects. The challenge always was to summaries the spirit of all the technical jargon to the decision making bureaucrat in one paragraph at the end. Explaining the cutting edge technology to sharp people from the finance and the bureaucracy , who had little or no technical domain knowledge, but were quick to grasp the qualitative issue was a job I relished for over four years.
Often it had to end finish like story telling to convey the essence of the matter.
My writing journey, In many ways those four years were the formative to this novel and many more that I am trying to write. The book was written whilst working at a Hydro electric project site in Himachal. The writing would start at the end of the day. We had a company guesthouse, which was on the fringes of civilization, and by night you could hear the sounds of silence and the flowing noise of the river in the back ground
The writing and research would go on for three hours every day on average 300 days in a year and it took four years to complete the novel. As the writings progressed and the characters and events became many, the process of writing required having all the characters and events in your mind at the same time. It took almost three years when it happened one fine day and you knew what was happening with each of the characters who separated in time and space.
The inclination towards writing goes back a long time. Many novels have been started and left abandoned at various stages over the last few decades. I have been a voracious reader and often it had crossed my mind on the efforts taken by the author to put together a story with convincing details.
The book : Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar, is all about the life of ordinary men and women who go through extra ordinary challenges in the daily life in a project construction site. A life that has never been written about; by any author till date in India. The story is about the protagonists who land up in this project site through twists and turns in their life. They become pawns in a terror threat that looms in the background.
As a writer one would expect the readers to be discerning; the ability to read each book from a different perspective and to analyse every book in a completely different manner. When I started; as a writer I knew would not be having that luxury.
There is the other aspect of the writer’s personality reflecting in their works. When I wrote the novel with Indian dialogues and proverbs riding in the background; it was with the intention to bring out the beauty and diversity of languages within India to the Indian English readers of India and abroad.
The realistic depiction of a construction site where swearing and expletives are an accepted norm, it is also meant to sensitize the readers to the rigors of this environment. Effort has also been to present each character as they have evolved with out being judgmental about them, as they exist in this world. I feel the reader would love the refreshing style of writing. The readers would get the Indian vibes of life in many parts of India and a first hand account of the cultures and traditions of the sub Himalayan regions.
The ending quote in the novel would capture the spirit of the novel
“It is not to make mansions, not to sleep on the terrace, but to live in your birth place for a few more days that this struggle is all about”
About the Author : Kochery C Shibu Graduated from the prestigious National defence Academy in 1981 and has served in the Indian Navy and commanded two warships. Post his retirement he has been closely associated with execution of Hydro electric projects in the Cauvery Basin, Beas Basin and Teesta River basin. Lately he is setting up a shipping company. He now lives in Bangalore.