31 August, 2015

#BookReview :: Once Upon A DharamYudh by Vibhor Tikiya

Dharam is a dream institution for its founders and employees alike, who give it their sweat and blood. In time, it prospers owing to the fine acumen of its owners and efforts of its employees. Prakash is caught in the web of fulfilling his father's dying wish and gives up his dream job to take up the mantle of responsibility at Dharam. A radical thinker equipped with modern ways of working, he sets the company and workers on a path of development, though with much resistance to his methods. Uday's humble origins and difficult childhood inspire him to dream big, he dreams of equality and fair treatment for the weaker sections of the society. He believes it is his Dharam to raise his voice against any injustice. The fight between a man's belief and an institution's values becomes a tussle between the haves and the have-nots, acquiring magnanimous proportions. Both believe they are right and are willing to do what is needed to be done for their Dharam.

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When I first learnt of this book, the title, its blurb and the cover created an expectation of lot of action and drama in my mind. And so it was with that expectation that I delved into the book.

Prakash, one of our protagonists, gives up his dream job to take over the reins of his family business to fulfill his father’s dying wish. Being a dynamic young man with dreams and ambitions of his own, Prakash soon devices new policies and strategies for the business, ‘Dharam’, so as to not only thrive but also to grow. His plans face opposition and resistance from the beginning, but he moves ahead taking care of each hurdle as and when they popped up. That is until Uday, our second protagonist, pops on his radar. Uday is hell bent on what he deems to serve justice to his people and makes it nearly impossible for Prakash to move ahead. Like in every war between two people, third parties get involved to make profit out of the situation. What started as a small hurdle in the face of change in an organization, soon spiraled out of control! Who will prevail? Will it be Prakash or will it be Uday?

Both Prakash and Uday are interesting characters. They are quite different from each other and yet somewhere their differences blur and we are left to wonder if they are really that different. Prakash is an ambitious young man who tries his best to fulfill his father’s last wish. He comes across as a mostly honest person who values integrity. At the same time I felt that he lacked the strength to stand ground at certain points where he should have. Uday on the other hand brings forward a back story that helps us understand him right from the beginning. He is all about justice and the strength to carry it out. It was really an experience to watch these two go up against each other. 

The plot was something that I really liked. It was different and certainly refreshing to a point. However, the pacing was an issue. The slow start made it a bit difficult to get into the story. And even once the story really took off; there were moments here and there where the narration dragged a bit. Other than that the book is quite entertaining.

Review Copy received from Srishti Publishers

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