Vibhor Tikiya Book Review | Once Upon A Dharamyudh

Vibhor Tikiya Book Review : After Dada, Vibhor Tikiya, the IIM Ahmedabad guy, comes up with Once Upon a Dharamyudh. You can vouch for Capitalism.

Vibhor Tikiya is an interesting guy. He came with Dada as his first novel. It was all about campus, alcohol, goals, growing up and Love. It was a damn interesting read. Now he has released his second novel, “Once Upon A Dharamyudh“. So what is Once Upon A Dharamyudh about ? How does it fare in comparison ?

Well, every new writer or filmmaker will be severely scrutinised for his or her second work, if the first is a bestseller or a superhit. So Vibhor will have to counter the burden of expectations. What do people normally do when they fear this burden ? They stick to the winning formula and churn out recycled products of the winning formula.

Does Vibhor fall into this trap ? This is where “Once Upon A Dharamyudh” stands out and makes Vibhor come across as a confident storyteller rather than a wannabe best seller.

Once Upon A Dharamyudh tells the story of Prakash, a young man and his mission in life, his passion for it and the journey of a lifetime and truly a trial by fire.

Vibhor Tikiya

Vibhor Tikiya

There is love and deceit. There is business and politics, often difficult to differentiate. There is a right man doing the right things often forced by the system to resort to wrong means to achieve the right results. Then there is a right man doing wrong things while appearing to make himself come across as right. And there is the ideological war that is what he means by Dharamyudh. The war is fought for the existence of a spinning mill named Dharam also symbolising the war for the victory of Dharma.

There are no definite black and white characters here. They are all different shades of grey. Be it Prakash, Uday, Jha or Sanjay, they are all true to life characters.

In another era and with another thought process, the protagonist and antagonist would have switched places and it would have been like Namak Haraam revisited. But we’re in post liberalisation era and the winner is decided by the times.


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Once Upon A Dharamyudh isn’t path breaking stuff. But it is definitely a very engrossing story with generous sprinkling of verses from the Gita, that forms the foundation of a war between two ideologies rather than two people. If showing capitalism as all bad was fashionable in the 80s, it’s correction time since 90s onwards.

A very earnest and honest storytelling through two generations of a business family and how the protagonist Prakash faces and conquers death, destruction, depression and domination of the corrupt system to finally reach the destination of his dreams.

Story moves from 60s to early 90s without hiccups and there is smooth transition in narration. Dr. Datta Samant, Indira Gandhi, Narasimha Rao and Dr. Manmohan Singh too find their places in the journey of Dharam.

Mighty impressed and loved the way Vibhor has kept it within 205 pages. Will definitely wait for his next work.

PS: Going by the introduction given to his next book “I WANT TO LIVE”, Vibhor seems to be upto something totally different again and that makes it interesting.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Details of the book:

Author: Vibhor Tikiya
Published by: Srishti Publishers and Distributors in 2015.
Soft Cover, 208 pages.
Category: Fiction
Price: Rs. 150/-

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  • Dr nitesh joshi May 21, 2015, 7:21 pm

    The first was superb , eagerly waiting to read the second one