Once upon a Dharamyudh is Vibhor Tikiya's second novel. The first one being Dada, reviewed here.
While the previous title sort of gave clue to the story-line, the new book's title, 'Once upon a Dharamyudh- Battle for dreams' doesn't reveal much- I was contemplating if it is something related to Ramayana/Mahabharath type or something similar. Recently I got an autographed copy from the author and within few days, I finished reading it. Once upon a Dharamyudh is a simple and straight forward story- of two Punjabi brothers setting up textile business in Bombay and trying to grow and sustain the business against all odds. Book provides lots of insights into 1980s era when India was not yet popular in the services industry. Manufacturing was the in-thing that time and many enterprising businessmen set up factories and produced goods- cloths being a main one.
Story runs from the perspective of an industry owner. While there're several laws to protect the interest of labours, these are not adopted uniformly across the industry. Despite willing, factory owners can't compete in the market if they alone pay as per norms while rest of the companies exploit workers and silence rebellion by paying politicians/bureaucrats. Plot revolves around how the owners face various challenges in running the textile units, challenges thrown by few rebellious workers, money hungry politicians and so on.
There's very little personal life, bare minimum love and romance. Throughout, book stays focused on the subject- the Dharam textile company. Would the business survive the problems caused by employee rebellion against management or the intervention by politicians? How one man dedicates to his life to learn and build an enterprise.. do read to find out.
Overall this book is must read because of following reasons
- Apart from being a fiction, it gives lots of management lessons
- What it takes to build and run simple manufacturing units
- How laws designed for welfare of workers can sometime be suicidal to both companies and employees, only allowing some third party to benefit
- Some clever tactics- both ethical and unethical adapted by management to get rid of trouble makers
Title: Once upon Dharamyudh
Author: Vibhor Tikiya
Once upon a Dharamyudh doesn't have too many surprises, major twists or drama/tragedy that is found fiction. But its simplicity and perspective of a factory owner makes it worth a read. Novel is affordably priced and is available on Amazon for Rs 105 with free delivery.