The new Commandant Shaurya is posted to ‘Dandakaranya’ meaning ‘forest of punishment’ in Bastar based on his previous accomplishments. He is aware that his chances of getting a post of his choice, near to his family, will be better after serving in one of the most sensitive areas in India.
Bastar is a Naxalite war zone. Troops are engaged to maintain peace however the dismal policies taken by politicians, mismanagement of funds, and loopholes in proper plans lead to futile efforts. Shaurya pens his frustrations and loneliness in his diary until he meets Shenaya. He falls for Shenaya despite his loving family. What happens in the jungle, stays in the jungle – but Shaurya missed the fact that the jungle here in question was the dangerous foliage of Dandakaranya. Jumping over mines on land and in his personal relationships with equal difficulties, Shaurya is a changed man at the end of the story. His venture of walking on a tightrope teaches him lessons on love and trust.
Last winter, I had travelled by road through the dense forests of Kanger valley through the city of Jagdalpur in Bastar. While reading the book, I could almost relive the memories from the trip.
Rakesh Kumar Singh in his book, Colours of Red, has brilliantly blended his CRPF posting experiences into the story; the depiction of the pains and hardships of commander has been painted with true colours of red.I am looking forward to the other books written by the author. One must pick up this book!
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