In the middle of the catastrophic 2008 recession, Aditya, a jobless, penniless man meets an attractive stranger in a bar. Little does he know that his life will change forever.
When Radhika, a young, rich widow, marries off her stepdaughter, little does she know that the freedom she has yearned for is not exactly how she had envisioned it.
They say homing pigeons always come back to their mate, no matter where you leave them on the face of this earth. The Homing Pigeons is the story of love between these two unsuspecting characters as it is of lust, greed, separations, prejudices and crumbling spines.
I had opted to review this book reading truckloads of accolades from reviewers everywhere. If you have read my previous reviews, you might be knowing that I’m weary of reading innumerable romance novels these days. Yet, the keyword on the blurb which appealed to me was ‘recession.’ Being a victim of this menace myself, I wanted to know how the author handled it in this book. And I wasn’t disappointed. The blurb promised a love story and it is one, albeit a different one.
The story revolves around the two main protagonists – Aditya and Radhika, and is narrated from their perspectives in alternate chapters. Fair enough, it starts with Aditya, the victim of 2008 recession. What would you do if you lose your job? Has the thought ever crossed your mind, dear reader? Deplete all your money, worsen relation with your immediate family, lose your senses, cater to various addictions, fall prey to weird situations – All of these happened to Aditya and he became a gigolo. I will not divulge the circumstances that made Aditya do whatever he did with a makeshift profession. I will not judge the author for the profession he adorned his protagonist with. All I can say is that loss of a high-profile job and an absolute penniless condition can turn people into different personalities altogether. It happened to Aditya in the book, and it definitely happened to many people in reality who had lost everything during a recession. The other protagonist Radhika has a complicated past and present, and probably a future too, as the book ends with such a hint. They never fall out of love, and yet are never meant to be together.
I particularly liked the way these two characters are etched. They are not flawless, ideal, superhero or moralistic people. They are real in the way they drink, create minute scenes in their lives which picture a collage of their characters, face dilemmas and make wrong decisions that are common to most of us. In a gist, they don’t preach or present you with ideal scenarios that you would dream of. The characters cradle you in predicaments that could well happen to any of us. I would like to laud the author for not taking moral high grounds in situations through his characters’ lives where most people would. I liked the plot where the events span from 1984 to present, quite nicely sketched and well-knit. I liked the writing, the author has a grip on the language in his own way. Not being much fancy, it is easy to read and grasp without any major editorial glitches. The climax wasn’t drab, for a change.
Now the things I missed in the book. Firstly, more about the character Divya would have been better, after making her seem important in the initial chapters. Secondly, details about Aditya’s marriage and more on his wife Jasleen. Her character seemed sketchy, though there was a lot of scope to make that angle a little more interesting. Had the writing been a bit more fancy, the author would have scored a rank among the elites of contemporary Indian English literature. It is probably too early to predict anything, but I hear a sequel coming, and I would definitely look forward to it.
P.S. – I loved the cover design. Loved it. There is also a soundtrack released with the book. But I’m afraid I’m old school when it comes to books, I haven’t heard it yet. I like ’em better in print.
My Rating – 4.25/5
About the Author –
A hotelier by education, an ex-banker and a senior executive in the outsourcing industry, Sid gave up a plush career in the outsourcing industry to follow his passions. Based out of Ranikhet, he is now a struggling entrepreneur and a happy writer. A self proclaimed eccentric, he is an avid blogger who loves to read and cook. Cooking stories, however, is his passion. The Homing Pigeons is his debut novel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (Website – www.sidbahri.com)
Book Details –
Language: English, Author(s): Sid Bahri, Genre: Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Srishti Publishers and Distributors, Year Published: 2013
Binding: Paperback, Edition: First, Pages: 328
ISBN-13: 9789380349916, ISBN-10: 9380349912
This book review is a part of “The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program”. To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com.
This review is also shared with the Indian Quills Reading Challenge at The Tales Pensieve.