The tagline intrigues you – Not all love stories are perfect, but then, neither are people. English writing in India seems to be hit with an overdose of love story or anything which remotely hints of romance. If not this genre, then it is the yuppy culture which haunts the bookshelf. The Homing Pigeons does intrigue you, thanks to concept of linking the story to homing pigeons who return to their mater despite the distance. The protagonist follow a similar path and meet under unusual circumstances.
Writer: Sid Bahri
Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors
Price: Rs 150
The book is about Aditya and Radhika who meet in school and in so many ways, travel together figuratively and literally. But their lives come together only to be ripped apart, each and every time. Individually, their own lives are froth with highs and lows. Aditya, a good-looking guy who once had a promising future, has lost his job, down to the last 1000 bucks, is estranged from his wife and things are bleak for him. A chance meeting with a strange woman in a bar pushes him into a world which has big money but not exactly clean. In the parallel world, Radhika has just managed to marry off her spoilt brat of a step-daughter. Thanks to her late rich and much-older husband’s will, she has enough to live comfortably, but feels empty in so many ways. She tries to find her own life. While you see them struggle with their lives, you also meet their younger selves with issues of their own.
Yes, it does belong to the easy read category and after a few pages, you are intrigued by what will happen next in their lives or what happened in the past. When Aditya chooses the life he does, you read in disbelief but start to sympathise with the situation. Radhika’s dicey relations with her poverty-stricken family who have abandoned her, despite being there for her is interesting. When both these situations meet, it obviously creates troubles for their love. First time writer Bahri employs an interesting method to narrate his love saga, though you feel it is now being popularly used. You go back and forth from Aditya to Radhika who narrate the events in the first person voice. While you are trying to understand their struggle to reclaim their live and love, you also get introduced to their background and what made them the individuals they are.
For a debut novel, Bahri has made a good attempt, but one feels he has played it safe, in terms of the topic. You might have read a few novels of similar sorts. But The Homing Pigeons is not pretentious or high-brown not even down-right trash. It does a good job of hooking you thanks to a simple narration and language. Character-wise, you see Aditya as somewhat typical Indian male – confident when it comes to getting to know the trade but totally at loss in terms of personal relations. This is especially true when you see him deal with Radhika. On the other side is Radhika who probably matures earlier and handles whatever life and her family throws at her with a maturity typical of Indian women. Her parents have abandoned her in a way and cannot understand her mind which wants to fly. But she makes her own way, despite all odds. Other characters make some dent, but it is Aditya and Radhika all along.
The Homing Pigeons by Sid Bahri is not a path-breaking novel or out there to offer a life-altering philosophy through its love saga. It is a book which you can pick up for a travel or just to kill time. Its very ease lets you enjoy the tale. Expecting more can be a problem.