Generally I try to refrain from accepting free books for reviewing and there are two simple reasons behind it. Once I acknowledge the free review copy I’m forced to read the whole book even if I find it dull (as it happened few months back and I wish I could mention the title of that pathetic book!) and secondly, I’m given a timeframe within which I’ve to submit my review notes which is highly against my free lifestyle. But, when Nimi proposed me of reviewing “The Homing Pigeons” by Sid Bahri with her relaxed deadline, I got inclined towards her offer. Finally, when I read the title tagline from internet “Not all love stories are perfect, but then, neither are people” along with the convincing blurb that promised me not to present a conventional cheesy love story, I agreed to review Sid Bahri’s debut novel “The Homing Pigeons”.
If you’re a man, imagine (God forbids in real life) that you’ve lost your high profile job and thriving on your uncompassionate wife Jasleen’s earnings in an expensive city like Chandigarh. One day you meet a sexy lady Divya in a bar when your wallet has already denied fulfilling your thirst. She offers you drinks and pulls you to the hotel room for her private luxury. Well, by now you may find my words offensive if I keep the story rolling on your shoulder. So, I must reveal I was talking of the insolvent guy Aditya, the protagonist of “The Homing Pigeons”. Aditya is offered money for the love he made under the hex of alcohol, homelessness and acute frustration. Soon, events culminate in an unforeseeable manner and Aditya finds salvation in turning a male escort! On the other side of the curtain, a 32 years old solvent widow Radhika gains freedom in her life after her step daughter gets married. But she finds herself in a cube of emptiness as she is left with unfulfilled dreams, watery memories and aimless future. It’s interesting to know that Aditya and Radhika, who’re not in touch with each other presently, had a sweet bond of love once upon a time when they were too young to handle it (it reminds me of the 1981’s movie ‘Endless Love’). Incidentally, Aditya and Radhika relocate to Delhi and that’s how their paths get a chance to intersect. Noh, I won’t tell you the whole story… it’s just an attempt to give you a rough idea dude.
The novelty of “The Homing Pigeons” lies in Sid Bahri’s unblemished effort in running parallel narrations on alternate chapters by two main characters Aditya and Radhika. It succeeds in engaging its readers in a ‘not so interesting’ storyline. We tainted mortals can identify ourselves with the characters as they’re perfectly imperfect, just like us! Sid has been bold enough to touch all real but controversial social aspects with his exquisite flow and liberal usage of words. You may complain of the lack of characterisation in most other characters but that won’t impede you from getting instinctively sorrowful when Aditya laments that he can’t tap his feet with his love to the old tunes or he can’t ever be that teenager boy again! After all, all of us relish/mourn on such feelings sometimes or the other… right?
Although you foresee a happy ending with two lovers right from the blurb but the greyness that sandwiches the book right from the beginning contradicts your belief and keeps you actually curious as if to crosscheck! I don’t have the slightest hitch to recommend you “The Homing Pigeons” for a leisurely read to encounter some aromatic subjects like love to abhorrent contemporary aspects. I’ve heard that a soundtrack on the theme has been released too but I somehow can’t take coffee and bear with the same mug, so I’ll remain happy with Sid’s hardcopy version of “The Homing Pigeons” and wish to read more from him.
My rating for this book:- 7/10