Thursday, August 22, 2013

Review: The Homing Pigeons by Sid Bahri

Romance always has a unique element to it. Either it makes you or it breaks you. Some love stories are there to be lived forever while some just fizzle out with time. Author Sid Bahri in his debut novel "The Homing Pigeons" has tried his hand out in narrating one such love story. So is this love story strong enough to engage the readers? Let's find out. 

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.

One look at the title and you'll fall in love with it's uniqueness. The cover image with a lot of pigeons flying in different directions gives a peaceful element to it. The author scores positive marks in terms of cover and title. The blurb talks about two people and their lives which are intertwined some way or the other. The blurb is not a sparkling one but it's decent enough to engage a reader. 

The story has two parallel plots in it. It talks about two people and their lives at the same time. Aditya & Radhika. Aditya a man who has just lost his job, has an unconcerned wife and a pathetic life. Radhika who keeps aside all her values and marries off a rich man only to find herself unsatisfied and thoughts of her past clouting her mind all the time. Both of them have a past. A past in which they were together and then were torn apart. So what is their fate and destiny in the end? Whether they'll be able to get back together again. That's what it is all about. 

Plain, simple and a fluid narration. Two parallel plots running from future in to the past through out the book is commendable. It's the thought process of both the protagonist which is very striking. Their love for each other, the differences, their lives without each other and then their destiny's role in shaping their lives is the central and a very engaging theme of the book. The story is like the calm before a major event or catastrophe. There's prolonged silence before the sudden burst of emotions which again captures the entire scenario beautifully. The title can be very well related to the lives of the protagonists at the end of the book. 

The downside of the book is it's predictable. Recession as a backdrop could have been toned down to an extent. It takes up a lot of part in the book and the past thought process too which makes it dull at times. 

The story with an unique title and a roller coaster love story with a struggling present and a bleak future sets the tone for a very fine readable book. It's high on emotions, desperation, helplessness, love and life's endless woes. It's slow, it's easy to read in one single motion but it'll take time to settle down on your nerves. It has to be enjoyed slowly but surely. 

It'll be apt to seal off the review with a quote:

"There is no love without a length and breadth of struggle for it." 


4 OUT OF 5. 

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