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 that 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. Homing Pigeons is the story of love between these two unsuspecting characters as it is of lust, greed, separations, prejudices and crumbling spines.
This is an unexpected little gem of a book. This is the author, Sid Bahri’s debut novel and so my expectations starting the book were not high. But, apart from the initial rawness, the book flows smoothly through the story.
This story is told in alternating viewpoints by Aditya and Radhika, and it weaves through the past and present. This technique of writing is not the easiest, but the author has managed it very skilfully.
Primarily, this story is a romance, but quite unlike most romances where the focus is on the girl’s thoughts and feelings, and the hero is merely a prop. Aditya and Radhika are both well-developed characters complete with flaws. Both make massive miscalculations and hurt each other terribly, but both are human and I could empathize with them very well.
If this book were just a love story, then my review would end here stating that this is a nice, well-written love story. But, the book also subtly introduces some harsh realities – the slaughter of Sikhs after the riots after Indira Gandhi’s assassination having an impact on the characters 20 years later, the recession and the troubles of getting a job after being laid off and it’s impact on the psyche…these are just some examples.
The characters are also so well-written. Aditya as a hero is terrible – his self-loathing, frequent binge-drinking, the way he walks away from his responsibilities…they are not what I expected. But at the same time, it’s hard to dislike him knowing his background, and seeing him from both his and Radhika’s viewpoints. He is one incredibly well-written character.
There have been a few reviews online criticizing Aditya’s weakness in choosing his profession (don’t want to reveal more as I want to avoid spoilers in this review), and I agree with them, in part. But, then I thought about it more, and then realized if Aditya had chosen another way of life, then that would be against his character. It’s precisely because Aditya is Aditya that he is in the mess he is. He needs a backbone and so does Radhika and it’s lovely in the end when they finally get together and help each other out, and decide on a new life together.
In brief, this is a lovely novel, very easy to read. A must pick-up if you like a more serious and less clichéd kind of romance.
Thanks to Srishti Publishers for sending me a copy of this book to read and review. I also read this book as part of the Indian Quills Reading Challenge.