The Homing Pigeons is Sid Bahri’s debut novel. At the outset, I would like to thank Sid and Nimi Vashi (of http://thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in/) for the book.
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. The 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 the story of Aditya and Radhika, classmates in school and colleagues. He is hot-blooded and aggressive; she is passive and calm. He is indifferent and unattached; she is emotional and grounded. They love each other but cannot confess and when they confess, they cannot marry.
Gagandeep Singh, a Sikh, becomes Aditya Sharma in 1984, when his parents flee to Chandigarh after losing everything in Delhi and Faridabad, from where he completes his schooling and after graduation, joins Citibank, Delhi. He is an ambitious person who wants to succeed in life.
Radhika Kapila, the youngest of three siblings, adopted by foster parents at three, sent back to her biological parents in Chandigarh, after her class tenth exams. She has cold relations with her biological parents and a difficult time settling down in the school where Ms Kapoor, her teacher, Aditya and Shipra help her settle in. She also joins Citibank, Chandigarh and goes for the induction training to Delhi.
They meet and go back to their respective place of work. She gets married and he is left alone. She comes back and he cannot marry her, he marries indifferent Jasleen and she becomes the trophy wife of a rich businessman eighteen years older than her, in Lucknow.
Six years later, the year is 2008, the year recession hit India:
They are both thirty two. He loses his job and assets and has to be dependent on his indifferent wife, Jasleen. While trying to drown his sorrows at a bar, he meets Divya, who offers him a job, he accepts and moves to Delhi. She marries off her step daughter and moves to Delhi.
The author has narrated the book in first person, reflecting the story and reminiscences of the character whose name is mentioned at the beginning of the chapter. Both the stories run parallel to each other, in the present; get sometimes intertwined in the flashback and the characters come face to face again like the title suggests, THE HOMING PIGEONS.
The book is very well written. The chapters are short and it is very easy to reconnect with the characters. The moment I sat down to read it, I got hooked on and it was very difficult to put this book down. The characters have been very well sketched and their actions justify the picture painted. The language is simple and fluent. The cover is subtle and nice.
An excellent debut, though I wish the ending should have been sweeter.
Book Source: http://thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in/
Publisher: Srishti Publishers