The title of the book is what drew my attention when I first heard of the book. To be honest I had almost begun the book on the premise that Indian writers are of no good, they have nothing new to offer and more often than not deliver a predictable story line. I stand corrected. The Homing Pigeons by Sid Bahri has been a gripping and entertaining read from the word go and it is probably one of those rare books belonging to the genre of popular fiction that I enjoyed thoroughly.
I had read about 35 pages before I attended the book launch. I was already hooked. While waiting in audience for the launch to begin I read about 20 odd pages more and I found my attention wavering; I was torn between the book and the beautiful launch that the book had. The Homing Pigeons tied up with a band called Rishikesh for an exclusive sound track. Sid Bahri reading out excepts from the book was interspersed with soulful numbers by the band. Banjara dil ka, track probably summarized the theme of the book best. But the one experience, I felt could have ruined my inclination for reading and finishing the book or write an unbiased review was the way the emcee handled the book launch. Sarcasm loses its sheen when overused and inappropriately so, taking a free dig at the guests present there. Guests are invitees and not freeloaders and hence some amount of respect should be showed.
This is the debut by a first time author hence I choose to put behind the sour experience to read the book. It took me about 3 hours to finally finish the book and to be honest the book was so gripping that i almost went without dinner trying to finish it at one go. In the book, each chapter is from the perspective of Aditya and Radhika, the protagonists occilating from past to present. There was hardly a dull moment in the book. One of the things which i found hard to adjust to was the constant change of narrative; but i do admit Sid Bahri has really done a splendid job.
There were minor places I think needed crisp editing, like when Radhika moves to Delhi and she has Shipra and her husband over and Laxman the servant is outdoors playing seemed pretty abrupt and out of place because it seemed unnecessary and it came out of nowhere. Also I must say that to attempt to write a story on how financial drain can propel one to resort to prostitution that too to one of the male protagonist is a bold step in itself and Sid has done this without being monotonous or sleazy.
The one thought that struck me about the author was that he has penned down Radhika’s segments rather sensitively and beautifully. The anger, resentment, loss and confusion she feels is so real that you are left wondering how a male author could capture such intricacies so beautifully.
Sid himself vehemently denies that The Homing Pigeons is a romance however the romance in the book is worth reading. Pick this book up because good writers need all the encouragement to write more!
My rating is a 4/5
Publisher : Srishti Publishers
Genre : Popular Fiction
Price : Rs150/-