‘Not all stories are perfect, but then, neither are people’, reads the subtitle of the book, The Homing Pigeons. The subtitle was enticing, further evoking the romantic idea of two unsuspecting lovers who were meant to be, come what may. The title, for once, left behind a beautiful image of what the book could be about.
Going by the cover, when I started reading the book, I was simply hooked… to say the least! The story, though predictable, was beyond intriguing and the way it was written was unusual. The book, by debutant author Sid Bahri, is an unexpected but stunning story of a love lost and found.
The plot revolves around the complicated lives of Aditya and Radhika (best friends since school, never expressed love for each other). Set in 2008, at the difficult time of recession, when Aditya loses his job and starts living off his estranged wife. Out of frustration, he chooses alcohol as his companion. On a fateful night, floating in the pool of alcohol, he meets Divya, not knowing that she could upend his life in a bizarrely different way.
Radhika, now a wealthy widow, who has married off her weird step-daughter Meera, is excited to have her freedom back. But then, does she really get what she has yearned for and imagined?
Without revealing the plot any further, what I particularly liked about Bahri’s style was the way the story juggles between the narrations of Aditya and Radhika. It was like completing the picture of a jigsaw puzzle! The story unravels in the most artistic fashion, surprising you most of the time as connections you never saw coming are slowly and gradually revealed.
Read it for its delightfully written ending, which subtly drives home the lessons of love, longing and togetherness. Overall, an interesting read that takes you through the frailties of human behaviour and complicated relationships.
Before concluding, let me pause and quote my favourite line from the book: ‘The pain lingered on, of not being able to garner the courage to express what I felt for her. I felt the agony of never being able to dance with her to the tunes of old English songs. I felt anguished that even if I met her later in life, I wouldn’t be seventeen.’
Bottomline: You can’t miss this one. Go for it!