Sunday, July 07, 2013
Book Review: The Homing Pigeons by Sid Bahri
This book is Sid Bahri's first book. He is a hotelier by education, an ex-banker and a senior executive in the outsourcing industry. Sid gave up a plush career in the outsourcing industry to follow his passions.
The book's blurb reads: "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."
From the blurb itself, the reader knows what the end shall be eventually. However, the way the author reaches it is what forms the crux of the book. The book is written in a very interesting fashion - in a first-person account from the point of view of the two main characters Aditya and Radhika. At some point in the book, their stories intersect and overlap and the author leaves it to the reader to make sense of their individual versions of the events as they unfold.
The author has drawn on his experiences as an ex-banker to describe the job roles in Citibank where both the protagonists work. Also, North India (where the book is set), specifically, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Solan are well detailed in the book - places to visit such as Dilli Haat, to eat such as Indian Coffee House, etc.
Sid has etched both the characters very well through different stages of their lives. The book makes for an easy read and you are drawn into the several problems and issues the characters face. The book touches upon major issues ranging from Indira Gandhi's assassination to the Y2K problem to the 2008 recession which affected both Indians and NRIs alike.
On the flipside, I felt the book was a little too long with situations repeating themselves after a point in time. Also, the tenses kept alternating between the past and the present resulting in some chaos.
I am going with 3/5 for this book - an interesting read which takes you through the frailties of human behaviour and complicated relationships.