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Of late, I have been reading Indian authors back to back. And I am wowed, almost by each one of them. The stories they tell are seldom complex but the story telling is what catches my attention. One of my recent read is The Homing Pigeons. Many a times, I pick up books fascinated by its cover. This is one such book and I must say, I judged this book correctly by its cover. This is the debut novel of Sid Bahri. The title and the cover page is what caught my attention at first. And of course, the many book bloggers talking about the book. Most of them had one thing in common to say about the book – it’s a love story, completely different but very relatable. In the words of the author, after all, ‘not all love stories are perfect, but then, neither are people’.
The story leaves you hooked until the end, for it makes you experience love in the most emotional and unconventional way. It tells you that love exists & survives, and not just in “happy ever after” situations but in adversities as well. It tells the story of such a love which though born was never meant to survive, and though survived was never meant to prosper. But prosper it did, even after years and years of hardships and misfortunes.
This story is of Aditya and Radhika. Aditya is a jobless man who lives with his wife in a loveless marriage & in ‘her’ house. After he could not find a job even after 2 years of his restructuring, in order to pay his bills, he finds himself become a gigolo. Radhika is a 32 year old widow who married a man almost twice her age & who has left her a fortune. With each flashback the readers get a glimpse into their real world, their insecurities, their regrets and vulnerabilities. At the beginning it seems that there are 2 parallel stories running but soon it becomes evident that the two are related.
Aditya and Radhika are not the picture perfect couple. They have flaws in their characters and are seen to succumb to situations instead of fighting them. But just like homing pigeons, who come back to their mate, wherever you leave them, both Radhika & Aditya finally find themselves together after battling all hardships of life. On their way forward they learned as well as unlearned lessons of life…… just like any other human being. Destiny plays a strong part in the story.
The myriad of emotions in the story – undying love, guilt, shame, anger, longing & desire……all are portrayed in the characters of Aditya & Radhika, without being apologetic about it. I could relate to many situations and also to the characters, especially Radhika. We women tend to give in many times; we are ready to sacrifice, for the ones we love. However we seldom think, of its consequences & if that sacrifice is worth doing.
In this book, the author uses the voices of the 2 protagonists to tell the story, giving us two perspective of the same story. The version of both the genders, with their individual psychology, makes them believable. The end of the story was evident but the journey which Sid Bahri takes us through the lives of Aditya & Radhika amidst the various emotions was worth taking. I recommend this book to all those who believe & have faith in love.
Quotes from the book I liked:
We work, in the hope that we will get a raise. We love, in the hope that we will find a soul mate. And we earn, in the hope that we will never have to work again ~ Aditya
It was ironic that she had said what she had. I was immature enough to be in love and yet, mature enough to be married ~ Radhika