Sid Bahri makes his debut with The Homing Pigeons. What caught my eye was the tagline beneath the title. “Not all love stories are perfect but then, neither are people.”
It turned out to be an intriguing read, especially when one of the two protagonists of this “imperfect” love story is a gigolo. And the love interest is a twice-married, recently divorced woman. Aditya is a corporate executive who has been “restructured”, thanks to the economic recession and is forced to take up a “job” as a gigolo. The author sets up the characters, Aditya and Radhika, and their situations in a manner that makes you empathize with them. Which itself is an achievement as most readers of romance will find it difficult to empathize with a hero whose career involves selling sexual favours. Mr. Bahri also adopts a different approach to telling his characters’ individual stories – each chapter is a first-person account by one of the two characters. And the story unfolds through a series of flashbacks told from each one’s perspective. While the love story reveals itself in the backstory, the plot is revealed through the present-day situations of the two characters.
The constant going back and forth does impede the flow of the story but once you have grasped that it’s the flashbacks that tell the story, you continue to turn the pages to find out what happens to Aditya and Radhika. While it turned out to be a satisfying read, I wished Mr. Bahri had amped up the conflict a bit more before providing a happy resolution to the story. Most of the conflict turns out to be internal, with Aditya and Radhika caught up in their own angst as they both choose not to engage in open conflict about their issues. It’s only towards the end of the book, that there was a bit of external conflict between the estranged lovers. This flaw really does slow down the narrative, particularly in the middle of the book.
Sid Bahri’s book, nevertheless, is an interesting read and I will definitely keep a look out for his next book.
(Note:This review is a part of the Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books visit http://www.thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com)