The Homing Pigeons by Sid Bahri is Aditya and Radhika’s story. They love each other but things never go as planned for them. At every stage of their life one thing or another pulls them apart. But like homing pigeons, they always come back to each other. The concept of the book is lovely. The idea of two people whom life keeps bringing together but they are just unable to make their relationship work is great. And yet this story fails miserably in execution.
The story is stretched so much that it comes apart at the seams. The many situations that Aditya and Radhika end up in, though genuine at first began to come across as contrived. They seem made up just to keep the story going in a certain direction. Every relationship in this book is treated frivolously except Radhika and Aditya’s love for each other. Both the main characters are estranged from their respective parents, Radhika has divorced her first husband, her second husband is dead, she hates her step daughter, Aditya and his wife loathe each other but there doesn’t seem to be an adequate cause for the hatred. It just became tedious to read the two characters reminisce about their troubled relationship.
The narrative style the author has used, where he uses the perspective of both his lead characters to tell their story, resulted in repetitions of the same events and an over simplification of the plot. The book alternates between Radhika and Aditya’s voice with one chapter in her voice and the next in Aditya’s. This is a clever device but I think the charm of a love story usually is that the reader is left wondering along with the protagonist what is going on in the other person’s mind. Since this story is written with two perspectives, that mystery is gone. Also, the author went back and forth from the past to the present. This would have been very effective if the author had put some effort into the transitions and created an interesting present for the characters. The present day Aditiya and Radhika live in the past, they don’t have anything significant, no family, and no friends in their present life. The switching between the two perspectives, the two different times did not add much value to the story; in fact it made the reading tiresome.
The book is not well edited. It is peppered with grammatical errors, some bad metaphors and it is too long. The book would have worked if the writing was brilliant and the book was shorter. I struggled to get to the end of this book, I wouldn’t recommend it.