Meet one of the most impressive debuts in Indian English Literature of 2013 – Sid Bahri’s ‘The Homing Pigeons’.
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…
…The Homing Pigeons is the story of love between these two unsuspecting characters as it is of lust, greed, separations, prejudices and crumbling spines.
Now that almost all of you have read the book, it is time to celebrate its success with the prolific author Sid Bahri. First things, read my review here, followed by the interview.
1. Congratulations on the overwhelming success of The Homing Pigeons. Did you expect such huge response for your debut venture?
Thank you, Priyanka. The ride for The Homing Pigeons has been fairly bumpy. It was written by night while I was working a day job. When all those nights of labor ran into rejections, I was almost beginning to lose confidence. Yet, most people who’ve read it have liked it.
I’d be lying if I said that I expected the book to be a dud but I wasn’t expecting this overwhelming response either. All in all, it’s a good start that I hope to build on.
2. Aditya and Radhika belong to a new breed of protagonists, much unlike the ideal hero and heroine. What made you break the formula and sketch characters most people would not dream falling in love with?
You are right when you say that Aditya and Radhika aren’t perfect protagonists. You can’t blame me for not creating perfectly relatable characters though.
My intention was to create characters that live amongst us. They come from middle class backgrounds. They are faced with dilemmas and they choose the path that they felt was right. It doesn’t mean that the path they chose was the morally correct path but for them, at those critical junctures, it felt right.
I’m not sure if they aren’t lovable people though. I’ll use the lines from my next novel to elucidate that point
“Structurally, a moth and a butterfly are the same. They both have wings and I hear that they come from the same family. It’s just that one is beautiful, has spots and stripes and the other is plain and ordinary. Yet, in our minds we love one and abhor the other.
We’re all flawed like the moth. It’s just that some of us have money, beauty or fame to color our wings. It’s taken me a while to realize that moths are also beautiful.”