A very warm welcome once again to everyone. This is the first discussion post of Read Along of The Homing Pigeons by Sid Bahri.
The Book: Pages 1-105
So here I begin, first of all the cover page of the novel is beautiful and soothing to the eyes.
Aditya: The main male protagonist of the story is a good looking, educated but a jobless man. After he looses his job as recession hots, he is unable to find another and is disheartened after his failure approaching every contact.
Radhika: The female protagonist who married a rich man in her early twenties after her break-up with Aditya. Widowed now and wealthy from her husbands wealth is content marrying of her step daughter Meera, the only person between her and the freedom she longs for.
Divya: Divya though not the lead character but truly a supporting actress that brings spice to the main course. She is a perfect example of an independent modern woman who is not ashamed of her physical desires.
So far in the story, Aditya meets Divya and turns into a male prostitute to earn at least something. Radhika has had a tough life and finally thinks she has got freedom. Both of them go into flash back and think about their true love for each other and the reader understands that Aditya is a son of a Sikh family whose grandfather was killes in the Hindu-Sikh riots. While Radhika was abandoned one by her genetic parents by letting her being adopted by her uncle and aunt, who when have their own children send her back to her parents. None of the set of parents actually give her the love and warmth a child needs. Luckily she finds her soulmate in her first and only love Aditya but we are yet to find out why that didnt work out.....so are you all curious?
Questions and Discussion:
Divya meets a broke Aditya, jobless and peniless even hopeless after searching for a job for an year. She drives him into sleeping with her for money and he does it. There comes the biggest question/ taboo of the story that many readers have mentioned in their reviews so far:
" Why did Aditya do it? Will any person with a character do it?"
A: There are many explanations to this and I will state them one by one. To begin with my question is if it was a woman in this case who turned into a prostitute will that not be more easily accepted by the readers? We have seen countless movies, and read many books where the female protagonist turns into prostitution for some reason. That is always taken smoothly by the readers. Two it reminds me a saying that a professor of mine always said, character is defined by situations. In all the situations the same man may not have the same character. That was too deep to understand then but makes a perfect sense in the light of this story.
Also, Aditya though in a bad situation and does it for money, but he thinks and the guilt does seize him a lot of times through the story. Above everything gigolos to exist in society and that is the proof of all explainations above.
Q: Is it right for the independent women of today like Divya to hire a male prostitute? (this was never a question that I had but since many readers posed it, I thought of addressing it in my style)
A: If men can do it why cant women???
Q: Why did Radhika marry a rich man she didnt love?
A: Well I am sure as we read why Aditya and Radhika got separated, but I am sure when her love failed, what was the option she had? Live with both her set of parents, none of which really treated her as a daughter? I might have done the same thing if in her place.
Likes and Dislikes from the story:
The language is simple and easy to understand, flow and pace are good, keeps on flipping the pages and engrossed. The narration style of the story is very unique and a very difficult job for the author as there are just two lead characters who go back and forth thinking about their past and living the present. The challenge being not to bore the reader with repetition and I must admit that what the author has achieved is remarkable and worth an applause.
There are no dislikes, though I feel very sad for Radhika's character all the time, she never got love or peace. I was close to tears when she felt "I am a commodity". I wish next time Sid writes a story where the female protagonist is happy and content with life.
Now I invite all the readers and my fellow bloggers Ankita, Sarika and Janhvi for discussion. To know what happens next, Why did The Homing Pigeons separate? log on to the awesome Ankita's blog http://booklokcoffee.blogspot.in/ on the 10th of july for the discussion on the further happenings in the story and after that on 15th July our brilliant blogger buddies Sarika and Jhanvi's blog- http://thereaddicts.blogspot.in/ as they will finally discuss and conclude this read along.
These are the most beautiful lines that I found which truly gives you the feel of the story form the original sound track of The Homing Pigeons available here : https://soundcloud.com/search?q=rishikesh%20the%20band