Saturday, September 07, 2013

"Sometimes, Waiting For The Right Time Or The Right Product Is A Better Bet"

If you haven’t read The Homing Pigeons, then, well, you should. It is one of those pieces of beauty that is always a delicious treat to any avid book reader.

To read the full review of The Homing Pigeons, click here.

Today, I am in conversation with Sid Bahri, the author of The Homing Pigeons.

Congratulations Sid on your debut novel. It was a pleasure reading it and we would like to know more about you.

In case you find any question offensive, you can skip it. I apologize in advance for such instances.

The Homing Pigeons have been receiving rave reviews everywhere. Did you expect such a heart-warming reception to your debut?

I’m happy that the book is so well received. I’d be lying if I said I expected my book to be a dud but I didn’t expect this overwhelming response either. The Homing Pigeons took five years to be completed and published. It was written by night while I was working a day job. It was rejected by various publishers. Yet, when a reader or a reviewer appreciates it – it all seems worth it.

How did you conceive the plot of The Homing Pigeons?

Quite by accident. When the book started out in early 2008, it was only Aditya’s story and his journey during the recession. When I revived the book in 2012, I thought that I’d add a character of Radhika, who was a millionaire widow. It could have been a love story between a widow and a gigolo but I didn’t think I’d be able to do justice to that story. Also, because I was trying to catch up on Aditya’s story that was written earlier, I thought that I could build a story around their past and I did.

The story has been told in first person narrative, alternating between the two characters. As a writer, how was this journey of shifting from one character to the other, understanding their point of views and presenting them distinctly?

I don’t think that was half as challenging as writing in two separate tenses. It was highly distracting to shift from one tense to another. It also meant having to read the manuscript over and over again. Overall, writing the book has been an exceptionally enriching experience. I’ve tried to use a unique narrative technique and thankfully, it’s come out well.

Tell us something about yourself, about your upbringing and your family.

I grew up in Chandigarh and Delhi and spent most of my adult life in Delhi and Gurgaon. Today, I live in the hills of Ranikhet, having given up my career in the outsourcing industry to follow my passion of writing. I’ve been able to do it because of the support of my wife – Puneet.
As a child, I was a voracious reader. I guess I inherited that from my mother. She encouraged me to read and maybe, that’s why I’ve been able to learn to write from a lot of authors.

Which authors inspire you the most? Apart from authors, who are your role models?

I like Jeffrey Archer, Ken Follett, and Sheldon amongst others. I read The Help by Kathryn Stockett while I was writing The Homing Pigeons and I knew that I had to change my narrative style into a first person account. I think in that sense, Kathryn Stockett would be my inspiration.
I think Steve Jobs is another person that has left me inspired.

Let’s imagine that your story is reproduced as a movie. If you are the film-maker, which Bollywood actors would you like to play the roles of Aditya and Radhika?

Aditya – Aamir Khan; Radhika – kajol. Two great actors who can do justice to the characters. I just hope their dates aren’t a problem ;-)

How would you describe your whole journey right from the conceptualization of the plot to the publication?

My journey into publishing has been fairly bumpy. The manuscript got rejected by various publishing houses before Srishti agreed to publish it. Even before that, it was a challenge to find the time to write whilst working in a full time job. I think one of the most defining moments in my journey as an author was when Mrs Bhagat – Chetan and Ketan Bhagat’s mother called me to tell me that she really liked the book. It’s those instances that make me feel that the pain was worth it.

What would you like to say all aspiring writers?

Writing a book is a very difficult job. It takes months, sometimes years to create a book and even then it may be rejected. There is only one way to deal with it – by being honest with yourself that your art is worth the market. I trashed the first book I wrote because it wasn’t worth a read. Sometimes, waiting for the right time or the right product is a better bet.

What would be your message to the readers?

I’d love to hear from you. I’m reachable on twitter, facebook, e-mail or my website. Your views about the book will help me improve. If you’ve liked or disliked the book, do drop me a line to tell me how I can give you better stuff in times to come.

Finally, after The Homing Pigeons, what next?

There is a sequel that’s being edited and then there is another book that refuses to complete itself. Right now, the promotions for The Homing Pigeons is taking up a lot of my time. I’m not being able to write as quickly as I normally would.

Thanks a lot Sid for your time. All the best for your current and future goals.

It’s been a pleasure answering the questions, Amrit. Thank you for having me over on your blog.


  1. Your so kind to always host all these writers my friend. Great interview.

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