Over this SATURDAY COFFEE I have Invited The Debut Author Sid Bahri for an Interview. His Book The Homing Pigeons has hit the market On April 10th 2013. This is not a regular love story. It's charm is the imperfection of both the protagonist and their Love life as the Tagline suggest "Not all love stories are perfect, but then neither are people.", it is an absolute spell binding experience, no wonder Dr.Shashi Tharoor himself recommended this book.
Check out the review HERE
|Image Source: HERE|
Me: Hello Sid Sir, it's an absolute pleasure to have you over Saturday Coffee, How would you like your Coffee?
Sid Bahri: Filter coffee. No sugar. No milk - Almost as dark as Aditya’s profession in the Homing Pigeons.
1. Me: Sir tell us about your journey from a corporate world to an author.
Sid Bahri: First, don’t call me Sir. Well, it’s been one helluva roller coaster ride. And, it wasn’t planned. I started writing when the corporate world couldn’t give me my share of creative satisfaction and as one thing led to another, The Homing Pigeons just happened.
2: Me: What is the inspiration behind The Homing Pigeons...?
Sid Bahri: I started writing the book in 2008 but lost steam. In perfect hindsight, I guess it was a good thing because I didn’t quite have a plot in hand then. When I chose to revive the book in early 2012 – I knew exactly what I wanted to write and luckily, it’s come off pretty well. I think I’m at my happiest when I write – so, for me, my inspiration is to keep myself happy.
3. Me: What part of the book was easiest/hardest to write? And which are your favourite parts?
Sid Bahri: The narrative technique that I’ve used took a lot out of me. Initially, the book wasn’t written this way – the past and present being narrated simultaneously. After the first round of editing, I found that I would leave the readers confused, so I changed the tense. Re-writing every other chapter in a different tense was possibly the most difficult thing to keep up.
I think I like Aditya’s present the most. It’s almost wishfully sinful.
4. Me: Sir this story is about lost-and-found-Love, which is more bittersweet then effortlessly-together-love, which one do you prefer more?
Sid Bahri: I’ll be honest – Love is not an emotion that comes to me naturally. Even in my relationships, I would never come across as a romantic. I am certain that I would never be able to do justice to a mushy romance. My focus in writing a love story was to keep the plot as real as possible. I’ve read the book about fourteen times and I think that if I had a choice to re-write The Homing Pigeons… it would turn out exactly like the copy that you read.
5. Me: The Homing Pigeons... is a unique Title. What came first, the story or the title?
Sid Bahri: Is it? I’m not sure if you know but there are atleast two other books with the same title. I think my choice of title came in somewhere during the middle of writing the book. If you ask me a pointed question on how did I zero in on the title – I wouldn’t be able to give you a perfect answer.
6. Me: who is your favourite character from the book and who is most/least like you?And why?
Sid Bahri: I was with Citi in 2008 when I started writing the book. When the share price of the largest bank in the world is trading at a lower value than a cup of coffee, it means trouble. Those were uncertain times, and Aditya’s character was a manifestation of the worst that could happen.
My characters are imperfect; they make mistakes, they learn. Sometimes, they don’t. So, I think I’ve lived the life of each of the characters at some point in time.
7. Me: This story is after effects of recession, how it changed people, did it change you, in any way?
Sid Bahri: Who would’ve thought that AIG or Citi could fail?I was fortunate to outlast the recession but it just makes one realize that life is too brittle. It just told me that we can keep waiting for the perfect time, but life is uncertain and so, if there is something that you want to do, NOW is the time.
8: Me: What is the most memorable incident/moment while writing your book?
Sid Bahri: I was still in that mundane job when I wrote the book. However, I was in Ranikhet when I was editing it. I think it was last November – it was 2 degrees outside and I had probably slept ten hours that week – yet, there was a pleasure that I derived from it. That moment of creating something is always special.
9. Me: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? And with whom would you like to have a cup of coffee with?
Sid Bahri: Undoubtedly, Kathryn Stockett. I’ve grown up reading books. Enid Blyton’s, Hardy Boys, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, John Grisham, Ken Follet. Yet, this author no one’s heard about writes The Help and overshadows every one. I read The Help when I was writing The Homing Pigeons and I knew that I wasn’t doing justice to my book. It also gave me confidence, that you don’t have to be experienced to write a good book.
10. Me: Please tell us something about your next project?
Sid Bahri: I can’t really say what’s going to come next. It could be the sequel, that’s being edited or it could be another one that I’m working on. That book has three very diverse characters – a loser who works at a BPO, a terminally ill cricket coach and a terrorist. I am still trying to weave them together to form a story
11) Me: Being a successful debut Author yourself, what advice would you give to the aspiring authors?
Sid Bahri: I am a long way away from being a successful debut author but yes, I have got some very encouraging reviews from critics as well as readers. The Homing Pigeons took five years to see the light of day. Even before that, it got rejected a few times over. In this entire ordeal, belief was my only saviour. My advice to anyone who wants to see their name in print – persevere.
12) Me: I am going to give you a name or a word and you have to describe it in One word/sentence:
a) Aditya: Needs a backbone.
b) Radhika:Glad she left Citibank – Can’t make the right decisions.
c) Love: Doesn’t come naturally
d) Three dots (...) after the title ‘The homing pigeons’: Publisher’s superstition
e) Imperfection: is real
f) And The homing pigeons: Took the life out of me.
13) Me: Thank you Mr. Sid Bahri for stopping over Saturday Coffee for my blog. The Homing Pigeons... is an amazing book, transfixing, and can’t wait to read your next work but before leaving, give us your favourite quote from your book.
Sid Bahri: “Most complications in my life occurred when I enhanced my vocabulary to include words like guilt, morals and cheating. Ignorance is definitely more blissful”
About The Author
A hotelier by education, an ex-banker and a senior executive in the outsourcing industry, Sid gave up a plush career in the outsourcing industry to follow his passions. Based out of Ranikhet, he is now a struggling entrepreneur and a happy writer. A selfproclaimed eccentric, he is an avid blogger who loves to read and cook. Cooking stories, however, is his passion. The Homing Pigeons is his debut novel.