The Idle Stance of the Tippler Pigeon | By Safinah Danish Elahi




Book Review | TheWriteReads Blog Tour

The Idle Stance of the Tippler Pigeon
Zohaib, Misha and Nadia believed they would be in each other's lives forever. As children they played, argued, teased and loved one another. Yet nothing could have prepared them for the tragic turn of events one fateful afternoon in Karachi, Pakistan, when the divisions and differences between them are revealed. Years later and they are still trying to piece their lives back together, still trying to make sense of what happened. Zohaib is living in London, haunted by the ghosts of the past. Nadia has escaped the household where she first met Misha and Zohaib but finds fate delivering her back to their door… The Idle Stance of the Tippler Pigeon is a beautifully rendered portrait of love, healing, and long-buried pain, digging deep into the nature of trauma and class division.   (Goodreads)




My thoughts



Before we begin, I just wanted to appreciate how heartwarming this book was to read in a way only perhaps my fellow Indians would understand. A book set in Karachi that talks about trauma but also references Andaz Apna Apna, Shahrukh Khan and a perfect bouncer. The shared love, trauma and the innocence and the loss of it gets a deeper meaning when you think about it.





Narrative and Plot



The Idle Stance of Tippler Pigeon is told from many points of view and in a non-linear fashion. Some of them were interludes, but the main narrative included Nadia, Zohaib and Misha. The three pivotal characters of the story who shared deep love, innocence and the harsh reality that the world sometimes threw at them.

Since this is a non-spoiler review, I won’t delve deep into the plot, but it was engaging and kept me going throughout. I could feel the hot air of Karachi and the history ebbing in and out of the streets of Lahore. The setting, the theme and the characters were all-consuming, dragging me into their world and feeling for them.

Characters and Conflicts









The dichotomy of a culture where classism plays a pivotal role is far more relatable to me. There was a time when I lived in a metro city and would watch this unfolding in front of my eyes, even if the differences were not as stark as Nono and the Hashim kids. Two kids, one dressed in pristine clothes and the other slightly older, dressed in hand-me-downs and holding the rich kids bag with unmistakable longing in their eyes for the simple joy of being dragged to a school and education that they only received as an afterthought.

Here, as the story unfolds, we dive into this deep divide between these contrasting lives and learn how each experience shaped them into the kind of people they became today. The casual way it dealt with the female harassment of different kind felt real. One of the highlights of the book was the simple fact that a person is not defined by a single trauma but by the amalgamation of a hundred traumas, both big and small. Some have the endurance to bear it and move forward, but no one ever forgets.

The only thing that stopped me from rating it a 5 is the payoff, or rather the lack of it. The final confrontation between Zohaib and Nadia left me dissatisfied. I understand that real life is messy and we do not always get the closure we need, but that’s what fiction is for.











In the end, though, it left me reeling with a myriad of emotions. A deep ache and longing to return the innocence of these characters that I’ve known only for a few hours. There is something about a story told through the eyes of a child. It moves you deeper. The last time I felt that way was when I read the God of Small Things. If all this emotional upheaval sounds like something in your wheelhouse, this is a must read.  


I received an eBook in exchange for an honest review for TheWriteReads blog tour in association with Neem Tree Press.



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