By Nitin Sawant. Grade A.
A name like this would surely attract prospective readers. After all, one of the key reasons why the reader picks up a book can be attributed to the curiosity factor. ‘Lucifer’s Lungi’ scores quick brownie points in its unusual nomenclature and a blurb that promises you an enticing read.
Tales of paranormal happenings are often told and retold, and heard again and again with sense of inquisitiveness. Whether one believes in ghosts or not, is not the point. What matters is that we all search for stories surrounding unnatural happenings to pose questions, and find some answers, inducing a unique thrill into our adrenaline pumping veins.
An atheist city-slicker unleashed on a medieval holy village.
A simpleton village priest’s boy who blindly worships and guards a pantheon of Gods and their traditions.
Strange things happen when their worlds collide!
This is a tale of that turmoil on a lonely night in a jungle, when the ghosts you never knew till a few hours ago are let loose on the ghosts that you always carried within, unknowingly.
Welcome to the unholy clash of beliefs, fears and frailties with unknown Gods and demons. A clash that will test your convictions. A clash that will rabidly claw and unmask your subconscious, leaving you naked and paralysed in front of your demons-in a climax that is as ambiguous as it is certain.
Welcome to the madness of ‘Lucifer’s Lungi’, where What-you-see-is-not-what-you-Get.
‘Lucifer’s Lungi’ comes packed with a narration that’s knitted around a man’s escapade to a village to experience the world outside his mundane city life. Fed with his limited knowledge of Tamil dialect, he goes on to explore the place the name of which was ‘absolutely pronounceable’. We sit back and await the unfolding of events as each page leaves us asking for more. Right from the point when the conductor asks “Why do you want to go there? Are you into flower business?”, we wonder at the weirdness of the question, and the subsequent events that unfold keep heightening our curiosity. Then again, when the chef enquires about his purpose of visit, we get a feeling that the village is most probably a religious place where devotees come to perform ‘pooja’. How are we to know, that there is more to the story than what meets the eyes?
Nitin Sawant excels on debut with a novella where you don’t find much to complain about. The plot is well planned out, the journey documented and the sceneries explored to give us a visual imagery that’s beautifully penned in words. His descriptions are often apt, and well carved out. The narrative makes the story come alive, as each moment has been described in the perfect way. What amazes me is the deftness with which he has handled elements of horror and humour, both contrasting genres playing key parts in this book.
With just over a hundred pages, ‘Lucifer’s Lungi’ packs a punch with its well regulated pace. No unnecessary fritters keep the speed swift and crisp. The characters are well sketched, real and believable. Their fears and beliefs carry the story forward, and the author pays careful attention not to overdo these feelings at critical junctures in the book.
‘Lucifer’s Lungi’ is a tempting page turner. Though the book is short, the story will linger into your mind for a long time. The best part of the book, though, is its climax. How the author connected seemingly unrelated events, to trick our minds into the final twist left me gaping at the brilliance of his ideas and words. The thin line between what exists and what (seemingly) doesn’t is blurred, and truth is confronted. But then again, what is truth? In today’s world, our beliefs define the truth, but can that be the case in every scenario?
If you are looking for a quick read this monsoon weekend, pick up ‘Lucifer’s Lungi’. You wouldn’t be disappointed.