The title had me raise an eyebrow.. (I actually can't raise one so it was the pair that got raised.) Lucifer from my limited knowledge of the Biblical texts, was supposed to be a fallen angel, often considered as the Satan or Devil...or something as such. Why would he bother draping a lungi was beyond me. So I decided to find out.
Am glad I did.
The synopsis at the back is quite sinister & was one of the reasons I avoided reading the book at night. 'A clash of beliefs, fears and frailties with unknown Gods & demons', no thank you! But I digress.
The book opens with the author introducing the age in which the story is set-an era minus the Internet and mobile phones, almost like the Stone Age. But even then the young protagonist faces a dilemma similar to what we face everyday in office-staying awake…minimizing the frequency of yawns…finding an effective way to clear the debris off a stagnant mind. But unlike us he finds a very aesthetic solution for this-wanderlust!
So he sets off every weekend to an unknown town/village, armed with nothing but a backpack & a sprinkling of the regional language in his vocabulary. And how can one travel and not have any adventure?
It’d be inappropriate to call Lucifer’s Lungi as just a travelogue ; though it does a good job as one. The beautiful scenery is aptly described by the author minus the usual bombastic lingo. You can almost feel the greenery around & swim in the cold water of the lake. The same dexterity is displayed in the penmanship when describing the horrors towards the end. But I’m not going to give out any spoilers here!
The narration is laden with wit & a crispness that’s much required to hold a reader’s attention. There aren’t any passages you’d want to skip; it’s an engrossing & tightly woven tale. I mostly liked the author Nitin Sawant’s choice of genre. While the whole of India seems so intent on cataloging their amorous stories or writing Dan Brown like mystery novels, Nitin has picked up a very nondescript yet very frequently encountered issue & weaved a wonderful tale around it.
If you’re trying to coax someone to take up reading or looking for a light read that doesn’t tax your brain too much, take up Lucifer’s Lungi. It’s short, it’s fun in a Goosebumps-kind of way & let’s face it, we all need a break from the sappy love stories anyway!