Author – Nitin Sawant
Publisher – Fablery
Genre - Fiction
Pages – 111
Price – Rs. 120
This is my first book review after moving to Mumbai. In the crazy pace of things which revolved around shifting, setting up new house, understanding the new office culture, new city, new people etc…a part of me inside was cribbing about the fact that I hadn’t done any book review since I had relocated a month ago.
So, when Nethra from Fablery contacted me for the review, I was skeptical since I didn’t have the bandwidth to do a lengthy book and do a fair review. However, when she sent me the teaser, the first thing that caught my attention was the number of pages – just 120! While it created some doubts whether the author would have done justice to the book, it also created curiosity in my mind about the ability to tell a story so crisp! Honestly, I was also confident I would be able to do justice to the book considering my hectic schedule in the new city. And now, I can say the book truly cooperated with my busy state of affairs.
The book arrived rather early and was actually received by the carpenters who were doing some last minute work before we shifted to the house!
As I unwrapped the book, I was kind of disturbed, for the cover reminded me of “Purana Mandir” type titles of horror films! An old temple against a rustic backdrop and a big moon! Even the title of the book is written in a Red Colour font. I flipped few pages and the welcome page warned “Sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason…”
“Have I picked up a horror story?” I wondered, since I have a not so good opinion about the Indian style of dealing with this genre. To read or not to read was the question, but the curiosity was to be killed.
What would you do if you are marooned in a city where everything from the language to people is selfishly strange? You look for short breaths of comfort that energize you to take on the new challenges. Well, that’s how it went for the narrator, who was stuck in Madras for his stint as a bored entrepreneur of a software start up. Being the promoter meant there was no escape from the place till one fine day, a colleague suggested him to explore the country side to help escape the monotony.
As if the bird in the narrator was freed from the cage! He created his own world for the weekends, when he would pack his bags and explore some offbeat place which appealed to him. Not much research, just pack your bags and set out on trail, was his funda. The arrangement was working out fine. He was exploring new places, culture, mindsets every weekend and would return to his monotonous job rather energized. Off beat places also meant cheaper boarding and privacy.
The arrangement was working well for him till one fine Saturday evening he reached the bus stop and as usual after checking out the names on the buses, chose the destination he had never heard of before. When something bad is about to happen, nature gives warning signals – the conductor looked utter puzzle to see him boarding the bus for that particular destination. But the narrator turned a blind eye to the signals and hopped on to the bus going that way.
They say never judge a book by its cover. True, for he had no clue what the beautiful countryside was about to surprise him with. There was one question that constantly troubled him though, “Are you visiting the place for Black magic?”
Yet, he was in no mood to let local superstitions play spoilsport. Joined by a tea vendor and the son of a priest for company, he decided to visit the temples as just a tourist and perhaps look for free food and lodging. Food he gets in plenty, but even a goat who is to be sacrificed is fed in plenty before being bludgeoned to death. In his effort to show respect to the local customs, he bowed before the altar of sacrifice, offering himself to Luganar, the evil. What could have been a scenic sightseeing tour thus becomes a tug of war between beliefs, science, logic, the good and the bad. While he had messed up with Luganar, the Devil, only Palaghar, the good God could save him from this mess. But was the logic and education in his mind allowing him to believe all this? Or were things becoming too much for Luganar to offer an encounter?
By the evening, the turn of events could be well explained by the lines from Hotel California, “You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave!”
Stuck between the good, evil and beliefs, did his logic surrender to the power of the evil? Or the good cleansed the bad? Well, you got to pick up the book, for I offer no spoilers.
What I liked
It’s a quick and convenient read and you can finish it in one sitting! No drags to a reader’s delight! The language is simple and you can visualize scene by scene. The author is able to keep you hooked till the climax!
So in case you are looking for a quick read on a rainy afternoon with a cup of coffee, Lucifer Lungi is certainly a book to be shortlisted!
About the author
Nitin Sawant has tried to make a living by being a software programmer, engineer, stock market analyst, copywriter, journalist, tele-shopping expert and jewellery designer at various stages in his life. He’s travelled far and wide across the world, and has led a nomadic life for past 20 years. This gives a unique perspective to all his tall tales and offers a distinctive colour to his writing.
This is a sponsored review for Fablery. The views and opinions expressed are my own and under no obligation or influence.