If a new genre of teenage romances in literary writing was to be created, Silisti Karuriya’s book, “चमड़े का लुटेरा” would be among the spearheads. The book comes out as a refreshing, lighthearted and relaxing read but on reading closely between the lines, the reader understands that there is a lot more than just a simple story. The issues that the younger generation faces form the centre of the book. The themes include love, friendship, education, society, position of women, tough decisions and their impacts, social pressures, the never giving up spirit and fighting through all times, staying focused and motivated always etc. Since the author herself belongs to the same generation, she may have faced or witnessed the problems herself. She thoroughly manages to reflect them all throughout the book as the plot unfolds.
“चमड़े का लुटेरा” centers around the story of Riya, the protagonist and all the problems, situations and times she faces. The moral decisions, the struggle to follow her principles and the impact of her decisions is how the readers get to see the protagonist. She appears as a representative of her generation. This kind of elevates her to the iconic status for her time.
The language of the book is simple and unlike hindi writing where the language is properly in hindi, the author here takes liberty to write the language which is used in speech. She does so by infusing English words thus intermingling two languages. Hence, it more sounds like it is being spoken and narrated rather than being read. Most part of the book is in first person narrative as a result of which, the characters also appear to be speaking out for themselves like an actual drama being enacted on stage.
The narrator has taken an innovative style while writing the dialogues in “चमड़े का लुटेरा”. The dialogues are not written in the traditional style of dialogue writing which has been followed for all the time in literature writing, rather in the author’s own manner. This is different and intriguing at the same time as it is a unique approach to dialogue writing.
The plot structure follows the frame narrative style and the narrator keeps swinging the story among different years to construct the past and present separately. This technique has earlier been followed by Anmol Batra in his “Time Guard: The Awakening”. The usage of clear segregation of dates style saves the reader from the complexities of time differences and makes the work better understandable.
The title, “चमड़े का लुटेरा” sounds more like the stories everyone may have heard as children about thieves and their wrongdoings and at the end truth emerging triumphant over evil eventually. Even when the story begins, the narrator teases with the imagination of the readers and creates a good amount of curiosity of the story being somewhat set on the same lines. It is only later that the readers find out something else.
The book can be comfortably read by the younger generations due to the nature of its content. They can easily relate to and understand the things that the author is trying to say and perhaps to a certain extent, also identify with them. But everyone grows older, the situations and challenges they face keep changing. Therefore, the book has less to offer to the grown up and mature age group. Although, for a light refreshing read with emotions reminiscent of Nicholas Sparks, the book can serve the purpose. A light read overall, “चमड़े का लुटेरा” can be read by all irrespective of backgrounds or to the walks of life they belong to.