In her ‘The thugs and a Courtesan’ Mukta Singh-Zocchi guides us through 18th/19th century India, gently leading us by holding our hand through an action packed adventure that travel must have been in those days when there were no cars, trains, buses or airplanes.
The travel through one city to another inevitably had to be by caravans or groups to ensure safety from the thugs that waited to loot anyone and everyone. This led to formation of groups with strangers travelling on the same path but with no surety that the strangers were not a bunch of thugs.
This tale is of Firangia and his moral and emotional dilemmas as he travels home after a trade expedition and meets Chanda Bai on the way.
This tale is also about a couple of other romantic tales and the initiation of youth into the business of thuggery which is a way of life blessed by none other than Goddess Kali.
This enormous epic has been condensed into a mere 190 pages and another 100 or more pages would have possibly done justice to the enormity of the topic at hand.
At the end I felt like I had watched a trailer of a period film and would love to see the feature film on a big screen.