‘Lota’ in Punjabi is a vase with a rounded base that teeters rather than remain stable. Symbolically ‘lota’ refers to a person of opportunistic character. This novel brings out the turn-coat character of politicians in ample measure. The main character of the novel, Gurdial Singh, is selected by his political benefactor to chair the Dalit Vidyak Commission. This prestigious post comes with the additional benefit of an official residence, a huge bungalow in a posh area of the capital city. When his party later loses and Singh loses his job, he is faced with vacating his spacious residence. His upset wife prompts Singh to move heaven and earth to retain this accommodation at any cost. He gets extension after extension with the help of those who benefited during his tenure, but the only way to permanently keep it is to secure a position in the upper house of the Parliament. He finally succeeds in getting an ambassadorship to a small country, but only by opposing his earlier benefactor.
The narrative, woven in superb language, comes through cinematographic techniques mostly in the form of fade-in and fade-out. The ironic device employed to bring out the social decadence and corruption prevalent in Indian society further compliments this narrative style. The writer has deftly handled the social and political aspects of daily life, and revealed the inner machinations of politicians’ mind.