This Times of India article mentions the name "peevna" in relation to the "saw-scaled viper".
According to Wikipedia, the genus Echis contains 12 species that are commonly referred to as a group as "saw-scaled vipers."
Of these, one clearly is found in India: Echis_carinatus (commonly called the "saw-scaled viper", "Indian saw-scaled viper", or "little Indian viper" in English.).
- This same Wikipedia article provides common names in other languages, but the given common Hindi name on Wikipedia is not "peevna" but rather "aphai (अफई)." I'm not sure what to make of this discrepancy...
I have no idea if this is in fact the snake you're referencing. BUT, if E. carinatus IS your snake in question, Wikipedia provides the following info:
E. carinatus is found on a range of different substrates, including sand, rock, soft soil and in scrublands. Often found hiding under loose rocks. Specimens have also been found in Balochistan at altitudes of up to 1982 m.
E. carinatus is mostly crepuscular and nocturnal, although there have been reports of activity during daylight hours.
- This is likely where the "afraid of sunlight" part of your myth arose form. However, the Wikipedia article goes on to say that they have sometimes been found active during the day
Wikipedia goes on to say that they are a very aggressive species known for many snake bites, which again relates to the sinister behavior described in your story:
E. carinatus is one of the species responsible for causing the most snakebite cases due to their inconspicuous and extremely aggressive nature. Its characteristic pose, a double coil with a figure of eight, with the head poised in the center, permits it to lash out like a released spring.
- Wikipedia also points out that bites are fatal ~20% of the time, which I assume would be even higher in smaller villages with limited medical response capabilities.
Finally, Wikipedia points out that they move primarily via sidewinding, which in a way could be construed as flicking its tail aggressively when it moves away. This might be where the tail-hitting comes from in your description.
As for the "drinking" of breaths?...
I haven't figured out what that would be due to. My best guess is that (unsurprisingly) this snake can't handle cold weather and is known to hibernate. Perhaps the warm breath comments are relating back to its need to warm up (after hibernation??). Who knows.
This is the best I've got for you.