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Monday, July 19, 2010

The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga

One other book I purchased at Dubai Airport was The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. It is a co-incidence that out of the 3 books I purchased, 2 had tigers on their cover and 1 had a dog..:). This one though has nothing to do with an actual tiger as such.

Winner of 2008 Man booker Prize, The White Tiger in the story is Balram Halwai a school drop out who wants to make something out of his life. The story's narration is so absolutely straight forward and honest about the way parts of India is today that I sometimes hope the author is exaggerating - simply Brutal! Balram Halwai or Munna is a smart kid, but as in all cruel stories, he is forced to drop out of school and get into the work force to help his family survive.

As he just slightly climbs the ladder in life, he realizes how years of servitude towards rich landlords makes slavery still seem almost honorable and natural to him. Working as a car driver to his masters in Delhi, the stark difference between life in his village and the country capital jumps right out at him. But the irony is not lost on him as his life style is still at the same level - that of a lowly servant.

Desperation forces this village simpleton to do the unimaginable. Worse still he changes into one of the Them and regrets nothing.

An eye opener in some sense. A scary image of India I must say!


~ Lopa said...

hmmmm, your review scared me, specially last line to pick this book to read.

Sometimes when i read such books which speaks hard truths and are thought-provoking, it takes a lot for me to get back to cheerful me.
That day we were watching Taare Zamin Par, there came a scene where Aamir khan is in that school talking with female teacher about how difficult it is for a child etc etc.
Ashu turns to me and tells me, lets go back. Let's leave all this and do something meaningful like this for those needed !
That moment passed but i realised we both are same, don't know how long we will hang in here !

thamarai said...

Lopa, I know what you mean! But sadly sometimes truth is so bitter. While reading such books I just feel plain lucky...just enjoy every moment we have I guess..:)

Its so noble of you and your husband to feel that way! Honestly not many people do!

mohit said...

Must be an enjoyable read The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga . loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.

Paul M. Millman said...

Really adorable for points what you have mentioned in your articles. May you find success in whatever you write.

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