The White Tiger

22 Dec

Though different in terms of writing  style both God of small things and The   White tiger are similar in terms of depicting real India of post colonial era lost in the grand illusion of shining India and fettered in shackles of corruption , poverty , casteism and not to forget divide between urban and rural India .

This is the story of a self proclaimed entrepreneur – Balram Halwai written in the form of letter addressed to chinese  primier whose visit to Bangalore is due  . The protagonist  born in poor family  calls himself half baked  as his parents does not bothers to give him a name . So his schoolteacher gave him the name Balram to get his vote for a powerful person . Instances of corruption like schoolteacher stealing food allocated for students and delinquency in hospitals are quite apt for Indian paranoma .

According to Balram  people  have just two castes -Men with Big Bellies, and Men with Small Bellies. .  Story depicts what it takes to be big bellied man – jettisoning the moral values and embracing , corruption and even  murder .

I quite liked the whole description of roster coop which projects the oppressed and wretched have nots  and takes a peep into lives of rich from their perspective . The most enjoyable part of this novel is the richly observed world of the have-nots in India: the flocks of drivers hanging out by their vehicles outside air-conditioned buildings, waiting for their masters to summon them   .

Balram who works as driver  for landlord’s son  Ashok and his wife Pinky madam,  is quite loyal to them . But under influence of his masters who bribe to evade paymet of taxes , he putrefies .  He murders his master for money which he uses to start his transport business in Bangalore .

The author in his mordantly witty style has described the journey of man from darkness of poverty to illuminated world of rich and spills blood on his way but never gets caught because he had  learned the trade .

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Posted by on December 22, 2008 in Uncategorized


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