The white tiger”For this land, India, has never been free, First the Muslims, then the British bossed us around. In 1947 the British left, but only a moron would think that we became free then”.

– Aravind Adiga ( The white Tiger)

Oh! exactly what I have been thinking from many years. I just loved this sentence, it made perfect sense to me. I should warn my all   patriotic Indian brothers and sisters that this book is India bashing, if you are the type who get angry on even small criticism on your country then please do not read this book.

The moment I started reading this book I knew it is going to be a great read and when I reached 10th page I was sure I was going to rate it 5 out of 5. There are no words to say how much I liked this book, because when I read I could easily recognize these people and understand their emotions. When I said this book bashes India, it doesn’t say anything which is not true. A honest reader will not dispute at the picturisation of India given in this book.

This is a story of Balram Halwai who grew up in darkness( rural India) where he was victim of all social problems like Dowry, Cast system, corruption, child labor etc. But when he goes to city as every adult do, to earn money he finds drivers job at Delhi with the landlord’s Westernized son, Mr. Ashok, and his modern wife, Pinky. But this story starts by a letter written by Balram to Chines premier Wen Jiabao, who is about to visit India and complete book is in the form of letters he write after that. Through these letters Balram shares his childhood life and adult life as a driver and  a crime that enabled him to move to Bangalore and set himself up as an entrepreneur and made him rich person. This is  first-person confession of a murderer.You may think it is some crazy psycho telling his murder story, no it is different.You will know it when you read it. It won  Man Booker Prize and I think it deserves it.

Some of my favorite quotes:

  1. “The moment you recognize what is beautiful in this world, you stop being a slave”
  2.  ”See, the poor dream all their lives of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of??  Losing weight and looking like the poor.”
  3. ”It’s amazing. The moment you show cash, everyone knows your language.”
  4. ”Iqbal, that great poet, was so right. The moment you recognize what is beautiful in this world, you stop being a slave. To hell with the Naxals and their guns shipped from China. If you taught every poor boy how to paint, that would be the end of the rich in India.”

This is Aravind Adiga’s debut novel, he wrote 2 more books,  Last Man in Tower and Between the Assassinations which I am definitely going to read 🙂

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Comments
  1. Geoff W says:

    So I didn’t read it, but I book marked it! I bought this recently and definitely need to read it. Can’t wait to come back and see what you said.

  2. I also loved the quote: ”See, the poor dream all their lives of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of?? Losing weight and looking like the poor.” That quote sums up the protagonist’s cute, simple-minded worldview so perfectly.

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