Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The White Tiger-A Review.


After finishing this novel we would think, where on the hell is this place? This place called India!

Balram Halwai, the protagonist of the novel, tells his lies, in the most truthful way. That lie, which assisted him to ascend from an ordinary car driver’s life to the life of an entrepreneur’s who lives and rules in Bangalore. He discloses the truths from the dark side of his life. In other words, he puts light on his dark ‘brown’ life. But the image evolves in that light of truth is, of an India’s. India seems to be standing nude. Without her attires of inheritance, traditional values, moral conducts, secularism and democratic pomp. Balram is seen “dipping his beak into” that India’s unchaste hole.

The epistolary novel in some occasions mocks the Indian secularism and in some, it mocks the casteism. On the whole it presence a bitter experience! Reason is simple. Balram Halwai is truth and truth is bitter, and he is the speaker.

The peculiarity of the novel is, the negative side of the protagonist. The protagonist has a negative shade in him throughout, but as he justifies himself for all his good and bad deeds, it becomes difficult to conclude whether the novelist satirises the protagonist by taking the protagonist as a general symbol of the profit-oriented community. But prominent is the dark humour, about India.

He says- “Like eunuchs discussing Kama Sutra, the voters discuss the elections in Laxmangarh.” We can identify many contemporary political figures and social contingencies in the letters of Balram to Wen Giabao.

Towards the end of the novel, what he wants to say is, about “an Indian revolution.” He says- “The book of your revolution sits in the pit of your belly, young Indian. Crap it out, and read.”

Balram Halwai tries to raise some vague ideological discourses regarding the master-servant relationship, in order to prove him righteous. In fact, this can be perceived with every Indian! His vices seem to be the reflections of his society itself. A contemporary Indian society!

As every one knows, the honour, which the book has been bestowed with, I am not ending up in a news report on that. And as the introduction I have already written the conclusion it is better to stop like this.
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