Sunday, March 22, 2009

WHITE TIGER----ARVIND ADIGA

WHITE TIGER by Arvind adiga..he got the booker prize for this, so i thought I must read it to see what these people write which is so special.
First a little about the story...it s the story of Balram told by himself only to Chinese premier through a letter. Balram comes from the lower strata of society and how he rises to be a top entrepreneur without any good formal education, but with the help of deceit, crime and MONEY.He is a mighty irreverent person talking about even Gods in a foul language.
Though I must say that most of the descriptions or details are true whether they are of people or places. here the writer has used lots of metaphors, like for him there are two type of people in India..one coming from the darkness...poor
others in light..his master and landlords or other rich people.
And he has shown how money can solve everything and can make you a successful businessman or bring you at the top in politics, if you have no ethics or morals yourself.....and this is what i dont like about the story that the protagonist kills his own master cruelly and then doesnt even bother about getting his whole family wiped out by the kins of the person killed...it shows him in a very poor light of humanity...one who has no consideration or compassion even about his own family, leave aside others, are these type of persons worth talking about? or giving them fame? For me he didnt rise in his life, rather fell to the lowest depth possible. Do we want entrepreneurs like him?

few excerpts from the book worth mentioning:---

Fully formed fellows, after twelve years of school and three years of university, wear nice suits,join companies and take orders from other men for the rest of their lives.
Entrepreneurs are made from half-baked clay.

India is two countries in one; an India of Light, and an India of darkness The ocean brings light to My country. Every place on the map of India near ocean is well off. But the river brings darkness to India.the black river.

For me, if the writer wanted to tell the story of deprived people in India, he has done it very poorly, because Balram doesnt get my sympathy at all. And deprivation cant be removed by crime and blood.

Nobody would have given second look to the book , if it was written by somebody else or not got a prize. Once anything is awarded, we start looking at it from a different perspective and seek motives where there are none. So nothing great about it, but yes its not boring, the story is narrated in an interesting way.

27 comments:

Still thinking said...

To the point! I like it!
You're so right about the fact that once a book gets a prize then no matter how boring, it still gets a place on your mantle :)

Just wanted to say fiction or non fiction, they're all somehow an extension of life's reality. Remember the Nepal royal family saga? You see? These things exist however inhuman.

Indyeah said...

I completely agree with your views on the book..I also felt somewhat the same:)





On a diff note I would like to apologise if I have hurt you in any manner:)

Renu said...

Still thinking: yeah thats right,but literature is like a techer, it should be like that..one souldnt preach that getting ahead in life, at any cost is worth it:)
But these are also individual thoughts, i personally feel that way:)

Indyea: welcome to my blog ! hope you like it:)
Why do you think i am offended in anyway?
and if you have read my blog a little or its tagline, u will know I believe in spreading love and positivity:), negativity has no space in my life. So please dont think like that, I dont even know why u thought that?

Pixie said...

Hmm... thanks Renu! :)
I will not be reading that book now...
A friend of mine was going on and on about it - So, I thought it must be really good.
I always read the back summary of any book I want to buy, so when I read this book's back-cover summary, I really wasn't impressed...
So, unless I can borrow t he book and read - won't be wasting my time or money on it! :)

Towards reclamation said...

I dont read books .. but frm the lil u hv said .. i condemn his view of entrepreneurs .. am one and am hoping to make it big someday .. wont claim to be 100% honest but yes
the primary goal is not money .. but meaning .. money is a by-product ... profit is the first rule of business .. but the business is determined first then the profit worked out .. the impact you want to cause .. the change/development you want to bring in is the first thing .. money and how much money follows ...

I believe in the stmt. wwhich says that emotions hv no place in the world of business but then that is restricted to making decisions .. and does not give you the liberty to be an anti-social element ...

Indyeah said...

Thank you so much:) for being so open:)

Renu said...

PIXIE: I have that book, actually I very much wanted to start that circulation type where one leaves the book in any coffee shop with a note and email and anybody who wants to read it may take it, and after reading must give a feed back to the owner and then pass the book forward like that..but so far havent gathered the courage to leave the book in CCD:)

Towards reclaimation: Me too:) , I come from a family of bussiness people and I dont think being unethical or criminal is the way to succeed or should I say the only way.
So far in India, none, neither politicians , nor acadmecians,or writes have been able to find a solution for downtrodden of India, for them, its always the easy way out...either like in slumdog through a lottery or crime.
I am impressed with your views:)

BTW you are not posting anything new.

Indyea..the pleasure is absolutely mine:) and please keep visiting!!

DeeplyDip said...

even i read the book and can never look at a driver the same way! I know not everyone is like that but it somehow gives some true revelations in many places...like how these guys who come from poor backgrounds with no eductaion - for them survival is a big task...then there are many such employers who would put the poor guy in jail to save their sons and daughters...
The book is written in a very modern blog styled writing with usage of words not seen in normal books...but I still enjoyed reading it...

Rakesh said...

Yeah, first few chapters, I wasn't much interested but then the book picks up pace and becomes interesting. I needed to get used to the style of writing initially.

But too many negativities being projected by the book. But it sure looks like it has come from the mind of an uneducated driver - it is India from his eyes only and so it isn't necessarily very pretty.

Sandhya said...

Thanks Renu, I need not waste time reading this book!

The way you review, to the point, is nice.

There are good people and bad people everywhere. Circumstances make them good or bad, I feel. The only solace now, is, even the servant maids are sending their children to schools and slowly, the poor people will come out of the slum life and education will change them.

Ordinary Guy said...

:) another attempted dig at our problems is my initial reaction of the book..... :) yeah I should read the book.... :)

Solilo said...

I wasn't too impressed myself. As you said sometimes awards bring more readership like Q and A by Swaroop after SDM success.

BTW are you from Kanpur?

Renu said...

Deeplydip; I have also stated that its interesting read:)
Its quite scary to have employees like Balram. In my life I have had many drivers, none like that, we have so much of faith in our employees and cant imagin anyone of them being so cruel.
And I am always going with a driver most of the time as I dont drive.

Rakesh: yeah You are right, coming from an educated driver's mind set.......but do we need to glorify the negativity so much, I mean giving this book a prize is too much, the driver here is an aberration, not the norm, I feel so comfortable with my driver, he really makes me comfortable in this new city and I know he would never do me any harm and it has been the same to me all my life.
See we are reviewing this book as a n award winning one, so it has to be special.

Sandhya: Thats the problem with me Sandhya, I cant elaborate much, for me synopsis is always easier to do:)
You are right , i think only education can bring any difference to the society

OG: yeah, problems and their solutions also:) murder your employer, take his money and bribe your way to the top:)

Solio: very relieved to see you here:), I thought I have annoyed you by writing that....still i would say that to solve the problem we should go to the root of it..why it happened? why most of the communal riots happen only in muslim majority areas? the reason is that muslim population is being manipulated by even their own people for the sake of votes and solution lies not in polarising the parties like making BJP pariah, but in educating Muslims. By making BJP outcast we are again being manipulated whether we understand it or not.

And yeah I lived in kanpur from 95-2000, plus kanpur Lucknow they are like my hometowns:), once in a year I still go there.

Rakesh said...

Yup Renu, agreed the driver is not the norm but then normal people don't make such interesting stories :)

I think the award was more for the innovative style of writing and sarcasm. This is different from anything I've ever read. But yes, I agree, I haven't read too much.

Some people believe it was also for the India bashing. But I differ on that point.

SMRITI said...

Well for some reason I think many of the books that win booker are highly over rated. I think a good reader should form his/her opinion of a book by himself and not be carried away by the laurels that the book gets. It always better to read the synopsis on the back cover of the book, rather than read a review in the newspaper :)

Swats said...

We surely do not want self centered entrepreneurs like Balram..

I haven't read the book but ratings or reviews never influence me..

I want to now read 'Almost Single' by Advaita Kala..whether or not she's a booker prize winner :)

Gauri said...

Hey !! Am back after a while :) read the book too ...quite liked it actually ..unlike others where 150 pages drag on the make you feel like youve been reading the same book for a decade ;)

Solilo said...

Renu. {{{{Hugs}}}

I lived in Kanpur most of 80s.

Next time when you visit Kanpur, please kiss it for me. I don't know if I will get a chance to visit Kanpur again. I have fond memories of the place.

Mystic Margarita said...

I haven't read the book yet, but I agree with your point of view. Maybe will give this one a miss - hardly sounds a promising read. Thanks!

Piper .. said...

Exactly my thoughts Renu! I thought it was a very poor portrayal of the varying social/economic strata of Indian society.

Renu said...

Rakesh: But sometimes they also make interesting stories, and get wards also which bi find well desrved, like suitable boy from Vikram seth, Namesake--Jhumpa lahiri, and in Hindi..Premchand, he wrote 50-60 yrs back in totally different circumstances, but if you read today, you will still find them intersting and relevant.



Solilo: Thanks:) Even I liked kanpur, though most of my friends use to down grade it, and my daughter she also has the fondest memories of this place:)
I dont think its India bashing though:)

Smriti: you are right but these awards make me curious and i have to read them:)

SWATS: yeah, we always need businessman with a heart and thats why I admire Tatas.
Already there is so much of chaos in the world why increase that with these ideas.

Gauri: Interesting..it is, but I dont like propagating the ideology of his protagonist.
WElcome back !

Mystic margarita: Though it is ok for reading but its not worth the award:)

Piper: True...balram for the poor section ..has no moral or ethics and so are his masters from the rich side...does that mean the whole world is like this?

Rooney said...

Whoa! You raised your voice against psecularism!! It takes some courage. Bow!

http://mesoliloquy.wordpress.com/2009/03/22/a-woman-of-conviction-if-i-could-i-would-vote-for/#comments

Renu said...

Rooney: Welcome to my place !
It doesnt take courage, only clarity of thoughts without any selfish motives :)
Hope to see you here more often !

sindhu said...

I am reading the book too, and have mixed reactions to it. It is easy reading and interesting. But like you said, the main charchter has too many flaws for us to feel sympathetic towards him...I have to finish to tell you my final verdict, though!

Renu said...

Sindhu: None of the character in this book is good enough to emulate., be it Balram or his employers or all the people he comes into the contact.
I dont like reading about a world full of satanic people only.
I shall wait for your verdict though:)

Shalom said...

I read for pleasure and to relax, so I won't be picking this one up for sure. I think there's enough greed, violence & corruption happening all around us to again put myself through it by reading such books. Thanks for the review :)

Renu said...

Shalom: its neither a pleasant read, nor something inspiring. Instead read that..one more day by Mitch Albom.