The White Tiger: Aravind Adiga

The White Tiger is the first novel by Indian author Aravind Adiga.

It was first published in 2008 and won the Man Booker Prize in the same year. The novel is a narration by the protagonist Balram Halwai.

This novel basically is a comparison between India's rise as a modern global economy and its working class people who live in devastating poverty. Other things highlighted in the novel are the wide spread corruption in Indian society and the politics, religious tensions between Hindus and Muslims, the experience of returning to India from US, globalization, and the rivalry between India and China as superpower countries in Asia.
It is a story of the struggle of a very poor man who is a driver to a very rich man “Ashok” who has just returned from US with his wife. Being working as a chauffeur to a rich man in delhi, Balram gets acquainted to the enormous wealth and massive opportunities around him. There are few small incidents in the novel which simply touch your heart! Adiga has very beautifully described the feelings of a person who is a driver. He has described it so well that the reader gets bound to think like the driver!

As Balram litters over his situation, he becomes increasingly worldly and ambitious. He realizes that there is only one thing he can do to become part of this glamorous new India — murder his employer, and escape from servitude. And this is what he does and becomes a very rich entrepreneur. But still, you just don’t feel negative about the protagonist even though he is a criminal. He somehow manages to create and maintain a soft corner in the reader’s heart.
The title, The White Tiger, is the protagonist’s nickname, which is given to him by a teacher, for being the smartest boy in his village. The teacher tells him that he is like a white tiger, a rare animal that is said to come only once per generation.

At the end, when Balram becomes a rich entrepreneur, he names his taxi company "The White Tiger Drivers"
A very well written novel which describes the problems faced by the working class in India even today! Adiga strips away the sheen of a self-congratulatory nation and reveals the sad life of the working class which is very far from the glamour and progress of the high class in our country!

This is definitely a book which can touch anybody’s heart. A must read…

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