Tuesday, 16 June 2009

White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

An eye-opening story set in modern India, a country of start contrasts between rich and poor, between the Light and the Darkness, between men with fat bellies and men with thin bellies.  It's a rapid and easy read - cynical, provocative, and entertaining.

The format of the book is a series of emails sent by the narrator to a Chinese head of state due to visit India, to explain the truth about being an Indian entrepreneur.  In essence, it's a very moral tale, it exposes corruption in all its forms, the extraordinary poverty in an upwardly mobile society, the blurred moral boundaries.  In spite of it all, I have a lingering sympathy for Balram.

In India, 76% live below the poverty limit of $2 a day, compared to 73% in Sub-Saharan Africa.  People forget this, probably because there is the "new" India, the world of technology and entrepreneurs, the world that Balram wants to join.  It is this contrast that is brought out so very well in the book.
The dreams of the rich and the dreams of the poor - they never overlap, do they?
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.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments: