THE WHITE TIGER BY ARAVIND ADIGA
Balram Halwai known as ‘The White Tiger’ is writing a letter to the Premier of China- His Excellency Wen Jiabao.
The lady on All India Radio announced ‘Premier Jiabao is coming to Bangalore next week’ – which is why Balram writes to His Excellency.
Balram warns the Premier that he is the one who knows ‘truth of Bangalore’ – he does this by sharing his life story with Jiabao.
Balram learned that Jiabao is coming to India to meet some entrepreneurs of which Balram is one. He explains that his nation has thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs, which the Chinese are lacking.
Balram got his name from his teacher Mr.Krishna, who was astounded that he didn’t have a name. Mr.Krishna called him Balram, because Balram was the god Krishna’s sidekick. His parents never had time to name him so they simply called him ‘Munna’, which means ‘boy’.
Balram explains how he was brought up in a village, Laxmangarh. His mother died when Balram was very young, his father a supportive rickshaw driver, and a very irritating, forceful and ignorant grandmother.
Balram has a huge fear of lizards, which one of his classmates found out when a huge lizard was found living in the cupboard. Upon which the boys held it to Balram’s face until he fainted, Balram never wanted to go back to school again. This was the last thing his father wanted to hear.
Balram got the name ‘White Tiger’ when a government inspector came to his school and was highly impressed with how bright Balram was. He then called him the ‘White Tiger’ – “a rare creature that comes along only once in a generation”
Balram states that one of the best poets of all time wrote that ‘they remain slaves because they can’t see what is beautiful in the world’. Which is why Balram thinks he is different from the other slaves, and also why he didn’t stay a slave, because he saw ‘what was beautiful in the world’.
Balram slit his ex-employer Mr Ashok’s throat.