Ayush Antiwal

Ayush Antiwal

Summary of White Tiger By Aravind Adiga

The Epistolary Novel “The White Tiger” is written by Indian Author “Aravind Adiga”, published in 2008. The book was awarded with Booker Prize in 2008. The story follows a character, Balram Halwai, a poor boy from rural India who commits unexpected crime to become successful businessman.


Summary of The White Tiger By Aravind Adiga

The White Tiger tells a story of character, Balram Halwai, a son of Rikshaw puller who become successful businessman in life. The story begins with Balram Halwai writing a series of letter to Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, who is going to visit India soon. Balram is telling his life journey through a series of letter to Chinese official head.

The story of letters begins with Balram recalling his childhood life where he used to live in small town, Laxmigarh, India. He was born in sweet maker family and that is why he is known as Balram Halwai. He used to live with his father who was a Rikshaw puller in town. Balram was a very intelligent boy in his school but despite his intelligence and passion to study, he was forced to drop his school and pressured to work in his family’s sweet shop.

In school, Balram with his intelligence and honesty made a great impression on his school inspector, who named him “The White Tiger”. Balram childhood life was full of difficulties and challenges as his family was in a mercy of four powerful landlords, who are given a name of animals “The Wild Boar”, “The Buffalo”, “The Raven”, and “The Mongoose”.

The story now features new character, Kusum, a grandmother of Balram who forced him to drop out of school and pressure him to work in family’s sweet shop. Balram was not good in serving people at his shop, his interest was in listening people’s conversation who visits his shop. One day, Balram overhears his customer talking about car drivers who are making huge money in cities. Balram decides to become driver and requests his grandmother, Kusum to send him in driving school so that he can learn driving. His grandmother, Kusum agrees to send him only if he will give all his salary to his family.

After completing driving training, Balram started visiting people’s houses in Dhanbad for a job opportunity as driver. There comes new character, Ashok Shah, who was returning from America with his beautiful wife, Pinky Shah, and finds Balram at the gate of his home. Ashok ends up hiring Balram as his car driver. But, Ashok’s family uses Balram more as servant of their home than a driver.

As Balram was working more as a servant for Ashok’s family, he learns everything about their business like what they do and how they make money. He discovers about their coal mine business like how they are selling government coal illegally to make fortune. Afterwards, Ashok with his wife, Pinky goes in Delhi for political deal. They take Balram with them as their driver. As Balram drives Ashok around Delhi, he becomes increasingly disillusioned with the cruel and exploitative behavior of Indian society.

Balram learns through Ashok, that people are bounded by Rich and Poor and the only way to become rich is through committing crimes. Balram had a hunger for success and money but choses wrong path, he kills his employer, Ashok to free himself from his services and start his own venture.

The story of novel ends with Balram committing an unexpected crime which he believes are necessary to become rich and successful in modern period of India. To take a revenge from Balram, Ashok’s family killed all the members of Balram’s family, but he never returns in his hometown again. After killing Ashok, Balram uses stolen money to start his own venture of taxi business in Bangalore for drivers.

Balram uses his wily and intelligence to build a Successful company which he expanded into a one of the biggest car rental companies. His business produced lots of money as he was good at handling both corrupt and complicated system of Indian community. The climax of the story dare readers to question their own value and beliefs about justice, morality and the nature of power.

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The Shadow Lines By Amitav Ghosh

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