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PDF Title: The White Tiger
Book File Type:PDF Download / Read Online
PDF Author: Aravind Adiga
Publication Date: 2008
Genre: Novel, Mystery, Epistolary novel, Picaresque novel
Audiobook : Yes
PDF Language: English
Adaptation: Netflix, The White Tiger
Series Release Date: 22 January 2021

The White Tiger Intro

On January 22nd, 2021, Netflix globally released the hit, academy award-nominated drama film The White Tiger. The film is the brainchild of Ramin Bahrani, who used the book, The White Tiger(2008) by Aravind Adiga as source material. The film’s storyline goes back to 2010 when an aspiring entrepreneur named Balram Halwai sent an extensive email to Wen Jiabao. In the email, Balram expresses to Wen his eager desire to meet with him. Balram also includes in the email his views on the oppression of the lower class in India. The film then proceeds to cover more details of Balram’s past. Balram grew up in Laxmangarh, Indian, and was gifted academically from his youth. His brilliance leads to his recognition as the white tiger, a genius child born once every century. Unfortunately, due to his family’s poverty, Balram never finishes his education and instead works hard to become a chauffeur. Adarsh Gourav makes his first-star appearance playing Balram Halwai, who provides an enticing performance.

The White Tiger Plot

An autobiography depicting his arduous journey to success while addressing the struggles experienced by the lower class in India is the best way to describe The White Tiger by Avarind Adiga. The storyline is essentially Balram Halwai’s narration of his detailed, carefully crafted letter to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Balram takes the reader back to his humble beginnings in the rural village of Laxmangahr. Balram is a young boy growing up surrounded by his binuclear family. Balram’s family is poor, as expected for members of the Halwai caste, a class associated with sweet-makers. Worse yet, four powerful landlords called the four animals cruelly rule over the village and oppress its residence. The landlords’ similarities in appearance or nature to the respective animals earn them nicknames, the Wild Boar, the Stork, the Buffalo, and the Raven. A clear example of this is the Wild Boar, which owns the best farming land in the village. This landlord has two projecting teeth that mirror a boar’s tusks.


The book then gives the reader a peek behind the curtain of Balram’s home life at this stage of his life. Balram’s mother passed during his early years, leaving his highly authoritative grandmother Kusum to be his maternal figure at home. Balram does not describe his father and his other family mothers as a heavy influence in his life. Balram shares with the reader that his father is a rickshaw driver who barely makes enough to get by. A rickshaw is a small two-wheel taxi that carries two to three passengers, commonly used in India. Balram was not treated with care at home either. Balram’s family didn’t bother to name him and lazily refer to him as “boy” whenever they speak to him. Despite all of these challenges before him, Balram’s brilliant academic mind shines at school and earns him recognition. His times at school are arguably the brightest periods of Balram’s life at this point. One of his teachers recognizes that the boy is nameless and kindly gives him the name Balram which means, “one who gives strength and pleasure.” A traveling school scrutineer witnesses Balram’s display of genius in class and dubs him the “white tiger.” Indian lore states that the “white tiger” is a child born once in a century with outstanding academic intellect. Tragically, as the novel progresses, Balram is forced to discontinue his academics by the demand of Kusum. Balram begins to work with his brother Kishan in a teashop near Dhanbad to earn money for his family.

While working, Balram eavesdrops on a customer conversing about his comfortable life as a private chauffeur. Balram becomes driven to become a driver himself and presses his grandmother to send him to driving school. Kusum assists him, and Balram later in the book begins to work for the Stork’s family.

The family hires Balram as the driver for the infamous Stork’s son Mr. Ashok. Although Balram’s job title is a driver, Balram more accurately works as a servant to the family. Ram Persad works as Mr.Ashok’s driver until Balram exposes Ram as a Muslim, which causes him to lose his job. The Stork family makes their wealth from illegally selling coal out of state mines. The Stork family pays bribes to ministers to keep their black market activity secret and avoid taxes. Balram becomes Mr.Ashok’s new driver, and after realizing that Mr.Ashok is corrupt as his father, Balram grows hateful and schemes to kill him. Mr.Ashok carries large bags of money on his trips to pay off politicians. During one of these trips, Balram brings along a weapon made from the remains of a rum bottle.

Balram carries out a charade, where he acts as if there is a mechanical problem with the car wheel that he cannot comprehend. Balram persuades Ashok to stoop down and inspect the car wheel, and Balram takes the opportunity to strike him in the head with the weapon. Afterward, Balram takes the bag of money and escapes to Bangalore with his cousin.


“The story of a poor man’s life is written on his body, in a sharp pen.”
― Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger

“Let animals live like animals; let humans live like humans. That’s my whole philosophy in a sentence.”
― Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger

“Do we loathe our masters behind a facade of love – or do we love them behind a facade of loathing?”
― Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger

“If only a man could spit his past out so easily.”
― Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger

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The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

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