‘ದಿ ವೈಟ್ ಟೈಗರ್’ಗೆ ಕೆಲವು ಹೂಗೊಂಚಲುಗಳು… ಕೆಲವು ಟೊಮ್ಯಾಟೊಗಳು.

ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ಹಲವು ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಪತ್ರಿಕೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಬುಕರ್ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ಬರುವ ಮೊದಲು ಬರೆದ ಕೆಲವು ವಿಮರ್ಶೆಗಳ ತುಣುಕುಗಳು. ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಅರವಿಂದ ಅಡಿಗರಿಗೆ ಹೂಗೊಂಚಲುಗಳೂ ಇವೆ. ಟೊಮ್ಯಾಟೊಗಳು ಸಹ !

ಕೆಲವು ಹೂಗೊಂಚಲುಗಳು

  • “As Balram’s education expands, he grows more corrupt. Yet the reader’s sympathy for the former teaboy never flags. In creating a character who is both witty and psychopathic, Mr Adiga has produced a hero almost as memorable as Pip, proving himself the Charles Dickens of the call-centre generation.” – The Economist
  • “Aravind Adiga’s riveting, razor-sharp debut novel explores with wit and insight the realities of these two Indias, and reveals what happens when the inhabitants of one collude and then collide with those of the other. (…) The pace, superbly controlled in the opening and middle sections, begins to flag a bit towards the end. But this is a minor quibble: Adiga has been gutsy in tackling a complex and urgent subject. His is a novel that has come not a moment too soon.” – Soumya Bhattacharya, The Independent
  • “The novel’s framing as a seven-part letter to the Chinese prime minister turns out to be an unexpectedly flexible instrument in Adiga’s hands, accommodating everything from the helpful explanatory aside to digressions into political polemic. (…) One might note the distinctive narrative voice, rich with the disconcerting smell of coarse authenticity. It is simultaneously able to convey the seemingly congenital servility of the language of the rural poor as well as its potential for knowing subversion. It sends up the neo-Thatcherite vocabulary of the new rich, their absurd extravagance and gaudy taste, but manages to do it tenderly and with understanding. (…) Adiga’s style calls to mind the work of Munshi Premchand, that great Hindi prose stylist and chronicler of the nationalist movement” – Nakul Krishna, New Statesman
  • “(A)t once a fascinating glimpse beneath the surface of an Indian economic “miracle,” a heart-stopping psychological tale of a premeditated murder and its aftermath, and a meticulously conceived allegory of the creative destruction that’s driving globalization. (…) That may sound like a lot to take in, but The White Tiger is unpretentious and compulsively readable to boot.” – Scott Medintz, The New York Sun
  • “Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger is one of the most powerful books I’ve read in decades. No hyperbole. This debut novel from an Indian journalist living in Mumbai hit me like a kick to the head (…..) This is an amazing and angry novel about injustice and power” – Deirdre Donahue, USA Today

ಕೆಲವು ಟೊಮ್ಯಾಟೊಗಳು

  • “Aravind Adiga’s first novel is couched as a cocksure confession from a deceitful, murderous philosopher runt who has the brass neck to question his lowly place in the order of things. His disrespect for his elders and betters is shocking — even Mahatma Gandhi gets the lash of his scornful tongue. (…) Balram has the voice of what may, or may not, be a new India: quick-witted, half-baked, self-mocking, and awesomely quick to seize an advantage. (…) There is much to commend in this novel, a witty parable of India’s changing society, yet there is also much to ponder. (…) My hunch is that this is fundamentally an outsider’s view and a superficial one. There are so many other alternative Indias out there, uncontacted and unheard. Aravind Adiga is an interesting talent and I hope he will immerse himself deeper into that astonishing country, then go on to greater things.” – Kevin Rushby, The Guardian
  • “I found the book a tedious, unfunny slog (…..) The tone of the writing is breezy-absurd, which means we can’t hold the writer accountable for anything that happens in the book. (…) There’s no accountability in the breezy-absurd school of literature ! Everything goes ! Nothing is real ! Lie back and open wide. (…) Echoes of the Indo-Internationalist club of literature can be heard throughout.” – Manjula Padmanabhan, Outlook India
  • “Does The White Tiger live up to its own ambitions ? Sort of. There comes a moment in this book where the narrative has a real chance to leave behind the pop and fluff of The Nanny Diaries irony and achieve a deep Orwellian insight. (…) Yes, it’s fresh, funny, different, and it will please those looking for insights into contemporary India, but The White Tiger offers something less than it might have achieved.” – Tony D’Souza, The Washington Post


`ದಿ ವೈಟ್ ಟೈಗರ್’ – ಬುಕರ್ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿಯ ಮೊದಲು ವಿಮರ್ಶಕರು ಕಂಡಂತೆ

ಅರವಿಂದ ಅಡಿಗರ ದಿ ವೈಟ್ ಟೈಗರ್ಕಾದಂಬರಿಗೆ ಬುಕರ್ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ಬಂದ ಮೇಲೆ, ಕಾದಂಬರಿ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಹೊಗಳಿಕೆಯೇ ಬರುವುದು ಸ್ವಾಭಾವಿಕ. ಅದರ ನಿಜವಾದ ವಿಮರ್ಶೆ ಬಹುಶ: ಈಗ ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗದೆ ಹೋಗಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ ದಿ ವೈಟ್ ಟೈಗರ್ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿಗೆ ನಾಮಕರಣವಾಗುವ ಮತ್ತು ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ಬರುವ ಮೊದಲು ಸಹ, ಅದರ ಹೊಸತನ ಮತ್ತು ಶಾಕ್ಕೊಡುವ ರೀತಿ ಸಾಕಷ್ಟು ಗಮನ ಸೆಳೆದಿದೆ. ಇಂತಹ ವಿಮರ್ಶ ಬರಹವೊಂದನ್ನು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಕೊಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇವೆ. ಇದು ವಲ್ರ್ಡ ಲಿಟರೇಚರ್ ಫೋರಂಎಂಬ ವೆಬ್ ಸೈಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಕಟವಾಗಿದೆ.


ಇದಲ್ಲದೆ ದಿ ವೈಟ್ ಟೈಗರ್ಮೇಲೆ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ (ಇಂಡಿಯಾ ಸೇರಿದಂತೆ) ಹಲವು ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಪತ್ರಿಕೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದ ವಿಮರ್ಶಯನ್ನು ಒಂದು ಕಡೆ ಕೊಡುವ ಕಂಪ್ಲೀಟ್ ರೀವ್ಯೂಎಂಬ ವೆಬ್ ಸೈಟು ಸಹ ನೋಡಿ. ಇವೆಲ್ಲವೂ ಬುಕರ್ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ಬರುವ ಮೊದಲೇ ಬರೆದವು. ಆದ್ದರಿಂದ ಕಾದಂಬರಿ ಬಗೆಗಿನ ವಿಮರ್ಶಯಲ್ಲಿ ಗಮನಾರ್ಹ ವೈವಿಧ್ಯತೆ ಇದೆ.


Old 03-Aug-2008, 17:04
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India Aravind Adiga: The White Tiger

If you are tired of Indian novels built on a blend of saffron and saris then Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger (2008) may just be the antidote required. It’s take on modern India is one more grounded in reality than romantic idealism, straddling the thin line between the historical hangovers of British rule and ingrained caste system with the thriving industry of entrepreneurship now prevalent in outsourced business, such as information technology and call centres.

One such entrepreneur is Balram Halwai, “Bangalore’s least known success story”, from a caste of sweet-makers, who wants to share the story of his personal struggle. Interestingly, he has decided to share it with Wen Jiabao, Premier of “the Freedom-Loving Nation of China” who, it is announced on the radio, is coming to Bangalore in the next week. Rather than the falsity of hanshakes and namastes between political leaders, Balram opts to show India warts and all through a series of lengthy letters.

Balram’s path to entrepreneurship, as he tells Wen Jiabao near the beginning, has begun by slitting his master’s throat. His master, incidentally, is one of the four landlords who run the area around Laxmangarh, known as the Animals. (”…the Animals stayed and fed on the village, and everything that grew in it, until there was nothing left for anyone else to feed on.”) As a driver in the service of the Stork and his sons, Balram picks up snippets of information he hears both at home and behind the wheel. And it’s the rise from teashop boy to modern Indian man (via murderer) that is recounted for the benefit of the Chinese Premier. (”…sir, you are far ahead of us in every respect, except that you don’t have entrepreneurs.”)

What has allowed Balram the audicity to speak are the changes in India. Many years before, the country was like a zoo, where people of certain castes were confined to their cage.

And then, thanks to all those politicians in Delhi, on the fifteenth of August, 1947 – the day the British left – the cages had been let open; and the animals had attacked and ripped each other apart and jungle law replaced zoo law. Those that were the most ferocious, the hungriest, had eaten everyone else up, and grown big bellies. That was all that counted now, the size of your belly. It didn’t matter whether you were a woman, or a Muslim, or an untouchable: anyone with a belly could rise up.

But, for all those that don’t rise up, there’s the millions left in the Darkness, of which Balram’s home of Laxmangarh is “a typical Indian village paradise”:

Electricity poles – defunct.

Water tap – broken.

Children – too lean and short for their age, and with oversized heads from which vivid eyes shine, like the guilty conscience of the government of India.

Balram’s chances of escaping such poverty don’t look so good, his family having taken him out of school and putting him to work in a teashop.

Go to a teashop anywhere along the Ganga, sir, and look at the men working in that tea shop – men I say, but better to call them human spiders that go crawling in between and under the tables with rags in their hands, crushed humans in crushed uniforms, sluggish, unshaven, in their thirties or forties or fifties but still ‘boys’. But that is your fate if you do your job well – with honesty, dedication, and sincerity, the way Ghandi would have done it, no doubt.

If doing your job well means enduring it for life, Balram proves himself to be, as a school inspector once noted, “the rarest of animals – the creature that comes along only once in a generation” – a white tiger. Rather than live a life at the bottom, Balram takes fate into his own hands and takes a different path to Ghandi’s, because only with dishonesty and insincerity can you plot to reach for higher grounds. (”…the Indian entrepreneur has to be straight and crooked, mocking and believing, sly and sincere, at the same time.”)

What is good about Balram’s letters are his ignorance of the man and the country he is addressing (”Now, since I doubt that you have rickshaw-pullers in China – or in any other civilised nation on earth – you will have to see one for yourself.”), having picked up his knowledge from a book entitled Exciting Tales of the Exotic East. This is indicative of the nature of entrepreneurs, who are “made from half-baked clay”:

Me, and thousands of others in this country like me, are half-baked, because we were never allowed to complete our schooling. Open our skulls, look in with a penlight, and you’ll find an odd museum of ideas: sentences of history or mathematics remembered from school textbooks…sentences about politics read in a newspaper…bits of All India Radio news bulletins…all these ideas, half formed and half digested and half correct, mix up with other half-cooked ideas in your head, and I guess these half-formed ideas bugger one another, and make more half-formed ideas, and this is what you act on and live with.

In the telling, The White Tiger is reminiscent of last year’s Booker nominated The Reluctant Fundamentalist, give that we are left to wonder at Wen Jiabao’s reaction to Balram’s letters, assuming he even gets them. And in it’s getting down and dirty with the downtrodden of India, and sparks of east meets west, there’s a dotted line to be drawn to Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People, although the book that springs to mind most is Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains Of The Day, purely for the parallel of a man, his master, and the oblivion between Its players, being drawn from the the top to bottom of Indian society, are tight in scope, allowing Adiga to get to grips well with them and how they interact with each other, whether it be the relationships between master and servant, between family members, or between the state and civilians. In all, The White Tiger provides an evocative and miserable landscape stripped of any exoticism one might expect, where everyone is greasing the palms of others, and anyone with the stomach for it can make their mark. And being easily digestible, your own stomach need not worry, for the novel is anything but half-baked.

ಕನ್ನಡಿಗ ಅರವಿಂದ ಅಡಿಗಗೆ ಬೂಕರ್ ಗರಿ

ಲಂಡನ್, ಅ. 15 : ಮಂಗಳೂರು ಮೂಲದ ಕಾದಂಬರಿಕಾರ ಅರವಿಂದ ಅಡಿಗ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷ್ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದ ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಠಿತ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ಎನಿಸಿರುವ 2008ನೇ ಸಾಲಿನಬೂಕರ್ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ಲಭಿಸಿದೆ. ಅಂತಿಮ ಸುತ್ತಿನಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ಆರು ಕಾದಂಬರಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಅರವಿಂದ ಅಡಿಗ ಅವರ ದಿ ವೈಟ್ ಟೈಗರ್ಕೃತಿಯು ಏಷ್ಯಾದ ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಠಿತ ಗೌರವಕ್ಕೆ ಪಾತ್ರವಾಗುವ ಮೂಲಕ ಈ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ಗಳಿಸಿದ ನಾಲ್ಕನೇ ಭಾರತೀಯ ಸಾಹಿತಿ ಎಂಬ ಹೆಗ್ಗಳಿಕೆಗೆ ಭಾಜನರಾದರು. ಬೂಕರ್ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿಯೂ 50 ಸಾವಿರ ಪೌಂಡ್ ನಗದು ಹಾಗೂ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ಫಲಕಗಳನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡಿರುತ್ತದೆ.

ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಠಿತ ಬೂಕರ್ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿಯನ್ನು 1981ರಲ್ಲಿ ಸಲ್ಮಾನ್ ರಶ್ದಿ, 1997ರಲ್ಲಿ ಅರುಂಧತಿ ರಾವ್ ಅವರ ದಿ ಗಾಡ್ ಅಫ್ ದಿ ಸ್ಮಾಲ್ ಥಿಂಗ್ಸ್‘, 2006ರ ರಲ್ಲಿ ಕಿರಣ್ ದೇಸಾಯಿ ಅವರು ಈ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ಪಡೆದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಸದ್ಯ ಮುಂಬೈ ನಿವಾಸಿಯಾಗಿರುವ 33 ವಯಸ್ಸಿನ ಅರವಿಂದ ಅಡಿಗ ಅವರು ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ಪಡೆದ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಕಿರಿಯ ಎಂಬ ಗರಿಮೆಗೆ ಪಾತ್ರರಾಗಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

2003ರ ಸಾಲಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಅಸ್ಟ್ರೇಲಿಯಾದ ಡಿಬಿಸಿ ಪಿಯೇರಿ ಅವರ ವರ್ನನ್ ಗಾಡ್ ಲಿಟಲ್‘, 1997ರಲ್ಲಿ ಅರುಂಧತಿ ರಾವ್ ಅವರು ಆಯ್ಕೆ ಸುತ್ತಿಗೆ ಪ್ರವೇಶಿದ ಮೊದಲ ಬಾರಿಯಲ್ಲೇ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿಗಳಿಸಿದ ಹಿರಿಮೆ ಹೊಂದಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ಅಂತಿಮ ಸುತ್ತಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾರತೀಯ ಮೂಲದ ಸಾಹಿತಿಗಳ ಪ್ರಾಬಲ್ಯ ಹೆಚ್ಚಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಅರವಿಂದ ಅಡಿಗ ಅವರೊಂದಿಗೆ ಅಮಿತಾವ್ ಘೋಷ್ ಅವರನ್ನು 2008ನೇ ಸಾಲಿನ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿಯ ಅಂತಿಮ ಸುತ್ತಿನ ಆಯ್ಕೆಗಾಗಿ ಪರಿಗಣಿಸಲಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಖ್ಯಾತ ಮಾನವ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ ಬರಹಗಾರ ಅಮಿತಾವ್ ಘೋಷ್ ಭಾರತದ ಅತ್ಯುತ್ತಮ ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷ್ ಬರಹಗಾರರಾಗಿದ್ದು, ಅವರ ದ ಸೀ ಆಫ್ ಪೊಪ್ಪೀಸ್ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿಗೆ ಪರಿಗಣಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ.

ಇದಲ್ಲದೇ ಸಬಾಸ್ಟಿಯನ್ ಬ್ಯಾರಿ (ದ ಸಿಕ್ರೇಟ್ ಸ್ಕ್ರಿಪ್ಟರ್), ಲಿಂಡಾ ಗ್ರಾಂಟ್ (ದ ಕ್ಲಾಥ್ಸ್ ಆನ್ ದೇರ್ ಬ್ಯಾಕ್ಸ್), ಫಿಲಿಪ್ ಹೆನ್ಸೇರ್ (ದ ನಾರ್ದನ್ ಕ್ಲೇಮೆನ್ಸಿ), ಸ್ಟೀವ್ ಟೋಲ್ಸ್ (ಎ ಪ್ರಾಕ್ಸನ್ ಆಫ್ ದ ಹೋಲ್) ಕೃತಿಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿಗೆ ಪರಿಗಣಿಸಲಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಕೊನೆಯ ಗಳಿಗೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಲ್ಮಾನ್ ರಶ್ದಿ ಅವರ ಕೃತಿ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿಗೆ ಆಯ್ಕೆಯಾಗುವಲ್ಲಿ ವಿಫಲವಾಯಿತು.

1968 ರಿಂದ ಈ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ನೀಡಲು ಆರಂಭಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಇಲ್ಲಿವರೆಗೂ ಪ್ರಪಂಚದ ವಿವಿಧ ದೇಶಗಳ 48 ಸಾಹಿತಿಗಳು ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ಪಡೆದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

(ದಟ್ಸ್ ಕನ್ನಡ ವಾರ್ತೆ)