Saturday, January 17, 2009

'Poverty porn' my foot!

I almost never read Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger. Truth is, I'd warily flipped through it several times at bookstores, and then dismissed it. Considering that I'd done the same to Paulo Shudder Coelho, and was justified when I finally had to review one of his books (the things I do for money-sigh), made me smugly believe that Adiga was not my kind of writer. But, never judge a book by a cursory flip-through. Much better to read a couple of chapters (and you can at Crossword- the Kemps Corner outlet- the armchairs there are deliciously comfy) and then decide.

On an impulse, though, I bought White Tiger a couple of days ago and it's fantastic! Well written, a page turner, witty, and disturbing enough to make you wince. This is not, as some critics darkly mutter, 'poverty porn'. It's an honest look at India today. Every Indian should read this book- it should be made compulsory. I say this with the fond hope that sensitivity towards the underpriviliged may replace guilt- and India may finally shine for all. Thank you Adiga- and may your tribe increase!

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