Sunday, January 11, 2009

White Tiger

I love to travel, I love to explore and I enjoy the science of understanding people. I have had 2 trips to India, and currently planning my 3rd, and both times my senses have been bombarded, and my understanding of people has been challenged. India is complex, dangerous, beautiful and the Indian people are equally complex, beautiful and endearing. North India and South India are different also. Geographically, historically and spiritually. However, in my brief encounters with both, I was awakened to something we don't experience in the west, and that is a deep loyalty to community and 'the way it is', and the bondage that loyalty can enforce.

White Tiger was a difficult read for me - I found the story teller to be crass and blunt and some of his language evoke strong feelings in me of dislike for the man. However - the author (as opposed to the story teller) has very craftily depicted what he calls the 'rooster coop' - or as I had previously noticed, the loyalty and bondage experienced by the Indian people. I thought the story teller was a drunk and conceited rambler and was challenged to even finish this book - however as one friend said, 'just see it though to the end and you'll see what he's doing'.

2 quotes I liked:
Watch the roads in the evenings in Delhi:sooner or later you will see a man on a cycle-rickshaw, pedaling down the road, with a giant bed, or a table, tied to the card that is attached to his cycle. Every day furniture is delivered to people's homes by this man - the deliveryman. A bed costs five thousand rupees, maybe six thousand. Add chairs, and a coffee table, it's tend or fifteen thousand. A man comes on a cycle0cart, bringing you this bed, table and chairs, a poor man who may make five hundred rupees a month..... (page 174)

She brought me a cup of coffee in a cup set in a metal tumbler. they have exquisite manners, these South Indians. I poured the coffee into the tumbler, and sipped the correct way. (p311)

I'll leave you to think why I like these quotes. I look forward to my return to South India, to a community where the Rooster Coop is real, and women and children are less than Roosters.

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