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Book-Shelf : The White Tiger (Part 1)

April 24, 2012 1 comment

Of all my investment, I’d call my books as the best. I ensure a new addition to my book shelf every other month. Finding a reading time between a heavy schedule of work and family is tough, but it is just wonderful to turn off the annoying cell phone, shut the attention-seeking laptop down and get back to the wonders of the written word.

Literary prize winning books are never fun and it’s the general truth. The pleasure a Brown or a Sheldon gives is in no way comparable to such a prize winning book. But on the contrary I say you can appreciate a prize winning book only if you possess the eye for that. Two of the Man Booker Prize winners adorn my bookshelf – one from Ms. Desai “Inheritance of loss” and the other Mr. Adiga’s “The White Tiger”. And this particular post is about the latter. I know it’s a bit late, not just a bit – a good 4 year delay. But I blame myself for being on and off about my reading habits. If you haven’t read this one, go ahead and knock yourself out. If you have, then choice is yours to continue reading the post or just quit.

You’re an ardent reader or someone who’s just getting into this hobby? I’d gladly suggest Adiga. For one, his is the standard simpleton Indian English anyone could appreciate. None of those fancy buzzwords or words with more than 10 syllables. Two, and almost “The” best reason – you’d for once be supporting an Indian Litterateur.

Coming back to “The White Tiger”, here’s what I’d like to say about it (probable spoiler alert):

The plot – To give a very high-level overview of the story, it’s about how Balram Halwai from The Dark turns into Mr. Ashok Sharma of the White Tiger. The back cover describes Balram as The White Tiger, Servant, Philosopher, Entrepreneur, and also as a Murderer. The story runs from describing about a boy named Balram from Gaya who takes up the job of driver at Delhi and finally evolves into an entrepreneur Mr.Ashok at Bangalore. The story revolves around Balram’s philosophical musings and his experiences with the Indian society at large.

Storyflow – The story unassumingly begins as a one-sided rant (letter) from the author on the eve of Chinese premiere’s visit to India. Dark humour ensues with how the Premier would be treated in India giving him a Green Grass Image of India – when the ground realities are much worse. The story continues over a week, mostly through the nights with the author reminiscing his entire life under an eerie chandelier. In some way, tying the narration to a current event kept my pulse beating on the story and I could never skip a page.

… Part 2 to continue

Mistakes: To err is human, so is to fret about it.


Life is so full of mistakes. You see your friends making irrecoverable mistakes, but you can still offer them a shoulder and console them. You always can afford to say it’s not a big deal – there are far worse problems.

But when the same happens to you, you’re stumped! You feel it’s the end of the world, your days feel gloomy and dull. All that you can think of is that mistake you did. You replay those moments over and over on your head – fantasizing if things didn’t go the way it did. You painfully anticipate the harvest of your mistake. Every moment, every happening around you seem to be an excruciating reminder to that mistake.

Here are some things you can try doing:

Confess – Not to a confidante, not to a friend, but directly to the person whom your mistake impacts. It gets a huge load off your chest, and who knows you might have corrected your mistake by just this act!

Be proactive – Never wait for something, time will increase the impact of the mistake. Act swiftly.

Introspect – Would you remember this problem 5 days from now? 5 months now? 5 years from now? If no, then stop worrying. It wouldn’t even matter in the long run.

Learn – To err is human. But to learn is humane. Forget the specifics of the mistake, but understand the dynamics of your mind which put you there in the first place.

Having listed down, sometimes these might not suit everywhere. There are places you need to be cunning. Times when you need to wait out. After all, you were destined to make that single mistake and worry for a week.

Pseudo-elusive career switch : A change waiting to happen


For all those of you out there, struggling to make sense out of your moronic work routine – this one’s for you: http://productivitymentor.com/2012/03/08/point-17-stop-going-to-work/

If you really visited the above link (It’s a very short article, I’ll wait for you until you’re done – and do come back here) what I intend to write is precisely about point 3.

It’s the same pothole that seem to appear every often, and it’s necessary that we look at the problems rather than the symptoms and identify a workable solution. @productivitymentor’s above article is more than just inspiring. May be this was just the kind of perspective we needed.

Stepping away from this and introspect the reason for work becoming mundane, a little social experiment reveals – not everyone is doing their current work as a matter of choice. Many in fact are poly-skilled or have deep passion in areas other their current areas of work. And why they still hang on to this, is 1. Either they look at this as means to “eventually” reach their passion or 2. They are just too comfortable with how things are. What is required for you to make that elusive shift is efforts and what more, persistent efforts.

Unless you are persistent in your efforts, you might just slip from category 1 to 2

So what keeps you persistent to reach out to your work of passion? Besides monetary and financial security, I believe, confidence in yourself to excel in your passion plays a pivotal role. If you’re shaky, then you might not have the spirit to take that extra stride away from the pavement.

Introspect if what you’re doing is in line with your goals, Build confidence, Equip yourself with necessary skills, Make persistent efforts, and Step out of the line – walk your way!

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