The story is simple. To put it in a single line it is the ordeal faced by a teen aged Indian boy who is castaway on a lifeboat with a huge tiger, and to put it in a book it is Life of Pi. Here is the brief. Piscine molitor patel or Pi patel is a young Indian boy from Pondicherry, lives with a happy family and they run a zoo. He is secular, when i mean secular he sporting a cross goes to a temple and prays to Allah, he is always in search of the real essence of god. But In search of better fortune the family plans to shift to Canada with their bunch of wild animals. And then trouble happens, there happens a shipwreck and the sole survivor is the orphaned Pi patel. Not for long, he soon finds a Huge, beastly and carnivorous Bengal tiger accompanying him in the life boat and together they start on the journey for survival. How does he manage to stay alive if not from the dangerous sea but from the man-eater that he has got on board?, How will he escape from the claws of death and those of the wild-tiger, in short how does he survive the extreme travail for 224 days? Read the book. maybe i sounded a bit unliterature-ish in briefing the story, but yann martel has done more than just writing a novel. He has written a survivors saga filled with despair, hope, pain, belief and not just those. That is the difference between a Booker-prize winning author and a typical bestseller. He not only tells the brave story of a young kid but interlaced with it he speaks about religion, culture, animal zoology, human zeal, survival instincts and ocean science. The novel acts in different levels, for a plain read it is just a thriller involving the confront of a kid and a tiger but a deep read might tell you its not just that, it is an intriguing travel into human psyche and its understanding of love, hope, religion, family, and the most of all the belief in god. Magical in every true sense. It is such books that raise the bar of tastes and preferences and I am happy that I got a chance!
I was able to instantly connect with the boy, he resembles any 16 year old Dark-skinned-South-Indian male and it was just six years before i was in those magical numbers. He speaks Tamil at times, speaks about Madurai- my home town,has a lust for the South-Indian shambar, the idli and the masala dosai just as me. He has a beautiful family with a mom, dad, and a energetic elder brother just like mine. So i loved being him throughout. Love you Pi Patel!. Try reading it, I highly recommend it to any literate. I also got to say about the other book which i read some years back, Thaneer desam(Water Kingdom) written by Vairamuthu, oh man.. that still remains one of my personal favorites. It has nearly the same plot, it was the story of four men and a woman stranded on a damaged fishing boat in the middle of Bay-of-Bengal, and their ordeal for survival. Written in a poetic narrative, it was one of the masterpieces of modern tamil writing. Try reading it, i highly recommend it to any Tamil-literate.
And guys there is this huge-buzz around Chetan bhagats new book "3 mistakes of my life". I gotta read it sometime. But i really don’t understand the hype behind. 5. someone was really good even though it lacked depth. One night @ was total crap, i felt really bad wasting time on it. Hope the third is at least a good read, I really don’t expect a masterpiece out of bhagat. Its really sad that a guy like bhagat is our choice for a bestseller, if some outsider reads him he would get very wrong signals about Indian talent and also the literary preferences of Indian people. We have never given the chance for Vikram Seth or Salman Rushdie to be on the bestseller list. But when someone writes a book which is very similar to a bollywood movie loaded with masala, we celebrate him and bestow him with high honors, even worse reading bhagat has become an attitude statement for many, and many have only read bhagat for their entire life. I don’t have any vengeance against him, he writes what he is good at, and it is really not that bad. He is welcome to write, lets still read him, but let’s make our hands wider to embrace more, more of Martel, more of Hosseini, and more of those guys who write real stuff. As now Martel has again brought me back to form i wish i could read more on the coming days, I am desperate to get lost into the web of words. Choices are aplenty.Your suggestions are welcome.
Life of Pi