Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Aravind Adiga on Delhi or China-Quote from The White Tiger

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 16, 2011


Aravind Adiga wrote a great book called The White Tiger . The plot is that the main character explains to Wen Jiabao from China what to expect on his trip to India. The prose is excellent and his descriptions are vivid.
The author puts a feeling or sense of reality into his writing and is informative and poetic. The following is how he describes traveling in a car in Delhi (an egg is a metaphor for the car). And although the story is about India, I found many similarities to China as well.
For instance, in the following passage, substitute the word “Chinese big City” for Delhi and it still rings true.

From The White Tiger
“These poor bastards had come from the darkness to Delhi to find some light—but they were still in the darkness. Hundreds of them, there seemed to be, on either side of the traffic, and their life was entirely unaffected by the jam. Were they even aware that there was a jam? We were like two separate cities—inside and outside the dark egg. I knew I was in the right city. But my father, if he were alive, would be sitting on that pavement, cooking some rice gruel for dinner, and getting ready to lie down and sleep under a streetlamp, and I couldn’t stop thinking of that and recognizing his features in some beggar out there. So I was in some way out of the car too, even while I was driving it.”

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