Skip to main content

Book Review: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Piscine Molitor Patel, nicknamed as Pi because people find his name a bit lengthy and tough to pronounce, lives in Pondicherry with his family, who own a zoo. It is around 1970’s when the political situation of Pondicherry begins changing. Thus, his father comes out with an option of migrating to Canada and selling some of their animals in the North America. But at the same time, Pi is caught by the quest of religions, spirituality, and God. While speeding up his efforts, he seeks chances to meet people from different religions, and in a hope of finding a resolute answer he starts following religions like Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.

The family boards the Japanese cargo ship with some of the animals. Midway their voyage, the ship falls in the grip of storm, Pi is little excited to see the storm, and hence he comes out at the dock of the ship. Next, he is thrown onto a lifeboat. The ship sinks down with no survivor except Pi – and to accompany him on the lifeboat are a hyena, an injured zebra, an innocent orangutan, and Richard Parker, a Bengal tiger.

And soon the fight for survival begins, as an upshot the hyena kills and eats both: the zebra and the orangutan. After sometime, Richard Parker, who was hidden under a tarpaulin cover, comes out only to finish the hyena. Seeing the bloodshed, Pi fears and soon makes a raft with the help of oars and lifejackets so as to keep himself alive and at a safe distance from the tiger. They are somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, helpless but struggling for life. Pi using his wits, collects ration and drinkable water and a manual which instructs how to survive as a lost person in the vastness of the ocean.

Pi maintains safe distance from the tiger but at the same time controls and keeps him alive by hunting fish and getting water from the rain and the distillery. He controls Richard Parker by blowing various-toned whistle gestures and rocking the boat which causes seasickness to the tiger. A mutual understanding settles between them but Pi can never testify it. They also arrive at a floating island, made of algae, full of meerkats. Here they get fresh water and fish without efforts but soon Pi discovers that the island is carnivorous, hence they both abandon it. And again head for nowhere.

After an ordeal of 227 days, the lifeboat washes onto a beach in Mexico; Richard Parker disappears in the nearby jungle, while Pi weeps at both: he finds land but Richard Parker departs abruptly. He is of course heartbroken.

In the hospital, Pi is seen by two Japanese officials who refuse to believe his original story. To keep their hearts happy, he fabricates another story in which there is no animal involved. However, Japanese officials draw a parallel between the two stories and leave him by taking his first story. 


Popular posts from this blog

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella. The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation fo

Poem Summary: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias is a short poem of fourteen lines written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The concurrent theme of the poem is that nothing remains intact and same forever in this world. Even the brightest of metal, one day decays with passage of time. The throne name of Egyptian King Ramesses is Ozymandias. It was his dearest desire to preserve himself forever by building a huge statue that he thought would never tumble down. Stanza 1: I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; Summary: The poet narrates the poem through the eyes of a traveler who seems to have come back from a remote and far-away land, referring to Egypt. The traveler r