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Book Review: The Tiger King by Kalki

The Tiger King by Kalki is a story of a Maharaja who goes on to kill hundred tigers in order to change his fate. But will he succeed, let’s see.

The Maharaja of Pratibandapuram is known as tiger king because he was born as a special child. And when he was just 10 days old, he was speaking like a grown-up child, and that time he asked the astrologer about his future, who said since the king was born during the bull hour, hence he will be killed by the hundredth tiger. The boy was raised like a normal prince and everything looked normal and fine. But one day when he turned 20 and crowned as the king of Pratibandapuram, talks of his fate reach to him. As per prediction if he managed to kill hundred tigers then he is safe. So leaving all other work, he decides to kill hundred tigers to safeguard himself and after that he will look into the other matters of the state.

Soon it’s announced that no man from his state will hunt the tigers, and if anyone found guilty then their property will be confiscated. In ten years’ time he managed to kill seventy tigers, and eventually tigers from his state disappeared. Then he marries a princess of the state which has got good population of tigers. After this, he managed to kill ninety-nine tigers, the last one is remaining. He searched the jungles like a mad hunter but found no tiger. Growing angry, he orders his ministers to arrange for a tiger lest they lose their jobs. One of the ministers manages to get one tiger from Madras Park and leave it in the jungle and then later he informs the king about the time. The king goes there and shoots the tiger from a distance. The tiger tumbles down; his servants go there to get the last killed tiger’s body and skin. But to their surprise, the tiger wasn’t killed; it was fainted because of the bruise gotten from the bullet.

To overcome the anger of the king, the servants shoot the tiger with their gun. Soon there’s a huge celebration across the state, the king is happy by assuming that he has won over his death. Next there is a birthday of his son, to give him something nice present; the king gets one wooden tiger toy. While playing with the boy, the king gets injured by the poorly crafted sliver of the wooden tiger. He falls sick and dies of suppurating sore.

Talking about the themes, the story has a few themes like arrogance of people with power, poaching of meek wild animals, trying to command one’s fate. The story shows that the king was neither righteous nor a good man, rather an egotist who wanted to finish tigers only to come over his one superstitious belief.


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