Riding and Reading; The Safe Way to Commute

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Five days a week I, like most other people, go to work. There are potentially dozens of ways for me to get to work: car, bike, segway, helicopter, skate board, or hitch hiking; the options are potentially endless. I have chosen to go the traditional route and commute via the bus. On my way to work I take a TriMet bus (#44, #54, or #56) from stop #925 to stop #7803; on my way home I take a bus from stop #7586 to stop #955. The ride to work takes 13.5 minutes. The ride home takes either 15 or 21 minutes depending on which bus I catch. During this time I read. During most other times I like to babble. This blog combines all three: books, buses and babble.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Death be not proud; driving lessons

Book: The White Tiger
Bus #56; 6:02 a.m.
Pages: 41 - 51

Balram does not elaborate on his stint as a mass murderer. Rather he jumps to the story of how he came into the employ of his master (and victim) Mr. Ashok. Using his mastery of the macabre (remember mom's burning toes?) Adiga describes Balram's father's death. Dad, like mom, spends some time spitting blood, motivating Balram and his brother to take him to the hospital. Instead of doctors they find a blood thirsty snarling cat, a line of diseased eyes, raw wounds, and delierous mouths, and goat turds "spread like a constellation of black stars" on the floor. pg. 40. His father dies and he and his brother mop up dad's infected blood as the ward boys pet a goat and feed it a carrot.

I am now convinced of Adiga's literary genius.

After his father's death, Balram leaves his village and moves to Dhanbad. Once in Dhanbad, Balram learns that drivers make tons of money and he uses his unstoppable determination to take driving lessons. That determination also allows him to persevere in his search for a job as a personal driver. Two weeks of knocking on doors and being rejected, he found Ashok and opportunity.

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