Summary of The Tiger King
This chapter revolves around the king of Pratibandapuram who was blind in power therefore met his end tragically. Actually when he was born, the child was declared as champion of champions, warrior of warriors & hero of heroes by the astrologers. Besides, it was also predicted that he was born in the hour of bull, bulls and tigers are enemies therefore his death comes from a tiger.
Hearing this prophecy, the ten day old boy Jilani Jung Jung Bahadur starts speaking astonishingly. He challenges the astrologers and threaten tigers too in his squeaky voice. The king grows up hale and hearty with the passage of time. He drinks the milk of an English cow, watches English movies and brought up by an English nanny and tutored by an English man.
When he sits on the throne as a king, he shoots his first tiger and sends for the chief of the astrologer. There, he gets to know that his death will come from the hundredth tiger not before that.
He keeps on killing the tigers one by one till he reaches the tally of 70 and faces the extinction of tiger’s population. Soon, he decides to get married in order to kill rest of the 30 tigers. He kills five or six tigers every time he goes to his father-in-law’s estate. In this way, he reaches the tally of 99 but the same problem occurs again. The population of tigers once again comes on the verge of extinction.
Filled with fury and rage, the Tiger King, starts firing all his employees one by one. He even asks his trustworthy Dewan to quit his job if he fails to arrange the hundredth tiger. Dewan, who is in the fear of losing his job, arranges an old and weak tiger from People’s park, Madras and leaves it into the Maharaja’s presence. Having seen the tiger, the maharaja takes the aim and shoots the tiger.
The tiger, being weak and old, actually faints of whizzing sound of the bullet. Considering him dead, the Maharaja orders his hunters to bring the carcass to Pratibandapuram. When they go to pick up the body, they find the tiger rolling its eyes. They shoot him due to fear of being sacked from the job.
Now comes Maharaja Son’s third birthday, he buys a wooden tiger for his birthday which was carved by an unskilled carpenter and had a rough surface with tiny slivers stood up like quills. While playing, one of slivers pierces Maharaja’s right hand which leads to infection followed by his death. In this way, the king of kings, hero of heroes, and champion of champions dies ironically in the end.
Besides Kalki often takes a dig at his personality, behavior and his minions throughout the chapter.
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THE TIGER KING (LONG QUESTIONS)
Q1. ‘The Tiger King’ is a satire on those who are in power. Do you agree? Give reasons in support to your answer.
There is no doubt that this chapter is a satire on the Maharaja of Pratibandapuram. The usage of this literary devise makes this chapter more interesting and adds humor to this. Moreover, it sheds light on the foolishness of Tiger King who ignores the warning of the astrologers. Having known that his death will come from a hundredth tiger, he starts killing them one by one rather than stop killing them. If he had acted on the warning of astrologers, he would not have been killed. Besides, the narrator makes fun of him stating that he was champion of champions yet he missed his mark while killing the hundredth one. Moreover, his own dewan ridicules him at the time of their discussion about his marriage saying that he was married and already had two wives. In the end, when he got infection throughout his hand and died, the surgeons made fun of him by saying that the operation was successful and he was no more. Seeing these examples, we can conclude that this chapter is a sheer satire on the powerful but foolish Maharaja.
Q2. How did the hundredth tiger take his revenge upon the Maharaja?
When the Maharaja was born it was predicted that his death would come from a tiger, he foolishly decided that he would kill all the tigers one by one. He kept on killing tigers and reached the target of ninety nine tigers. When he saw his last prey, he decided to shoot him on the spot without delaying. The tiger which was lazy as well as old fainted due to whizzing sound of the bullet. He thought that his mission was complete. On the very next day, it was his son’s birthday. In order to show his care towards his son, he went to market and bought a wooden tiger. That tiger was carved by an unskilled carpenter, which had a rough surface and tiny wooden slivers on it. One of the slivers pierced Maharaja’s right hand and led to severe infection through out the arm. Three surgeons were called from there who declared that the operation was successful and that way the hundredth tiger took his revenge upon the tiger king.
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