THE TIGER KING BY KALKI Prepared by L. Das POINTS TO REMEMBER It is a story with a moral lesson. It narrates the story of the Maharaja of Pratibandapuram in an ironical and satirical style. Pride comes before a fall and death is the great equalizer. Man should learn to respect life and take care of all the creatures of the Earth. TITLE Maharaja’s entire life revolved around tiger hunting and tiger killing. He vowed to attend to matters of the state only after killing a hundred tigers. Married the lady whose estate had the largest tiger population. Hunted the hundredth tiger with great difficulty but did not actually kill it himself. TITLE (CONT.) Bought a wooden tiger for his soncarved by an unskilled carpenter. Maharaja injured his hand. The infection flared up and caused his death despite the best surgeons. Destiny took its final revenge on ‘The Tiger King’. The arrogance and power of man is so small compared to destiny and nature. INTERPRETATIONS Story is a fable with a moral. It makes an appeal for the protection of the tiger and for all flora and fauna. Man has ravaged nature for his own selfish purposes. However nature has a way of taking revenge. The author believes in the dictum’Live and let live’. Killing for pleasure is a grave sin. INTERPRETATION ‘The Tiger King’ is a warning to man to stop his ruthless exploitation of Nature which has caused the extinction of innumerable wildlife species. Story is more about the crime of thoughtless killing of tigers and its punishment rather than the power of destiny. CHARACTER OF TIGER KING Comical and eccentric character who behaves like an autocrat. His subjects including the senior officers tremble with fear in front of him. Moody and whimsical, he behaves in an irrational way throughout. He resorts to bribery of the British officer’s wife to save his kingdom.