An amazing book, woven with a delicacy that touches the
spirit, Life of Pi is one of those rare books that contains the ability
to transform its reader’s world.
Pi grows up
in Pondicherry, India,
the son of a cautious zoo-keeper. Much to everyone’s astonishment, Pi goes
through a religious fervor that drives him to become an avid disciple of
Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. Meanwhile, his father, tired of the
political unrest within his country, decides to move his zoo to Canada.
After boarding a Japanese boat, the whole Patel family along with all the
animals in the zoo, is faced with tragedy when the boat strikes an unknown
object and sinks.
himself stranded in the vast ocean upon a tiny life raft along with an peaceful
orangutan, a crazed hyena, a dying zebra, and a 450 pound Bengal tiger whose
name was Richard Parker. Some harrowing and violent fights ensue as the hyena
takes out some of the animals but finally, Richard Parker asserts its position
as top of the food chain, and Pi is left as the only other remaining survivor
upon the raft along with him. The days soon begin to blur together as Pi uses
every single ounce of his strength and ability to find nourishment not for
himself, but also to appease the appetite of Richard Parker so that he will not
turn into the tiger’s next meal.
It is this
section of the book that is the most elegant, as Pi describes with almost a
hallucinatory quality, the vast expanse of blue much like the endless stretch
of days that seemed to blur together. It is here that we see a transformation occur;
the little boy becomes a fighter, grimly hanging on with all his will power and
cunning to stay alive against the odds of shark infested waters outside of the
raft, and a Bengal tiger within.
they touch land after an unbelievable 227 days on the coast of Mexico.
Richard Parker immediately sprints into the jungle and is never found again.
Much later, two Japanese officials hunt down Pi, who was still recuperating in
a hospital, and forces him to give a real account of his experiences and also
why their boat sank. After much pleading and then force, Pi finally gives in
and tells them a chilling story, this time involving people instead of animals.
After the story ends, the two horrified officials decide to accept Pi’s first
account, with the animals. However, the reader is left with the unanswered
question – which is the true story? It is something that you can only decide
for yourself, after reading this wonderful story that truly stimulates one’s
imagination for the fantastic.