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The Tiger King Summary in English by Kalki

The Tiger King by Kalki About the Author

Kalki is the pen-name of Ramaswamy Aiyer Krishnamurthy (9 September 1899 – 5 December 1954). He was a Tamil writer, journalist, poet, critic and Freedom Movement activist. His writings include over 120 short stories, 10 novelettes, five novels, three historical romances, editorials and political writings and hundreds of films and music reviews. Kalki received the Sangeetha Kalasikhami award conferred on him by the Indian Fine Arts Society in 1953. On the occasion of the centenary celebrations, a postage stamp was released in his honour. His works were nationalised by the government of Tamil Nadu.

Author Name Kalki Krishnamurthy
Born 9 September 1899, Manalmedu
Died 5 December 1954, Chennai
Movies Ponniyin Selvan, Thyaga Bhoomi, Kalvanin Kadhali, Parthiban Kanavu, Meera, Tananam Tananam, Ponvayal
Short stories Tiger King, Otrai Roja, Tharkolai, Amara Vazhvu
The Tiger King Summary by Kalki
The Tiger King Summary by Kalki

The Tiger King Introduction to the Chapter

The story revolves around a King whose death at the hands of a tiger had been foretold by astrologers, when he was born. He tries to reverse the fate spelled out for him and the author uses thinly-veiled satire to walk the reader through the King’s attempts, which later prove futile, in a manner that makes the readers laugh.

The Tiger King Theme

The chapter, ‘The Tiger King’ is a story about the transience of life and power. The chapter is a satire on the pride and stubborness of those people who are in power. The author in the story tells about the days of autocratic and eccentric kings. These kings fear the British as they lived under the thumb rule of British.

The Tiger King Summary in English

When Maharaja Jilani Jung Jung Bahadur was born, the astrologers had foretold that one day, the king would have to die. Suddenly, the ten-day-old prince started speaking; he told them that all those who were born would have to die one day.

He asked them to tell the manner of his death. Everyone stood stunned as an infant born just ten days ago was talking in such a manner. The chief astrologer told the Prince that he was born in the hour of the bull. As bull and tiger were enemies, therefore, his death would come from a tiger.

The Maharaja grew stronger and took to tiger hunting. He was overjoyed when he killed the first tiger. When he fold the chief astrologer about it, the chief astrologer told him that he may kill 99 tigers, but he must be careful with the hundredth one. In ten years,he killed 70 tigers. He banned the killing of tigers in Pratibandapuram. The tiger population became’extinct at Pratibandapuram. So the Maharaja married into a royal family in a state where tiger population was high. Thus, he killed 99 tigers but one was still left. There was no sign of tigers anywhere. Maharaja could not bear this any more.

He raised the land tax and also dismissed some of his men. Later, a tiger was brought for the Maharaja. Maharaja took his men for hunting. He shot the tiger but missed it. Since the tiger fainted on hearing the shot, the Maharaja did not realise that he had not killed the tiger. Maharaja’s men knew it but they feared that if they tell it to Maharaja, then they may lose their job, so they killed the tiger. But the Maharaja did not know that he still had one tiger left to kill. Free from the threat of imminent death, the Maharaja had now decided to celebrate his three-year-old son’s birthday.

He gifted him a wooden tiger. The tiger was made by an unskilled man. Its surface was rough, as a result, a splinter pierced into Maharaja’s hand. The infection spread into his whole hand and the Maharaja died.

Thus, ironically, the fateful hundredth tiger, though a wooden one, was the cause of the Maharaja’s death and proved the prediction of the astrologer correct.

The Tiger King Main Characters in the Chapter

The King

The Maharaja of Pratibandapuram was a brave, resolute, determined, courageous and a firm ruler of his state but lacked worldly wisdom. He was only ten-day-old, when he challenged the prediction of the astrologers. He grew up to be a tall, sturdy, brave and strong man. He became the King of his state at the age of twenty. He was determined to fulfil his pledge.

The Tiger King Summary Questions and Answers

Question 1.
When did the Tiger King stand in danger of losing his kingdom? How was he able to avert the danger?
Tiger King, to disprove the astrologer’s prediction, started to hunt and kill tigers. He also banned tiger hunting by anyone except the Maharaja. Anyone who disobeyed him was punished and all his wealth and property was confiscated. A British high-ranking officer wished to hunt tigers. The Maharaja told that the officer could hunt any other animal except the tiger. The British officer’s secretary wanted the Maharaja to allow the British officer to take a photograph of himself holding a gun and standing over a tiger’s , carcass. The Maharaja refused permission because he did not want anybody to kill a tiger. At this, the Maharaja stood in danger of losing his kingdom. Hence, he offered a bribe of 50 diamond rings worth three lakhs, to the wife of the British officer. By this act, the Maharaja was able to avert the danger.

Question 2.
What did the British officer’s secretary tell the Maharaja? Why did the Maharaja refuse permission?
The British officer’s secretary told the Maharaja to allow him to shoot the tigers in his kingdom. But the Maharaja did not allow him because he thought that the number of tigers would decrease and he would not be able to complete the desired number.

Question 3.
Why, do you think, was the Maharaja in danger of losing his throne?
A high-ranking British official came to the state. He desired to hunt tigers. The Maharaja did not give permission. The officer sent a word to get himself photographed holding a gun beside a tiger’s dead body. However, the Maharaja refused even that. As the Maharaja had prevented a British officer from fulfilling his desire, he was in danger of losing his kingdom.

Question 4.
What led the Maharaja to start out on a tiger hunt?
When the Maharaja of Pratibandapuram was born, an astrologer predicted that his death would be caused by a tiger. So the Maharaja started out on a tiger hunt.

Question 5.
What was the astrologer’s reaction, when the Maharaja told him that he had killed his first tiger?
On being told that the Maharaja had killed his first tiger, the astrologer announced that he could kill ninety-nine tigers, but he must be very careful with the hundredth one.

Question 6.
How does the hundredth tiger take its final revenge upon the Tiger King?
Few days after killing the hundredth tiger, the Maharaja gifted a wooden tiger to his son on his third birthday. A tiny splinter on the surface of the wooden tiger pierced the Maharaja’s right hand, leading to a sore, followed by the Maharaja’s death. Hence, the hundredth tiger took its final revenge upon the Tiger King.

Question 7.
Why did the Maharaja decide to get married?
As the Maharaja occupied the throne at the age of twenty, he went on a tiger hunting campaign. He was excited to kill his first tiger, and within ten years, he killed seventy tigers. Soon, tigers became extinct in his own state. So he decided to get married to the . royal family of a state that had a large number of tigers.

Question 8.
Why was the Maharaja so anxious to kill the hundredth tiger?
The Maharaja had killed ninety-nine tigers. If he could kill just one more tiger, he would have no fear left. Then he could give up tiger hunting altogether. Moreover, he had to be extremely careful with the last tiger.

Question 9.
What sort of hunts did the Maharaja offer to organise for the high-ranking British officer? What trait of the officer does it reveal?
For the high-ranking British officer, the Maharaja was prepared to organise any other hunt—a boar hunt, a mouse hunt, a mosquito hunt. But a tiger hunt was impossible. The officer was a big show-off. He actually did not wish to hunt or kill the tiger himself, he just wanted to be photographed with a gun in his hand, standing over a dead tiger.

Question 10.
Why was it a celebration time for all the tigers inhabiting Pratibandapuram?
It was a celebration time for all the tigers inhabiting Pratibandapuram because the ,Maharaja banned tiger hunting in the state. Except the Maharaja, no one was allowed to hunt tigers. It was proclaimed that if anyone was found hunting a tiger, all his property and wealth would be seized.