As soon as I started reading ‘The Last Man in Tower’, written by the effervescent, soul-deeming and dark humour bound Aravind Adiga, I was sure, it would another spell-bound cracker and my intrusions didn’t deceived me, at least not the hosiery of my 20yr old common sense. And as soon before reaching 100 pages or so,
I was really overwhelmed by the author’s efforts to implicate the never-Before-Used-Way-Of-Storytelling which I’ve never found in the genre of Indian authors. And well soon before I hung up the book, this story plotted by the much-talented Adiga had already baffled me with a souvenir for reading – “who was actually the Last man in tower??”
The story depicts the insurgent greed for money, salient thirst for freedom as well as, at some points, the silhouette of a common Indian. In brief, the story shows the life of some middle-class Indians living in a green-oiled, leech-stricken apartments, at the skirts of Mumbai, and how it changed when a big corporate builder Mr.Shah bullied them with a fortune of their life time. It goes like a fantasy story for all immigrants of the building, but one man stood alone from the rest of the crew and he was Mr.Yogesh Murthy, a retired teacher always deemed with the recipe of physics. He stood his ground, nevertheless from the advice, plea and menace of his neighbours and the builder. But his defiance was broken at the end as his own ‘lovely neighbours’ banged his head with a hammer and pushed him from the top of the tower..!!
Now the question pops up..!! Who was actually the last man in tower??
And the cliché is “is there really a last man??”
For me, unlike the author, Mr.Murthy could’ve been a resident of the bottom floor, because his unwillingness to leave the building was his shrewd persistence of the respect he was beholding rather than his need for one to be free. With signing the permission he could’ve been saving the pleasure of all the residents.
Mr.Pinto and Mrs.Pinto was following Mr.Murthy at the beginning but later they too fell for the inceptive notions of a better standard of living, even at their late 60’s. Behind the likes of the Pintos, Mr.Kudwa, Mrs.Puri, Mrs.Rego were all on the major side of the battle so they all got a pass to the tower, but only in the lower floors
Mr.Ajwani who played the shabby melodrama of threat for Mr.Murthy at the initial stages, regretted for his actions and tried to secure the life of our old teacher at the end, but was par late. He may be getting one of the top floor.
Mr.Shah, the obese builder with gutka stained teeth was not a resident of the Vishram society but his brutal ideas of getting the ‘simple work done’ by the natives of the building leaves him in the topmost floor(along with his assistant, Mr.Shanmugam-although he’s somewhere in a middle floor).
And my fellow readers, the tower in which all these people are residing, I’ve named it as “The Tower of Judgement” and you may call it as “the Tower of Indian Shame”.
But there is still a paradox. Dead people cannot be outrunned.So at the terrace of this tower we may see Purnima, the late wife of Mr.Murthy. In that case, Mr.Adiga, the name of this book should be “The Last Woman in Tower”.