Monday, November 26, 2012

The Life of PI - A Trivandrum Connection

When I recently saw the movie adaption of the Booker Prize-winning novel, Life of Pi, little did I realize that the movie and the book that I read a long time ago had a very profound connection with our city and with a place which has created its own share of fond memories for me, over the past three decades.

It appears that the author, Yann Martel, sourced a lot of his inspiration behind the rather eccentric premise of the book from time spent in the Trivandrum Zoo in the 1990s. In fact, it seems that many of the characters including the rather dashing Bengal tiger that plays the supporting role in the book and film, were based on real animals that he observed at the zoo.

Curious? Read on here and then check out how the lilting title credits music seems to tip its hat toward a very famous and familiar tune also connected to Trivandrum.

And yes, all of us who scoffed at the idea of visiting the Zoo when we grew out of our school shorts (and pinafores), we should reconsider knowing that one of the most popular literary works of the last decade, one which many of us would proudly add to our reading lists, had its roots in that very place.

The connection of our Zoo with Life of Pi was reported in the media in 2002. Had it been anywhere else, and that very fact could have been used to bring in a few million very curious and very interested tourists from across the world. Kerala Tourism, are you listening at all?

P.S: For the best collection of photos and news updates about the Zoo, do browse through this forum.


  1. Spent many a summer afternoon at the Trivandrum zoo. As a big fan of the book, can't help feeling a little chuffed!

  2. Lol, I agree. Makes it all the more sad that this connection wasn't highlighted as it should have been. Well better later than never!


Thanks for your comment, I will take a look at it and put it up at the earliest.