Balram is the son of a rickshaw puller from the Darkness, a driver, and an entrepreneur. I had an affection for the character in the beginning as a poor boy who was pulled out of school to work, who went to New Delhi to be a driver and make something of himself. At that point however, I found the book became tedious, and I did not like the character. I don't know if I was supposed to like him, and condone his actions, but I most definitely did not. I also found the epistolary format of the book distracting, perhaps because I did not understand the significance of his writing to the premier of China.