Raja the tiger has had a pretty raw deal at the hands of humans. As well as having his mate and his cubs slaughtered by hunters, he himself has been forced to live in a circus, where he was subjected to cruel treatment.
Despite an extended period of captivity, Raja's instincts as a wild animal never left him, and he mauled the Captain, the owner of the Grand Malgudi Circus, to death before making good his escape.
Now on the rampage, it seems that Raja's days are numbered. After what he did to the Captain, it's a virtual certainty that he'll be hunted down and killed, just like his family. Thankfully, however, he is befriended by a kindly monk, known simply as his Master, who tells Raja that a man is coming to transport him to the local zoo.
The Master reassures Raja by telling him that he will be safe in his cage at the zoo, that food will be brought to him, and that he will be let out into an open-air enclosure. All in all, Raja will be very well looked after.
A new and better life now beckons for Raja. Men, women, and children will come from miles around to look at him, and they will be very happy indeed to see this beautiful, majestic creature.