The Caretaker by A. X. Ahmad (A Review)

27 09 2013

The Caretaker


A. X. Ahmad

 (Review by Karthik Keramalu)

What drives away a person from his home country need not necessarily be disgust or money, it may well be a question of honour (or a packaged lie) reads The Caretaker. The novel, moving between a lesser known war and suppressed anti-sentimental relationship with the borrowed land deals with an arcing deviation in the protagonist’s life throughout the distance – from the first page to the last.

Ranjit Singh, once a hero figure in the Indian army finds himself in an island taking care of summer houses. A Jo Nesbo-like thriller; running, shaving, hiding, retrieving and the family angle; the novel’s cake lies in its end where the readers might find that the work of fiction needed more sentences – but it ends like a blind man’s road, dark and wide – directions matter less, destination is what he’s looking for.

A. X. Ahmad quotes passages from the Guru Granth Sahib, bolting authenticity to the Sikh family in the novel. The clichéd argument over a nice affair and family, wife and daughter included is not touched upon bringing in a rather neat atmosphere for the mankind who don’t lock themselves up on charges of guilt.


The Caretaker may not be a fast paced thriller, it just moves on like the pages would on a winter evening. “Who is good? Who is bad and ugly on the inside, only a weapon can tell?”


Godmen and the Gravely Injured Men

2 09 2013

Major battles have broken out in the history for two things – women and religion. We give importance to both, neatly and deftly yet press the former under stubby thumbs. The pleasure some barbed wire bearers derive from associating a victim to a deficiency of the mind need to understand that women are not objects at an auction sale. The recent case of Asaram Bapu, title of godman snatched henceforth, brings us to the immediate case of assault but the case goes further, the relation between human being and the supreme being.


Godmen who have been accused of rape too are somewhere deep down men. The difference is their power to ‘heal’ unbalanced psyches. Galileo’s case is not new, published in text books and referred to as an icon for believing in self, was jailed for his support of the Copernican theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun and not the other way around. Our beliefs still echo the same sentiment. We support old beliefs, whether true or made-to-be, we gather our senses at the end of the day just before the climax.



Yoga can treat cancer / AIDS! Rape a 16 year old and call her daughter / granddaughter. Then land grabbing cases are pretty common.  We really do not deserve to be treated like cutting boards by these nonsensical lowlifes. The option of changing the television channel lies with us, here we can exercise the right to not fall into such traps. Of course, a vehicle is required to transport a troubled man to a relaxed destination but what purpose will it serve when the vehicle enjoys maximum attention, money and borrowed perversion.



No medicine can heal the wound of the soul, only his faith in himself can.