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?”




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