The Zamindar’s Ghost by Khayaal Patel
My take on the book:
In 1933 in the quaint town of Ooty, the late Zamindar Digvijay Rana’s son Arjun Rana is back from being declared as dead, after six years. Arjun left home to help subdue an uprising in a nearby place and mistaken to be dead by his family, while he lived the life of a simple farmer after being rescued by a farmer’s family. As he regained his lost memory in these six years, his town lost a direction without a Zamindar — his wife is rumored to be having an affair with their gardener, the manager of an infamous hotel is using it for flesh trade.
However, the biggest challenge Arjun faces is the whispers doing the round that their mansion is haunted by his father’s ghost, and situation escalates when people around him are either attacked or killed, all believed to be done by the late Zamindar Digvijay Rana’s ghost. Has the Zamindar really turned into a ghost and started avenging the people of the town, and what are his reasons for this revenge, forms the rest of the story.
The title and cover hint at the story line that the reader can expect but the way the author has built up the characters, backdrop and circumstances are what make the story engrossing. Pre-independence India with mix of local and British population, a sleepy town where each character has an interesting back story are the main attractions of the story.
The Zamindar’s son who returned from being dead, an ex-matron and the current matron of an orphanage — both with solid past related to Arjun and other victims, Arjun’s mysterious wife, the erstwhile Zamindar’s confidante, a hotel manager with ulterior motives, all the characters in the story are wonderfully crafted by the author with a lot of intrigue factor.
With each page, there is a new secret from the past revealed about each character which makes the narrative very engaging. However, for a horror story there are no scary sequences, which is the major drawback. Also, if you personally debate supernatural elements against logic, the conclusion of the story may or may not appeal.
Pick this one to read to an engaging and entertaining ghost story.