63 pages 2 hours read

Deepti Kapoor

Age of Vice

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2023

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Character Analysis


Ajay is one of the novel’s three protagonists. At the beginning of the novel, Ajay is the bodyguard and chauffeur for Sunny Wadia. Ajay’s journey is picaresque, a literary style in which a character’s story is told through many episodes of adventures with ups and downs. Ajay begins as an impoverished child in rural UP. He is the domestic slave to a rich couple in picturesque Manali, works for the Wadias in Delhi, and is imprisoned in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. As the novel ends, Ajay is on yet another journey, this time back to Manali to escape his life.

Ajay experiences many injustices as he seeks to right his past. Through this, Ajay evolves as a character. He is first portrayed as an innocent 8-year-old: He is “malnourished. Barely literate. Watchful inside the sockets of his eyes” (11). Ajay retains his innocence even after his father is murdered and he is separated from his family. Whenever he gets time off from his many, exhausting chores as a domestic enslaved person, Ajay “loves to roll around the stepped garden, muddying himself in the grass” (26). Ajay also feels guilty for continuing to be a child and losing himself in the moment while his family back home is living in squalor and terror.