Book: Burn: The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter
Author: Shilpa Raj
Publisher: Rupa Publications, 2017
Reviewed by: Amit, Ashvamegh Staff
Buy the book: Amazon
The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter has been released in India on 28th July 2017 and the book has been receiving a great response from the readers and book critics alike. The life-story of a girl from the lower section of society is being liked and appreciated by the readers as well as her bold decision to come up with a memoir (also becoming the first woman from the Dalit section of society to have written a memoir) is being praised by the literary personalities. The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter is a book which means ambition, aspiration, determination, strength, courage and at the same time, a book which commemorates humiliation, disrespect, alienation, discrimination and what not…
In a nutshell, the book can be summarised as the story of Shilpa Raj, the author’s life up to the present days. Her childhood, her family’s description, her sister Kavya’s story and the tragedy around her, the story of her grandparents. Moreover, other than these apparent content, the book is an exposition of the status quo which has been continuing in the Indian society for centuries now. And which, by no means, is certainly not acceptable in this modern India!
How many of us will submit to the fact that people of a certain section of Indian society are being kept away from basic education? How many of us will believe that the poor people of the lower section of our society don’t have the rights in the truest sense as enshrined in our Constitution? How many of us will not be shocked to know that many girls like Shilpa are supposed to be married when they are 13-14 years of age? And all this pain, the author has gone through and then only she could recollect her memories and write her memoir. However, Shilpa Raj remained steadfast in her determination and did not submit to the traditional laws of her society. She did not marry and rather kept chasing her dreams.
You can get the book at a special price on Amazon! Visit the link below:
In this book, you will find the ‘two worlds’ about which Shilpa writes in detail. One is the world at Shanti Bhavan, where she studies, enjoys a good life and dreams of an even better future. On the other hand, she describes the world where people like her father and grandfather and grandmother have accepted that they have to suffer; they have to accept the world as it is. She writes about the memories of her grandmother. She writes about the memories of her father and grandfather. The past is filled with the torments which the ‘Dalits’ have to suffer just because they are Dalits! Grandmother’s narrative lets the readers know the typical patriarchal mindset which is common among men, irrespective of the social structure they belong to!
The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter is a book with many issues and one major question – how long with the circumstances be like this? How long will the society take to accept the people as one? I will advise all the readers of this review please read the book by Shilpa Raj and judge for yourself. Other than the issues raised in the book, you will also appreciate the writing style of the author. Despite being her debut work, she has not given many chances to the critics. She has written with a maturity and a certain dignity. You can get a copy of the book from the link below:
The Elephant Chaser's Daughter by Shilpa Raj
- Debut Strength
- Impact on Readers
A must read ‘Debut Book’ by author Shilpa Raj!