Shilpa Raj is the author of a much-awaited memoir, The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter. Her desire to tell her story rose from the casual notes she used to pen on her life from the age of sixteen. What began as a simple journal grew into a heart-warming book written with grit and maturity.
In the past, we have witnessed many female authors, and will continue to do so; however, coming from a poor family and reaching this height is certainly a big accomplishment for Shilpa as well as for the literary fraternity in India.
24 now, academically, Shilpa Raj is an MSc in Psychology, the first in her family to have studied beyond high school. As a proud student of Shanti Bhavan — the institution which changed her life – Shilpa has gone onto helping others through counselling children who have undergone trauma in their younger years. In her spare time, she teaches English and also takes interest in dance and photography. Her passion for writing led her to study the lives of her peers and others in her community whose families have endured hardship and discrimination.
While writing this book over seven years, Shilpa had the opportunity to learn more about her family history and understand its complexities with a unique perspective. In the book, she chronicles three generations of her family and eventually describes how her own role as a woman was carved out differently from others in her patriarchal society through the education she received. Her attempt to reconcile the two worlds – the one she was born into and the other she has embraced– is captured in this book in an honest way that touches every reader’s heart.
The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter will prove to be a milestone in Indian literature. The author who has also been featured in a Netflix Original Series, Daughters of Destiny, will surely awaken the consciousness of viewers. Her reading of passages from her book as a narrator in the film has brought great warmth and sensitivity to the documentary.
Shilpa’s story of what it is to be born into a deprived caste in India wherein women remain oppressed is raw and moving. The arrival of Shilpa on the writers’ dice with her splendid first-hand-narrative will surely stimulate a new movement among the socially awakened. Refreshingly, this author is not taking the help of fanciful fiction to tell the truth – it is her own real story!
You can learn about the book as we get an account of her story very soon. You can find out more about Shilpa Raj on her website:
by – Ravi (an LN contributor)