Shilpa Raj’s debut book, a memoir, The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter has been released in India and overseas as well and the book has been receiving a wide and tall success across the regions. Readers are praising the book for the content that is on offer and critics are praising the book for the vision with which Shilpa Raj has written it. Not to forget, this is just her debut book and it has the maturity (yes, we read the book a month ago) to get the attention of the book critics. Shilpa has dealt with her personal life but the general opinion about the book has come out in a different colour. People are saying that the book is about the lives of millions of children who are poor and deprived of opportunities and resources just after their birth only because they are born in a poor family. And we found the same notion being true about The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter!
The book, in short, summarises the life of the author, Shilpa Raj. Right from her birth and the problems that she had to face (even her life was in risk) to the present day that Shilpa has become an icon for the children and youth like her who belong to a poor background. She has written about the experiences she had at Shanti Bhavan and also at her native place, the thatched home which could barely accommodate two people very well! This plot, many would say, can be just another memoir where the author is narrating her story. However, the way Shilpa has managed to forge her personal experiences into the general undertone of the people who suffer in the hands of society is remarkable and this is what makes the book a success it has become!
I have also found the book as a moving metaphor – it tells the story of a child, born poor, who grabs the opportunity at the first place and then tells the world what could be the scenario if there is equal opportunity for all! More than a tale of hope and courage, Shilpa Raj’s memoir also offers the narrative supporting the feminine causes and social justice. She has also mentioned the instances which clearly show that the parents have a larger role to play in the upbringing of children.
In short, the success that a debut book The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter is enjoying is worth it! The book shows the features and also delivers what it promises – a tale of hope, a ray of sunshine and a bold statement that even a child who was let alone to die can achieve many things when she is taken care of and given opportunities like other human beings!