The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter

The Elephant Chaser’s DaughterSaved By Her Grandmother From Being Killed At Birth For Having Been Born A Female, Shilpa S Life Took Many Unexpected Turns And Twists Through Her Early Years She Faced Abandonment By Her Mother, The Formidable Constraints Placed On Her By Her Family, And The Barbs Of Village Elders Bound By Hundreds Of Years Of Oppressive Practices And Customs That Subjugate Women Shilpa Is Torn Between The Contrasting Lives She Leads One Of Servitude And Injustice Experienced By Her Family The Other Of Opportunity And Empowerment Offered By A Good Education In A School Started By A PhilanthropistJust When All Seems Settled, An Unforeseen Death Under Mysterious Circumstances Shatters Whatever Stability Remains In Her Life Pulled In Opposite Directions, And Torn Between Despair And Dreams, Shilpa Finally Makes A Choice For Her Future Is She Strong Enough To Stand Up To The People She Loves, And Pursue What She Wants At Its Heart The Elephant Chaser S Daughter Is About Hope, When All Seems Lost Written With Raw Honesty And Grit, This Is A Deeply Moving Memoir Of A Young Girl Confronting Her Untouchable Status In A Caste Based Society, And Her Aspirations For ModernityReviews So Far Kirkus Review Shilpa Was Given The Chance To Transcend Her Family History And Perhaps Her Own Karma A Deft Portrayal Of A Young Woman S Growth And Courageous Transformation Through EducationSir Ken Robinson Shilpa Raj Is A Powerful New Voice For Human Dignity And Opportunity And Against The Appalling And Demeaning Mistreatment Of Women Worldwide An Important And Deeply Affecting Book Narrated In A Moving And Intimate StyleSir Ken Robinson, Author And EducatorSri Vishwanath The Elephant Chaser S Daughter Unveils The Secret Of Transcendence Shilpa Raj Is The Future Voice For The Poor And Deprived, Uncovering The Diamond In The Rubble Read Herwell Known AuthorVanessa Roth Shilpa S Story Speaks For Millions Of Families In A Way That Is Immediate, Intimate And Personal Her Book Will Have A Powerful Impact On The Lives And Minds Of Young People Around The Worldlm Director, And Winner Of Academy AwardMadhu Trehan Shilpa S Searing, Penetrating Honesty In The Account Of Her Life Will Change Perspectives And Impact Every Reader It Gives Hope To The Under Privileged And Sensitizes The PrivilegedEditor In Chief, Newslaundry This memoir meanders through social, class, economic and gender discriminations Shilpa Raj takes us into her one roomed hut and the love, care, sexual abuse, domestic violence and illegal activities that happen inside and around it.Shilpa was the chosen one the chosen one to be brought up within the academic corridors of the residential school Shanthi Bhavan It is a school that selects one child from a challenged family and takes her him in in plate to slate model of education.The author is honest about her family issues how she was abandoned by her Appa because she was a girl, but rescued by her grandmother how tgat same Appa was her advocate for her to join Shanti Bhavan how the men flirt and have affairs, the family business of making sarayam, the domestic violence and family feuds, the debts, her own sexual encounters and her sister s mysterious death There is no apology, no guilt she says it as it is This is not the first time that a Dalit woman is writing However, this is surely the first ever bold step of writing the things as they are writing a memoir for nothing less than a debut I am impressed with the writing style, the theme and the handling of the narrative by Shilpa She did not let me feel anytime that this is her very first work And now I see why the book has attracted all the positive reviews from the institutions like Kirkus review and eminent personalities The book chronicles the events of Shilpa s life and focuses on a somewhat a murder in dubious conditions of her sister Kavya Nevertheless, Shilpa Raj makes the use of her narratives from the past to highlight the troubles, the torment and the torture that the people in the untouchable community have to undergo every day mentally and physically She takes up the bitter truth of class difference in Indian society she talks about the issues of feminism she talks about the issues of education she does everything which is required to make the debut impressive and establish Shilpa among the forerunners in Indian writing. Shilpa s book is not just a memoir, this is the work which speaks for those who are almost voiceless En route her exploration to the roots of her family and ancestors, Shilpa digs out the deep rooted troubles and orthodox problems of Indian society The gender discrimination, the class discrimination, the rich and the poor and many other things Her memoir will surely be a landmark in the long road of the Dalit writing in India I really liked reading what she wrote in her very debut work I hope others will also like her work and appreciate the good job that she has done as an author with a motive. Note A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my own, I would like to thank the author and publisher Review I want to believe that life outlives death Shilpa Raj is a phenomenal writer The tone, setting and imagery in the book is perfect and reading about her life, through her own evocative words made the effect than real She can transport you to the exact location through her writing.This is a memoir It is filled with specific details about her life and where and how she grew up She dwells a bit on her village s past as well and everything is placed out for you, which makes it easy for the reader to navigate through the story There are no sudden epiphanies, or plot twists It starts with a tragedy that takes place in her present time, and circles back to it in the end The ups and downs that she and her family have faced are enough to make you rethink the situation of the poor in the country I was glad to read about someone from South India, as voices like these are hard to come by.Even though she is Christian her family is not free from the caste binaries Raj has been true to herself and her family, by not painting an unrealistic picture The paternal grandfather is an alcoholic, so is the father, both are cheap flirts, who like to beat their women The women are married young, the mother abandons the family to work as a maid, and even marriage inside the family is addressed with pure honesty and has not been sugar coated What I really liked about the narrative was the way in which her maturity and honesty seemed to be real She was not a perfect observer herself she made mistakes in judging people, in demanding things that weren t rightfully hers She sometimes sold off her self esteem just to be someone she was not, but in the end it was how she came through these tough times is what made this memoir work for me Food, for us, was a means of survival, not a source of enjoyment Penury, child marriage and survival through making Sayaram alcohol are described in detail She does acknowledge that these things aren t ideal but she also focuses on how the poor can t choose morality over money The realistic quality of the book really hit me these weren t thing unfolding in fiction but real incidents with real consequence and real threat of lives especially for young girls This isn t a political memoir, she focuses on herself and her family but much like everything else, politics tends to be entwined in the lives of people.I would recommend this magnificent piece of work to anyone who wishes to read it It won t bore you, or make you feel like you re read non fiction instead it will stay with you and make you question the privilege that you take for granted When we die, no pujari comes near us Appa said, The elephant must have been from the high caste Samidha Kalia

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  • Paperback
  • 260 pages
  • The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter
  • Shilpa Raj
  • English
  • 11 January 2017
  • 9788129147691

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