Chitta Ranjan’s maiden novel ‘The Elephant Girl’- set in the late years of the British Raj- traverses through the forests of eastern India.

It was that time of history when tales about a mythical girl riding a wild pachyderm was prevalent in the region bordering Assam and Bengal.

A train ride through these deep jungles unfolds the story-line drenched in mysterious occurrences.

All these aroused the curiosity of the lead character Raj Narayan, the crown prince of Paschim Behar.

The mystery haunts more as Raj has survived two attempts on his life.

Even the murder of his father, the Maharajah is intrigued in deep mystery.

All these are disturbing the crown prince of the princely state that stands at the boundary of Bengal and Assam.

What’s more his favourite brother in the royal palace seemed to be linked to a conspiracy to shroud the legend of the elephant girl in secrecy.

What starts as a short trip soon hurtles the crown prince Raj into a manifold ride of adventure, mystery and intrigue as he becomes obsessed to get to the bottom of the mystery of the elephant girl.

His urge to seek out the mysterious girl becomes an obsession.

Even the advanced stage of pregnancy of his wife seems to have little significance to him.

He finds himself in a web of intrigues evolving around succession among the brothers and his beautiful step mother.

Mystery unfolds even as one goes through the chapters of the novel.

Written in very simple and lucid language, the flow spontaneously takes one through the royalty and the intrigues of the jungle.

The natural language goes in a rhythmic symmetry with the plot surrounding the royal palace and deep dark forest with royal secrets.

About the author:

Chitta Ranjan is an engineer by profession, who lives in Perth of western Australia with his wife and two children.

His childhood spent in the verdant north-eastern corner of the country sparked his fascination for nature and wildlife.

On completing his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, he moved to New Delhi for professional obligation.

He lived in Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi and Paris before moving to Australia in 2005.

Ranjan has travelled widely and his hobbies include bird watching and reading.

His passion for bird watching combined with his love of nature culminated in extensive exploration of the forests of India, particularly in the remote north- eastern corner.

His love for the jungles of India coupled with his interest in the history of the princely states under British India, have culminated beautifully in his first novel, ‘The Elephant Girl’.

Asif Ibrahim

Asif Ibrahim is Chief Copy Editor of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: asifibrahim1@gmail.com