Chameli, Chandani & Suresh are the true faces of the teeming millions of our society in which
abandoned children are too many to cope with. This novel reflects the plight of these unfortunate
siblings whose misfortune it is to fall into the bands of anti-social elements.
By a quirk of fate they are lost to one another. Each one grows up in a bostile environment, being left to
fend for herself or himself and to face the harsh realities of a cruel world. One is thrown into the sordid
company of drug addicts, the other unwittingly lands in the clutches of
The story is replete with events. Chameli (later known as Elsie) is hoodwinked by the police into
embarking on a journey to Hong Kong to trace her lover, the gangster. But the mysterious sun Yee On
confuse her and the notorious Xiexi Gang confounds her. And all these incident, together with the role
of the police and the bureaucracy, are woven into a tale to create spice and adventure
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The author lives in New Delhi.
She is a post graduate from Delhi University and she acquired her M Phil degree (on the thesis, ‘The Home Rule Movement in Western India’) also from Delhi University. She had a long teaching career in Mater Dei School in Delhi where English and Social Studies were her teaching subjects. She did a year’s stint in journalism in Ahmedabad and has written a number of articles for the Indian Express. Her book, ‘The Ficus Tree & Other Stories’ is her first publication. It is a collection of stories that she has written from her interaction with students. It also contains stories on other topics, among them a discovery of an old ship wreckage which traces the story of a missing warship during the 1962 war with the Portuguese, a smalltime neighbourhood tailor who finds himself victimized by the police and there is also the story of a dissatisfied spirit that hovers over a long-forgotten graveyard of
Her second publication is ‘Waging a Silent War.’It is her first novel, covering the period when revolutionary activity was rife in preindependent India. Though the novel is based on facts and some members of the family were involved in secret activities, much of the story has been written keeping the dramatic element in mind. Shaha has been a student of History and she takes a keen interest in reading fiction with a historical background. She is interested in art and culture and contributes some time in making the movement, Spic Macay, a success. She is an avid painter, having done a fine arts course in the J.J. School of Art and a spell at Triveni Kala Sangam. She has tried her hand at portrait painting but she prefers still life and painting plants of different varieties. At heart, she is a family person, hoping to have the children around as much as possible, though of course the exigencies of work keep them away from Delhi.
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