Nandita Khan’s ‘The Elephant in the Room’ addresses bullying | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 22, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:38 AM, November 22, 2019

Nandita Khan’s ‘The Elephant in the Room’ addresses bullying

Nandita A Khan launched her first book, The Elephant in the Room, at the Dhaka Lit Fest this year. Shafrin Islam is the illustrator of the children’s book. Reflecting the idiomatic meaning of the phrase, the elephant in the room, the book addresses an obvious problem that people do not generally want to talk about. The story revolves around Tony, a pink elephant who is bullied. It aims to teach readers to appreciate the differences between individuals.

Nandita drew from her personal traumatic experiences for the book. Timmy, one of the characters in the story, is based on Nandita’s sister, while Etana is based on her best friend. She believes that the support of loved ones plays an important role in overcoming the challenges that come with adolescence.

Writing children’s literature brings Nandita a sense of accomplishment, as very few authors write English books for children in Bangladesh. She enjoys reading the works of Jane Austen, Virgina Woolf, George Elliot, the Bronte sisters and Beatrix Potter.

The debutant author completed her BA with a dual major in English Literature and Linguistics from North South University.  Later on, she pursued her master’s in Public Relations (PR) at University of Westminster in the UK. During that time, she watched plays at the Globe Theatre, visited Stratford-upon-Avon, and spent a day at Jane Austen’s home in Hampshire. She also visited Canterbury and Beatrix Potter’s Museum at the Lake District. In addition, Nandita completed an internship at the London Fashion Week, the New-Look Press Office and worked part-time at a vintage boutique cafe and store.

After returning to Dhaka, Nandita briefly worked at the English Department of BRAC University as a lecturer before joining Forethought PR. After her marriage, she taught Public Relations at the Media Studies and Journalism Department of ULAB. During this time, she received a job offer from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Bangladesh, which she readily accepted. After working at the embassy for four years, Nandita decided to take a break from jobs to pursue writing.

She further plans to continue the series of  The Elephant in the Room, addressing different issues that children and young adults deal with in their daily lives. She hopes to publish another book at the Dhaka Lit Fest next year.   

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