‘Why Can’t Elephants Be Red?’: A Book By Vani Tripathi


A book feature by columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.

Vani Tripathi Tikoo remarks, “Each book has a journey but this book has two. My first journey was while deciding on the title of the book. I wanted to remember all those little red elephants that you and I have tucked away inside us but have forgotten them because we think like adults now. The second journey was about this beautiful family of 12 people in COVID times, and my daughter Akshara who was just two and a half years old then and is the protagonist of this book, Akku. She was without me, her mother because I was with my mother in Delhi, and she was being brought up by these beautiful people in Singapore. So, these journeys were unique, and it took two different countries to bring up my child.”

Praising the book, Smt Smriti Zubin Irani had at the launch earlier in 2023  saidThis book is proof that a story can be written in pain. I stand here for the family that has kept themselves together irrespective of the pandemic and the challenges that were brought upon by geography. This book is a symbol of your tenacity, Vani, and that we stand shoulder to shoulder irrespective of our gender for those who need us the most.”

Dr Ramesh Chandra Gaur has said that , “This book is coming from a person based on her experience, exposure, and interaction; hence it contains a lot of practical thought; which is the beauty of this book. When you go through the book, you may also feel that you are going through the experience of your own parenthood.”

About the Book

“So, isn’t it fun to think of a crab, who has a moustache, a fish who probably has a horn, a unicorn who doesn’t have a horn, and an elephant who is red? What a fun place that world would be!”

Akku is a lively, imaginative, and adventurous two-and-a-half-year-old little girl. Growing up partly in Gurgaon and mostly in Singapore, she is the darling of her big joint family. From playing with her fishy friends and beloved puppy to discovering the wonders of swimming pools, sea beaches, and malls, every new experience fills Akku with joy and curious questions. 

She loves to scribble, draw and colour and her imagination runs riot with elephants that are red, crabs that have moustaches, and unicorns that don’t have horns. But the biggest adventure of all awaits Akku — her first day at school.

About the Author

Vani Tripathi Tikoo is an actor and teacher who considers The Little Prince as the Bible for all adults who want to understand children. Keeping her work with children alive after having done theatre with kids for more than two decades at the National School of Drama, Theatre in Education Company and has written plays that turned into performances, she has finally forayed into writing for children. This is her first book as an author. She considers children to be the Gurus who saved us from adulthood!

Vani Tripathi

About Niyogi Books

 An internationally acclaimed publishing house, Niyogi Books, established in 2004, has more than 500 titles today. We not only specialize in textual context but also strive to give equal importance to visuals. We purvey a wide range of content on art, architecture, history, culture, spirituality, memoirs, and every aspect, which connects, with our rich heritage. Under our umbrella, we have fiction and non-fiction that cover books on social science, cookery, and self-help as well as the English translation of modern classics from different Indian languages. Niyogi Books have recently launched four new Imprints: Olive Turtle (English fiction), Thornbird (English Translation) and Paper Missile (non-fiction) and Bahuvachan (Hindi Translation: Fiction & Non-Fiction). Also, we have co-published a number of critically acclaimed books with reputed institutions like the British Library, Rietberg Museum Zurich, IGNCA, National Gallery of Modern Art, Ministry of Culture (Govt. of India), National Manuscript Mission, Sahitya Akademi, among many others.

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