Besharam is a book on young Indian women and how to be one, written from the author's personal experience in several countries. It dissects the many things that were never explained to us and the immense expectations placed on us. It breaks down the taboos around sex and love and dating in a world that's changing with extraordinary rapidity. It tackles everything, from identity questions like what should our culture mean to us? to who are we supposed to be on social media? Are we entitled to loiter in public spaces like men do? Why do we have so many euphemisms for menstruation? Like an encyclopedia, or a really good big sister, Besharam teaches young Indian women something that they almost never hear: it's okay to put ourselves first and not feel guilty for it.
Part memoir, part manual, Besharam serves up ambitious feminism for the modern Indian woman.
Priya Alika Elias is a lawyer and a writer. Elias has written for New Republic, VICE, Gawker, Buzzfeed, Teen Vogue, Outline, Toast, McSweeney's, Vox, Ask Men, Firstpost and Outlook. Her writings cover a range of subjects, from feminism, race and mental illness to dating and music videos, while her essays explore universal questions through the lens of pop culture.
A popular Twitter celebrity, Elias was named one of the 'Amazing Women to Follow on the Internet' by Paper magazine in 2016.
Besharam is directly inspired by Elias' stint as an advice columnist for Burnt Roti, her experience navigating two different cultures, and from the fact that she has never heard a man being described as 'shameless'.