In its 15th edition, the prestigious Raymond Crossword Book Award in Partnership with Wizcraft, Kotak and RCity as Associate Sponsors witnessed a spectacular literary event. The exceptional and bestselling literary works of the year 2017 were celebrated at the majestic Royal Opera House – Mumbai.
Raymond Crossword Book Award is the only Literary Award in India for Indian Authors spread across Lifetime Achievement, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children’s, Translation and Popular Categories . Speaking on the occasion, Maulik Desai, Head Crossword Bookstores said, “For the last 15 years, the Raymond Crossword Book Award has discovered new and exceptional authors and shared a wealth of literary talents to a wider audience.”
Sudha Murty, Padma Shri (2006) and prolific author in both Kannada and English, was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award for her exemplary contribution to Indian writing in English.
Accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award, veteran author Sudha Murthy said, “ I was surprised when I came to know that I’m getting this award. I thought this is their way of telling me to retire, ” she said in jest.
“I have been writing for 40 years now, but started writing in English only when i was 56 years old. Independent of Narayana Murthy and the company, the one thing that is my own is my writing.”
Handing over the award to Sudha Murty was world’s leading cardiac surgeon Dr. Ramakanta Panda, Mrs. S Raheja, and Dr. Amit Karkhanis.
Presiding over the function, Dr Ramakanta Panda said, ” The pen holds the power of discovery and creation within itself. This evening is an ode to this power and Im glad to be here today.”
Authors Josy Joseph, Radhakrishnan Pillai, Anita Nair, Harshad Marathe, Ravi Subramanian, Ambi Parmeshwaran, Roopa Pai, Shobhaa De, Bhawana Somaaya added gravitas to the evening.
Bollywood was represented by Karan Johar and actor Pooja Chopra.
Following were the awardees in each category
WINNERS: POPULAR AWARD
Fiction: Our Impossible love by Durjoy Datta
Non-fiction: Inner Engineering- a Yogi’s guide to joy by Sadhguru.
Biography:An Unsuitable Boy by Karan Johar and Poonam Saxena
Business and management:The Target by Shantanu Guha Ray
Health and fitness: A Taste of Well-Being: Sadhguru’s Insights for Your Gastronomics
Children: The Stormbringer by Archita Mishra
Actor Pooja Chopra and Maulik Desai, Head of Crossword Bookstores announced the popular award in the non-fiction category to Sadguru, for Inner Engineering- a Yogi’s guide to joy. Sadhguru, who couldn’t be present, shared in a video message, ” This award is for the millions of people, who are brave enough; instead of looking up in hope, they are willing to look inwards and find their own solutions. For their courage, they need an award. This award is for those who are willing to turn inwards. Looking up has caused one kind of distress; and looking out has caused a different level of destruction. Looking inward is the only solution.”
The book was also a New York Times and Washington Post bestseller, soon after the launch in September 2016.
Dr.Amit Karkhanis of Dr.Tvacha Clinic and veteran author Shobhaa De announced the best fiction award to Durjoy Dutta.
Karan Johar too was delighted to receive an award for his first book at the hands of head honcho Neel Raheja,” I was initially quite sceptical, whether i want to share such a large part of my life, through this book. I call it a memoir, and not a biography. Im too young at 45 to have a biography written. The idea was not just to have a puff piece,but an honest account of my growing years and the experiences that I’ve had. Writing this with Poonam Saxena has been therapeutic for me, and Im grateful to her. It was a cathartic experience. It is ok to be unsuitable, and thats what the book is all about.”
Fiction: Harilal and sons by Sujit Saraf.
Non-fiction: A feast of vultures by Josy Joseph
Children: Muezza and Baby Jaan by Anita Nair and Harshad Marathe
Translation: A preface to Man, authored by Subash Chandran and translated by Fathima. EV, Malayalam
Maulik Desai added,“Like all other aspects of our lives, the world of books is also changing. There is a community of young writers and readers today, who prefer fast reads, crime capers and thrillers; while pure literature continues to have a loyal steadfast audience. Our awardees, every year, represent a mix of both.”
Also present at the awards were prominent guests such as Shaina NC, Kinjal Shah, Rashmi Uday Singh, Anupama Chopra and Swati Popat Vats.
Commenting on the evening, Sabbas Joseph, Director, Wizcraft Entertainment International Pvt. Ltd said, “We are humbled to be a part of such a prestigious endowment that not only endeavors to bring together the entire literary community but also simultaneously provides a great platform to promote Indian authors and their books. Wizcraft’s partnership with Crossword for the grand 15th edition of Raymond Crossword Book Award this year was indeed a great association that brought forth a unique literary experience like no other.”
Another facet to the event was an interesting panel discussion on “I want to be an Author” with budding teen authors, and publisher Anup Jerajani, moderated by renowned Ms.Anupama Chopra – National award winning film critic and editor of the digital platform Film Companion.