Pune, September 11: We have awards for movies, songs, actors, direction etc… but now even novels will be considered. Actor Anupam Kher has initiated this move that he will start an award for Best Debut Marathi Novel, which will be presented in Pune International Literary Festival (PILF), 2018.
The first ‘Best Debut Marathi Novel’ was presented Best Debut English Novel. The award was won by Bengaluru based entrepreneur Kalyanraman Durgadas for his novel ‘Songs of Kaveri’. The award was in the form of Rs. 1 Lac cash prize and citation. The novel is fiction based on a freedom struggle set in the 19th century in a small village of Tamil Nadu. It is about the exploration of sacrifice. Durgadas is an IT, Madras and IIM, Kolkata alumni who were in the software business and has now started pursuing his passion for writing.
While awarding, Kher said that though he is an actor by profession his passion for reading has made him what he is today. Thus he thought of instituting the award for Debut Writer and not debut actor. He further added that a good start needs to be acknowledged and encouraged because he has been through that phase during his first movie ‘Saransh’. During his speech, Kher also appealed the Hindi writers to submit the entries even if it is in the form of the manuscript to the jury so that it can be considered for the award next year.
“A boy who never got 38% marks is now instituting and presenting an award for Best Debut Novel. This is my revenge,” expressed humorously Kher on a lighter note.
While responding to Dr Manjari Prabhu’s appeal to increase the prize money of the award Kher said that he would rather institute an award for Best Debut Marathi Novel which will also be about Rs. 1Lac cash prize and a citation. Initially, He had announced Best Debut Novel prizes for Hindi and English languages. However, the entries for Hindi novels were extremely low and hence the award for the same wasn’t considered this year.
For the English Debut Novel, more than 60 entries were received from the leading publishing houses in the country of which top 5 were shortlisted by the jury comprising of Raj Rao, Salil Desai and Ravi Subramanium who later selected ‘Songs of Kaveri’ for the first Anupam Kher Award 2017 as Best Debut Novel. From PILF 2018, Anupam Kher Awards for Best Debut Novels will be presented to Novels from Marathi, Hindi and English language.