Celebrities thronged at the 14th Raymond Crossword Book Award, said to be India’s oldest and prestigious literary award. There was the veritable Gulzar, who bestowed the lifetime achievement award on Ruskin Bond. He said, “Bond sir and I share a deep friendship that goes a long way back.I’d like to say `cheers’ to him for winning this award.“
There was Piyush Pandey , who was nominated for his book in the business and management category , eventually won by author Radhakrishnan Pillai. Amish Tripathi, who won in the popular fiction category , Twinkle Khanna, who won in the popular non-fiction category, and Children’s author Ranjit Lal were present. Sudhir Mungatiwar (State Cabinet Minister of Finance, Planning, and Forest Departments in the Government of Maharashtra), a book lover himself, remarked wittily, “Raymonds dresses up your body , Crossword dresses up your mind.“
Kinjal Shah (CEO, Crossword Bookstores) said, “The auditorium was packed. I’m grateful to the publishing industry in India for coming forward as a family to recognise its own stars. This year, the award was given in 10 categories. We also instituted a first ever lifetime achievement award, making it a total of 11 awards.“
The winners list includes Amitav Ghosh, Amish Tripathi, Twinkle Khanna, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, Ranjit Lal, Sachin Tendulkar (co-authored by Boria Majumdar), Radhakrishnan Pillai, Payal Gidwani, Roopa Pai and Akshaya Mukul.
The evening also saw the launch of the coffee table book, The Benevolent Narmada.Madhu Datta of Raymonds, chief guest Shekhar Gupta, Payal Gidwani, Neel Raheja, shortlisted author Leena Mogre, BS Nagesh, Anupama Chopra and spiritual guru Mynoo Maryel added to the charm of the evening.