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A Literary Night to Bookmark! 14th Raymond Crossword Book Award in Mumbai celebrates Indian Writing

Lyricist Gulzar bestowed the Lifetime Achievement award to author Ruskin Bond

Raymond Cross Book Award 2014, Youtube

Mumbai, November 30, 2016: It was a literary night at the National Centre for the Performing Arts when authors of all genres arrived at the 14th Raymond Crossword Book Award here.

Lyricist Gulzar bestowed the Lifetime Achievement award to author Ruskin Bond at the 14th Raymond Crossword Book Award on Tuesday.

In fiction category, it was ‘Scion of Ikshvaku’ by Amish Tripathi which won the award in the popular fiction category. Twinkle Khanna’s ‘Mrs Funnybones’ took the popular non-fiction award.

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‘Playing It My Way’ by Sachin Tendulkar (co-author Boria Majumdar) was given the award for best biography while Radhakrishnan Pillai bagged the popular award in Business and Management category for his book ‘Chanakya in You’.

Health and fitness book ‘Body Goddess’ written by Payal Gidwani got the award in the health and wellness category while it was Roopa Pai who was awarded for children’s writing for her book ‘Gita for Children’.

Amitav Ghosh was awarded the Crossword Book Award – jury in the fiction for his ‘Flood of Fire’ while in the non-fiction category it was ‘Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India’ by Akshaya Mukul which bagged the jury award for best non-fiction.

‘The Sun That Rose From the Earth’ by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi was given the jury award for the best translated book and Ranjit Lal won the jury award in the children’s book category for his writing ‘Our Nana was a Nutcase’.

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The evening also saw the launch of the coffee table book, ‘The Benevolent Narmada’, featuring photographs by Hari Mahidhar and script by Vithal Nadkarni.

Accepting the award, author Ruskin Bond, addressing the event through a video conference, said: “I’m told, Gulzar is coming to give me the award. I’m 82 years old now, and don’t travel around much. But it is great to receive this award from him and from Crossword Bookstores.”

Author Ranjit Lal, after receiving the award, said: “This recognition is special because ‘Our Nana was a Nutcase’ is not an ordinary story. Nana is actually bringing up his daughter’s four children. There is a brilliant role reversal, when the children witness their Nana’s gradual decline with Alzheimer’s, come to terms with it and slowly realise that it is they who have to be the caregivers for their Nana.”

“It feels wonderful to win the Popular Award because it means the book has truly resonated with young readers, which is what every writer truly wishes for her book. Children’s literature, in India as everywhere, needs all the help it can get to reach a wider audience,” author Roopa Pai said, after winning the award in children’s book category.

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Author Amish Tripathi said: “It is an honour to receive the popular Crossword Book Award in the fiction category for the book ‘Scion of Ikshvaku’. It is an award decided by the readers. It is the job of a writer to write a book but it is only when it’s picked by readers, liked by readers that makes its true purpose.” (IANS)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393