Winners of 15th Raymond Crossword Book Award announced

Posted by Yashvy Savani
January 22, 2018

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Lifetime Achievement Award given to Sudha Murthy

Sadhguru wins two popular awards

In its 15th edition, the prestigious Raymond Crossword Book Award 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 were 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 Somaayaadded gravitas to the evening.

Bollywood was represented by Karan Johar and actor Pooja Chopra.


Following were the awardees in each category


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.”

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, 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 endeavours 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.



The Raymond Crossword Book Award, India’s first and most prestigious Book Award, recognises and rewards the best of Indian writing & Indian authors.  Incepted in 1998, over the years, the awards have been equated to the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, The Pulitzer and The Booker, and are a definitive, veritable platform for Indian Authors.


The very best of Indian writing in English has been honoured with the Raymond Crossword Book Award, including names such as Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Amitav Ghosh, Neel Mukherjee and Kiran Desai are among past winners of the award; thereby raising the bar for its esteem and reverence.


In 2016, for the first time, Raymond Crossword Book Award introduced the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was conferred upon Ruskin Bond by the legend Gulzar.


The awardees, sometimes discovered by the Award itself, have invariably risen to stature in the world of literature; making the Crossword Book Award a definitive barometer for excellence in Indian writing in English.


Wizcraft is one of India’s leading COMMUNICATION & ENTERTAINMENT Company, integrating strategy, creativity and technology to provide unique experiences.

Wizcraft started as a dream of three very different, yet extremely enterprising men – Wiz Andre Timmins, Wiz Viraf Sarkari & Wiz Sabbas Joseph and today, has become a phenomenon in the event industry. They have tirelessly worked towards making Wizcraft, India’s leading communication and Entertainment Company and continue to do the same till date. Headquartered in Mumbai, Wizcraft has offices in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Vizag in India, with international liaison offices and associates across the world.

Wizcraft is in the business of creating experiences and our staunch belief is that an event may be forgotten, but an experience will last a lifetime. Wizcraft, a pioneer in the events, exhibitions, activations, television, PR & digital space has been instrumental in shaping the event management industry in India.


Located at one of the most popular places in Mumbai, VORTEX, Bandra is an ALL IN ONE SPACE – DINER, LOUNGE BAR, CLUB IN BANDRA. Vortex The Fusion Bar, the diner cum lounge bar”, “Club Vortex, for all the hard-core party animals” and last but not the least, Alfresco @ Vortex, the rooftop dining space.

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