In the range of activities that the British Council India hosted to mark the 200th birth of Portsmouth’s favourite son, a writing competition for young Indian authors tested the spirit of creativity and tribute to their favourite Victorian novelist – Charles Dickens.
After Dickens online writing competition ran across the length and width of India, engaged over 170+ writers between 16-21 years. Submissions ranged from short stories to poetry, reportage and documentary and even accounts of Mr Dickens’ visit to India and his candid Tête-à-tête with legends of Indian literature. Some accounted even candid conversations between Dickens.
Armed with exciting entries, we reached the doors of academic Sajni Kriplani Mukherji. Sajni Di (as she’s fondly referred to) is a Dickens expert and her appetite of all things Dickens made our vision even stronger. ”Things are a little tight Arnab. She said to me as I sipped the hot Darjeeling tea sitting beside her study-cum-work desk. I am occupied with a range of family priorities that are not too pleasant.
I’ll try to finish these within 5 days but if I don’t, then we’ll have to work things out slightly different. I grinned with excitement and nervousness hoping certainly for the best of times and not the worst. But as things go, Sajni di smilingly handed over the entries on the fifth day! Hurray!
As a promise, we bring to you her verdict that goes out to all our contributors and their untiring efforts.
A big ‘thank-you’ to you Sajni Di
We present to you the winning entries from the competition.
- Arnab Banerjee