A good start

The New Year has started well and I have had a chance to write on two achievers, both of whom I am rather proud to know:

Today, it was announced that the winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award for English is Rupa Bajwa. The girl from Amritsar has a disarming smile, and a very sharp mind that has produced her internationally acclaimed bestseller, The Sari Shop. Set in Amritsar, the book explores the live of Ramchand who works in the sari shop but dares to dream. What happens next should best come to you from the pages of the book.

Rupa Bajwa is busy working on her next book. She graciously agreed to answer some questions from me. Please click here to read more about this young and gifted author.

Earlier, in a surprise visit, Prof Gurinder Singh Mann came all the way from Santa Barbara to attend the inauguration of the World Punjabi Centre, Punjabi University, Patiala.

Prof Mann is Founder-Director of the Center for Sikh and Punjab Studies at the UCSB, which has done commendable work in popularising Punjab and Punjabi in Western academia. I have known Prof Mann since the time we both were in New York in the late 1980s. He is a man with a clear vision of what he wants to leave as his legacy, and he has untiringly worked towards it. Though he keeps a schedule that is hectic to say the least, he was kind enough to spare some time for me. You can read what I wrote about him by clicking here.

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