Muktsar writer wins Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar
Punjabi writer, Gurpreet Sehji, 29, has been awarded the ‘Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar’ for his well-acclaimed novel ‘Balora’.
The award was presented to Sehji, a resident of Panniwala village in Muktsar district, at a function organised by Sahitya Akademi at the Tribal Research Institute at Imphal on Friday. It comprises a casket containing an engraved copper plaque and a cheque of Rs 50,000.
Published in 2017, Balora depicts the life of a youth who always tries to remain true to his words in his every deed.
Speaking to HT over phone, he said, “I am delighted that my novel has won the prestigious award. Through my writings, I want to shatter myths of boldness in society as people today are running away from facing the bitter truths of life and relationships.”
He adds, “In this novel, protagonist Balora is a village youth, but he is very progressive and bold in his outlook. One night when he discovers his younger sister’s lover with her at their residence, he does not get angry but cooly asks him if he is into a genuine relationship with her and will marry her.”
He says, “Balora also does not believe in fate and destiny, but in man’s hard work. He even challenges the powers of God.”
Sehji, who started writing at a very young age, has already penned down four novels and an autobiography titled ‘Kutte jhakh.’ He also directs videos of Punjabi songs.
“I had penned down my first novel when I was in Class 12, but I waited for long to get them published,” said the young author, who is also an avid reader.
“Several directors have approached me to make movies on my novels, including one on ‘Balora’. At present, I am busy in writing the second part of this novel,” he says.
Known for boldness in his novels, Sehji has written a novel titled ‘Gigolo’ about the life of male sex workers and gays. “I write what is happening in society. I want people to accept the harsh realities of life.”
As many as 22 young authors of different languages received the award at the Imphal event. Noted English writer Esther David was present at the award-giving ceremony as the chief guest.