'Koni - The Story Of A Champion' is among the six shortlisted books for the awards under children's category.
Title : Koni The Story of a Champion
Author : Moti Nandy (Translated by Sumana Mukherjee)
Publisher : Hachette India
ISBN : 978-93-80143-55-2
Koni - The Story of a Champion, is an English translation of Bengali novel 'Koni' written by the sports writer Moti Nandy. This is a saga of a spirited tomboy Koni Kanakchampa Paul hailing from very impoverished background and her swimming coach Kshitish Sinha who recognized the sparks of potential in Koni and took upon himself to transform her into a swimming legend.
Sinha noticed Koni for the first time in the Ganges while she was jostling with other boys of her age to grab the mangoes thrown in the river by the devotees. This was followed by another chance meeting where Koni had participated in 20-hour nonstop walking contest for a meager prize packet for her family. Incidentally during this time, Sinha was forced out of his club and he was all charged up to prove his point that he had what it takes to make champions. Thus began the alliance between a reluctant swimmer and a coach of undefeatable perseverance, the journey of grit and determination of Koni under the guidance of temperamental coach Sinha. The coach backed his unflinching resolve with strict regimen of diet and exercise for Koni while struggling against the unfair sports bodies at every level, Koni's poverty and his own familial issues.
The feisty young girl fights all battles against hunger, exhaustion, personal loss, poverty, rivalry, abusive team mates and disgrace and yet comes out of all these to finally display her mettle in the decisive round.
Sumana Mukherjee has very effectively brought up the issues of club rivalries, the frustration of experiencing talent being deprived of fare chance and eventually completing the journey from nadir of inadequacy to glory of reaching the goal. Despite facing a huge number of impediments, story of Koni rises above all to motivate and inspire many young aspirants who dream to make big in sports. At some level, the talent does speak for itself, the road may be tough and full of roadblocks but nothing can stop the indomitable spirit to reach the destination. The narrative is simple and can easily be followed by children of 9+ years.
A couple of one liners from the book:
If one didn't push oneself beyond one's limitations, one would never overcome them.
A Brief About The Vodafone Crossword Book Awards:
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The Vodafone Crossword Book Award is one of the most prestigious and popular literary prizes in India that not only recognizes and rewards the best of Indian writing but also actively promotes the authors and their books.
The Vodafone Crossword Book Awards are given out in the following categories:
1. Vodafone Crossword Fiction Award.
2. Vodafone Crossword Non-Fiction Award.
3. Vodafone Crossword Translation Award.
4. Vodafone Crossword Children’s Award.
5. Vodafone Crossword Popular Award.
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