Mangaluru, Nov 8,2016: Reports confirm that Dr Geralyn Pinto, Associate Professor of English at St Agnes College, Mangaluru, has won the first prize for her short story, "Here they are, Saar...." in the 2016 International Creative Writing Contest organized by the Save as Writers Group, Canterbury, England. The theme of this year’s contest was ’Rebellion’.
Dr. Geralyn, views creative writing as an agent of social rebellion and memory retrieval, wrote on Nangeli, a woman of the Ezhava community of early 19th century Travancore. The young Nangeli stared society in the face and decided to show it her true mettle. Her self-mutilation in 1803 as a form of rebellion against the levying of the hideous ’mulakkaram’ or breast tax on women, particularly those of the lower castes, the right to cover themselves in modesty and decency, if they so chose. The humiliating tax was eventually repealed by the British Crown, upon pressure from the British Resident of Travancore, Col. John Munro.
Prof. Geralyn’s touchingly narrated story won the first place from an otherwise all-British shortlist of nine stories and was described by judge, Derek Sellen, as an amazing story with a sinuous narrative that impressed one right from the beginning. Sellen said, upon presenting the prize to Geralyn at the Awards Evening held on October 29 in the hall of St Mary Bredin Church, Canterbury, that he had no doubt when he began reading it that her story would be the top prize winner.
This is the third time that Dr. Geralyn Pinto has won a prize in the Save as Writers annually-held International Creative Writing Contest.