Pune-based writer wins Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar

The Sahitya Akademi announced its annual Yuva Puraskar in 19 languages on Thursday with eight books on poetry, five novels, two short stories, one literary criticism, one play and two essays winning the prestigious award. Pune-based Dharmakirti Sumant has won the coveted award for his dirghank (elongated one-act plays) based on two of his plays, Pani and Charo, Aaro Ityadi.

Still wrapping his head around the idea of winning such a huge award, Sumant has been busy all day, receiving phone calls and congratulatory messages. "I can't even comment on how I feel about the award and how it is going to affect my life. I haven't had time to think about it yet but it has come as a great surprise for sure", Sumant said.

While the play Pani revolves around two people, an activist and a thinker and dwells around the eternal dialectical relationship between being and becoming; the play Charo, Aaro Ityadi, deals with a woman who is not allowed to watch certain Bollywood film because her husband thinks it is not suitable for her. The play Pani has been running for over four years now and is critically acclaimed.

However, Sumant is of the opinion that writers or script-writers do not get due credit in the industry be it in films or in theatre.

Currently pursuing a screenplay writing course at FTII, the 24-year-old has no qualms about joining mainstream film industry. "It is the opposite, actually.

I will not mind in taking my script to a producer if I deem fit, he said, adding that he had written an untitled script for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (of Rang De Basanti fame) with a friend, a few years ago. The project never took off somehow, but I think that is how Bollywood functions. I am hope they will use it someday", he said.

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