This is the third time that Geralyn Pinto has won a prize in the Save as Writers annually-held International Creative Writing Contest. 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’ in commemoration of the Irish Rising of Easter, 1916. Geralyn’s powerfully-told 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.
Geralyn, who views creative writing as an agent of social rebellion and memory retrieval, chose to write on Nangeli, a woman of the Ezhava community of early 19th century Travancore.
The young Nangeli looked at society in the face and decided to show it who she really was. Her self-mutilation in 1803 as a form of rebellion against the levying of the hideous ‘mulakkaram’ or breast tax earned all women, but particularly those of the lower castes, the inalienable 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The humiliating tax was eventually repealed by the British Crown, upon pressure from the British Resident of Travancore, Col.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.
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 Geralyn Pinto has won a prize in the Save as Writers annually-held International Creative Writing Contest.
The website of Save As Writers introduces it as Canterbury’s liveliest writing group. Founded in 2002 by Luigi Marchini, it started as a small group of creative people meeting to critique each other’s poetry and prose.