And the winner is...

Rachna Rai, one of winners at the British Council in New Delhi. Photo: S. Subramanium.

Rachna Rai, one of winners at the British Council in New Delhi. Photo: S. Subramanium.  

WELL, NOW it is official that DBC Pierre had lost out on guesswork in India as well. The Dirty But Clean winner's "Vernon God Little" got just 33 votes out of 367 entries in an interesting contest, "Guess the Man Booker Award Winner" organised by the British Council for its library members. The winners were decided by the draw of lots.

Aveesh Dikshit, who won the first prize, went home with all the six covers that made to the final selection. "I voted for `Vernon God Little' because I liked the Columbian style and euphorian (sic) English used by the author. I am sorry but the young generation is not for Shakespearean English. I give tuitions to a few kids studying in sixth standard and I found their tastes even beyond my colleagues and mine. Expletives and four letter words are now very much part of literature," says Aveesh, a first-year student of Bachelor of Engineering at The Delhi College of Engineering. "I was also inspired by the struggle of the man against adversities. The depiction of the innocence of a fifteen-year-old set against the wicked world is really moving and finds its echo in Indian settings," adds Aveesh denying that it was a wild guess.

"I love only these kind of books and given a chance I will love to write for London Review of Books. As for the other titles I will lend them to my friends."

The third prize winner, Rachna Rai, however, was impressed by the topicality of the book. "I found the book relevant because it touches the shootings in the U.S schools that recently shocked the world." An English Honours student at the Vivekanand College, Rachna received a 300 rupees voucher for her speculation. "I am going to buy the book by adding my pocket money." And why she didn't go for the subcontinent's Monica Ali whose "Brick Lane" got the highest number of votes. "I found her work outdated. We have read a lot about living and surviving in closed societies. Now it is time to move on."

Meanwhile, Penguin India has announced that it has acquired the distribution rights for "Vernon God Little" in India. Published by Faber and Faber, the book is a satire on the contemporary values in America.

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