Indian writer and professor Parashar Kulkarni on Sunday was declared the winner of the Commonweath Short Story Prize, 2016. His story, Cow and Company, had earlier been declared the winning entry from the Asia region. This is the fifth year the prize is being given out.
The story, which can be read online here, is about four men who go looking for a cow as part of the production of a chewing gum advertisement in colonial India. The international panel that judged the entries said of his story, “In Cow and Company Parashar has conjured up a large cast and their way of life, and at the same time he has succeeded in exploring serious issues in a way that can make us laugh – and all of this in a few thousand words.” The award was presented by 2015 Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James.
Kulkarni is a political science professor at Yale NUS College, Singapore, and works on political economy and comparative politics. He said, “I am very happy to receive the Commonwealth Short Story Prize which provides an inclusive, accessible and international platform for participation which is particularly helpful for new writers.”