KONI is an inspiring story. Born in a poor family, she fights all odds, poverty, isolation (for daring to dream) and humiliation to win the swimming competition at national level. When this novel was written and when it was made into a film, the story captured the hearts of people. The film won the National Award in 1984. The author of Koni: the Story of a Champion Moti Nandy (1931-2010) has created an entire body of fiction based on sports. He has written 25 novels in Bengali for adults and as many for children and youngsters. Sriparna Mukherjee, who acted the role of Koni in the film, has written the introduction to this edition. Sriparna was a swimming champion.
The inspiration for the novel Koni came from the real life story of Dawn Fraser, the great Australian swimmer. Moti Nandy had finished reading her biography. Coming from an impoverished background, she was spotted by her coach. She went on to win eight Olympic medals, 6 Commonwealth medals and held 39 world records.
Koni is a remarkable story of struggle and inspiration and it is good that its available for non-Bengali readers now. The inner covers of the book give short notes on the various strokes used in swimming competitions now. The book has additional information on the author and a section on ‘What would you have done.’
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