, real name Mani Shankar Mukherjee
, and generally known in English-language literature as Sankar
is a very popular writer in the Bengali language
. He grew up in Howrah district
of West Bengal
Shankar's father died while Shankar was still a teenager, as a result of which Shankar became a clerk to the last British barrister of the Kolkata High Court, Noel Frederick Barwell.
Noel Barwell introduced Shankar to literature.
After Noel Barwell's sudden death, Sankar
, the professional version of his name adopted for the law courts, sought to honor Barwell. "First, I wanted to build a statue. It was not possible. I then wanted to name a road. Even that was not feasible. And then I decided to write a book about him," according to Shankar.
That impetus led to his first novel, about Barwell, that according to some critics is perhaps the most stimulating -- "Kato Ajanare" (So Much Unknown).
At the same time period in 1962, Shankar conceived Chowringhee
on a rainy day at the waterlogged crossing of Central Avenue and Dalhousie - a busy business district in the heart of Kolkata. The novel, set in the opulent hotel he called Shahjahan, was made into a cult movie in 1968.
Shankar marketed his literary work to Bengali households with the marketing slogan "A bagful of Shankar (Ek Bag Shankar)". Collections of his books were sold in blue packets through this marketing effort.
In addition to his literary efforts, Shankar is regarded as a street food expert with... Read More