Mani Shankar Mukherjee
|Mani Shankar Mukherjee|
December 7, 1933 |
Bongaon, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal
|Occupation||Writer, novelist, essayist, researcher|
|Known for||Books on Swami Vivekananda, Bengali novels|
Shankar, 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 is the son of Avaya Mukherjee known as Gouri Mukherjee. 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 Calcutta High Court, Noel Frederick Barwell. At the same time he entered in Surendranath College (formerly Ripon College, Calcutta) for study. He worked in various field as typewriter cleaner, private tuitor, Hawker for the livelihood.
Shankar is a widower and a non-vegetarian.
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.
It is wrongly said that Shankar marketed his literary work to Bengali households with the marketing slogan "A bagful of Shankar (Ek Bag Shankar)" and collections of his books were sold in blue packets through this marketing effort. He never did that. He mentioned it clearly in a 2015 interview.
In addition to his literary efforts, Shankar is regarded as a street food expert with two books on this topic. He also is a marketing professional associated with an Indian industrial house.
- Jekhane Jemon (travelogue) (As It Is There)
- Kato Ajanare (novel) (The Many Unknowns) - his debut novel.
- Nivedita Research Laboratory (novel)
- Abasarika ISBN 978-81-7612-777-6
- Chowringhee (novel) (1962)
- Swarga Martya Patal- (collection of three stories: Jana Aranya (The Middleman), Seemabaddha (Company Limited) and Asha Akangsha)
- Gharer Madhye Ghar
- Nagar Nandini
- Banglar Meye ISBN 978-81-7079-454-7
- Simanta Sambad ISBN 978-81-7079-554-4
- Kamana Basana ISBN 978-81-7079-978-8
- Purohit Darpan
- Sri Sri Ramkrishna Rahsyamrito
- Mone Pare
- Samrat O Sundari (novel)
- Charan Chhunye Jai ISBN 978-81-7079-528-5
- Jaabar Belay ISBN 978-81-7267-066-5
- Mathar Opor Chhad
- Patabhumi ISBN 978-81-7612-637-3
- Rasabati ISBN 978-81-7612-637-3
- Ek Bag Shankar (collection)
- Kamana Basana ISBN 978-81-7079-978-8
- Sonar Sangsar
- Chhayachhabi (collection)
- Muktir Swad
- Subarno Sujog
- Charan Chhunye Jai(Vol 2) ISBN 978-81-7612-888-9
Works in translation
- Chowringhee translated by Arunava Sinha into English ISBN 978-0-14-310103-1 and ISBN 978-1-84354-913-0. Translation is pending into Italian. In 2013 the novel has been translated into French by Dr Philippe Benoit, sanskritist and head of Bengali department of Paris National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO), published by Gallimard house.
- The Middleman translated by Arunava Sinha from "Jana Aranya" into English ISBN 978-0-14-306671-2.
- The Great Unknown translated by Soma Das from "Kato ajanare" into English ISBN 978-0-670-08443-2.
- Thackeray Mansion translated by Sandipan Deb from "Gharer Madhye Ghar" into English ISBN 978-0-143-42006-4.
- Many of Shankar's works have been made into films.Some notable ones are - Chowringhee, Jana Aranya and Seemabaddha, out of which the last two were directed by Satyajit Ray .
- In 1959 Ritwik Ghatak started making a film Kato Ajanare based on Shankar's first novel.
- I am happy I had a ticket to ride in the 50s: novelist Sankar Indo-Asian News Service, August 22, 2008
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