Sankar (writer)

Shankar, (born Mani Shankar Mukherjee, and generally known in English-language literature as Sankar) is a writer in the Bengali language and the Sheriff of Kolkata. He grew up in Howrah district of West Bengal.

Bengali author Sankar speaks at the UN.jpg
Mani Shankar Mukherjee

(1933-12-07) 7 December 1933 (age 87)
OccupationWriter, novelist, essayist, researcher
Known forBooks on Swami Vivekananda, Bengali novels

Personal lifeEdit

Sankar is the son of Avaya Mukherjee known as Gouri Mukherjee. Sankar's father died while Sankar was still a teenager, as a result of which Sankar 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 tutor, Hawker for the livelihood.

Literary careerEdit

Mukherjee in 2019

Noel Barwell introduced Sankar 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 Sankar.

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, Sankar 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 Sankar marketed his literary work to Bengali households with the marketing slogan "A bagful of Sankar (Ek Bag Sankar)" 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, Sankar 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.


Sankar, speaking at the UN
  • 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
  • Mansamman (1981)
  • 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 Sankar (collection) ISBN 978-81-7079-091-4
  • Kamana Basana ISBN 978-81-7079-978-8
  • Sonar Sangsar
  • Chhayachhabi (collection)
  • Muktir Swad
  • Subarno Sujog
  • ABCD
  • Charan Chhunye Jai(Vol 2) ISBN 978-81-7612-888-9
  • Bittabasana
  • Eka eka ekashi
  • Rup tapos

Works in translationEdit

  • 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.

Screen adaptationsEdit

  • Many of Sankar'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 Sankar's first novel.[1]
  • His novel, Man Samman, was turned into a film by Basu Chatterjee, Sheesha (1986), starring Mithun Chakraborty, Moonmoon Sen and Mallika Sarabhai.

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Ritwikkumar Ghatak; Ritwik Memorial Trust (India) (1 December 2000). Rows and rows of fences: Ritwik Ghatak on cinema. Seagull Books. ISBN 978-81-7046-178-4. Retrieved 1 July 2012.


External linksEdit