Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee handed over CESC Shrishti Samman to noted writer Manishankar Mukherjee, popularly known as Shankar, at the inaugural session of the International Kolkata Book Fair organised by the Booksellers’ and Publishers’ Guild on Thursday afternoon.Born in December 1933 at Bongaon, Shankar was the neighbour of Bibhutibhusan Bandopadhyay, author of Pather Panchali. His father Haripada Mukherji moved to Howrah shortly before the second World War, which is where the formative years of the well-known author began. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedFollowing the untimely death of his father in 1947, began the writer’s difficult journey as a street-vendor and then a typewriter cleaner. He was a temporary teacher at Vivekananda Institution and later found a job in a jute broker’s office. In 1951, Shankar met Noel Frederick Barwell, the last British member of the Bar-of-England practising in India. He became his last clerk. In 1954, following the death of Barwell, the author started writing his first book, which was serialised as Kata Ajanare. There has been no looking back for him since and he continues to command an enviable readership in India and abroad. The range of Shankar’s writing is astonishing, from fiction, short story, memoirs and travelogues to his enormously popular books on Vivekananda. One of his biggest best-sellers Chowringhee has been translated in many languages across the world, including English, French, Russian, Italian, Spanish and Chinese. Shankar also enjoys a vast readership in India and Bangladesh across many languages.