Vijay N. Shankar

Studied at Delhi Public School and St Stephens college. Worked on edit desk at The Indian Express and The Statesman. Founded SUN tabloid magazine as Editor. Have written two poetry books and ten other books on Sikhism, short story collection, Storm In Kashmir novel and Shadow Boxing With The Gods. Also, Sunday mag editor at National Herald and Editorial Consultant for German News. Port and author, book lover and especially interested in Spiritualism of New Age and Indian and Zen Buddhist philosophy.


Sun Sign


Three things people don’t know about you?

That I oppose bigotry and religious cultural chauvinism and believe in philosophy of the Vedic Hindu period. That I am especially interested in Kashmir current affairs as well as Kashmiri culture and poetry etc. That I have a great interest in cooking and photography.

What’s your greatest fear?

That someday I will not be able, physically and mentally, to write my books and poetry.

What is your greatest achievement?

That I have almost completed an English book of readings from the Bhagwad Gita in Verse in nearly 200 stanzas.

Which living person do you most admire?

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev,

Who is your favorite fictional hero?

Siddhartha in the novel by Herman Hesse.

Who are your favorite authors?

Hemingway. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Leo Tolstoy. Joseph Campbell Jean Paul Sartre. John Steinbeck

What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

The Old Man And The Sea, Dr. Zhivago, War And Peace, Grapes of Wrath, Anna Karenina, The Prophet, A Tale of Two Cities, The Principal Upanishads.

Is there a book you love to reread?

War And Peace.

What are your 5 favorite movies of all time?

Dr Zhivago. War And Peace. Lawrence of Arabia. Shane. Zorba The Greek.

One Superpower you wish you had?

To disappear at will.

Your epitaph would read? /Last line in your biography would be?

Epitaph: He believed nothing except what was true to him. He valued the words of all who had true ideas. Reading and writing was bliss to him. Bio Last Line: The journey of thought was eternal to him and the only immortality.

If you had a time machine to take you back to any country and any time period, where would you choose to be for your childhood, adolosent , adult life and silver years?

Childhood near the sea near Bombay; Adolescence in Kashmir; Adult life in Australia and Silver Years in a cottage in Shimla overlooking forest and mountains.

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

To be able to play the piano.

Which book you wish you had written ?

A Tale of Two Cities

When and where do you write ?

In my study at home in mornings till lunch.

Silence or music?


One phrase that you use most often?

Live life to the fullest.

Do you have a writing ritual / superstition?

Write only with ink fountain pens

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

If a passage you have written does not feel nice to you then scrape it even if you felt at first it was great and when writing something, if you feel the thought energy fading then leave it aside for days or weeks and come back to it when the words and sentences for that work start coming to you wherever you are.

Vijay N Shankar is a New Delhi-based writer who has spent his adult life working as a journalist. He has been a war correspondent, an investigative reporter for national newspapers such as Indian Express and The Statesman, a magazine editor, and scripted films on Indian culture and philosophy for the Ministry of External Affairs, and television. Post-retirement, Shankar has functioned as a full-time writer. He has authored two books of poetry: Rusted Laughter and The Other Time. His works of fiction include a collection of short stories: The Music Man; and a novel: Storm in Kashmir. His non-fiction works feature the well-received coffee-table editions: The Golden Temple, The Guru Granth Sahib and Anandpur Sahib. This trilogy on the Sikh religion was the outcome of his belief that the Sikh gurus gave all of us a new philosophy by cohering life with spiritualism. Based on his own experiences with dialysis, his book, There is Life After Dialysis (2013), filled glaring lacunae on the subject. Shadow Boxing With The Gods was work-in-progress for nearly five years, during which period Shankar also wrote, Gandhians In Blue Jeans – a book for young people, and created graphic adaptations of Jim Corbett’s The Man Eaters of Kumaon and Hermann Hesse’s Noble Prize-winning work, Siddhartha. Vijay Shankar can be reached at

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