Mani Shankar is a lonely man; rather, he chose loneliness. Preferring to spend a couple of months alone, to his travel to the U.S.A with his wife to be with his children, he impulsively decides to spend his time in Joshimatt, a lovely base camp on the way to Badrinath in the Himalayas, immediately after sending off his wife from the Chennai airport. Mani Shankar’s experiences in this story are testimonies to the eternal truth that we all have a grand purpose in our life and our life journey is a journey towards our fulfillment. Things happen towards this journey of ours. That includes our loneliness, too.
Life is full of strange coincidences. We have all come here for a purpose, we may not know. Everyone meets everyone else to help them know ‘who they truly are.’ Once we realize ‘who we truly are,’ we feel our life is fulfilled.
This story is about the people Mani Shankar met in Joshimatt. A mentally retarded, lonely, adolescent girl. A lonely, high ranking Colonel in the Army. A young, lonely hotelier. A young Christian nun, A doctor couple from Ajmere, who had lost their only son. An astrologer-priest in a temple, who is still searching for his lost wife.
And Mani Shankar has his love story to tell too. All intertwined.
The Sisters-In-Law by Gertrude Atherton
The Boy Runners and the Deargbeithíoch by Gil Hardwick
The Fake Mask by Sethu Subramanian
বিশ্ব দরবারে বাংলা সাহিত্য (প্রবন্ধ গুচ্ছ-আমার চোখে) by Arup Jyoti Bhattacharya