Ramesh Singh Matiyani ‘Shailesh’, popularly known as Shailesh Matiyani (14 October 1931 – 24 April 2001),is a Hindi writer, poet, essayist from Uttarakhand, India.
He became most known for his short stories, depicting the struggles and the fighting spirit of the Indian lower and lower-middle class, which he embodied himself and expressed through his writings all through his life, and which gave him the title – People’s Writer or ‘Jankathakar’.And as, Hindi Littérateur, Pankaj Bisht puts it, “how intimate was his depiction of the displaced people from the villages in the urban slums, and those compelled to live and die on footpaths. You won’t find this kind of intimacy in any other language. Matiyani’s protagonists are beggars, pick-pockets, lumpens, drop-outs, marginalised characters. Fatedness – the lopsided policies of progress – they were its victims; and yet, their inner life was so full of humanism and faith.”.Today, many writers view his work, second to none other than Premchand himself, though some like Giriraj Kishore, even consider his story writing, beyond of him as well.
He wrote over 30 novels, including Ramkali and Suryaasth Kosi, over 17 collection of stories including his most popular stories Maimood,Yada Kadaand Ardh angini, 28 collection of stories, seven collection of folk tales, apart from writing numerous essays and over 16 books for children
Ramesh Singh Matiyani ‘Shailesh’ was born on 14 October 1931, in Barechhina, Almora district, Uttarakhand, it was here and later at Almora, that he studied up to High School.
His first novel, Borivilli se Boribander tak was published in 1959, and in his career spanning five decades, he wrote numerous short stories, novels and published many collections of stories and essays. He was also known for his stories for children. He remained the editor of two publications, Janpaksh and Vikalp, for many years . Thereafter, he moved to Haldwani, where he spent the rest of his years, though suffering a depression attack in July 1995, he often travelled to Delhi and Lucknow, for treatment, despite that he continued writing prolifically. He was awarded Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan Award for his contribution to Hindi Literature in 2000.
He died on 24 April 2001, in Delhi and was cremated at Haldwani. After his death, ‘Shailesh Matiyani Smriti Katha Puraskar’ was established by the Madhya Pradesh Government.