In 1958, a young boy from a small town in Madhya Pradesh failed in Hindi in the school final examination, because of which he had to enrol in an agricultural college where there was no Hindi. He completed the course and taught in an agricultural college for many years after. Alongside his teaching, he kept alive his interest in writing in Hindi. He was already an accomplished poet before he published his first novel. That young boy was Vinod Kumar Shukla, the winner of the Sahitya Akademi Prize in 1999 for his novel, A Window Lived in the Wall (Deewar Mein Ek Khidki Rehthi Thi).