Renaissance man Ashok Fakir Sarkar died suddenly on March 23 at the age of 83.
Sarkar had an amazing life, which included writing and directing documentaries, hanging out with Allen Ginsberg, and working as the public relations officer with the Vancouver branch of the worldwide Vedic organization ISKCON for more than 17 years.
He brought Baul music to North America and also worked for a while as the Georgia Straight advertising manager, in addition to writing articles for the paper. He actually spent a lifetime writing, leaving a voluminous collection of screenplays, books, poems, and stories.
Sarkar started in show business as an actor in Calcutta (now known as Kolkota) at the age of nine. He launched a magic career when he was 14.
Later he started writing articles for Bengali and English newspapers. If that's not all, Sarkar also wrote and directed documentaries for the Indian government in the 1960s.
He moved to the United States in 1967 with his Bengal Folk Band, and opened an ashram in San Francisco. During the next four years, he spent time with Ginsberg, Alan Watts, and other philosophers and thinkers of the era.
Sarkar arrived in Vancouver in 1971, and was hired at the Straight. Later, he joined Pacific Press, which published the Vancouver Sun and Province, where he remained until his retirement in 1991.
He carried on with his passion for film as the founder and president of Sarkar Enterprises and Twenty-First Century Films.
Sarkar also worked as a translator for the Vancouver Police Department, for lawyers, and for people working in the immigration system.
He is survived by his children Kunal, Mitu, Kaniska, Babui, Duhita, Arjun, and Jason. There will be a celebration of his life at the Vancouver Public Library on Wednesday (April 1) at 6 p.m.
There will also be a memorial service on Saturday (April 4) at the Hare Krishna Temple in Burnaby at 11 a.m.