Imdadul Haq Milon is often credited along with Humayun Ahmed for creating and expanding readership in Bangladesh. His fame has crossed over to India's West Bengal, as well as among other Bengali speaking readers across the world.
In 2005, Milon was invited to the Takeshi Kaiko Memorial Asian Writers Lecture Series, organised by the Japan Foundation. At the annual event, which invites one writer from each Asian country, Milon represented Bangladeshi literature and delivered lectures about his writings at four international centres in Japan.
Born in Bikrampur's Medinimondol village, the writer spent his childhood with his maternal grandmother. His journey from that village to Dhaka's Gendaria, later in his life, has been portrayed in many of his works. Milon penned his first story â€œBondhuâ€ in 1973. His first novel â€œJabojjibonâ€ was published in Bangla Academy's Uttaradhikar magazine. However, before his novel was printed, he published a collection of stories titled â€œBhalobashar Golpoâ€.
Among the many recognitions Milon has received is the 1992 Bangla Academy Award. The author treasures the admiration of the readers as one of the greatest awards.
Several books by Milon are being published by Ananya Prokashoni at the Ekushey Boi Mela this year. They include: â€œPaach Nayikaâ€, â€œShada Ghorar Sawariâ€, â€œMotku Miyar Girlfriendâ€ and â€œSrabon Jochhna-eâ€. Two other collections of stories are also being published: one is compilation of 50 love stories, while the other is a collection of Liberation War stories.
Milon has also written a book on fellow author Humayun Ahmed, titled â€œPriyo Humayun Ahmedâ€, which is being published by Anyaprakash. Nandonik is publishing a novel on the Liberation War, called â€œShonar Manushâ€. On his latest writings, Milon says, â€œEvery book is like a child to me. Whenever I write, I try to put in all my passion in the words.â€
The Ekushey book fair was held for the first time right after independence, when Chittaranjan Saha laid down a mat on the Bangla Academy grounds to set up a book stall. Milon has been a regular visitor to the annual fair since then. He said, â€œAt that time, I used to go there because I felt a calling of the heart. Poetry recital sessions also used to take place during those days.â€
Asked about how he felt when his first book was published, Milon took a walk down memory lane. He said, â€œBack in 1985, I travelled to Germany. I handed in a manuscript to a publisher before leaving. Returning home after two years, I found that the book hadn't been published yet. Qayyum Chowdhury illustrated the book cover with care, and the novel 'Jabojjibon' went on to become very popular.â€
Milon has published over 150 books so far. His â€œBhalobashar Shukh Dukkhoâ€ sold over 85,000 copies at a book fair.
Aside from being a popular romance author, Milon has also worked on books on very serious issues, such as â€œKalakal,â€ â€œBhumiâ€, â€œPoradhinotaâ€ and â€œNurjahanâ€. Milon received the Surma Chowdhury Award in Delhi for writing â€œNurjahanâ€. On the book, the author says, â€œKolkata's Ananda Publishers first brought out 'Nurjahan', a 1,300 page book. It took me 18 years to complete.â€
Like all other book enthusiasts, Milon waits round the year for the Ekushey book fair. â€œThe fair creates a bond between readers, authors and publishers,â€ he says.