12:00 AM, February 04, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 04, 2013

Boi Mela Corner

Imdadul Haq Milon: Romancing the readers

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Shah Alam Shazu

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 “Bondhu” in 1973. His first novel “Jabojjibon” was published in Bangla Academy's Uttaradhikar magazine. However, before his novel was printed, he published a collection of stories titled “Bhalobashar Golpo”.
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: “Paach Nayika”, “Shada Ghorar Sawari”, “Motku Miyar Girlfriend” and “Srabon Jochhna-e”. 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 “Priyo Humayun Ahmed”, which is being published by Anyaprakash. Nandonik is publishing a novel on the Liberation War, called “Shonar Manush”. On his latest writings, Milon says, “Every book is like a child to me. Whenever I write, I try to put in all my passion in the words.”
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, “At 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.”
Asked about how he felt when his first book was published, Milon took a walk down memory lane. He said, “Back 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.”
Milon has published over 150 books so far. His “Bhalobashar Shukh Dukkho” 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 “Kalakal,” “Bhumi”, “Poradhinota” and “Nurjahan”. Milon received the Surma Chowdhury Award in Delhi for writing “Nurjahan”. On the book, the author says, “Kolkata's Ananda Publishers first brought out 'Nurjahan', a 1,300 page book. It took me 18 years to complete.”
Like all other book enthusiasts, Milon waits round the year for the Ekushey book fair. “The fair creates a bond between readers, authors and publishers,” he says.

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