Award winning screenwriter Imdadul Haq Milon is a household name, despite belonging to a niche artistic community. His first ever screenplay was first aired on BTV in 1978, and since then, he has produced celebrated works such as Rupnagar, Kon Kanoner Phul and many more. His writings have earned him the prestigious Bangla Academy award. Today, the celebrated writer turns 63, and in a recent interview with The Daily Star, he reflects on his career.
Do you have any plans for this special day?
Oh no, I never make any such plans. I lost my father in 1971, and my childhood years were a struggle. Birthdays were never a priority for me because I felt there were more important things to do. My publishers, associates and readers celebrate the day, but I don't feel I am special enough to make such a great deal about myself.
But has someone planned the occasion in a way that was memorable?
On my 50th birthday, my friends Faridur Reza Sagor, Afzal Hossain and a few others organised a gathering at Sheraton Hotel. Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya sang at the occasion, and there were many important people that came on that day. That was a memorable evening indeed.
Aside from being a celebrated writer, you are also an avid reader. What books are you currently reading?
I am re-reading a book by Abanindranath Tagore. Reading his books make me feel as though I'm taken on a vivid, picturesque journey.
Do you have any favorite writers?
Without a doubt it's Rabindranath Tagore. I have many favorite writers, but if I were to mention only one, he comes to mind.
Is there a book you keep going back to?
One book I've read many times over is Kavi by Tarasankar. I plan to read it again.
What are your thoughts on young writers today?
There's hastiness about them - it results in a lack of care in their work. Many don't read as much as they ought to. However, there are a few writers out there doing good work.
You have a large readership in West Bengal as well. What are your feelings regarding this?
My novel, Nurjahan was published by Anandabazar Akhanda. It became a success in West Bengal, and Anandabazar compiled 50 of my popular works in one volume. They've done this for many other popular writers as well. I am grateful for the support of my readers over there. Every year on my birthday, many call to wish me, which makes me very happy.