When Imdadul Haq Milon was a student at Jagannath College, one of his classmates brought a newspaper, in which a writing by him was printed. He was showing it to everybody with pride. This made Imadadul Haq Milon to sit back and think, he pondered in his mind, “Why can’t I, if he can write?”
So a determined Imdadul Haq Milon, taking the pen in hand, began his venture in the world of writing. He started with writing children’s stories. Bondhu was his story to be published. The Daily Purbasha printed it with Milon’s name at ‘Chander Haat’, a special page for the children. When Milon saw his name printed in the newspaper, he was greatly inspired, said Imdadul Haque Milon recalling his beginning 37 years ago. It didn’t take long for the writer of the children’s stories to come to spotlight. His first novel Valobashar Golpo catapulted him to fame and from there it all began. Today we bring our readers an update of what Imdadul Haq Milon thinks about Ekushey Book Fair.
What are you thinking about this year’s Ekushey Book Fair?
Ekushey Book Fair is always an eagerly awaited festival for me. It is a great occasion for me as I can meet some of my old friends at the fair. Also at Ekushey Book Fair I can get close to the readers of my books and share their likings, dislikings, opinions or more in the festive atmosphere of the fair. It has become a national fair where the book-lovers, writers and publishers meet.
Are we getting any new book from you at the book fair?
This year I will be publishing the final part of Noorjahan which is one of my widely read novels. It will be published by Onanya Publication. A book for the young children Vut Koto Proker, Ki Ki? also written by me will be hitting the stands as well. Apart from these, a few novels — Bristi Neme Chilo, Kishori, Ful-Bagan er Meye and Hashir Pa(n)ch Upponash, are also coming out at the book fair.
Do you think the teen-agers of our country are losing attraction for books?
When I see teen-agers busy with cell phones, watching TV and other forms of entertainments, I become frustrated and an obliged to think that they are indifferent to reading. But when I see, most of the books are sold from the Ekushey Book Fair, I become doubtful about my previous thought. I think this indifference among the teen-agers is a temporary drawback. I feel readers of Bangla books will emerge in a large scale as books have a permanent place in their mind.
Any message for the people, who are coming to the Ekushey Book Fair?
Thousands of people are coming to the book fair daily and they will continue to come throughout the month. I request all of them to buy at least one book for his or her beloved.
Do you go through the writings of the young generation of writers?
Yes, I try to read as much as I can.
Do you like their work?
The young generation of writers are very modern in their thoughts and way of writing. But, what disturbs me is their apathy towards study. Therefore, there is often a vacuum noticed in the literature arena of young writers. But, I am optimistic that we shall see a few leading writers who will be emerging from the young generation in the coming five or ten years.
You used to host a talk show, Ki Kotha Tahar Sathe on ntv. It was a very popular programme. Why did you stop?
I think no other talk show received as much popularity as it did. It was a talkshow on celebrities. I was a host till completion of 150 episodes. When I realised the programme has reached its zenith, I stopped it. But, I am making and hosting couple of musical programmes.
Who inspires you most?
The only inspiration I ever had came from inside of me. Apart from that the love that I receive from the people also inspires me to write for them.
What would you be if you were not a writer?
I always wanted to become an engineer. For this reason, I studied in science. But 1971 was a turning point in my life. All my dreams were nipped in the bud when my father departed in 1971.
Many claim you as a writer of romantic novels. What is your take into this?
Yes, I have written many romantic novels. But I have written and am still writing on different issues as well.
Where do you want to see yourself?
I want to leave behind a few works for which people will remember me for a long time.