The curtain of Ekushey Granthmela was unveiled with the inauguration of the Hon’ble Prime Minister. Authors, publishers and readers are all set for a month-long grand gathering. Academy premises will smell of new books.
The mind will be mad. The whole year waits for this month. February is our language month, the month of emotions. I remember when I was working in Bichitra, I used to go to the fair every day with a pad of newsprint and a ball pen. I lived in Mohsin Hall. Bangla Academy in the afternoon. That was the year 1984. The official tour of the book fair begins.
Then I work in a different way. The duty of some of us was to go from stall to stall to inquire about new books. Talking to readers, writers and publishers. Besides, I used to write about the details of the fair. List of best selling books. Pathak Bichitra used to bring cuttings to buy books.
Since then, a close relationship has developed with the book fair. I came from Barisal hoping to see from the writers. I also wrote a little at that time but never knew that a book would be published.
My life has passed through many ups and downs and struggles. But I never stayed away from the book fair. I rushed to the fair where I was staying. Even after immigrating to Canada in 2003, I have come to the fair almost every year.
I came even though my book was not published. I did not think about my financial loss. How many times have I looked for a job? I have run to New York and Calcutta book fairs and we have been organizing the Toronto book fair for the last seven years.
Almost forty years have passed since I started. The scope of the book fair has expanded a lot. Many new authors and publishers have emerged. The number of readers and books has increased.
We have lost many writers. Already about forty five books of my own have been published. If not abroad, this number could have been more. My books have been published by elite publications like Anyanya, Samam, Pallava, Katha, Divya, Rhythm or etc. That’s why I consider myself lucky. I had no one in the world of writing, I always walked alone. But I had passion.
Even though I am abroad, I rush to my dear Bangladesh, book fair with a book of love. My author and publisher friends, my dear readers, rush to pull…