|প্রধানমন্ত্রী শেখ হাসিনা বইমেলার উদ্বোধন করেন।|
The month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair – the venue of which is a get-together of Bengalis, kicked off at the Bangla Academy premises on Wednesday.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the fair at around 4pm. The fair was opened to the public right after the prime minister's inaugural speech.
Eminent contemporary Bengali fiction writer and playwright Humayun Ahmed, who is undergoing treatment got colon cancer in New York, had his novel 'Megher Upor Bari' published on the first day of the fair.
Visitors in numbers, mostly young, started to crowd Dhaka University's TSC area, Suhrawardy Udyan and Doyel Chattar hours before the fair started.
"I am very disheartened that I will not be able to have Humayun Ahmed's autograph this year during the fair," one of the visitors, school student Imrul Hossain told bdnews24.com.
"He should (if he can) come to the fair for at least one day," the fan added.
Dhaka University student Sadia Hasan Mim said February was the best time to get close to the writers.
"Everything changes with the arrival of February. The book fair influences our every work during the month. And Humayun Ahmed is the centre of attention at the month-long fair.
"I will be waiting for him to join the fair," she added.
Seven of Humayun Ahmed's books will be published in this fair.
'Megher Upor Bari', 'Himu Ebong Harvard PHD', 'Boltu Bhai', 'New Yorker Nil Akashe Jhakjhake Rod', 'Payer tolay Kharam, 'Dewal' and 'Bachai Golpo Rachanabalir 5th edition' have been published by Onno Prokash and Kakoli has published the other book.
Onno Prokash director Abdullah Naser believed that the absence of Humayun Ahmed would not have impact the fair. "Humayun Ahmed would come to the fair three or four times a month if he was staying in the country."