Friday, October 28, 2011

Famous painter, Hussian-The Nomad

The doyen of Indian art, Maqbool Fida Hussain left for his heavenly abode in London. It is a shame that the most revered figure in art, not only in India but throughout the world, had to die in exile. Though an Indian, he died a Qatari. India could not treasure its most valuable treasure.

Bursting with unexplainable energy even in his nineties, Hussain had childlike nature and his very own outlook in art. He liked to remain in contact with mother earth and that is the reason why he always went barefoot. His decision to go barefoot was not some kind of gimmick many people make out to be.

Hussain’s beginning was very humble, having painted hoardings for film advertisements. But he reached the zenith of the art world in a few years and that too globally. He made millions in the process. Today, even his doodle on a paper napkin of a restaurant would fetch a fortune. But he himself remained humble, simple, down to earth and more important curious.

When BJP was in power, Bajrang Dal went after him, for it had nothing better to do. As we Indians have mob mentality, anti-Hussain campaign gained momentum. And though an Indian by heart, as much as you and me, he was forced to go in exile. He frequently expressed his desire to return to the country of his birth. He yearned to roam the lanes of Grant Road and have tea and Maska Khari at his favorite Irani joint. It was not to be. It is a pity that the UPA govt. could not assure protection and make sure he spends his last years with dignity he deserved in his motherland. He died and was buried in London. In life our govt. did not lift a finger to ensure his safe return, in death it offered to bring his body back to India, what hypocrisy.

As Bahadur Shah Zafar had aptly said: “Do gaaz zameen bhi mil na saki koo-e-yaar mein…….lagta nahin hai dil mera ujaade dayar mein……..”

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Header image credit: adapted from David Niblack

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