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‘Lightning’ Journey - Bill boards to the World Galleries

Barefoot, snow white flowing strands of hair and the paint brush in hand - only one towering personality fits the puzzle - Maqbool Fida Husain, the Maverick with the brush !
For the art analphabetics, MF Husain was the face of modern Indian art, popularly called the ‘Picaso of India’ !

“Life is greater than art.I would go even further and declare that the man whose life comes nearest to perfection is the greatest artist ; for what is art without the sure foundation and framework of a noble life ?” These words of Mahatma Gandhiji are the ‘just’ fit to describe the life of the ever youthful almost centenarian Artist. Gowri Ramnarayan’s enchanting book - Past Forward : Six Artists in search of their Childhood - describes the overflowing enthusiasm and energy the Artist had towards canvas & colour as a child in his own words. This characteristic element flavoured the Artist’s entire life.‘An energetic, generous, and a child like enthusiasm towards life’ - is the way friends describe MF Husain Saab.

MF Husain Saab’s life was energetic, dramatic and galloped powerfully across the globe just like his horses, which he called ‘Lightning’. This brings a Yiddish proverb to mind - ‘The wagon rests in winter, the sleigh in summer, the horse never !’ The amazing, innumerable collections, experimenting with art in all mediums - paper, canvas, glass, sculpture, celluloid depicting pure energy, tremendous life force in search as his ‘Lightning’ horses, are the living proof of the life saga of MF Husain.

MF Husain Saab’s journey as a ‘Maverick with brush’ from the holy town of Pandharapur to the solo exhibition in Zurich which opened his account in the acclaimed art galleries of the world is well penned by the Artist himself in a poetic form. MF Husain Saab was very good with pen as his brushes !

Here I am
at 90 plus and people call me a painter.
I wonder!

Let me reverse the time frame.
At 80 I gained the title of Great grandfather
And by 70 the "Great" was taken off
To be a mere grandfather.

By 60 the "grand" too disappeared.
As father I became very productive.
Six children and hundreds of paintings.
Yet, without a family, a sketch book in
hand and rupees fifteen in my pocket
I landed in Bombay of British India,
year 1936.

Slept my first night on the street
under red light.
May be that night I dreamt the loss
of my mother's lap soon after my
birth in 1915.

A motherless boy starts his long long
journey into the world