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Archive for June 10, 2011


A lot has been said and written in tributes to MF Hussain, the 'Picasso of India' (as coined by the Forbes).

It would be a mere formality to repeat all that. I write this blog to Offer my admiration for this great icon and whatever little I know about him through some direct and a lot of in direct contact with him.

First thing that comes to my mind when thinking of MF is his silver hair and bare feet, with a rough, white khadder kurta hanging on a lanky, tall skeleton with a brush in his hand. Ninety percent of the times I saw him in this state, whether in the streets of Jama Masjid area or at the airport or in an art gallery.

In his days of struggle, he lived for years in a no star hotel meant for pilgrims called Haji Hotel in Jama Masjid area of Old Delhi .

He began life painting hoardings for cinema for which he recieved few annas per square feet.
As this wasn't enough to make his ends meet, he worked in a toy factory designing toys for a living.

Born in Pandharpur Maharashtra he lost his mother at the age of one and a half years.
The void in his life by the demise of his mother so early, left him searching for a mother figure in beautiful and strong women.
His Mother

As wrote a blogger Shiv Vishvanathan, "For him the mother was the source of reverence, which combined the erotic and the everyday, which gave meaning to his work. Husain saw that eternal feminine in polyphony of people – Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Madhuri Dixit, Tabu and Anushka Sharma. They were stunning women who evoked eternal archetypes".

Mother Teresa

He loved painting women of substance, in all forms -from Goddess Durga, Saraswati to Politician Indira Gandhi to a nun Mother Teresa to actress Madhuri Dixit.

Goddess Saraswati

He did not finish school and his works were his certificates of achievement. Though later he graduated with the top national honours of Padm Shree and Padma Bhushan Awards

He fell for the poise and grace of Madhuri Dixit and watched her film 'Hum Apke hain Kaun” 67 times. After which he immortalised her in his oil canvas. But that wasnt enough for him, so he went on to make a film with her in the lead called Gaj Gamini.

‘Gaja Gamini is a timeless film that explores the woman. The central figure of the film is represented by a mysterious figure called "Gaja Gamini" (Madhuri Dixit), who inspires, arouses, and confuses the common man.’ mentions Wikepedia on Gaj Gamini.

Madhuri plays the roles of 4 awe-inspiring women, two of them well known in history as –Mona Lisa( Leonardo da Vinci) and Shakuntala( Kalidas). Naseeruddin Shah is Leonardo de Vinci.

MF is in'famous' for paintings of women in 'objectionable' forms by some and they made him controversial.

But few people are aware of his Sufi Series of paintings which he painted in the 1970s.

Sufi 1

Sufi 2

Sufi 3

Sufi 4

Sufi 5

Unfortunatley the controversial paintings Naked India, Rape of India and of some Goddesses which though he had painted in the 70s led to his exile to Qatar in the fag end of his life, IN 2010. He took it in a stride and continued his expression through brush unabated.

Such icons are born once in thousand years. Although, Leonardo da Vinci or Picasso did not live in our times but we are lucky that MF Hussain did.

We shall miss you MF.

Sarfaraz Shah, you are the real face of Pakistan

Sarfaraz Shah you are the real face of Pakistan.

You are the face of the youth who constitute two thirds of Pakistan. They say youth needs no spark to ignite, they just need a direction.

Yes Sarfaraz you are the very face of the youth who has all the necessary spark within but no sense of direction ahead.

You are that face of Pakistan who has the great potential lying dormant within it, but the energy that no one cares to harness.

You are that very face of Pakistan who’s steam of helplessness and lack of opportunities to make a decent life scalds it to take the path of transgression.

You are that face of Pakistan who has learnt from his seniors that the shortest path to success is through ‘might is right’.

No one is born a villain, one is made so due to the circumstances.

How could you learn otherwise when the seniors you idolised around you were all offenders in their own right? Snatching petty cash, cell phone or jewellery at gun point in some corner of a street isn’t the only offence.

Usurping the rights of those weaker than oneself, not performing one’s duty sincerely in one’s work, not being honest in paying taxes, not giving the due to the maid in one’s household are all offences . So when you grew up seeing all these misconducts being committed , day in and day out, left and right, all around you, how would you not emulate them. Yes you are this very face of this Paksitan too, the delinquent Pakistan.

Yes Sarfaraz you are the face of that son of Pakistan whose mother sends him off every dawn, at her door with a fear in her heart, whether her beloved son would return home alive, at dusk.

Yes Sarfaraz you are the face of Pakistan, the young and the old, who’s fate is to bear the intimidation of the those who wield more power and who is born to bear the bullying from the powerful at every step, from crib to grave.

You are the face of Pakistan which is seen as a mere clay pigeon by the hungry guns and despot boots simply because they have learnt that the word ‘boots’ is synonymous with ‘stamping’, and the word ‘civilian’ is synonymous with ‘feeble’. And that the boots are worn to stamp the feeble, while the trigger is pulled to shoot at these feeble clay pigeons.

You are that face of Pakistan who dies several deaths each day, while it’s cries and wails of help fall on the deaf ears of the apathetic crowd, which just loves to watch from the sidelines.

You are also that face of Pakistan, like many other faceless and nameless Pakistanis who meet their end ruthlessly on the streets each day, and who’s sacrifices are forgotten long before their spilled blood dries up.

But Sarfaraz you are also that face of that Pakistan, which has the lava bubbling into it’s chests and is waiting for a tiny crater to spill out that ferocious lava. The lava that shall turn to ashes every injustice and malfeasance that has thrived for the past 64 years.

The true face of Pakistan that no one has ever fathomed in the remotest of their dreams.

Yes Sarfraz, I wish you become that very face of Pakistan.

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