“Kitnaa hai badnaseeb Zafar dafan ke liye Do gaz zamiin bhii naa milii kue-yaar mein…”
(How unlucky is Zafar… He become now not granted even yards for his burial within the land of his liked)
During the closing years of his existence, legendary painter Maqbool Fida Husain may also have diagnosed with the pathos of those strains, written through Bahadur Shah Zafar, the ultimate Mughal emperor to rule India. After the rebel of 1857, the poet king wrote this verse, at the same time as exiled in Burma. In 2005, India’s most celebrated artist selected self-exile, while court instances and protests towards him from extremist groups questioned the way wherein he painted Hindu goddesses.He chose to live in Dubai and in the end died in frosty London far from the warmth of his loved country. For Husain, who once wrote about his ft, “Yeh bahut chalein hai, bahut daude hain, magar kabhi bhaage nahin (they walked plenty, ran as a good deal, but never fled),” there couldn’t have been a more irony. And it changed into this ‘feeling of grave injustice’ meted out to her mentor and close buddy by her countrymen, which inspired well-known painter/writer Ila Pal to pen Husain: Portrait Of An Artist.Sufi Soul
Having shared a dating with Husain that spanned 5 a long time, Ila deeply understood his feel and sensibilities. “The nudity in his paintings of goddesses was now not about nakedness; it become approximately innocence and purity. We didn’t do justice to an artist of his calibre,” she laments. Ila insists that Husain became a Sufi soul. “He changed into as much a Hindu as a Muslim. He by no means differentiated among faiths. Before starting a portray, he’d draw a Ganesh,” she says adding, “Painting became like ibadat (prayer) for him!” She well-knownshows in the e book that Husain’s reverence for the Ramayana may be traced back to his early life. “He had a Hindu pal. He’d take a seat with him in temples and pay attention to the Ramayana. Even as an adult, he listened to the Ramayana of each Tulsidas and Valmiki,” she says. Ila recalls an incident where Puri Shankaracharya visited Husain’s exhibition in Hyderabad, stimulated by the Ramayana inside the ’70s. “Puriji remarked, ‘Husain, all your samskaras (rites) are Hindu!’” says Ila. “Husain saab listened to the Ramayana earlier than portray it. Who has cared to do this? You accuse such someone of portray nudes for business purposes?” she asks.My guru, My pal
A young Ila, first saw Husain in the doorway of the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai in 1955. While the rain lashed its wrath outside, Husain vented his innovative fury onto the canvas. “Oblivious of me, he persevered painting for an hour,” she recollects. Six years later, in 1961, she met the celeb painter at his studio at Bhulabhai Desai Institute. She recalls him as ‘the tall wiry man, with a salt-and-pepper-beard’. It was the beginning of a journey together, between a scholar and a master, which advanced to a near friendship. Ila has written 5 books out of which two are on the enduring painter. The two books that Pal wrote on Husain are separated with the aid of 23 years. When he turned into nearly eighty, Ila wrote the first e book Beyond The Canvas: An Unfinished Portrait of M.F. Husain. The second e book has her observations of him and also the conversations they shared. “He changed into my muse. He formed my life, my mindset. I’ve no longer visible absolutely everyone paint like him, stay like him,” she says. “I’d try to get near his mastery. If I saw him getting up at 5am and beginning to paint, I’d need to fit that. Only to locate him getting up at 3am the next day. He considered himself a student for the duration of his lifestyles,” she says.She recalls the time while as a 23-year-antique, she followed a 46-yr-antique Husain on a month-long sketching trip to Rajasthan. “We employed a car and could go sketching together. Suddenly, in the future, he threw his comic strip book within the car and walked away. I feared that disappointed with my drawing, he had walked away in disgust. He back after a long time. I requested him, ‘What came about?’ He said, ‘Look at your cartoon! So a whole lot freshness. Look at mine, fatichar!’ Which artist of his stature would talk like that? Imagine the humility and graciousness!” she remarks. Moreover, Husain brushed off the term ‘guru’. “Every new portray is an announcement of one’s individuality, of 1’s breaking faraway from the past and from the masters,” he once informed Ila. “The boldness, the novel idea which you see in my paintings is from Husain saab,” she keeps.