If you are reading this article, I hope you have something to do with Mr. M. F. Husain. Anyways jokes apart, anybody can read this and comment too.
My M. F. Husain fever more or less started with my sketching classes. I have always been a lover of arts, sketching, painting etc. In those days (First year Engg, 2004), I was looking for some classes to tune up my hands on sketching. One fine evening while discussing with an artist friend, I came to know about a class (Kalakalpa, Nullstop, Pune) which used to give sketching materials and three workshops in the total period provided you enrol! It was more like a distance learning course with only three workshops or to be called face to face sessions. They had three types of course sets designed for sketching: Portraits, Landscape and Basic. I ran to their office and got enrolled for a Portraits course. It went well. But as per my habits, I am always deeply engrossed with anything I do. I do it full heartedly. I went too much into arts fever mismanaging most of other college works or other activities.
Class materials and workshop sessions were going on well when I found about Mr Husain. I read about him and saw his paintings. I realised lots of new things in him. I had seen lots of other paintings, but his style was different. He has his own way of painting and creating big canvases out of his master brushstrokes. I really mean you can see a painting, and find out if it belongs to Mr Husain or not. His style is clearly reflected in any of his works. This marked the beginning of the M. F. Husain fever phase. I became more and more interested in him. I started collecting news articles, stories published from and about him. A clean neat file was separated from other files just to file those articles, news stories and painting published. The fever kept on increasing. I used to sit on the internet for hours downloading his paintings and articles. The folder on my old pc at home, dedicated to him finally contained more than 200 paintings. I simply liked his style, his choice of colours, his attitude towards life and painting. I read all the reviews by different artists on his paintings. He has always been in some or the other controversy every now and then. It may be due to his affection towards Madhuri Dixit (the famous actress of Bollywood), or his movies, or walking barefoot or throwing his brush on the screen in the “Hum Apke hain kaun” show or anything like that.
The fever was not over yet. It went on. I read somewhere that there are some books about him. I also found that he has his autobiography published with co-writer as Khalid Mohammed, the famous Bollywood director. I checked it out in the Crossword. I had only seen that copy once in the Crossword, Sohrab Hall. I was very disappointed because I did not have enough coins in my pocket to buy it and that was the only single copy left. I started saving pennies, cutting down my expenses. It took a long time, since the book costed 1500 bucks. You can imagine, I was just a student and not a self-earning guy. I did not want to trouble my parents for the cost. One more reason of not troubling parents is that I liked Mr Husain, they dint. Finally after few days, I was able to save the kind of money required to buy that book. But to the biggest disappointment, I searched for that most awaited collection at every possible place but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I still checkout big bookstores for it, but no lucks so far. In the mean time when I was saving money for the book, I wrote a letter to him saying that I really love your paintings and asked for his autograph and visiting card. But sad, I never got a reply. I kept visiting art galleries during all the exhibitions, especially when it was his. One day, to locate one of the galleries where his exhibition was displayed, I kept searching for whole day. I finally reached that place after searching for almost 4 hours. It was a non famous kind of small restaurant at a place called deccan in Pune.
There is one more thing to be brought to your attention. I knew that he had created a movie called “Gajagamini” showcasing Madhuri Dixit. I was desperate to find the CD since it was the work of my admiration. I kept looking for it. However, the movie did not work so well, so even to get a copy was difficult. I checked local stores, rental stores. Then I approached some big stores. One of them had a copy (only one) and that too dint work when I asked him for a trial. Then it took me one more month to find a guy who could get me this CD from Mumbai for 200 bucks!! I saw it and I realised that movie was not worth wasting two months to find it. If you see it from an artist’s point of view, then It was really blossomed with various different styles, canvases, it was like a painting drawn on very big canvas.
Nowadays I am not so much into it, but I am still a fan of Mr. Husain. I still have the collections I did in past, still my eyes search for that book whenever I visit any bookstore. Out of these few visits, sometimes I cannot control my heart to go to the beautiful girl standing at the counter and ask her, “Ma’am, Can you get me copy of ‘Where art thou lives’, the M. F. Husain autobiography. Ma’am I had seen it here once……………………………………..”