Review by Vinoo
Author : M F Husain
Roughly translates to M F Husain narrates his story.
Dada ki ungli pakde ek ladka,
maa de gayee naam Maqbool,
aur bane phirte hai M F Husain.
Fabulous sketches made with few seemingly casual strokes pepper this book that is like reading a hand-written autobiography. His stories tell us about him. The opening pages have a sketch of his family tree. ‘Mitti ka ghada bol utha’, ‘Maa’, ‘Dada ki achkan’, ‘Purani basti’, ‘Dada ki ungli pakde ek ladka’, ‘Primary school’, ‘Batool’, ‘Ramleela’, ‘Bicycle’, ‘Bandh mutthi das rupaih ki, khuli to dus lakh ki’ J are some of my favourites. Been a real long time since I read a book in Hindi. The fact that it is hand-written makes it much more readable than cold print.
Thanks to my brother for this rare copy. Anyone who wants to read it can hop over. Can’t risk lending.
I remember M F Husain from an interview where he says ‘Na aane ki khushi, na jaane ka gham’. Like the fakir, I’m not jubilant when money comes, nor dejected when it goes.
Maqbool Fida Husain passed away, in an alien country at the age of 96. The country is suddenly all ready to accept him. The same people who threw him out are all praise for him now. When M F Husain paints a nude it is vulgar but the same people can accept thousands of nude deities and even worship the human phallus. We just don’t deserve him. We will see the same drama when a Salman Rushdie is gone. Like Jatin Das said ‘this country has never respected poets, painters, musicians, dancers, artists. Only Politicians, Film stars and Cricketers are of concern to everybody’. Sadly, I have to agree. Jatin Das also did well to point an accusatory finger at the media saying there were over fifty media persons during the vandalizing act by radicals over the nude picture of Sita but not one of them had seen the painting. The media, sadly, hasn’t helped in placing the facts before the people.
Time to revisit ‘Meenaxi’ and ‘Through the eyes of a painter’. Should be possible to get ‘Gaja Gamini’ too. Who wouldn’t be ‘fida’ over Madhuri? I wouldn’t blame him.
Useless trivia : M F Husain’s words were actually hand-written by his friend, Rashda Siddiqui, for this book. It was collated from bits and pieces M F Husain wrote on tissues, old envelopes, bills etc. I think it adds to the book really and makes it a collector’s item.