Daily O

Why didn't MF Husain paint Allah the way he painted Saraswati?

[Book excerpt]

The man who was written about the most was the least understood. Most often, particularly in interviews, Husain always said what he’d said before but seldom revealed what he had understood about art and life. In choosing not to articulate it, was he ensuring the sense of mystique that surrounds an artist? However, for most people there was no mystery about Husain; there were only set notions, recirculated and rehashed. Did anyone know what a caring father he was? That he was always there for his four sons and two daughters? Whether it was a serious illness or an unseemly incident, he supported them morally, emotionally and financially.

At that time he did not sit on judgement about the merit of the case. But Husain was capable of a peculiar detachment too. His unconditional love for them and the strange ability to detach himself from their triumphs and tragedies were exceptional. I cannot forget an incident that took place a couple of years ago. He was at my home when he got an urgent call to go to the home of a very close relative who was facing serious threats from another family member. Husain left instantly, took command of the situation, got the police and left. The next day I called up to find out if all was well. "Why don’t you come to Pundole Art Gallery this afternoon? I want to show you my latest work?"

"When did you paint?"

saraswati-690_103117051621.jpgMF Husain's Saraswati.

"After everything

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