Last week, art lovers from Mumbai gathered in large numbers to express their love for late Maqbool Fida Husain. A legend and one of the greatest artists of all times passed away in London last month. A memorial was organized by his family and friends at Cafe Samovar, a venue h had a very fond association with. The halls just next to it at the Jehangir Art Gallery were bustling with presence of his close friends and well-wishers.
Five of MF Husain’s six children - Owais, Raisa, Aqueela , Shafaat and Mustafa - and their children were three at the meeting accompanied by a number of art lovers and associates who had had long-standing relationship with the internationally celebrated artist, including his muse Madhuri Dixit-Nene. She fondly remembered how the artist visited the family after their son was born. She reminisced: “When went to pick him up, he walked out from the airport with no bags. He put on the same shirt the next morning. We took him shopping and he was like a kid in the stores; childlike and innocent.”
Famous writer and socialite, Shobhaa De, also a very close friend of Husain for several years, recounted the moments that she could spend with him at a hospital in London only a few days before he died. His son, Owais Husain, and Husain’s granddaughter, Manisha, remembered the great man, respectively.
Meanwhile, Owais stated that his father actually wanted to destroy his works before his death. Today, as MF goes from being an art icon to a myth, history would give tell if his idea was right. Personal remembrances and milestones in his life that became major turning points in India’s art history itself summed up the crux of another meet organized by Sahmat.
Motifs from his life that connected him with Indian way of living dotted he venue along with a reproduction of his large Ramayana painting. A brass band played 'Ramaiya wasta waiya' and the people danced to it. Summing up the spirit of his father, Owais quipped: "Had my father been there, he would have danced as well."