I went to the cafeteria to get some lunch. It is my habit now to pause and watch the latest news being displayed on the big screen TV. Every day, I get my latest updates about the 2G scam, Kanimozhi, Maran, Anna & Ramdev news. From a far distance I had noticed the picture of MF Hussain being displayed on the TV screen and I thought to myself, “yet another controversy the old man must have got into, sigh!”
I waited until I got my lunch packed to go and then stopped close to the TV when I saw the flashing news “Funeral preparation not yet decided for MF Hussain” and it struck me then that the Picasso of India was gone!
All the frustrating news flashes of scams & Ramdev were gone & the news channels were flashing MF Hussain’s news of death.
I personally like to draw and paint. But the work that artists like MF Hussain or Picasso do is obviously out of my understanding; for most of us! It needs extremely high level of imagination to think, understand & then draw such paintings. And paintings are like poems, the interpretation? - to each, its own. I have known this artist only for controversies more than for his paintings. Frankly, I just now took a look at his controversial paintings, where he has drawn naked Indian deities and his own interpretation of the Bombay Blasts in 1993.
Freedom of speech is too relative! As humans, we support everything that is favorable to us. Moreover, religion is always too sensitive a subject! In a country like India, a Muslim artist drawing naked Indian deities HAS to be super controversial. Of course we are supposed to ignore the naked sculptures we have in our Indian temples. I have seen so many of them and frankly, they do raise a question on the list of taboos that we HAVE TO follow which don’t go in sync with the temple sculptures. This is called hypocrisy!
It is always a juicy topic right? A Muslim painter insulting Hindu deities! Even when I looked at the paintings now, I came up with my own interpretation & understanding which probably wouldn’t be the same with another person or Mr. Hussain himself. Like we say, Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder; I think the same for Hussain’s paintings. The interpretation should be left to you. That is what is ART! It’s vague & ambiguous; it’s not a written text with ONE meaning.
I don’t wish to have a controversial message here saying that he is correct in his drawings about Indian deities. To me he is just an artist. An Artist who was famously known for his controversial paintings, his craze for prominent Bollywood beauties like Madhuri and Tabu and his recent citizenship of Qatar. As I mentioned artists are complex, and the movie Meenaxi he made with Tabu; I failed to understand it, miserably!
It was sad to read news flashes saying he always wanted to return to India.
As Indians, I think we should be proud to have an artist, a painter of his caliber in his field.
A link to his painting: http://www.mfhussain.com/paintings/
Rest in peace Maqbool Fida Husain.