Husain Ki Kahani Apni Zubani
M F Husain, Husain ki Kahani apni Zubani, Ahmedabd: Archer Art Gallery, 2010
184-page book containing 88 drawings printed in highest standards of lithography, deckled edged paper printed on special deluxe handmade paper; decorated original boards
20.2 x 14 x 1.4 in (50.5 x 35 x 3.5 cm)
SIGNED and limited edition of 250 copies of which this is number 146. Initially mentioned as "246" which has been crossed and corrected to "146".
The book was published to celebrate Husain's 95th birthday and was only meant for his family and friends.
THE barefoot artist, M.F. Husain, wrote his autobiography in Urdu. Titled M.F. Husain ki Kahani Apni Zubani, it is said to be inspired by Ghalib's couplets:
By quoting the second couplet, Husain seems to allude to his passion for walking barefoot. His works show him to be inspired by the past, and he ever so easily walked from the present into the past, from where he embarked on a journey to pre-historic ages. The harsh realities of the present were not lost to him.
Despite the fame he gained as an artist, and the transformation into M.F. Husain from Maqbool Fida Husain, he did not allow the young Maqbool to disappear. As described in the autobiography, the boy Maqbool goes on reminding him of the early years spent in poverty.
M. F. Husain ki Kahani delves deep into Husain's imagination; there are instances where he talks about Imam Hussain's horse Duldul as well as Buraq which carried the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) to the skies. There are references to themythological horse of Ramchandrji Ashomidh. In these reminiscences the young Maqbool interrupts the narrative to remind Husain not to forget Achhan Mian, the horseshoe maker, and Kalloo Mian, the tonga walla who helped develop his fascination for horses.
Husain's mother died when he was just a year and a half and his grandfather, Abdul, filled that role. At the time of his death, Abdul handed Husain a 10 rupee note which played a significant part in his life.
Husain never forgot the first sale he made. At a street corner in Indore, a stranger appeared from nowhere and paid him 10 rupees for the painting he was working on. This was how he started off as a painter. The money reminded him of the 10-rupee note given to him by his dying grandfather.
Husain also narrates his dramatic meeting with Madhuri Dixit at an award function in 1994. Though a stranger to her status as an award-winning actress, he became deeply entranced by her persona.
The autobiography summarises how a boy born in Pandharpur went to Indore and grew up to become Maqbool, the painter. Bombay conferred on him the title of M.F. Husain, the artist, while in Delhi he was awarded the Padma Bhushan.
During his wanderings from city to city and country to country, Husain met a host of people. Whenever he was asked about them, his reply was, "If I try to enumerate them, it will give the impression of name dropping. I can only say:
Husain's prose style is praiseworthy. The best example of this distinct style is when Husain writes:
"The age of M.F. Husain has not yet come to an end. In fact, he is in the midst of three periods, the period of love and beauty, the period of art and film, the period of worldly worries, gham-i-rozgar....Husain is awake with colours on his canvas and his devotion to the apsaras of Bollywood. He has already touched the feet of deities sitting in Ajanta and Ellora. He has been wondering all these years in the bazaars of beauty. But he is not a merchant of beauty. He is there as a distributor of beauty. But don't forget the Maqbool of yesteryears, who kept standing in the line for two hours to purchase a two anna cinema ticket. This is not a film script. This is a scene from real life, the life story of Maqbool not known to the people. They only know 'M.F. Husain' as he now is." - Article from "M.F. Husain: The Life Story", Dawn, June 18, 2011.