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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Meeting MF Hussain...

It was June 1991.
I walked down a deserted hospital corridor in Pune, at 11 pm in the night, heading for the lift at the end.
Just as I reached the lift, the doors opened: there stood a tall, fair man, with a white beard in the lift. He gave me a half-smile, and stepped out of the lift, and walked down the corridor. He seemed vaguely familiar.
I looked back, and he was barefoot. Recognition dawned. It was MF Hussain. His son was admitted into the hospital, and he was going up to see him.
My friend, too, was admitted in the hospital, for malaria.
Both MF Hussain's son, my friend and me were all, at that time, staying at the FTII campus in Pune. A two-month film appreciation course was going on, and Hussain's son, with a ponytail, was the dashing Knight of the place, with pretty girls fawning on him.
It was eerie, that meeting: just me and Hussain in an empty corridor in the middle of the night. Surrealistic.
The rest is history: Hussain is now the most recognized name in contemporary Indian art, and I continue to bravely soldier on with my amateur paintings....

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