M F Hussain says he misses India 'tremendously'

Last Updated : 17 January 2010, 10:39 IST
Last Updated : 17 January 2010, 10:39 IST

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"I miss India tremendously. But I can’t go back because of the many cases against me," Hussain told PTI at a function in Dubai Modern High School where he was chief guest.
The odds may be against him but there's no stopping the "Barefoot Artist", who was wearing pink nail paint.

"I still paint a lot and I am busy with my works on Indian civilisation," the 94-year-old artist said.

Hussain surprised everyone at the function by painting a dove, instead of his trademark horses, when he was invited to "speak" to the schoolchildren through his art.
As Hussain’s dove spread its wings and soared over a bright orange sun and the sky dazzled with the shades of the tricolour, it was clear that the Picasso of India was talking peace.

In less than 15 minutes, Husain had completed another piece, with children guessing if it was a falcon or a flying horse that was soaring higher and higher.

"I have painted a dove. It is a symbol of peace," he said, setting aside the children's suggestions. The project was special for Hussain and the children, because it was a joint venture.

Hussain encouraged the children to complete the painting. A couple of artistically inclined children added stars, flowers or simply their signatures and became part of the masterpiece.

 Dressed in a chocolate brown pathan suit and matching socks, Hussain looked frail and had to be helped down the school's walkway. His hand was a little shaky but the lines were as steady as ever.

  He obliged students by giving his autograph even as the school's management and his grandson-in-law, who accompanied him to the function, worried about his health.
"He yearns to be back in India. He misses India a lot," Hussain’s grandson-in-law said. The artist, who divides time between London and Dubai, has been on a self-imposed exile since several cases were filed against him for his depiction of Indian goddesses some years ago.

In 2006, Hussain was is in the firing line of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Vishwa Hindu Parishad over his painting "Bharath Mata," which had a nude woman's outline resembling the map of India.

That Hussain misses India is no secret. Some time ago he asked a friend, who was visiting him in Dubai, to pack tea from his favourite stall in Ahmedabad.

Published 17 January 2010, 10:39 IST

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