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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Artist who loved Kerala



M.F. Husain

Thiruvananthapuram: Celebrated painter M.F. Husain, who died in London on Thursday, was an artist who loved Kerala deeply and never failed to lavish praise on ‘God's own country' through his words as well as brushstrokes.

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to Indian painting, Mr. Husain was selected for Kerala's highest award for artists named after the legendary painter Raja Ravi Varma in 2007. But he could not receive the honour as by then he was already in self-imposed exile.

Last year, eminent Malayalam film-maker Shaji N. Karun announced his plan to make a documentary film on the master painter and obtained his consent. He tentatively titled the work as In search of motherhood and held several rounds of discussions with Mr. Husain. Mr. Karun said he was shocked to hear about the demise of the painter.

‘‘Just a few months back, we met in Dubai. He turned up at an award function not intimated and told me he came just to meet me. I was surprised and humbled by him,” Mr. Karun said. ‘‘The project I conceived was something like 10 favourite works of Mr. Husain interacting with its creator with the concept of motherhood latent as the basic theme,'' he said.

‘‘Mr. Husain lost his mother at a very young age. Towards the end of his life he was to live as an exile leaving the motherland. This was what I planned to convey through my docufilm,'' the film-maker said.

According to Mr. Karun, shooting of the film got delayed as Mr. Husain was engaged in a major work for the Qatar royal family. ‘‘We were planning to start the film as soon as Mr. Husain completed the project he was engaged in. It was quite unfortunate that he has left us. It is a loss to the world of art as well as for me personally,'' he said.

Some 10 years ago, Mr. Husain did a series of illustrations for Kerala Tourism titled Kalyanikuttiyude Lokam (World of Kalyanikutty). It featured Kerala's splendid beauty and local life through the eyes of an emblematic Malayali woman, who blends tradition and modernity in her persona.

Mr. Husain acknowledged his deep appreciation of Kerala, saying ‘‘if Kashmir is all about men and mountain, then Kerala is all about women and nature.'' — PTI

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