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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

Maqbool Fida Hussain

Maqbool Fida Hussain - the barefoot ascetic master artist...grew to his full stature as one of the best known artists in India from relentlessly painting cinema hoardings in the Playhouse area of Mumbai.

Francis Souza another contemporary artist once told Hussain ..."The secret of your success is 40% your beard, 30% your personality, 20% your friends and 10% yr, maybe your talent." I accidentally met him once at the CCI club much later and had asked him in jest his thoughts on that. He laughed and said it was 10% art and rest was talent!!! He drew us '3 lambs' on a paper napkin with his black sketch pen when I told him my wife ran a nursery school called 'The Little Lambs' Nursery'.

Once he began painting he would not rest until it was complete. Hidden in this purity of purpose and childlike impatience were the drivers that transformed a poor cinema hoarding painter into a super rich house hold name in the domain of art.

He was an authentic humanist who got caught in the trap of politics. Much later in life he commented - " In my art, I don't want to take a stand . One keeps changing all the time. I would prefer to be like in my twenties and thirties and keep my windows open - but this wretched ego comes and locks the doors"

Considering the prolific rate at which he painted - 5 a day, at times even on table mats, napkins and even tablecloth. (I am sure the uninitiated would have got the tablecloth foolishly washed to lose out on all the value they could have otherwise owned.)

He was thus once asked by a journalist, if he painted even in his dreams ? "No" he said. "Never have I panted in my dreams but one dream I used to see very in which I am flying very high in the skies with clouds of colours all around me. I saw myself floating up and gliding down, slipping and diving in and around these clouds. And I enjoyed".

Hero's certainly see positive dreams and get premonitions of their success. They wind their dreams later with their dedication, humility and endeavour. Slowly but for sure. Thus they become Winners.

This is my tribute to the master artist whose colourful work has always influenced me. Thank you for showing me the way to become a winner.

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