Mumbai: On October 02 and January 30 every year, 86-year-old HG Hingorani, a scientist-turned painter, takes out a unique painting of the father of the nation, and recalls the circumstances under which it was made.
When Mahatma Gandhi was shot on January 30, 1948, Hingorani, a 23-year old, was staying in a refugee camp in Delhi. His family had shifted from Sindh during the partition.
"On hearing about Mahatma Gandhi`s assassination on radio, I rushed to Birla House with my painting kit," he said.
With not much security and policing, Hingorani said he found his way into the room where Gandhiji`s body was laid on the ground, half-wrapped in white sheet, blood stains still fresh on his chest, sheet, and floor.
"There was complete chaos at Birla House and outside, with people crying and yelling....I started sketching, blood still fresh on Bapu`s body and sheets," he said.
"By the time I had finished three-fourth of the painting, I was physically pushed out of the room. Luckily, I managed to save the sketch, but lost all my art equipment," he said.
"On the lawns of Birla House the security guards grilled me for hours, as I was a refugee from Sindh in Pakistan, but was later released and managed to complete the painting late night, at the refugee camp."
In 1971, Hingorani, a former principal of the Government of India`s Extension Institute at Hyderabad, did a different kind of portrait to mark Gandhiji`s birth centenary. It included famous sayings of the Mahatma in major Indian languages.