London: Glowing tributes were paid to
legendary Indian painter M F Husain, who carved out a niche
for himself as a multi-faceted personality, by people from
various fields here on Sunday.
At a memorial held at the Orchard Room of the
Dorchester Hotel here this evening, speakers like Lord Gulam
Noon, Hindu newspaper Editor-in-Chief N Ram and former Tennis
player Naresh Kumar lauded the outstanding achievements of
Husain, who died here on Thursday, aged 95.
Prominent among those present included Union Minister
Farooq Abdullah, actor Randhir Kapoor, writer Shobaa De and
NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.
At the outset, a portrait of Husain was garlanded and
a big candle was lit in memory of the departed soul.
Speaking on the occasion, Owais, the youngest of the
six children of Husain, said: "There were long absences at
home but even in the absence he (Husain) was present with us.
He was very proud of his work and the pride came from hard
work, nothing else."
Ram said: "It was a sorry situation that Husain had to
take up Qatari citizenship as he was harassed and hounded by
bigoted people. It was sad that it could not go back to
Naresh, a close friend of Husain, said, "he was a
remarkable man, not only a painter but a photographer, dancer
and writer and he wrote film scripts as well."
Anwar Siddiqui, a friend of the artist, said that he
had received many messages from common friends "who were sad
and angry but did not know which way to turn."
Lord Gulam Noon recalled his long association with
Husain and said "Husain sab one day came to me and said he had
done a portrait of my brother in 1936 and wanted to see it. I
went in search of it and found it at my ancestral home, rolled
up and preserved in a cubboard. I brought it back and got it
autographed again by the artist. In the early days he used to
sign as Maqbool."
Lord Noon said though Husain had been treated badly by
fringe elements he was never bitter.
At the time of his death, Husain was working on two
major series - one on Indian civilisation and the other on
Arab Civilisation. These two works have remained unfinished.