Maqbool Fida Husain told me in 1985, when he was already 70 and was India’s most celebrated and flamboyant artist, "I am not an Indian merely because I was born here but because India's cultural exuberance made an artist out of me.”
Today happens to be Husain’s 103rd birth anniversary. My nearly two-hour conversation with him at his Cuffe Parade apartment in Colaba, Bombay, was stimulating. He had an air of tentativeness about him that seemed out of place given his stature but I quickly discovered that it may have been a result of his restless mind wandering off to a more visual plane.
After I took to painting some five years ago, I did a few pieces prompted by his style either in tribute or to just sharpen my skills. Husain’s horses were legendary. It was almost as if that was his default artistic state. When I met him he kept sketching them while talking to me. I could see that his horses were like a reflex action for him. I have done a couple of versions of his horses, one of which is posted here.
Husain also had a series on Mother Teresa. I tried my hand at his style too.