He’s exuding joie de vivah. M.F. Husain, artist emeritus, is beating the drums, blowing the bugles and almost dancing on the streets for Sooraj Barjatya’s Vivah.
He has already seen it nine times, intends to see it time and again.
And today, he is hosting a big bash at Dubai’s Plaza cinema; he has invited 150 relatives, friends and media persons to share his enthusiasm for the movie which could well have been subtitled "The Badi Mottu Gharelu Shaadi".
The celebration by the artist is “actually my farewell to the film, it will be its last show at the Plaza. After the late night screening, I’ve invited everyone for a grand dinner. After all, a delicious movie has to be followed by a delicious feast.”
Earlier, Husain had placed Barjatya’s Hum Aapke Hain Koun! on the art map and painted scores of canvases inspired by Madhuri Dixit. Today, he is bowled over by the Vivah heroine Amrita Rao who portrays the part of the upright but bashful Poonam.
“Amrita has tremendous potential,” raves the artist on a clear cell phone line. “After Madhuri Dixit, she will go a long way. Amrita’s portrayal of Poonam is marvellous, she is the ideal woman of today, someone who still has her Indian values intact.”
The artist believes that Hum Aapke.. was a fantasy while Vivah is “quite realistic, it catches the heartbeat of a young woman in a small town. It is not a great film, it doesn’t extend the language of cinema. It conveys the importance of good, clean-cut values, to audiences as well as to the carping critics.”
With his quick-on-the-draw paint brush, Husain plans to start a series of paintings inspired by Vivah and his brand-new muse Amrita Rao; “She has entered my canvas. I will construct an entire exhibition around her,” he promises.
“And of course, I will invite Amrita to be there, Shahid Latif too.” Shahid Latif who? Does he mean Shahid Kapur? “Yes, yes... Shahid Kapur, he was good also,” he ends.
“I’ve already talked to Sooraj..we talked for quite a while..and for once, it was I who did all the talking.”
Amrita Rao: This is my most colourful brush with life. I’m so charmed I can’t stop blushing. I had always dreamt of being Husain’s eternal muse, that dream has come true. He is India’s greatest artist. I’ve seen some of his paintings at Soorajji’s office.
Shahid Kapur: Really? It’s an honour that Mr Husain has appreciated our hard work. He’s undoubtedly, the finest artiste of India. Through your paper, I would like to convey my gratitude to him. He wants to meet us .. just tell us when and where.