This is a special work, a tribute to the late great Indian painter Maqbool Fida Hussain. As such, I have poured my heart out about his influence on a whole generation, traversing pre independence and post Independent spectrum. As an admirer of his craft, I lay down my emotional connect with his unparalleled artistry in the form of words. This one celebrates the spirit of an auteur , an original voice echoing through the tunnels of time. I hope you appreciate this effort. The only regret lies in the fact that he met a tragic end , away from his homeland, driven away by his own. Here’s to the man on his 100th birth anniversary .
Tis the civil disobedience of our times
Those who are raised from the dust
and elevated to the sky,
are sooner sacked to morgues of idealistic damnation.
It so happened
when barracks of filthy verbal mud slinging
and stone pelting broke and cracked open panes of an artist’s glass house.
There, in solitary splendour
a man’s deft strokes brought the easel to life,
made images fly in and out of the paint brush
and hues of minimalistic melody brokered tender rhythms
with the mind’s open eye.
A brooch of colourful drama
An anklet of dreamy similitude
A coquetry of feminine beauty
A burst of unbridled expression.
Dancing were the portraits that angled for our attention,
communicating with cadences of a generation’s sensory glide
singing a song of eternal spring,
nestled in the summer of imagination.
He was the God of small things,
a restless prince,
an exalted pauper in a land of open pageantry.
Rain, hail or storm
Thundering was the march of his creative stomp that rejuvenated youth.
Rained over a new era vital signs of renaissance,
held their hands and illuminated their shadows,
beautifying their stance.
Resplendent was his aura
They called him a visual Aurora,
whose sight beheld scenes of wonder and hailed his melody and mastery.
But for the contagion,
the world’s slow stain.
The log of frenzied hate cannibalised his potency,
even before he called it a day.
Vandalising his spirit,
exiled him to the gardens of a deathly halo.
All through, he smiled and walked barefeet,
like a decorated wreath in a castle of headless ghosts.
The fag end was now near,
the champions had held their sticks and stones.
The legend, Christ like,stood crucified.
Garlands of spite and fading imprints were his dowry at this hour
while his heart bled and his eyes cried tears of a dying conscience.
With a giant thud,he fell down,
turned to dust whilst his tears mellowed a sobbing humanity’s last call.
The end was near and he knew it.
The disowned auteur’s swansong was written.
devoid of a grand exit,
he travelled to the other end of the horizon.
The adieu, long lived, still awaits an echo.
The auteur paints in bold strokes,
caressing the far end of the spectrum with his magical fingers.
His bare hands etch a scenery of vital redemption,
waiting to be draped in the tricolour of recognised voices,
robbed from him in the final act.
NOTE : this poem, originally published in 2015, graces my poetry collection WHISTLING CHIMES on Wattpad and was the very first poetic work I attempted even before making it a part of the collection.