The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Iqbal is Husain in the making

Hyderabad, Sept. 19: Maqbool Fida Husain could put people half his age to shame.

The artist, who turned 90 on Saturday, is making his third film ' Painter in the Making.

“That is because I am young at heart and carry only pleasant memories in my crown of silver grey,” he told reporters at his home ' Cinema Ghar ' in Hyderabad.

The film is about his early life when the artist, who once painted billboards for a living, struggled to make a mark. “The film will focus on the most testing years of my life ' up to 40 years,” he said.

Husain, who is from Pandarpur in Maharashtra, says those years had their fun and charm. “When I go down the memory lane, I wish I can rework those periods of struggle. Anyway, people like to see struggle and not success in movies.”

The film will feature Sonali Kulkarni as the “Jamuna” of his golden years and Shreyas Talpade of Iqbal, who plays the lead role.

“The character of Jamuna will breathe life into the Indian art scenario of the fifties and sixties, the way it was,” Husain said.

The film, to be directed by Owais Hussain, the maestro’s eldest son, has a budget of Rs 3 lakh and is scheduled for release in March.

“I am not going to rewrite the history of my life but will be very truthful,” Husain said. “I will not boast about what all I did but will try to project the changes India went through politically, socially and culturally.”

In other words, he promises a glimpse of the country’s cultural and social transformation through the eyes of a painter. “It will be a true story of an interesting life and a story that deserves to be told,” Husain said.

Talpade was modesty personified. “I have a lot of work to do,” he said. “I will learn painting. Anything to become closer to the character of Husain saab.”

The painter has presented Talpade a silver coin with the image of his first film, Gajagamini.

As the scribes tried to get more out of the master, Husain parried. “I am a simple man from Pandarpur. Allow me to remain on ground, closer to earth and reality. Please don’t put me on any pedestal.”

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