Suno M F Husain Ki Kahani
A JOURNEY IN SOUND
Icon and Iconoclast. Legend and Maverick. A man who (at age 88) is driven by a seemingly constant charge of inexhaustible energy. And a mind which is constantly at work reinventing itself, always seeking avenues to express itself in novel ways without ever being trapped by the glitter of ephemeral fame and fortune. Husain is a remarkable painter and more importantly an incredible human being. When such a man sets on a quest he achieves the seemingly impossible with remarkable ease.
An incurable romantic without being maudlin, Husain a few years back after living an eternity in excellence chose to write his memoirs. The text was written on myriad paper surfaces and then at some point put together by wellwishers. Vivid and visual in its essence the text has been regarded as a literary gem pushing the frontiers of Hindustani literature.
The autobiography chose to liberate itself from set norms and conventions of the form. Instead in his hand the pen served as a brush. And lines and the figures that emerged had the same superlative quality as his art. Broad, vivid and minimal. Conversational, nostalgic and humane. Hussain’s memoir is an exquisite tale of an indomitable spirit fighting heavy odds to triumph. Episodic and high on empathy, Irfan found the work eminently suitable for a radio interpretation.
Irfan, a radio professional and writer himself, understood the basic kernel of Husain’s way of story telling. That of the ancient Indian tradition of Qissagoi. The media whose presiding deity for time eternity have been the grandmothers within a family and its recipients dozens of eager ears tuned to numerous twists and turns of a multilayered tale.
He also saw a unique oportunity to present to his world a form, a work hitherto unknown to the Hindustani speaking populous of India. The Audio Book. Intimately known to the Bengali and Malayalam listeners, the form is a powerful, intimate and energetic medium to tell a story. A form which supplements and complements the written word. A medium which is not bound by a particular script and can address people who can understand a language if not read it.
New Delhi 17 September 2003