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Success did not change Bhupen: Manu Parekh
August 10, 2003 00:32 IST
Last Updated: August 10, 2003 01:04 IST
Manu Parekh and his wife Madhavi Parekh had four-decade-old friendship with painter Bhupen Khakhar, who passed away on Friday.
Many a times when he was in Delhi, Khakhar stayed with the painter couple.
Manu Parekh spoke to Sheela Bhatt about his association with Khakhar:
Bhupen Khakhar was in a different genre. A favoured subject was common folk, like tailors and fruit-vendors. He has also drawn a portrait of Salman Rushdie, which was commissioned by the BBC, when the eminent writer was in hiding.
He was a serious painter, his paintings were not fanciful. But on a personal level, he could laugh and make others laugh with him.
Once travelling by rail, he and another painter Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh were seated opposite a middle class woman. He told the woman that his wife was giving him a lot of trouble and he was living a miserable life. For the next 24 hours, Bhupen managed to get the woman to shower on him all the sympathy at her command.
He had an unusual habit. When in Vadodara, I have seen him attending funerals of unknown people. If he came across any death, he would make enquiries about the person and participate in the family's grief, going so far as to say a few good words about the deceased.
Bhupen liked the common folk and was kind of desperate to share a few moments with them. In his home, the unmarried Bhupen treated his servant Pandu's family as his own.
Success did not change him as a person.
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