Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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The Art of ‘GAJGAMINI’

 Saloni Chawla : When the famous painter Maqbool Fida Husain’s movie ‘Gajgamini’, hit the silver screens, newspapers reported majority of the audience getting confused and puzzled. However, an artistic mind with the vision to understand and appreciate this beautiful piece of art is required. A combination of thoughts and portraits, ‘Gajgamini’ is an abstract and artistic presentation of Indian womenhood in its totality : beauty and grace; simplicity and innocence; intelligence and talent; strength, tolerance and amiability (subject to change); passion and romance etc.

It’s about an Indian woman and her journey to modernity – her transition from a burdened woman to a free and independent woman. The luggage on Madhuri Dixit’s head depicts a package of tasks, responsibilities, worries and values which she skillfully holds as she treads along her life. The kick and the downward fall of this luggage depicts the shift of this package and the transition period.

The film depicts the simplicity of the spirit of womanhood across traditions. Several scenes communicate a simple message – ‘Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’ – and you can see the same woman (i.e. spirit – inner beauty, strength and simplicity) in every woman.

And to put this message across, Husain has very intelligently brought into action a collection of his portraits of Madhuri Dikshit in different poses. The scene also looks like Dikshit unveiling her own portraits with her own hands.

He has cast Dikshit throughout the movie because the message mentioned above i.e. the film is not about different women but the same spirit in every woman – the spirit of womanhood. Hence a single cast seems to be an intelligent decision. Throughout the film, Husain prefers to be an Indian as he portrays only Indian womanhood.

I do not know about the rest of the audience, but I loved watching this film. All that I could say after watching ‘Gajgamini’ is : Hats off to this great artist and genius M.F. Husain ! His soul shall smile for a long while if the country that he loved so much and longed to return to, appreciates this masterpiece of his and salutes it.

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