Ahmedabad is where MF Husain's grandfather rests and, initially, that was one of the main reasons why the painter visited the city.
Walking on Ahmedabad's scorching roads in summer was never easy, but in the 90s, stories of a silver-haired international celebrity artist's barefoot walks through the city's by-lanes were legendary.
Ahmedabad is where MF Husain's grandfather rests and, initially, that was one of the main reasons why he visited the city. But over the years, he made very good friends in the city and developed a deep connection with it in the form of Husain-Doshi ni Gufa, later dedicated to the city as Amdavad ni Gufa.
Husain's links with Gujarat begin with his mother who belonged to Sidhpur in north Gujarat. Forty years ago, he met architect Balkrishna Doshi at Gunwant Mangaldas's house and, later, art curator Anil Relia, and became very close to them. His visits increased as he designed the first-of-its-kind underground art gallery - Husain-Doshi ni Gufa. The gallery houses Husain's largest painting, the 100-foot-long, 'Sheshnag', which merges into a metal sculpture.
"He wanted to have his own gallery in Ahmedabad as he had in other cities. We decided to do something challenging and experimental. That is how we came up with the Gufa (an underground art gallery) designed by us together; we shared everything on the job.