Jun 12, 2011 at 02:04pm IST

Husain's Kolkata connect: The Azad Hind dhaba

Kolkata: The Azad Hind dhaba in Kolkata's Ballygunje Circular Road is mostly known for its North Indian cuisine, but the 64-year-old dhaba has a rather arty connection as celebrated artist MF Husain, who died on Thursday, was a regular visitor, when he was in Kolkata.

Co-owner of the dhaba Satish Sharma said, "He was very close to my brother Dharamveer and would come to the dhaba first thing after reaching Kolkata."

Such were the ties that Dharamveer, now in Canada is the only person, other than Madhuri Dixit to have had a wedding card painted by Husain. The dhaba also has a painting gifted to the owners by the artist.

"He had initially just made a sketch on our walls, but during the release of Gajagamini he made some modifications.There was also a huge party thrown here. We thought of using his artwork on our menu cards too and name a dish Husain's special chicken named after him," Satish said.

Satish, Dharamveer's younger brother remembers Husain as a man who could be happy with just a piping hot cup of tea.

Even as business booms at Azad Hind dhaba, Husain's presence will remain on its walls.

Husain had the unique quality of losing himself in the crowd, and to become a commoner despite his status as a world renowned painter.