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Husain to release 'Meenaxi' again

By Viral Bhayani, IANS

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Trust M.F. Husain. After withdrawing his film "Meenaxi" following protests from some Muslim groups, he is now planning to release it again.

In an interview with IANS, Husain said the controversy - "a small misunderstanding" - had been sorted out.

"I will release the movie again. When you withdraw the movie then there is always more interest in it as you have kept people thirsty," he said.

"The media got all the material it wanted. The movie ran for almost three good weeks, which I personally did not expect.

"Yash Raj Films, which released the film, started with 12 prints but the demand was so huge that they had to release 40 prints. I don't think three weeks is a bad deal, it is quite decent deal. "

The film starring Tabu was withdrawn after some Muslim groups said a song in "Meenaxi" hurt their religious sentiments.

"The issue has been sorted out and settled. Whenever this movie is released again, whether it is DVD, satellite or overseas, there will be no alteration in the song. We have no plans to remove that song from the movie - it stays," he says.

Husain says he plans to release "Meenaxi" in May in the overseas market, especially in the US, Middle East and Britain.

He says another of his film projects is already being scripted. "I like experimenting with cinema. "Gajagamini" and then "Meenaxi" were very different subjects, but now I don't want to touch those kinds of subjects.

"I would rather try comedy now. For my next film, I will have two or three lookalikes of Urmila (Matondkar). I have already discovered some matching faces," he says.

On Wednesday, the renowned painter launched his Graphics - Paris Suite collection at the Pictures & Frames art gallery here.

Graphics are usually created in a limited edition and each graphic is numbered and autographed by the artist to give it authenticity and originality. With the passage of time, graphics appreciate in value just as originals do.

Husain, 88, created 88 paintings -- 22 each in four different cities and called each Mumbai Suite, New Delhi Suite, Kolkata Suite and Paris Suite respectively.

He did these works in oil, a medium that he had not used for long. To do the Paris Suite, Hussain flew to the French capital in June 2003 and painted, savouring the ambience of his most favourite city.

"This is a collector's item. It is not something that can be produced in thousands. I thought since the middle class of India cannot afford to buy my paintings - I had to think of a more affordable approach so more people could enjoy my paintings."

He new collection ranges from Rs.3,000 to Rs.25,000.

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