Mansoor Rahi celebrates 74th birthday


Mansoor Rahi, a noted painter celebrated his 74th birthday here on Sunday, with his students, gallery owners and some art lovers. He surprised the gathering when he told that it had been a Bengal tradition that the birthday person was required to give each invitee a gift. Later he followed the good old tradition and presented his gifts to all his guests but that too was surprising for them. He invited each person by name and stunned them by presenting his original painting to each one of them as a gift. These paintings were especially made for the occasion in Rahi’s iconic style in the last 3 days of 2011. Most of them were in black and white with some additions of blue and red, while a few had a bright rising red sun welcoming the dawn of a new year.
Talking on the occasion, the students who ranged from school girls to older housewives, praised him for his mastery over his art. They considered themselves lucky for having worked under the guidance of the artist and his wife Hajira Mansur. They mentioned that Rahi was not only a great teacher but also as a mentor and an outstanding human being with adorable traits. Dr Arjumand Faisel, the curator of Gallery 6, thanked artist Zainul Abedin who had advised Rahi to migrate to the then West Pakistan from East Pakistan in 1965. Arjumand said that the advice had had a tremendous contribution in the art of Pakistan and appealed to all the art schools of the country to benefit from the rich teaching experiences the living legend.
Nahida Reza of Jharoka Gallery while paying her tributes said that she had achieved her present position through the constant encouragement and inspiration from Rahi. Students, Dr Nighat and Ammarah, read out brief interesting papers about the life and achievements of Rahi and Hajira and felt proud to be associated with them. A sumptuous lunch added to the occasion. Rahi was born in West Bengal. He graduated in Fine Arts from Government College of Arts and Crafts, Dhaka. He further advanced his research in art from Japan, France and Germany. Over the years he has received numerous awards including the Pride of Performance in 2008. A very important contribution by him was a series of talks that he conducted weekly for 6 years on PTV to enlightening common people about the world of art.