Alive with faith, hope and mythologies, hungry for progressive politics, independence and a passion of art for art’s sake, MF Husain’s house in Bengaluru is now a buzzing restaurant—The Banjara Melting Pot.
Not long time back, you could walk into this house and take art lessons and lessons for life. Not long time back, you could walk into this house and admire the paintings in an ongoing art exhibition at Husain Sankalana. Not long time back, our own Picasso, MF Husain sat through a painting competition organised by a school in his neighbourhood in this house and watched the children paint with great passion. Not long back did he autograph all their pictures. But now, this is rightly the melting pot of art and food. One of the city-based hospitality groups has now converted his house in Koramangala to offer the best of coastal food cuisine to our food and art loyalists.
The artist lived here through the 90s and set up a small studiogallery, Husain Sankalana, which hosted art exhibitions, music performances, book readings and film screenings. You will be greeted with Husain’s picture as soon as you enter the restaurant, along with prints of some of his paintings. The restaurant has also retained the entire exterior structure with the famous brick masonry and the leaning tree trunk. The other memorabilia is a red letter-box – said to have been painted by Husain himself. The letter-box has a story often told in this neighbourhood – older residents recall how people would mistake it for an actual post-box and drop letters in. When Husain realised this, he took it inside.
So what we now have on offer here are iPad menus to view and select the dishes and drinks by having a look at pictures and details. The pan-Asian selection is great but do try the coastal food and desserts to satiate your gluttonous desires.
Written by Megha Paul