These days, we keep hearing about people going to art auctions and buying painting for Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 12.5 lakh. The question is: what do they do with these painting after they have bought them.
I was at my neighbour's house when the husband returned with a large painting, unloaded it from a tempo, and tried to get it into the front door.
His wife, who had been making tea for me, came out with the tea, noticed her husband strugling with the painting, and said: "What is this you have brought! Where are you going to keep it, on your head or mine! Take it bake from wherever you have brought it."
The husband said: "This is not some ordinary thing. It is Husain's best painting ever, specially done for an auction, and I bid Rs. 15 lakh for it. It is my great fortune that nobody bid more than that, so I got it. Everybody at the auction said so when they came and congratulated me."
"People will naturally say that," his wife said. "You just return it and get the 15 lakhs back."
"They won't take it back," the husband said. "Besides, I don't want to return it, I want to keep it. Tomorrow all the papers will be writing how I got the painting. It is a Hussain, I am telling you, Husain."
"You don't have to shout," his wife said. "I know a Hussain when I see one, by the amount to costs. But there is no wall in out house big enough to hang it on. First you get a decent house, then you get a Hussain."
"If you will help me get it in, instead of standing there finding fault, we will find a place to keep it," the husband said. "Other people buy painting at auctions, they don't worry about where to keep them."
His wife said: "We will have to cut the painting into several pieces, then we may be able to take the piece in and stack them under the bed."
"I don't want it under the bed. How will people know we have got a painting worth Rs. 15 lakhs - and I am told its value will go up further - if we keep it concealed?"
"Then I see no other way," the wife said. "Get rid of it and in future don't nuy any more paintings."
"If everybody was like you, then our poor artists would starve to death," the husband said.