A self-taught artist, Muqbool Fida Husain was born in 1915 in Maharashtra. At an early age he learnt the art of calligraphy and practiced the Kulfic khat with its geometric forms. He also learnt to write poetry while staying with an uncle in a madrasa in Baroda, an art that has stayed with him through his life. His early education was perfunctory but Husain's love of drawing was evident even at this stage. Whenever he got a chance he would strap his painting gear to his bicycle and drive out to the surrounding countryside of Indore to paint the landscape. In 1937 he reached Mumbai determined to become an artist, with hardly any money and lived in a cheap room in a by lane inhabited by pimps and prostitutes. Initially Husain apprenticed himself to a painter of cinema hoardings which he would paint with great dexterity perched on scaffolding sometimes in the middle of traffic.