88-yr-old recalls Nehru’s blood sketch 67 yrs on

Mumbai: On a visit to Karachi 67 years ago, Jawaharlal Nehru was interacting with college students when one of them drew his sketch and coloured it with his own blood hoping that the leader would seet it.

The student H G Hingorani said, "Not only did he (Nehru) see the sketch, he autographed it and patted me on my back."

The 88-year-old scientist-turned painter has preserved the sketch and shows it to admirers on every "anniversary" of the sketch, which falls today.

The former principal of the Government of India's Extension Institute at Hyderabad recalls how he made another sketch.

When Mahatma Gandhi was shot on January 30, 1948, Hingorani, then a 23-year-old youth, was staying in a refugee camp in Delhi. His family had shifted from Sindh during the partition.

"On hearing about Mahatma Gandhi's assassination on radio, I rushed to Birla House with my painting kit," he said.

With not much security and policing, Hingorani said he found his way into the room where Gandhiji's body was laid on the ground, half-wrapped in white sheet, blood stains still fresh on his chest, sheet and floor.

"There was complete chaos at Birla House and outside, with people crying and yelling…I started sketching, blood still fresh on Bapu's body and sheets," he said.

"By the time I had finished three-fourth of the painting, I was physically pushed out of the room. Luckily, I managed to save the sketch, but lost all my art equipment," he said about the sketch which he has also preserved.

"On the lawns of Birla House the security guards grilled me for hours as I was a refugee from Sindh in Pakistan, but was later released and managed to complete the painting late night, at the refugee camp," he added.