THE TWO FRIENDLY CHATTERJEES IN THE LIFE OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI LAHORE
EDITOR MODERN REVIEW CALCUTTA AND PRINCIPAL MISSION SCHOOL GUJARANWALA
Principal Chatterjee of Mission High School, Gujaranwala requested Principal Lionel Heath of Mayo School for a Drawing Master. The choice was Abdur Rahman Chughtai recently out of Mayo School of Arts. The artist had cleared training in the Photo-litho department and was teaching lithography there to new students. Unhappy at leaving Lahore, Chughtai went to the city of Gujaranwala and taught there for some time. Principal Chatterjee was impressed with his drawings as well as finished paintings and told him of his connections with another Chatterjee, that is Rama Nanda Chatterjee, Editor of Modern Review Calcutta. The magazine was a pictorial one and carried works of Indian Masters. It was the IN art magazine of India.
On January, 1917, a work on Omar Khayyam by Abdur Rahman Chughtai, was printed in Modern Review, Calcutta, being the first published work of the artist. Interestingly the work was highly appreciated, noticed and the artist came under the gaze of the Tagores and the Bengal School of Art. Next month in February, a second work of Chughtai was printed and likewise noticed by all. The rewards were simple. Ten rupees royalty was paid for each publication, as well as 25 prints of the published work. A steady line of works by Chughtai got printed in Modern review and gained him great fame all over India.
The Calcutta Chatterjee was an elder journalist but the Gujaranwala Chatterjee was comparatively younger and was a Christian by his faith. Both had great regard for this young artist and we remember them with honour and dignity.