For Gulgee, the famous and celebrated artist of Pakistan and the subcontinent, life has been a journey in more than one sense, giving him thrill and bliss that are both sensuous and ethereal. He has been to many places and done things that are varied and glorious. At the age of 79, though the visits have become fewer, he remains as zestful a traveler in the realm of the intellect and the senses as he was when the journey began quite early in life. In his inward journey, he remains and intrepid and ever curious.
Born in Peshawar, Gulgee went to Aligarh University to study civil engineering and came off with flying colours. His academic achievements in the university broke all past records and the outstanding stature attained remained unsurpassed. Higher studies took him to Columbia University where he completed post-graduate studies with straight �A�s and in record time, too. He was offered a full scholarship for doctoral studies by Harvard University, a recognition that any scholar would be proud of. When he successfully completed the academic spell in Harvard, partition had taken place and Pakistan emerged as an independent country.
Gulgee returned to Pakistan, after a short spell in Sweden, with the ambition to start a career that was close to his heart. It was not as an engineer but as an artist that the heart’s desire could be fulfilled. For a person who had prepared himself for a career that had bright prospects and immense prestige, to aspire to become an artist with an uncertain future was not only unusual but it also made him appear as a maverick.