Scenes of rural domesticity fascinated Husain in the 1940's and 50's.
Starting from the age of seventeen, he would sit and watch these village women and then create very finely worked watercolors based on their daily activities. Delivering lunch to their husbands, traveling on bullock carts with their families, drawing water and carrying lotas (vessels) of water on their heads, were all common scenes which he reproduced with careful attention paid to their dress and jewelry. This group of paintings is an important predecessor to a series of paintings he did for an exhibition in 1952. (Rashda Siddiqui, In Conversation with Husain Paintings, New Delhi, 2001, p. 39.)
The six decades since these works were done have seen a tremendous evolution in Husain's work, though we do see a continuum in his ongoing fascination with the theme of the woman. The early theme of the village belle resonates in the main character of his film Gaja Gamini (1998). Although the depiction has changed, the basic elements of the woman with a cloth bundle on her head as a metaphor for domesticity is present. (Rashda Siddiqui, ibid.)
From 1941 on, Husain also worked in a firm where he would design and paint nursery furniture. These paintings may have also been used as designs for his creations.
For a similar example, see Rashda Siddiqui, In Conversation with Husain Paintings, New Delhi, 2001, p. 39.