Kashmiri Youngsters reviving the dying art of Calligraphy

Kashmir is a place rich in art and culture. People of Kashmir are extremely talented, creative, and innovative. The Kashmir valley is known for its art and culture all over the world. Since the lockdown was imposed and everyone was stuck indoors because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, many youngsters especially girls of the Kashmir valley started doing calligraphy, especially Arabic calligraphy (which has a glorious history in Kashmir). Kashmiri youngsters are learning the art of calligraphy on a large scale. At present, one can easily notice the growing calligraphy work in Kashmir. If you’ll scroll through Instagram it divulges a large number of Calligraphers who are being extensively shared and appreciated for their work. These young Calligraphers are exhibiting their work via social media. Few of them are now turning their passion into business by making customized frames on customer orders. But, that’s not enough. The contribution from Government is also required in this regard. Calligraphy has now a special place in Kashmir but it needs to be promoted. The Government of India must provide kashmiri Calligraphers a proper platform where they can showcase their work. They should organize different workshops & exhibitions to promote the art of Calligraphy. This would be beneficial for the entire country & not for them only.
Iqra Qayoom, an engineering student from Batamaloo, J&K, has got an interest in Arabic calligraphy. Infact, she masters this talent already but since her uncle who was suffering from Colorectal Cancer (CRC) intensely increased her grief. So, from that day she started to share her art and reach to the people, far and near. She has underwent through bad times of life but that couldn’t suppress her talent. All she needs is a bit support from our society & a proper platform for her talent.
Seher Wani, an another engineering student from Gogji Bagh, Srinagar is a self-taught Calligrapher.” I’ve always been passionate about calligraphy from the beginning. From my school time I was never good with my Urdu writing but there’s a great saying where there is a will, there is a way. Being so busy with my studies I never got time to follow my passion (i.e., Calligraphy) but due to the ongoing pandemic finally I became able to give wings to my dreams. During this time I tried calligraphy and by the grace of Almighty it turned out to be amazing,” She said. “In our valley we have a lot of talent but we lack the platform. There should be art galleries and also various programs should be initiated to promote our work,” she added.
Nida Iqbal, Just like Iqra & Seher, Nida Iqbal, a 22 years old MBBS student from Rambhagh, Srinagar is a self-taught Calligrapher. “Art is my passion. For me it’s kind of meditation which sets me free and allows me just to be in the present moment. I’ve done many paintings on usual drawing papers, canvas sheets, doodle art and also art on stones and walls. But, from 2018 onwards I wasn’t constantly in touch with my artwork as i got busy with my studies & whenever I had spare time i used to paint but since the Covid-19 lockdown came into effect, I started painting again and it helped my mind to relax and let go off all the problems that contributed to a high stress level. Meanwhile I started Arabic calligraphy as well & started sharing it on social media. By the grace of Almighty my work is being appreciated by everyone and I’m getting huge positive response from everyone around,” she said. Presently, social media is the only platform for some artists where they showcase and sell their artwork. “If I’ll get a better platform besides social media I would definitely open art exhibitions where I would sell my work,” said Nida Iqbal.
(The author is a freelancer. Views are her own)


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