Srinagar: Thirty-two-year -old Mehak Khan always desired to do something creative in her life. Passionate about calligraphy, she wanted to make a career in this field. However, she had to give up her dreams after she got married.
Come 2020, she opened up about her ambition to her husband who lost no time in giving her a go-ahead. Days later she joined a leading calligraphy institute in Baramulla. And there was no looking back.
“The best thing that happened was that I already had a bit of knowledge about calligraphy. I am learning Urdu and Arabic calligraphy and trying out some new concepts,” she said.
Not only Mehak, but scores of people are also learning the art of calligraphy in Kashmir.
From hobby to profession, youth are trying hard to revive this dying art. While few take formal classes, some learn it from YouTube.
Twenty-one-year -old Iqra Farooq from Pattan made the most of the Covid lockdown to learn calligraphy at home. She took online classes and watched YouTube videos to learn the art.
“I was fascinated by the calligraphy of local artists. I too wanted to do something in this field. So during the lockdown, I joined online classes to learn the art. People now love my art,” she said.
Such is the passion for calligraphy that Malik Mukhtar, a self-taught artist from Pattan was compelled to start an institute in north Kashmir.
“Not just school-going students but lawyers, doctors, and civil servants learn calligraphy at my institute. I am running two institutes. Besides, I also offer coaching classes online to international students,” he said.
Malik said social media has fueled the interest in calligraphy among people.
“We have Islamic calligraphy. People see the pieces of art on social media and it fuels their interest,” he said.
Given the popularity of calligraphy, competitions are being held every year to choose the best calligrapher in Kashmir. “It is a kind of bonus,” said a calligraphic enthusiast.