At a time when everyone is busy typing on their smartphones, a young Saima Bhat from Kashmir wants to preserve the age-old traditional Kashmiri art of calligraphy.
Originally from Anantnag district and currently residing in Srinagar’s Raj Bagh area, Bhat wanted to pursue the Urdu calligraphy art since childhood.
She did her higher education from Kashmir University and then when her parents wanted her to study medicine, she took calligraphy.
“My family wanted me to pursue medical studies while I wanted to learn calligraphy. After my higher education from Kashmir University, I took up the Urdu calligraphy course in the Art, Culture and Languages academy, which is a government institute in Srinagar,” said Bhat.
“During my training period, I was offered various jobs including teaching opportunity at World Foundation. Currently, I am training school children,” she added.
Calligraphic Instructor at Cultural Academy, Abdul Salaam Qausari said, “Saima was very keen to learn the art and her excellence helped her to get various opportunities during the training.”
“There is a need to popularize this art as people do not know much about it,” Qausari added.
Calligraphy which is known as ‘Khusnavisi’ in Urdu was popular all over the world especially in Islamic countries like Saudi, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and different states of India including Hyderabad, Lucknow and Mumbai. According to Bhat, technology has overpowered the traditional art form of Kashmir.
“Due to modern technology, the age-old traditional Urdu calligraphy of Kashmir is dying,” Bhat said while adding, in the hope to preserve the art, “I want to open my own calligraphy centre to teach this art to more and more people in Kashmir.”