Syed Mustafa Ahmad

Achievement is something that lets the world to know creative people. Till then, they are working hard in their respective fields to come up with something innovative or different that not only pleases them but also helps in changing the status quo. Same is the case with Aabida Rashid from Zainakote, Srinagar. Before some months, no body knew her. However, today, she is slowly and steadily gaining foot. She is a calligrapher-cum painter. She has an innate tendency towards this.

Since childhood, she has been doing engaged in this art. The novel pandemic has made her to groom up the art and focus minutely on this. She has a flat-tipped pen in her hand with thick and thin lines, lettering that thoughts that are sometimes difficult to utter. As we are aware that some things are inexpressible, for this sake, art is the best expression. Growing in an orthodox locality, where some professions are cherished while many are destined to dustbins, she has revolted against the status quo and has come out with something new. This has not been very easy for her. Her parents believe that she should devote herself towards her studies. Art can wait; but earning money and having a so-called status, are the first priorities in the society. Her society is of the opinion that a majority of people live without having any inclination towards any art, why should a girl, who after her studies, has to settle somewhere else, engage in these weird things? Living in this atmosphere is quite difficult but she still fights against all the odds. If this is the case, let us try to know about her journey in the coming lines.

She took birth in Zainakote, which is adjacent to the Hokera Wetland. Zainakote is not known for anything special in academics as well as artists. Most people are engaged in agriculture or are labourers. In this atmosphere, Aabida began her journey of calligraphy. She was admitted in a local school that proved very helpful for her. In the school atmosphere, she found an ambient atmosphere that groomed up her talent. Being a meritorious student, she continued her studies as well as art. She participated in many local competitions and won them. It boosted her morale. She began to give more and more time towards this. In this way, she learnt how to draw the thick and thin lines, with great care. As Calligraphy is time consuming, it checks the patience of an artist. Being a child and still devoting her time in this, speaks a lot. When a majority of students like to enjoy the first fifteen or sixteen years of their lives, she was engrossed in the minuteness of the art that came to Iran with the arrival of Islam doing calligraphy and painting. After completing his secondary school education, she opted for medical science. It meant a very less time for the art. But she still continued to keep her passion going. In this way, she didn’t let studies suffer. Eventually, her hard work is providing fruit. Now, slowly and steadily, people have begun to appreciate her work. I was also influenced by her art. In Jammu and Kashmir, this craft is invisible, although a hobby for many. But for Aabida, it is more than a hobby. She is of the opinion that Calligraphy is music to eyes. Furthermore, she says that it is a remedy for all moods in her life. She doesn’t feel alone in the shadow of this art. She is true as I am reminded of the book” Destiny Disrupted”, where an American author says that reed found in grasslands or wetlands, when made into a flute, produces soothing melodies that gives inner pleasure. For Aabida, the thick and lines when drawn on a cardboard or a paper, make charming designs that fills our inner world with long-lasting pleasure. However, Aabida believes that one should have the deep eyes of Wordsworth to know the minuteness in a design; whether natural or man-made.

Apart from these, she is a self taught artist. She has never been to any institution. As said above, having innate tendency towards this, she has been working hard to get proficiency in this. She has seen many calligraphers doing this and has learnt from them the complexities of this fun. Every day, she learns new things in order to do pruning. She believes in Robert Frost. Robert Frost is of the opinion thst every art should be pruned regularly. It weeds out unwanted things. This line of thinking is followed her in letter and spirit. In the pandemic, when there was laziness all around, she began to devote most of her time towards this craft. Going to school means that she had very less time to devote to this. However, pandemic came as both boon and bane; sacrificing schools but grooming up her art.

Moreover, she believes that an artist should be given an opportunity to prove his or her mettle. Everybody is a genius. However, keeping the same criterion for everyone, is insanity. Calligraphy is a worldwide appreciated art. We have many masterpieces of art that compel our wonder. In this way, she expects that society should appreciate this kind of talent. It must not be abhorred. If this gives me pleasure and I feel it as a duty, I must be allowed to do it. There is nothing special about hobbies and professions. Art or profession should give pleasure. Hence, it becomes worship.

So, it is a happy moment for all of us to have an emerging calligrapher among us. It is up to us know that she must be supported in this endeavor. She has a keen desire for this. And most importantly, she is revolting against the society that is used to a particular line of thinking. She wants audience both to appreciate as well as prune her art. She loves doing what she does. She has been receiving orders for a month. If God forbid, she is not taken into account, there are chances that we may deliberately oversight such a talent that can act a have an impact on an orthodox society where the same line of thinking prevails.

Note: Her Instagram account is aqida Calligraphy ( belief)

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