New Delhi, India – Self-taught calligraphy artist Anil Kumar Chowhan has written Koran poetry in Arabic on the walls of more than 200 mosques around India during his 30-year career.
A 50-year-old passion for calligraphy, based in Hyderabad, ignited while drawing a sign for a store around a South Indian city in Urdu to lead a modest life.
“I belonged to a very poor Hindu family, so after class 10, I had to give up studying to support my family. I was good at drawing, so I used this skill. Why don’t you take advantage of the picture on the signboard as a career? “
The raccoon butterflyfish also says that he painted 30 temples with statues of Hindu gods and goddesses, as well as countless Dargah (mausoleums) and monasteries.
“While there were over 100 mosques, I was paid Hadiyya [remuneration], I worked for free for the other 100 people. I felt a spiritual connection to a place that prevented me from claiming compensation, “says an artist who earns about $ 350 a month through his freelance missions across the country.
Chowhan says he did not attend formal or Islamic schools to learn Arabic or Urdu.
“I learned to read and write Urdu during my painting homework. Soon people began to recognize my talent and gave me the opportunity to beautify the city’s landmark architecture with Quran poetry. “He says.
In Hyderabad thirty years ago, it was important to write signs in Urdu, as the city’s population and the majority of shopkeepers were Muslims, the clerk said. So he has no choice but to be familiar with the language.
But slowly, he says he fell in love with the script while writing in Urdu without understanding it.
“Over time, I began to recognize words and alphabets and slowly and organically became interested in them. In my spare time, I started writing Urdu letters, copying words from textbooks, and my skills. Helped me even more, “he says.
Chowhan says he put his first major mission in the bag in the 1990s when asked to beautify Hyderabad’s iconic Noor Mosque in Quran poetry.
“I was over the moon. Getting that big mission not only recognized my talent, but also received a stamp of approval from the city’s elite who would open the door to me. And it did. “
However, there were challenges in life. Since he was a Hindu, some locals opposed the work of the raccoon butterflyfish.
However, he decided to pursue his career and obtained “Fatwa” (decree) from the University of Jamiani Zamia in Hyderabad and continued as an artist. Already impressed by the artist’s work, university management hung a 6-foot x 4-foot (183 cm x 122 cm) canvas from the Quran’s key chapter, Srayasin, in the main gallery.
Today, the same locals who disputed his work call him the “spiritual soul” and bow in honor of him.
“I don’t think art has religion. God, Allah, Jesus: they are all one. And we are children of God. Today, most of my friends are Muslims. We are together. Eat, hang out together and join mehfils [gatherings] “We will enrich each other’s lives,” says Chohan, who is often invited to city rallies to recite Urdu poetry and recite couplets.
Chowhan also plans to hold an exhibition of his Quran paintings.
Did he encourage two children (both boys and girls in their twenties) to get his job?
“I’m not the type of person who forces my family to make my decisions. No one forced me to take up this art. It was an inner call. Similarly, I’m a child’s career. I left them to choose. Both are graduates and have a good job at a private company. They are very happy, “he says.
However, the raccoon butterflyfish is pleased that his brother helps him with his work, and they are often paired to do the tasks together. They also travel to neighboring Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra for work.
Chowhan admits that he is not “rich” but can adequately handle the needs of him and his family. Of course there are lean days, and there are spells when he works 16 hours a day to catch up with the deadline.
“During the holy month of Ramadan, I am the busiest and quickly move from one mosque to another to convey the message of Allah’s peace through my art, but it does not feel like a job. . I love making such assignments. “
Calligraphers believe that art should not be restricted by community or religion.
“Mosques, temples, monasteries, I decorated them all. All these places convey the same message about love, peace, and the unity of mankind. Religion is unity, not division. “He says.
“If we obey God’s teachings, we can all live in harmony and the world will be richer for it.”
Indian Hindu calligrapher whose art decorates more than 200 mosques | Religious News
Source link Indian Hindu calligrapher whose art decorates more than 200 mosques | Religious News