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Profiles of Calligraphers in Tonk, Rajasthan. MUMTAZ ALI A Tonk based calligraphy decorator and designer Mumtaz Ali has been working as an Illuminator who illuminates the calligraphy writings – Quaranic verses and Allah's name by bordering and designing them to give it a overall picturesque effect. His works are no ordinarily done on paper only; it is done on other mediums as well such as 'Jhilli' (Parchment – the thin intestinal skin of a Goat) and hide/skin of a goat. Inspired by the historical articles kept at Alwar and Hyderabad Museums Mumtaz Ali revised the ideas and came up with his innovations of 'Illumination' on new mediums. In initial years of his work Mumtaz Ali faced tremendous amount of hardships regarding the conceptual decisions on making colors stable on these kinds of mediums. The nature of hide/skin or Jhilli (parchment) is very much different from paper, which cannot hold colors easily. Experimental attempts were continuously made by Mumtaz Ali to write on animal skin and decorate and illuminate the writings with colors. After repeated trials of one and a half years Mumtaz Ali succeeded in 2003 and came up with his newly developed, tried and tested methods of making colors stable on Parchment and Animal Hide/Skin. With combining few ingredients to the color in the right quantity he is now able to produce items without any color fading or color cracking complains. The three ingredients which make his colors reliable on parchment and animal skin are 'Gandhak', 'Chandan' and 'Neela Thotha'. C a l l i g r a p h y i n T o n k
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Crafts of India Tonk Profiles Part2

Nov 15, 2014

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Devesh Gupta

this is primary research on Islamic Calligraphy. Various profiles have been done of calligraphers working on tonk, Rajasthan which is arguably the greatest cluster of this craft. these have been made by Kanika Gupta who as has made two documentary films on this subject.
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Page 1: Crafts of India Tonk Profiles Part2

Profiles of Calligraphers in Tonk, Rajasthan.

MUMTAZ ALI

A Tonk based calligraphy decorator and designer Mumtaz Ali has been working as an Illuminator who

illuminates the calligraphy writings – Quaranic verses and Allah's name by bordering and designing

them to give it a overall picturesque effect. His works are no ordinarily done on paper only; it is done

on other mediums as well such as 'Jhilli' (Parchment – the thin intestinal skin of a Goat) and hide/skin

of a goat.

Inspired by the historical articles kept at Alwar and Hyderabad Museums Mumtaz Ali revised the ideas

and came up with his innovations of 'Illumination' on new mediums. In initial years of his work Mumtaz

Ali faced tremendous amount of hardships regarding the conceptual decisions on making colors stable

on these kinds of mediums. The nature of hide/skin or Jhilli (parchment) is very much different from

paper, which cannot hold colors easily. Experimental attempts were continuously made by Mumtaz Ali

to write on animal skin and decorate and illuminate the writings with colors. After repeated trials of one

and a half years Mumtaz Ali succeeded in 2003 and came up with his newly developed, tried and

tested methods of making colors stable on Parchment and Animal Hide/Skin. With combining few

ingredients to the color in the right quantity he is now able to produce items without any color fading or

color cracking complains. The three ingredients which make his colors reliable on parchment and

animal skin are 'Gandhak', 'Chandan' and 'Neela Thotha'.

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A master in designing and beautifying the calligraphic writings Mumtaz Ali traces the

designs and illumination borders to fill it with colors. During his early phases of work

Mumtaz Ali used to make natural colors, but, the lack of time and the increase in

orders made him switch to easily available and procurable alternatives like the

readymade poster colors. Now he only produces works with natural colors on custom

orders. His association with Iran Culture House from the past 5 years has made him

fetch international buyers and also gave him an opportunity to visit Iran in

September 2008 for his exhibition. The illumination in form of borders and margins

decorated and designed is a result of his inspiration from the Iranian art of

illumination. A thorough study of Iranian art of Illumination made him passionate to

introduce it in his Indian works. The resemblance of the designs and motifs to the

Mughal era made it much more authentic and easier to implement it in the

calligraphy pieces. With an intention to blend the motifs and artwork of Indian

Mughal era with the Iranian art of Illumination Mumtaz Ali has been successfully

producing artistic pieces that will always remain an object of visual admiration and

desire.

His artwork

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Mumtazji’s Workshop

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Mumtazji’s and his Workshop

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MOHAMMAD YAHIYA UMAR

A Miniature Mughal Art artist and a professional diploma holder in calligraphy Mohammad Yahiya

Umar have been practicing his amalgamated form of the two arts simultaneously. His style of work

includes the calligraphic writings surrounded by Miniature Mughal Art. The primary buyers located at

Jaipur demands of such works in considerable volumes. Disciple of Ustaab Mohan Lal Soni - a

renowned Miniature Artist from Jaipur, Mohammad Yahiya Umar first obtained a diploma in

calligraphy in 1981 and then finished his certificate programme in Mughal Arts in 1986. His

inclination for arts and designing was crystal clear but due to financial pressures he found offers to

work as an Interior Decorator for a British Company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia more lucrative, but, his

return to his forte of producing artistic calligraphy pieces was certain. The appreciation and rewards

he received as an Interior Decorator made him more confident for his return to his first and original

love for miniature arts and calligraphy.

Mohammad Yahiya Umar's pieces are generally modified to look old and valuable pieces of art. His

work is concluded on a special kind of paper which is procured from Sanganer, Rajasthan. These

sheets of paper are chemically treated to make it look old and ancient. His works include simple

calligraphy writings of Quranic Verses, poetic phrases, lines on praise of Allah – The Almighty and

paintings in form of Tughras depicting scenery. All these works are specifically made on custom

order for foreign tourists and as well as buyers from Jaipur. The more detailed and complex the

design is, the more time it requires to get ready. With a 30 years plus experience in his field

Mohammad Yahiya Umar still finds difficult to completely rely on this art form for his livelihood. He

mentions that this profession is seasonal and there are times when he has to struggle to obtain a

single order.

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His Works

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MOHAMMAD KHURSHEED ALAM

One of the prominent names in the field of calligraphy – Mohammad Khursheed Alam, student of

Ustaad Quari Salimulla Wasif and Ustaad Khaleeq Tonki has been working as a Government

servant calligraphist at Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Arabic Persian Research Institute (A.P.R.I), Tonk,

Rajasthan. An expert in varied number of scripts (Khat) Mohammad Khursheed Alam completed his

education from Adeeb Kamil, Aligarh in 1985 and professionally learnt calligraphy at Decorative

Calligraphy Centre, Ghalib Academy, Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi. A profound admirer of

Khaleeq Tonki, Khurshee Alam always tried to imitate Khaleeq Tonki's creative designs and

calligraphic writings. His enthusiasm to learn calligraphy made him learn different scripts easily and

which in turn gave him an edge to draw Tughras and adorners in varied forms and shapes without

any kind of violation of fundamental rules of calligraphy.

A pro in writing Nastalique, Nashkh, Thuluth, Diwani, Diwani Jali, Ruqa, Riqa (Ijazah), Nashkh

Jadeed (type) and Kufi, Devnagri and Roman styles Mohammad Khurshid Alam has been practicing

this art since 1975. He participated in several competitions and exhibitions where he got rewarded

and appreciated. At 47 he still stands humble and proud of his accolades which he has received till

date. Jammu and Kashmir Cultural Academy, Srinagar, 1989 awarded him with a cash prize along

with a appreciation letter, he officially entered the exhibitions organized at Shimla, Jaipur, Tonk and

Ajmer, he attended a four day All India calligraphy Exhibition and Workshop named as 'Faith of

Qalam' held at Iran Culture House, New Delhi, October 2000. This exhibition cum workshop

particularly inspired many of the calligraphers who now have excelled and have able to contribute to

this field of art tremendously.

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thThe 8 International Exhibition of the Glorious Quran held at Tehran, nd thIslamic Republic of Iran from 2 to 13 December, 200 applauded his

calligraphy works. He participated at the All India Calligraphy Exhibition

and Workshop held at the Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad, Feburary 2005. rd th thHe received outstanding opportunities to participate in the 3 , 4 and 5

International Calligraphy Competitions in the respective names of

Ibn–El–Bawwab – A great figure in the history of Islamic Calligraphy,

Turkey; Sheikh Hamdullah – A master of all six styles of calligraphy of

Islamic Calligraphy, Turkey and last but not the least, Syed Ibrahim – A

great poet and a man of literature and well known Islamic calligrapher of

the age. Renowned personalities have fallen short of words whenever

describing Mohammad Khursheed Alam. With so many accolades and

recognitions Mohammad Khurshed Alam has written a book called 'Urdu

Khushnawisi' which is a part of the curriculum prescribed for the two years

diploma course in Calligraphy and Graphic Design. His contributions to

save this art and attempts to revive it in his own ways are countless and

commendable.

His Works

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His Works

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His Works

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QUARI SALIMULLAH WASIFI

After six years from the death of Ibrahim Ali Khan – the fourth Nawab of Tonk, Quari th

Salimullah Wasif was born on 17 July, 1936 in a small Muslim family of Tonk. Considered

one of the best and the most experienced calligraphers present in the country Ustaad Quari

Salimullah devoted his life to Calligraphy. A class fellow with Janab Mohammad Khaleeq

Tonki, they both learned calligraphy from Ustaad Munshi Mohammad Attequllah Khan.

Historically extremely informative, strong and potent Ustaad Quari Salimullah now practices

calligraphy to the extent of writing Quaran and critically judging his son's work in

calligraphy. In strong opposition of computers the Ustaad believes that the art can never

gain its true prominence with the intervention of computer technology, it is purely a manual

and skilled art which should be and has to be practices with hand to revive it. Extremely

tensed with the grave situation the art is facing, he vividly remembers his years of work,

when he was employed as the Head Calligraphy Instructor at Maulana Abul Kalama Azad

Arabic Persian Research Institute (A.P.R.I.) in 1982. In his 18 years of service Ustaad

delivered 900 students both boys and girls in equal proportions. Of all his disciples some of

the renowned who are still working are Abdul Rehman Khattat, Muzzaffar Raza, Khurshid

Alam, Maulwi Zamil Ahmad, Hafiz Ghulam Ahmad, his two sons Quari Mutiullah Wasif and

Arif Fasiullah. Himself a Hafiz Ustaad Quari Salimullah did his 'Hifz' when he was just eight

and a half years old.

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With all true intentions to practice the art in the name of Allah Quari

Salimullah is a master in the number of scripts he is aware of and

can actually pen it down on paper. His journey started when he first

clutched a pen in his hand in 1946. Started with two scripts

Nataleeq and Nashkh which he learned from Ustaad Munshi

Mohammad Attequallah Khan, he has recently finished writing

'Quran – e – Sharif' in 19 scripts (Khat). The seven chapters in the

'Quaran – e – Sharif' are written in different scripts while the

different Surah's (small religious paragraphs in Quaran) has been

written in different scripts, totaling it to nineteen. For the classes

which were held at A.P.R.I., Tonk Ustaad Quari Salimullah wrote

two books for the student's study material. One was 'Furquani

Nisabe Kitabat' which was published for the Beginners Calligraphy

and was a part to the course curriculum. After four years of the first

publication the second book for the decorative calligraphy class

was published by the name of 'Rahbare Shaume Khatati'. Currently

working on a book that shall introduce people to a maximum of

hundred scripts, Ustaad Quari Salimulah has completed 36 pages

to the book that as of now gives an insight to 63 scripts. Along with th

this he has completed writing the last part of the Quran (the 30

part) which contains 37 Surats in 41 scripts.

His Work

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His Works

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QUARI MUTIULLAH WASIFI

Son of Ustaad Quari Salimullah Wasif, Quari Mutiullah Wasifi started learning the art of calligraphy

from the age of 10. At 32 he is amonst the youngest of all the calligraphers present in Tonk. Unlike

his father Quari Mutiullah along with calligraphy also focuses on designing and decorating his

calligraphic writings to make his pieces look more beautiful and make it a quick saleable commodity

among the few countable competitors he recognizes in his hometown Tonk. Out of the two brothers

in the family his inclination towards the art was spotted by his father when Mutiullah was only a kid.

In the year 1991-1992 he got admission in the calligraphy classes of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Arabic Persian Research Institute and learned simple basic calligraphy. Next, he got enrolled in the

decorative calligraphy classes in the year 1995-1996 and successfully completed it. His works

speaks on how one can make the art contemporary and modern. Successfully accomplished writing

four 'Qalam – e – Pak' Quari Mutiullah has also produced calligraphy works inside glass bottles, on

grains of rice, a pip of tamarind, gram pulse etc. He has contemporized his works to the likes and

wants of today's consumer. He has also produced the book of Shekh Saidi's 'Karima' into a form of

paper roll written very finely in the most minuscule font size and also into a form of a very minuscule

paperback book.

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This young calligrapher has managed to produce some wonderful

works which includes paperback rolls approximate 25 feet long on

History of Islam in two scripts namely Khat–e–Nashkh and

Khat–e–Thuluth. Quari Mutiullah spent some time with designer

and decorator 'Miya Hasim' of Tonk and learnt the nuances of

designing and the art of decoration. His inspiration for the design

part of the calligraphy comes from Mughal Arts and the samples of

Ibn–e–Maqla who derived six more scripts from the Kufic Script.

With an aim to write the biggest 'Qalam–e–Pak' Quari Mutiullah is

waiting for the right time and the right opportunity to strike that will

make him give more extraordinary results in this field.

His Work

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His Works

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GHULAM AHMAD

stBorn on 1 January, 1971 Ghulam Ahmad, a tonk based calligrapher established himself with the

support of his brother Maulwi Zamil Ahmad. A Hafiz and a Quari himself, the versatile Ghulam

Ahmad adopted the art of calligraphy through sheer hard work, perseverance and devotion. Being

a student of the Calligraphy classes at Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Arabic Persian Research

Institute he learned the art of basic and decorative calligraphy under the guidance of Ustaad Quari

Salimullah Wasif and was also granted scholarship after the 2 years basic calligraphy course

programme for further calligraphy education. Later, Ghulam Ahmad decided to specialize into the

field and make it a profession. This decision gave him a new mentor – Mohammad Khursheed

Alam, under whose direction Ghulam Ahmad accomplished the learning of various other scripts like

Khat–e–Diwani, Kaht–e–Thuluth etc.

An accomplished calligrapher and a decorator Ghulam Ahmad composes new designs with

inspirations from Mughal Arts and modifying it according to the orders and the market it is meant

for. He's one of the calligraphers who have used natural colors (especially stone colors) which are

extracted from mountain stones. With the complicatedness to obtain and apply these colors its

usage has diminished tremendously. It is now only restricted to custom orders. With a sole purpose

to beautify and emphasize the calligraphy writings Ghulam Ahmad indulges in designing and

decoration of his pieces. With his artistic works Ghulam Ahmad only and only intends to make more

and more number of people aware about the art of calligraphy and in return expects support and

appreciation. He believes that even his minor contribution will affect the sustainability of this art.

With this view he is making sure that his nephews also learn calligraphy. The batch of 1981 – 1982

of the calligraphy class at A.P.R.I. produced only one calligrapher who made calligraphy his

profession and that is Ghulam Ahmad.

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His Works

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Film Proposal and Budgeting

Documentation of the languishing art of Islamic Calligraphy in Tonk, Rajasthan.

Islamic calligraphy is an art that came to India with the coming of the Sultanate period. In that period it flourished immensely and also evolved absorbing various elements of Indian art in it. However with the

coming of type writers and computers this art in India is slowly fading away. People hardly know of calligraphy as an art anymore. The masters of this art hardly find any truly dedicated disciple. This is an

art which calls for great discipline and years of hard work. Tonk, Rajasthan is one place where a very distinct style of this art has practiced since ages. The medium

used is animal skin/fat and on that calligraphy is done with black ink.

This particular style of calligraphy has remained undocumented and is at the point of extinguishing.

Objective

To do a video documentation of this art. The entire process and norms, beliefs associated with it. The technique of making the medium of out animal fat and the style of writing various scripts on it. Elements

of Rajasthan arts in it that have evolved over the years. Artists practicing it and their lives.

Benefits

-Documentation of a precious art of India which is at a stage of getting extinguished. -Introducing the art of calligraphy amongst people through screenings of the film.

-An attempt to give a market to the calligraphers by spreading awareness about them and their work.

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Abstract

The objective of this project is to video and photo document the languishing art Islamic calligraphy of the particular region of Tonk, Rajasthan. Through this film people are introduced to the art of calligraphy which

is hardly as art according to most people. The calligraphers now have very few dedicated disciples left.

For the documentation of this art there is a team which consists of a cameraperson, a sound person and one production person. This team will travel to Tonk. One of the master calligraphers have already been spoken to and some of his works have been shot already. The team gets in touch with him once in Tonk and reaches

for his studio.

Once the documentation is done along with calligraphers' interviews the team heads back to Delhi for editing. The nature of the film will be purely documentation which can be used by researchers and students

as well.

As mentioned above the project aims at – -Documentation of a precious art of India which is at a stage of getting extinguished.

-Introducing the art of calligraphy amongst people through screenings of the film.-An attempt to give a market to the calligraphers by spreading awareness about them and their work.

-Will also be useful to researchers and students.

Team

Cameraperson and director – Kanika GuptaSound person – Arnav Das

Writing – Manu Pandey

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Budget for the documentation film on Islamic Calligraphy, Tonk.

Equipment and material

1 Camera Kit Renting @Rs1000/day (x7) Rs 7,000/- 2 Mini DV Tapes Rs 1,000/- 3 Editing Studio Rental @Rs300/hour (x20hrs) Rs 6,000/-

Total Equipment and Material Cost Rs 14,000/- Travel and Accommodation 1 Delhi to Jaipur and return by train @Rs500/person

(x3) (x2) Rs 3,000/-

2 Jaipur to Tonk by car and return Rs 5,000/- 3 Local travel @Rs700/day (x5) Rs 3,500/- 4 Accommodation @Rs800/day (x5) Rs 4,000/- 5 Food during stay (B,L,D for 3) @Rs800 (x5) Rs 4,000/- 6 Equipment Transportation Rs 1,000/-

Total Travel and Accommodation Cost Rs 20,500/- Professional Costs 1 Honorarium to sound artist Rs 3,000/- 2 Honorarium to production in-charge Rs 3,000/- 3 Film Direction Cost honorary 4 Camera Person Charges honorary

Total Professional Costs Rs 6,000/- Total cost for the project – Rs 40,500/-

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Profile

NameKanika Gupta

Permanent addressA – 2 Preet Vihar, New Delhi – 110092

Date of Birth6 April 1987

Contact number9810812695

e-mail

Education10 + 2 Delhi Public School, Mathura Road (2005)

skill summary -

Specialization in photography (outdoor and indoor)

Videography (PD 170 Mini DV Cam)

Costume styling

A student of Kathak since the past 6 years.work –

done a workshop on film making by documentary film maker Kavita Joshi.Completed my second documentary film as director.

The first was on street children called 'umangein'. The second is onIslamic calligraphy and is called 'Alif'.

Done a 6 week internship with MTV (Viacom 18) in costume styling.

Done portfolios for my seniors and friends in apparel design.

[email protected]@gmail.com

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Primary Research

Calligraphy as an art in the present times.Ghalib Academy

Near Nizamuddin Dargah Calligraphy was taught here 6 to 8 months back. The course has now been shut because there are no

takers.

Urdu Ghar I.T.O (Ring Road)

Calligraphy classes were stopped some 4 years back.

Iran Culture HouseTilak Marg, near India Gate

Mr Majid Ahmady Now works in Iran Culture House. He used to do calligraphy before.

He had an exhibition of his work at the National Museum 3 years back. He has also delivered lectures and seminars on the subject of calligraphy in the same place.

According to him the art of calligraphy is at its decline in India. Due to the coming of computers nobody cares about calligraphy anymore. Thus there are very few genuine artists left. In the past 10 years people

doing calligraphy have slowly moved on to newspapers.

Ms Safara Works in Iran Culture House. She is rewriting a book in Nastaliq which is written in Naskh.

She is here only for 2 years and will then go back to her hometown Iran. She started learning calligraphy as a child at an age of 8 years. Since then she has been practicing this art.

Jama Masjid There is one calligrapher here who is still practicing. However he earns out of writing books in Arabic and

Urdu. He has been interviewed by 'The Hindu'.

There are also a few articles that he has written on calligraphy which have been published in the papers.

Mr Anis Siddiqi He used to practice calligraphy in the past. But since there are no students now he is working in Miranda

House, Delhi University where he teaches English calligraphy. He has a studio where he sometimes likes to work on the art. He has also conducted workshops on

calligraphy through Spic Macay.

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Hashim Akhtar Naqvi

Winner of Limca Book of World Records.Is an expert in 5000 different calligraphic styles.

Awards :First prize for the “Innovative Calligraphy” at the All India competition of calligraphy organised by Jammu

and Kashmir Academy of Arts, Culture and Languages, Srinagar in 1989.Tauheed-ul-Muslimeen Trust awarded certificate of merit 1991-1992.

Out of a total 113 Bismillah…. Designs the Dar-ul-Quran publishers, Bombay used 52 Bismillah…. Designs for their 'Al Quran'(Waraqi).

Mr Javed Abbasi

DelhiCalligrapher

He does calligraphy using small wooden sticks.Lives in Nizammudin basti.

Sz Mumtaz Ali Khan

CalligrapherTonk, Rajasthan

A distinct style of calligraphy done on animal skin. This has influences from Rajasthani traditions.

Raza Zaidi

Calligraphy on Canvas

Agha Mohammad Hassan

Calligraphy with pulses Lives in Lucknow.

Maulana Abdul Moid Kamil

Maulana Abdul Moid Kamil is a calligrapher in Mau, 120 km from Varanasi who earns his living by doing calligraphy. He also makes wedding and invitation cards with calligraphy on them for people. He teaches in

the village's Madarsa for which he takes no money. In this village children in the beginning are taught to make their own 'kalam' using bamboo and use wooden

slabs 'takhti' to write on. These they wash every evening to prepare it for the next day. This is a culture which was followed in the past, even by our parents' generation. However now it has faded away. None of us

have ever used this kind of pen or notebook while learning to write the Alphabet.In this village of Mau this still continues only to fade away sometime in near future.

The primary research produced here is a copyright of

Kanika GuptaNational Institute of Fashion Technology

New Delhi, 2008.

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Previously made film on Islamic Calligraphy

The film

AlifIn search of the one above…

Genre – Informative Documentary

SynopsisAlif is a documentary on the art of Islamic Calligraphy. Shot in a small village called Mau, 120 km from Varanasi, the film takes its viewers into the studio of a calligrapher who actually manages to make a living out of his art in the present times. The film creates a parallel between the students of the Madarsa of that village and the calligrapher, who also teaches them. The calligrapher still makes his own 'kalam' using bamboo sticks and teaches his students to do so as well. The students start with the bamboo pen and write on 'takhti' (wooden slab).In the film we see different nibs being made and the very basic of this art, that is Alif, the first letter of the Urdu alphabet.With every alif there is a new beginning, a new style of writing waiting to be explored.

th14 march, 2009.

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Description

Alif

in search of the one above...

An introductory short film providing insight on the very basic meaning of Islamic Calligraphy, Alif tries

to give its audience foundation knowledge of what Islamic Calligraphy is all about. The foundation

knowledge of calligraphy majorly begins with imparting education to school going children of the

language called Urdu which starts with the first alphabet named – Alif. A madarsa (muslim school) is a

place where pupils are taught the very basic structure of writing the alphabets on a traditional medium

called 'Takhti' (a wooden plank). Each day a child carries the Takhti to school, learns to write few

words with a self-made wooden 'Qalam' (pen), practices to write it few more times and then washes it

at home to bring it back to school the next day. Its relevance to Islamic Calligraphy cannot be out

maneuvered since it forms the basic and the most integral part of pursuing calligraphy writing. A place

called Mau near Varanasi has been shot in Alif where a Madarsa still exists and the teacher of that

Madarsa is himself a calligrapher. The story is about the prestigious art of Islamic Calligraphy which is

struggling to find its existence among the quick and rapid scribbling with bolder ball points and pilots.

It briefly explains the concepts behind the varied scripts that a calligrapher is ought to know and write

in. Alif displays the real depiction of the process through which a plain word takes the shape of a

calligraphic writing with a few strokes of a Qalam. How a simple piece of writing is distinguished from

that of Calligraphic Writing is what Alif talks about.

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PRE-PRODUCTION

The pre-production stage began with preparation of basic time schedules. The time schedules

included the possible appointment dates & times and their alternatives for interviews with Delhi based

calligraphers. In order to secure all the relevant information about calligraphers from Tonk, Rajasthan

it was necessary to contact the Delhi Calligraphers working independently and with Iran Culture

House. Since Iran Culture House procures and buys a lot of calligraphy work from Tonk the

established link between the calligraphers was clearly visible. After obtaining the amount of content

that Tonk can provide on the subject, tentative period of stay was finalized which came out to be 6

days. The first task which had to be carried out was finding about the Arabic Persian Research

Institute which was seen as the most iconic attribute that shall contribute specifically to the film's

exact content demand. A thorough research and correspondence with several calligraphers made us

acquainted with the present A.P.R.I. director. Since the institute was established with a motive to

conserve and preserve the Islamic Arts Heritage, no person without a permission letter from a reliable

source would be allowed to capture the rare and the ancient inscriptions on camera kept safe and

intact inside the main building.

This fact gave birth to an immediate need of obtaining a permission letter from INTACH. The second

step of acquiring the letter gained prime importance. The process of meeting Delhi based

calligraphers – Irshad Hussain Farooqui, Javed Abbasi and Anees Siddiqui provided concrete ideas

and prevalent facts about the upcoming journey. A desirable course of action was chalked out that

discussed the people relating to this art, who need to be captured and understood. The available

calligraphers in Delhi helped bringing out some realities relating to the intended journey which

facilitated us with a lot of accessible information.

Charbeth, a style of music especially to the Tonk region known for its unique manner of singing and is

now languishing was found out through continuance of talks and sharing of information on purpose of

visit with the calligraphers. As the proposed dates of the visit came nearer, the next step formulated

was of making the bookings. Through primary contacts, a local help named Mr. Ghanshyam Gidwani

was made available regarding bookings and local transit. After receiving the official visit letter and

confirmation of the bookings a basic study of the place was suggested. The entire crew was asked to

read about Tonk. The team was also asked to understand the town with landmarks which will be

useful while travelling within the town.

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PRODUCTION

The production of the film fortunately was not poised with a lot of challenges. Yet to name a few of

them: Tonk being a small town in Rajastan did not have good supply of water. The raised level of

chlorine in the water made its consumption very less.

Second and the last being the unexpected behavior of the director of A.P.R.I. Mr. Abdul Moid. His

showcase of extreme reluctance in showing the heritage articles and ancient manuscripts was

unbelievable. His unconvincing nature even after obtaining a valid fool proof letter proved a bane for

our film. But, the amount of support and enthusiasm showed by other people encountered in the

remaining journey raised our spirits and provided us with extremely applicable and convincing

material for the subject.

The first and foremost responsibility was to ensure that not even a moment goes waste. The

environment was what it was expected and provided us with great natural lighting. Tonk being a very

small town, everyone lived in the vicinity to each other and therefore, travelling from one place to

another was never a problem. With a determination to shoot as many personalities associated with

the subject was fulfilled. No technical errors or problems were reported as the pre check and prior

testing of all the equipments were conducted before hand. The expected amount of captured footage

came out to be exact i.e. 8 hours. Since the entire shooting schedule went according to the plans, the

production process was completed within the period of 5 days as opposed to the planned 6 days.

Page 29: Crafts of India Tonk Profiles Part2
Page 30: Crafts of India Tonk Profiles Part2