For 24-year-old Samreen Fareed, it is a two-pronged challenge at such a tender age- switching to her passion of calligraphy from another art form and then adorning the Almighty’s spoken word at that.
Nevertheless, the young woman from Srinagar’s Buchpora area has already taken both the challenges head on as she has already calligraphed a full chapter of the holy Qur’an and now braces to calligraph the entire scripture.
The young woman pursuing Masters in Business Administration is probably, what they call a “born artist”, as she was fond of drawing and sketching right from her days at Srinagar’s Minto Circle School, where she would draw sketches on her rough notebooks “which did not look rough at all,” a friend of Samreen’s at Minto recalls.
Her artistic journey caught up soon as she started drawing sketches and portraits of people she knew and uploaded them on her Instagram page which helped her to gain some audience and sell her work. “I started to get orders from many people to draw their portraits and until now, I have sold more than 40 portraits,” recalls Samreen.
However, there was a change of heart for Samreen in 2018 when she took a new kind of pen and “started to draw something very different to what I used to draw and thus made my first calligraphy piece,” she recalls.
Although making portraits would make her happy, Samreen says she felt a “sense of calmness and peace since she has started to calligraph Islamic quotes and verses of the holy scripture”.
“It was very new for me because sketching portraits and writing calligraphy are two different things but the feeling I got in calligraphing my scripture, motivated me to continue,” she says.
Luckily for the young artist, the response to the switch was surprisingly overwhelming as Samreen started to receive orders for more pieces and many customers wanted customized orders, she says.
“Everyone wanted particular verses or quotes to be calligraphed. It took me two days to prepare a piece and even if the order was a big one, I dedicated my whole time to it and completed it within a couple of days,” a reassuring Samreen tells Greater Kashmir.
She, however, emphasized that she is not done at merely selling portraits and verses, but has decided to calligraph the whole Qur’an and keep it with her.
“Writing the Qur’an is not a small thing, as one has to be vigilant about small signs and letters. I don’t know how much time would it exactly take, but I know, I would do it,” she emphasizes.
With regard to switching to a new art form, Samreen says it was “a bit difficult decision for her but not a bad one”.
“People should never be afraid of trying new things. If they believe they can do it, they can surely do it. I had never held a calligraphy pen in my hands, but it is a different story now. We all have stories, it is up to us how we define them,” she says.
The newbie calligraphist has already sold 60 calligraphy pieces even as she humbly concedes that her first pieces are still with her as “nobody would want to purchase them”.
Despite all her achievements, the young artist has a grievance though: the absence of a platform to. Samreen, like many other artists like her, don’t have a platform to boost their art in Kashmir.
“If it wasn’t for social media, my art and passion would have died a long ago,” she underscores.