Hyderabad: A handful calligraphers struggle to survive in the age of technology

ByVoiceup Media

Aug 5, 2023

Calligraphy is an ‘Art’ of beautiful scripting, and calligraphers are trained professionals, who create amazing designs using their proficiency in lettering and design.

The history of calligraphy dates back to ancient times, when scribes used their skills to produce manuscripts and other written materials. Today, the calligraphy has been limited to a certain occasion to a certain place including wedding invitation cards to mosques, and shrines.

Generally, calligraphers are engaged for the Holy Scripture verses to write on the walls inside the mosques or shrines. Gradually, this trend too is fading away from young minds in the age of technology.

A few traditional calligraphers in the old city of Hyderabad are doing their best to keep the dying art alive by engaging themselves in meager pay. Though, ancient art of calligraphy is supposedly on the edge of ending era even as the handful calligraphers are looking for youngsters to remain the craft alive, but fail.

One of the oldest Calligraphers, Syed Faheem Ahmed, 62, at Chatta Bazaar, who is in the field for the last 40-years struggling hard to keep the art alive. He used to work for different newspapers in the past but the advent of technology made him jobless. Chatta Bazar, is one of markets in the old city of Hyderabad, where the traditional art and printing work is done.

“It has been over 40-years in this field and prior to this, I used to work for certain newspapers as a calligrapher. Unfortunately, the advent of new technology made me jobless and there is no option but to survive on meager resources.

In the past, calligraphers were in great demand in Hyderabad but it is not like that. The art will never end but the calligraphers are no more, still there are some striving hard to keep the art alive,’’ said one of the oldest Calligraphers Syed Faheem Ahmed.
Varieties of calligraphy including Persian, Urdu, and Arabic which has been limited to certain places mostly preferred to write Holy Scripture verses inside mosques at some points.

“During the wedding season our earnings somewhat increase, else we will have to wait desperately all day long and sometimes we get back home without earning,’’ added Syed Faheem Ahmed, oldest calligrapher in Chatta Bazaar Market.

Zainul Abideen, another calligrapher who has been running his shop for the last 35 years in the market told that due to printing calligraphy demand has come down drastically. Only few arrive to place orders at his shop for the calligraphy work else they have to wait for days.

“Earlier, we used to work with our father and after his demise; we are brothers running this shop and only few people visit here. All possible efforts are made to remain the craft alive but lack of youngsters’ interest in this profession upset us most. Only a handful calligraphers left to remain the craft alive as the young generations do not want to learn it. The Art needs patience, sincerity and hard work to become a skilled calligraphers,’’ said, Zainul Abideen


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