(Byline: Aditya Giri Deka, Guwahati.)
Calligraphy, the visual art related to writing, has a history in itself. With origins tracing back to the ancient period, possibly to the beginning of the written language, calligraphy in the Indian subcontinent has evolved over many centuries. In the present times, the importance of this art form as a hobby and also as a viable career option is well-recognized.
In a telephonic conversation on Friday evening, one of the prominent calligraphers in the state, Atifur Rahman Borah, says he started doing calligraphy around 18 years ago. “I used to admire the ancient Roman and Italic style fonts and also began copying the writing style of greeting cards. When I joined Assam Valley School, I read some books on calligraphy which further aroused my interest, and that’s how I got into this art form professionally.”, recounts Borah.
Adept in writing calligraphic fonts in multiple languages, including English, Hindi, and Assamese, Borah highlights that calligraphy is one of the most desired skills today. According to him, calligraphy not only improves the handwriting of individuals, which further reflects in their personality; it also gives students the edge in this competitive world with regards to various assignments and projects. “With the skill of calligraphy, students can elevate their projects to the next level.”, he adds.
A self-trained artist, Borah also has expertise in Fine Arts, crafts, and doodle art. He says that apart from the regular calligraphic fonts, he also does doodle calligraphy. “In story-telling or doodle calligraphy, I try to visually represent a person’s history and biography through the alphabets of the name.”, he says.
With the increased recognition and importance given to calligraphy in modern times, Borah feels that the scope of the art form is immense. He says, “Nowadays, there are a lot of avenues for calligraphers. Indian calligraphers like Qamar Dagar and Achyut Palav represent the country on the international stage, which is a major source of inspiration. Besides the great scope in the international market, there is a new trend whereby calligraphic fonts are in demand in cafes and malls.” The demand for calligraphy, as per Borah, will continue to grow in the coming times.
Moreover, Borah aspires to see Assam develop as a hub of art. “I want to encourage the youth of Assam to stay and succeed in their craft here and let people from other states come and learn from us the different art forms. Our state has the potential to become a major centre in art and crafts.”, adds Borah.
Presently teaching in Solmara Army Campus in Tezpur, Borah also has schools in Guwahati and Tezpur town, where he teaches this beautiful art of calligraphy.