In one of the cramped alleys of the downtown Srinagar, the city of Kashmir, a man in his late sixties drops chisel as he sees to shake hands with this reporter.
“I am not scared of the virus,” says Ghulam Nabi Dar, 68. His room where he does walnut woodcarving smells of wood. The wood dust covers everything: a red coloured small radio, wooden planks, an old tin trunk in the corner and stacks of paper with imprinted designs.
“I am growing old but passion keeps me going,” he said while putting down his tools on a plank.
According to Dar, he has taught the skills of this craft to many in his neighbourhood, family and friends because he himself had to struggle for years for it.
When Dar was six years old he was admitted to a private school in his neighbourhood. But soon his father couldn’t afford the expenses and Dar had to drop out when he was just 10.
“Most of the time I was without fees, uniform and books. Education became unaffordable,” he said.
To help the family come out of its financial crisis, Dar’s maternal uncle took him to a local wood carving artisan Abdul Razzaq Wangnoo. Dar along with his younger brother started working for him. He was not paid for two years while learning the craft and doing menial tasks. In the following three years, he was paid two and a half rupees.
Dar vividly remembers his father words insisting, his employer to teach his both sons effectively even if he pays less to them.
AN ARTISTIC URGE
To further develop his skills and earn more, he started working with his neighbourhood wood carving artisan, Abdul Aziz Bhat. Bhat used to get orders from Subla & Company, a reputed handicraft company with a huge customer base.
He came across work of different artists at the Subla’s workshop and one day overwhelmed by curiosity he managed to sneak into a room in which the best walnut woodcarvings were kept. He was fascinated by their intricate designs.
Days later, while he was used to making furtive journeys to the room, the owner thought he was going there with the intention to steal something. “I told him the truth and why I came to the room,” he recalled.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
As non-local mining concerns bagged most of the mining works across Kashmir, tendered at the peak of internet shutdown, thousands of people have been rendered jobless, reports Umar Mukhtar
With the Covid-19 pandemic dictating a new regime, most of the activities of life are getting into virtual mode. Owing to the communication blockade, Kashmir has finally managed its hiccups and is trying to manage the digital deficit. Shakir Ashraf reports about Kashmir’s new online stores
Successive governments have mindlessly “hired” people on an ad-hoc, provisional and temporary basis. They keep the government’s service delivery show going on at almost half of the daily wage guaranteed by law. Merely surviving on a hope that one day their services will be regularised, these more than 60,000 families are dying almost on daily basis. They are at the core of a social crisis, reports Yawar Hussain
THE VERSATILE: VICE-CHANCELLOR
Exactly this was a time of the year, 13 years ago in 2008, spring officially sprung, that I was finally a graduate. Out of college, I was looking forward to pursuing my further education outside the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. My family, however, wanted me to stay back.
Halt to sugar-cotton imports from India has not stalled the India Pakistan peace process. While the two sides are engaged in back-channel diplomacy, they do have differences on key issues as per the reports appearing in Pakistani media, reports Tahir Bhat
‘THE FEAR, THREAT AND SHRINKING SPACE FOR DISSENT IS A KEY FACTOR THAT MARKS WINS AND LOSSES IN KASHMIR'
Rajani Patil is a third-generation politician. Her grandfather, Ganesh Pingle, a member of the Gadar Movement, was hanged in Lahore by the British in 1915. Her mother, Shantabai Pingle married her father, Baram Patil while they were imprisoned by the British. The former Congress MP is now in-charge General Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir. Ms Patil to Tarushi Aswani about recent developments and challenges that shape party politics and mainstream politics in a post 370 Jammu and Kashmir.
SHOULD THERE BE A NEW FEDERAL COMPACT BETWEEN THE CENTRE AND STATES?
In the book, Beyond Covid’s Shadow: Mapping India’s Economic Resurgence, Haseeb A Drabu makes a case and suggests an alternative. Here is an abridged version of a chapter
FOR PEACEFUL SUMMER
Like Kashmir weather and politics, Indo-Pak relations are also unpredictable writes Zahoor Malik
Free-roaming dogs in Kashmir bite thousands every year. Though the authorities assert that they have been sterilising the dogs and managing the waste food, the availability of lot of free food is a key factor in the dog population surge, reports Syed Samreen
One of Srinagar’s oldest craftsmen, Ghulam Nabi Dar’s designs on the wood remain unmatched for their intricacy and detail, reports Khalid Bashir Gura
Forging a path to carbon transparency
HOW LOGITECH’S LOW-CARBON DESIGN STRATEGY IS TRANSFORMING AN INDUSTRY
Adult Daycare Stimulates Minds While Offering Caregivers a Change of Pace
Bills Digest BUZZ Box: Five hot topics Bills fans are talking about
Bills Digest editor Mark Ludwiczak and editor-at-large Chris Brown weigh in on a handful of the hottest subjects Bills fans have been sounding off about in e-mails to our offices, radio call-in shows and Internet message boards. Have an opinion? Feel free to send an email to Chris (AskChris@bills.nfl.net) or Mark (Mark@asmpublishing.com).
B&B: WYATT ASKS KATIE FOR A FAVOR
In an attempt to mend fences between Flo and the Logans, Wyatt reaches out to his ex, Katie.
How Obsidian built its reputation for masterful, yet buggy, RPGs
Looking back at 2020 season
The 2020 season will absolutely be remembered for being one of the strangest and most disappointing in franchise history.
“Determined to travel from the North Pole to the South Pole, Amos Barrett and his team of adventurers have arrived in the Late Triassic to drive the length of Pangea, the only time in the planet’s history when the continents had fused into one giant landmass.
The Girl in the Dream
Was this a church? The high, vaulted ceilings made it seem like one—almost but not exactly.
Snagged anchors and empty gas bottles
Mishaps on a mid-Med adventure
THE ART OFTHE SNACK Alfie's Bar + Kitchen
This month's The Art of the Snack takes us to Alfie's Bar & Kitchen where we find out about this organic and sustainable eatery. Chef Darren Pettigrew talks about what we should think about ordering from signature dishes to cocktails and how they have been navigating these past few months!