How lockdown helped this aspiring civil servant to hone her skills in Calligraphy

Kashmir Magazine

Though Covid-19 lockdown was challenging, for people like Nowreen Bilal, it has been about picking up an old hobby, as she would get ample time to hone her skills, which has been doing since her childhood, but would hardly get time to work on it.

For Nowreen lockdown has been a sort of a “blessing in disguise”, as she would get ample time to work on her calligraphy skills during the lockdown period.

Nowreen while talking with The Kashmir Magazine says that although she had good writing skills both in Urdu and Arabic and she would also do a little calligraphy since her childhood, but she could not get enough time to work on her calligraphy skills.

She says she was inclined toward calligraphy since her childhood but would little time to do the same. “I have been doing it since my childhood, roughly though, but I started spending more time in doing calligraphy when I was 11th standard. Still, I could not do it with dedication so that I could get recognition for this skill of mine,” she said, adding that it was due to the lockdown when the second wave hit the country this year that she got ample time at her home to hone her skills in calligraphy.
Nowreen, who is pursuing B.Sc. at Islamia College in Srinagar, says with increased downtime during the lockdown she was able to hone her skills in calligraphy, as she gave more attention to it as compared to other home chores and routine stuff.
“It was because of the lockdown that she got recognition for her calligraphy skills after she created a page on social networking site, Instagram. My elder sister, who is pursuing MBBS abroad, suggested me create a page on Instagram as I had customized several frames of calligraphy, but nobody knew about it,” Nowreen says.
She says as soon as she created an Instagram page and started uploading her customized frames on it, she started getting recognition for her art and she started receiving orders from the people to customize their names, Quranic verses, birthday greetings and much more for them.
Nowreen says normally it takes 3-4 hours to customize one frame, but it depends on the size of the frame and customers requirement, so sometimes it takes one or two days to customize a frame.
“My elder sister and my mom also help me in customizing some orders, so sometimes it takes less time to complete an order and my father helps me financially. My family has been very supportive in every respect,” she says.
She says, she gets orders through her Instagram page and WhatsApp, and she asks for half of the payment from the customers before the order and the rest of the payment after completion of the order. “In Srinagar, I do home delivery of orders and sometimes my brother delivers orders to customers’ homes,” she said.
Nowreen says though Calligraphy is her passion, she wants to be a civil servant as this is her aim.
Besides being a good calligrapher, Nowreen is good at poetry as well and she is also planning to write a book in the near future.