Winter, Snow & Art

Kashmir Magazine

Aatif Qayoom

An artist’s life happens to be a poetic, both in odd and even. Being an artist is a decision that has implications and consequences as well as rewards and victories.
The brave hearts who dare to move out of the crowd because they feel they can form their imagination into words, paintings, music, movies, dance, and so on, still have the upper hand. An artist’s path can be full of ups and downs, successes and failures, good and poor outcomes, but it can’t be routine or dull.
Zubair Ahmad Dar (30) who hails from Doonwari hamlet in Chadoora of central Kashmir’s Budgam started painting during his childhood. After completing his 12th, Zubair started working in car accessories in the locality. Simultaneously he started pursuing graduation. However after completing graduation in B.Sc. from Amar Singh College Srinagar, he started working full-time in car accessories shop, and since then he has been earning livelihood from there.
According to Zubair, there are very few customers who visit his shop during the winter, and in 2014, he and some friends visited the tourist destination of Yusmarg, where he made a Taj Mahal out of snow, whose pictures were widely shared on social media sites by netizens.
“It takes me two days and ten thousand rupees to complete the job with the help of my friends,” Zubair told.
People’s liking of the Taj Mahal gave the young artist hope, and after two years, he built a snow car at Ski Resort Gulmarg, which was sponsored by some knows persons of Zubair.
In the year 2019, Zubair made Bugatti cars in Mochwa and Kralpora on the Srinagar outskirts, which have gained the wide attention of people.
After photographs of the Buggati automobile were shared on social media, it became a popular topic on social media sites.
People from all across the country came to see the snow automobile after the videos and photographs went viral. Zubair has been creating snow models since he was a child. The recent “snow car” hasn’t been the only thing that has amazed the locals. His earlier works have also caused quite a sensation.
“I can make anything out of snow; all I need is resources,” Zubair informed and added that he want to produce something that will attract international notice.
He explained that because the roads were blanketed in snow, he decided to do something that has gained him praise on social media. He built a whole vehicle model out of snow.
“My wife always fought with me as there was no end to the snow. I always encouraged her that she should be proud of my art,” he said and added, “The reason behind why she was fighting with me was that there was no outcome to the snow sculpture”.
“Recently, when I made the snow ship, which took me two days to complete, my wife saw this on social media and didn’t talk to me for days,” he said and continued “I did it for a variety of reasons, one of which was that I enjoy painting and photography. It was basically just a prop for me to snap shots of the snow ship”.
Zubiar had intended to make something fresh, but once he got started, a ship began to take shape. “As I was piling the snow, it began to accumulate in some locations, and I began to notice a curvature. I got to the point where I could nearly see it. It just showed up.”
“Friends come over; it’s a terrific spot to have a good time and just hang out,” Zubair said with a laugh.
The snowship has attracted the attention of practically the entire community. He said his nephews and all the neighborhood kids are having a great time playing on it.
“They are ecstatic. They scurry in and out,” he explained. “For them, it’s like a small cave.”
Dar spent about 20 hours crafting snowballs, including 10-hours shoveling and piling snow and other 10-hours in carving the monster with a machete.
Sometimes I get discouraged at myself for spending too much time on making these snow sculptures because the government or any other agency never paid any heed to my work, Zubair expressed in a dejected tune.
I have modified a simple maturity and spent around 2 lakh rupees on its modification. The car has various facilities that are installed in high-priced cars.
He said that I have spent two years on its modification and there is still some work to be done, which will take a long time. The reason behind modifying these old cars is that one can afford a huge amount of capital to buy a hi-fi car. I am trying to provide these facilities at an affordable price, he maintained.
He believes if authorities give me a chance to make snow sculptures at tourist places, I am sure people across the world will come to watch my snow art. If the tourism department will accommodate my art, I will make a Taj Mahal that will look like a true copy of this Seven Wonders of the World. People can visit inside the snow-made Taj Mahal, and if lights are illuminated, that will add charm to it.
He responded, “I don’t have any teachers who have taught me the snow art. I can make things out of mud, sand, and wood. There is nothing difficult to make”.
All I choose for this snow art is that there is less work at my shop during the winter, so I have more time to build these things.
He however expressed dejection over official apathy as his work is not getting anything except applause from people as well as the general public.
He stated that if my work is taken seriously, it will surely help the government, especially the Tourism Department, to allure more and more tourists here. I recently watched a video of the snow-capped Taj Mahal, which had captured the attention of a large number of tourists. However, the aforementioned snow sculptures were created at random by an artist.
“I am hopeful that the government will surely think about my snow sculptures and give me some assignments on winter tourist sites,” he added.
“I am pretty hopeful that if my work is encouraged and recognized by the authorities, I will be able to take part in snow sculpture competitions held at an international level. And I will make Kashmir as well as my country proud across the globe,” he said.

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