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JANUARY 2001

MONTHLY    *    Vol 15-01 No:169    *   JANUARY 2001 / SHAWWAL 1421H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

ISLAMIC ART & HERITAGE


A Dash of Colour
Calligrapher par excellence
Nizam's Palace to be Museum

A Dash of Colour

Glasscrafters bring colour into the dreary abodes and workplaces of people


By A Staff Writer

Stained Glass Doom of the Muscat Municipality Building done by Asad Hajeebhoy

Stained Glass Doom of the Muscat Municipality Building 
done by Asad Hajeebhoy

HIS is a spectral world, radiating all colours. Be it a door panel, a lamp shade, a dome over the lobby hall, or just the panels in the staircase, Asad Hajeebhoy can add a dash of colour to buildings through his glass craft. Hajeebhoy and his group of artisans called ‘Glasscrafters’ are virtually bringing colour into dreary abodes of people or workplaces.

Fresh from an assignment from Thekkady in Kerala, Hajeebhoy held an exhibition at his small showroom in Ulsoor last fortnight. This was to celebrate the first anniversary of his presence in Bangalore. On display were his countless specimen of his stained glass artworks.

Hajeebhoy has pursued stained glass art for nearly 22 years and has emerged as a leading artist in decorating dwellings and offices with his artwork in stained glass. He was assigned the construction of 30-metre diametre dome over the Muscat Municipality in stained glass and this remains his magnum opus. Last month he finished 40 cottages of the Taj Group of Hotels in Thekkady sanctuary in Kerala. Dominant motifs were the numerous birds commonly seen in the sylvan surroundings of the Thekkady resort. He also decorated the EGK Building on Bangalore’s M.G.Road which now houses the Bombay Stores.

According to Hajeebhoy, the art in stained glass has a history of 1500 years in Europe where glass panes in a lot many churches display the stained glass. However, in India, most people mistook painted glass for stained glass. Stained glass art involves cutting of glass, copper foiling edges and joining the multi-hued glass pieces through soldering. However unlike the painted glass, the stained glass art has remained an elitist art due to expensive imported stained glass.

Hajeebhoy was trained under Mumbai’s Vinayak Patel and can work on motifs such as Victorian, foliage, geometrical etc.

Glasscrafters, 116, Cambridge Road, Ulsoor, Bangalore- 560 008. Ph.: 080-5308217, 5285877, E-mail: glasscrafters@glasstudio.com Website : www.glasstudio.com

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Azeem Haider Jafri

Calligrapher par excellence

Young Jafri’s calligraphy has been enchanting the Lucknowites


Obaid Nasir in Lucknow

THOUGH the Arabic script has deeply influenced Islamic culture and daily life of Muslims from Morocco to Malaysia, unfortunately it is a dying art today thanks to computer. Arabic script has played a very important role in uniting the Muslim ummah from this to that corner of the world as all Islamic prayers are held in Arabic and Muslims have to learn Arabic.

It was Raja Todar Mal the Revenue Minister of Emperor Akbar who declared Persian the official language of Mughal administration in India making “Nastaliq” an offshoot of Arabic script one of the national scripts of India. Since the administrative and revenue officers were mostly recruited from among the Hindus, the script developed by them acquired a distinct Aryan refinement and elegance.

Azeem Haider JafriLucknow has played a vital role in developing calligraphy, thanks to the patronage extended by the rulers of Avadh. Since paintings, particularly of living beings is considered un-Islamic, calligraphy was the best pastime and source of income for nobles in the Nawabi era. Kitabat and calligraphy is now replaced by computer composing, rendering hundreds of katibs (calligraphers) jobless or under-employed. In these circumstances if a young man adopts calligraphy as a profession, it deserves kudos since it shows his sincerity to keep alive a purely Islamic art in this era of computer. Syed Azeem Haider Jafri, is one such a young man. Calligraphy is his passion and in the young age of 30 he has acquired a distinction in this art. Though he has got no patron and encouragement he has decorated Malki Masjid, Zanjeer wali Masjid, Injeer wali Masjid, Sunaron wali Masjid, Ek Minarah Masjid, Karbala Abbas Bagh, Karbala Malka Afaq, Rauza Samrah with his calligraphic talent. All these are old mosques and karbalas in Lucknow and have recently been renovated.

Azeem is lucky enough to have got Late Syed Mohd. Taqi (Katib, Qaumi Awaz), Late Syed Mubarak Husain (Govenment Press), Nawab Alam (Mahbbob Alam Jantari Fame) Syed Afazal Husain Kaifi and Syed Salamat Rizvi, renowned Urdu Journalist as his instructor. Later he was perfected by Vishnu Narain Agarwal in Mughal calligraphy. Now he is continuing his practice with zeal and zest with the hope that hard work and passion always pays.

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Nizam's Palace to be Museum

Hyderabad: The Chowmahalla Palace of the erstwhile Nizams of Hyderabad will be turned into a museum. The Government of Andhra Pradesh has issued orders for the conversion. The Government is also trying to procure the famed Nizam’s jewellery from the custody of the Government of India for preservation and display in the Chowmahalla Palace Museum. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Tourism Board of Andhra Pradesh on November 30. It forms part of a renovation plan for the Old City of Hyderabad. The famous bazaar of Pathargatti will also be given a facelift and will be kept exclusively for the pedestrians.

The suggestion for conversion of the palace into a museum came from Princess Asra, a member of the former royal family. Following official order, Ahmedabad based company Vastu Shilpa Consultants has been engaged to implement the tourism blueprint.

The 116-year old Chowmahalla Palace was the residence of seventh and final Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan and was used as a place for coronation of the new heir to the throne. The Nizam Jewellery, currently in the custody of the Government of India is estimated to be worth Rs. 1000 Crore. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has approached the center for the shift of their custody from Delhi to Hyderabad.

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