By: Aabid Hameed
Srinagar: In a bid to revive the centuries old art, Pottery, a 31-year-old man from South Kashmir’s Anantnag district is making colourful earthen pots at his manufacturing units and installs his stall every day in different markets to catch the eye of the buyers.
Aabid Hussain from Maniward area of Anantnag had installed his stall in busy market of Litter Pulwama where dozens of people purchased his handmade colorful earthern pots.
All the passengers and passerby were glancing thoroughly towards these earthen pots with a keen interest as looks of the earthen parts were very attractive besides that children were also seen insisting their parents to buy some dolls for them with fascinating outlooks.
Senior citizens who were happy to see the handmade earthen pots in the markets after a long time said that this art is dying as these pots are hardly being used anywhere by the people.
“Old age tradition is a blessing. It is our moral duty to preserve our own art but this art is dying with each passing day and it seems that very soon there will be no traces of this art,” said Ghulam Qadir, an elderly person present there.
“Art is beyond intuition; you cannot replace it, but can improve it with your mastery skills. Old age tradition is on the verge of extinction because we are hesitant to venture that mastery,” said Aabid Hussian, who had installed stall there, adding that he has to keep himself motivated in order to live his dream of reviving the old art.
Besides earning a livelihood, the aim to manufacture and install stall of earthen pots is to revive the dying art of pottery.
Hussain does not belong to hereditary potter’s family. But his fascination with earthen pots goes back to his childhood.
“I have been fascinated with earthen pots, but was never thinking of taking it a profession. After passing my matriculation, I immediately took up the driver as my profession due financial crunches at home. Later on, I shifted to Srinagar where I was driving a minibus, he said, adding that one day his mother called him and asked to bring an earthen pan from Srinagar.
In Bemina chowk, I found an earthen pan seller and eventually purchased one from him, he said, adding that I asked the shopkeeper where these pans are manufactured in Kashmir. He replied quickly “we bring them from outside valley as Kashmiri potters haven’t transformed their art.
This was the moment when I decided to open up an earthen pot manufacturing unit at home, he said.
I discussed this idea with some local potters, to my pleasure they showed keen interest in it. I embarked on a journey and thanks to Almighty l feel satisfied for it, he said.
“Today, around eight persons are working in my unit and all are earning handsome amount with great pleasure, he said, adding that he has bought a second hand car so that he make these items available for the people at their doorsteps.
My family supported me a lot and I am thankful to everyone who helped me in keeping this art alive and hundreds of people on daily basis are purchasing colourful earthen pots, he added.
“Most traditional potters have already left their profession but my suggestion for them will be that don’t remain confined to traditional pottery but transform your skills and make attractive earthen pots so that everyone will be interested to sell them,” he said.