Home Bot CategoriesLivingArt & Design THE ART OF CALLIGRAPHY – ANIL THAMAN


by Ankita Jain

Calligraphy has historically been not just a creative style of writing but also a visual art form. However, its disappearance from Kathmandu’s aestheticism has seen a slow progression with calligraphers who practice the art in its pristine form feel that its death is imminent.

Anil Thaman, 63, is among the few people deeply passionate about calligraphy and working to revive and popularise this art among the young generation. Anil won the second place in the adult artistic division of the World Handwriting Contest 2021. A self taught artist, Anil learnt calligraphy to keep a promise made to his daughter. “I was gifted a pen by my daughter and ironically I had the worst handwriting. To honour the gift, I spent time on short term courses during the lockdowns to improve my handwriting and within a short time span, I fell in love with the art. I used to practice for hours and research ancient books which weren’t digitally printed,” he says with enthusiasm.

Now he wants to share the beauty of this creative art form as widely as possible. He wishes for a better platform for calligraphers. He says, “The youth is interested in learning calligraphy but as a hobby, nobody wants to take it up professionally.” Anil has started to teach calligraphy as he believes teaching can foster the art by “closing gaps between centuries”.

He conducted a workshop with the WOW team as well. In this edition of WOW, Anil Thaman – a astute businessman and now a calligrapher – shares what keeps him motivated in his passion for calligraphy. Excerpts:

What was it about handwriting that you found so special that even made you take up the challenge of joining the World Handwriting Competition?

I feel handwriting is the most economical portable skill that a person can acquire with little practice. The more I practiced, the more I started getting control over the pen and I could see improvements each day.

Since I was following methods that were centuries old, it was intriguing and steadily my handwriting started reflecting consistency in letters and angles and it was only then that I decided to join the competition

Who is your inspiration behind this?

My daughter Dr Arman Thaman is the inspiration behind my passion for the art as she presented me with a pen and it was only then that I decided to improve my handwriting.

With this recognition, how do you plan to use this success?

My plan is to share this skill with teachers so that they can teach children the correct method of practice; open a calligraphy store so that anyone interested in this art has access to resources from a single point and also promote local scripts worldwide. I am also planning to develop holders and inks locally.

“Without the desire to succeed nothing is possible; then you need dedication towards fulfilling your passion”

Do you think that the age of a person can put limits on wanting to achieve something new in life?

Age has nothing to do with dreams; it’s the desire to achieve that is key. We all can achieve our dreams irrespective of our age provided we are awake.

Why do you encourage the younger generation to try their hands at calligraphy?

For developing other skills there are a lot of resources required which sometimes the younger generation may lack access to. Calligraphy is the only skill that requires just a pencil or pen and a piece of paper, and with a little interest and dedication, you can acquire this beautiful skill.

How can the government support this dying art?

The government should support calligraphy by incorporating six lines guidelines as opposed to four lines which are used currently for handwriting.  

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