Social Media

Sending quirky Kashmiri messages just became easier, thanks to ‘Koshur Illustrator’ Ghazal Qadri

Srinagar: Now one can take chatting on Whatsapp, one of the most popular social networking applications, to a new level by sharing Kashmir specific stickers.

The feat has been made possible by a young Kashmiri illustrator, who created these stickers and imported them on the mobile application.

The stickers comprise of Kashmiri characters, some wearing a Pheran, others donning the traditional headgear. Text is used to add Kashmiri proverbs and contemporaty street lingo.

In a place like Kashmir, the stickers also take a humorous look at the conflict with stickers saying “Pagah cha yalay?” (Is there a strike tomorrow?), which might arguably be one of the most used phrases of the contemporary times. Such quirky usage of illustration and local slang makes it fun and relevant to use.

The artist behind the illustrations is a 24-year-old Kashmiri woman working at Lollipop Studio, Bangalore.

Ghazal Qadri aka Alif is from Barzulla, Srinagar and says that she always had a zeal for art and design. Be it her school, Mallinson Girls School or her college NIFT Hyderabad, she says she loved making illustrations.

She follows artists from around the globe and gets inspired to make Kashmir specific cartoons.

One day, Ghazal says, an incident happened at home. Channeling her energy, she focused on making an illustration “Khari zaleel”.

Later, she posted it on Instagram and her Kashmiri followers loved it. She used a third party sticker maker application and imported her illustrations to Whatsapp after it released its sticker feature.

However, the job was not easy.

“I had to individually share it with people as the application did not have any option to share the cartoon on a mass level,” she says, adding that her father, helped her and sent it to all his contacts individually.

She has also made an application “Kashmiri Stickers – (Kath Bath) WAStickerApps”.

She says that receiving a good response from Kashmiris, who ‘take time to send a text message in Kashmiri’, has made her confident to work on more ideas.

“I have made a calendar of these stickers for 2019. I will be releasing it soon,” she says.

While she graduated in Product Designing from NIFT, she is planning on pursuing a Master’s Degree in Illustrations next year.

Ghazal believes that Kashmiri children do not get to explore the world of art. However, she says, “Stay updated, use social media, follow artists, get inspired.”


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