Srinagar: 2021 started on a gloomy note for Kashmiris who woke up to the news that the eagerly awaited Jammu & Kashmir Bank Calendar will no longer be published in print form.
This marks the end of the road for the calendar that has been a steady companion of the ebbs and flows of Kashmiri society since decades. However, to fill the void new alternatives have been sprung up that promise the start of a new tradition and aesthetics in the form of calendar publishing.
Adorned with fascinating drone shots of snow-draped peaks, rugged mountains, crystal blue lakes and lush alpine meadows across high altitudes of Jammu and Kashmir, the calendar by Alpine adventures leaves one with longing to visit these places.
Alpine Adventurers an adventure group of Kashmir valley was started back in 2009 by Aadil Shah, Taous Baba, Mohib Khan and Ilyas. The group attracted all age groups, from students to professionals, to the thrilling life in mountain adventure.
It has made successful visits to 130 alpine lakes across the valley so far.
However, in 2018, the group lost its founding member Aadil Shah to a massive rockfall, in the tragic incident on mount Kolahoi, Kashmir’s highest peak.
“Aadil’s love for mountains was beyond words. This calendar is an attempt to carry forward his mission, and rekindle the love of mountain climbing among nature lovers,” one of the group members, Ammaar bin Nazir said.
Currently the group has twenty core members who have contributed monetarily towards printing this calendar.
“We have printed 200 calendars this year, which has pictures clicked by our group members. Each printed copy is priced at 200 rupees,” Arshid Majid, another group member explained.
He said the group has received an overwhelming response for the calendar so far.
“This can be gauged by the fact that we sold 30 copies in different states of India other than the valley. Also a person from the USA showed interest in buying the calendar and placed an order,” Nazir said.
Alpine adventures is not the only one venturing into this path.
On dreary COVID lockdown days, Sadiya Mir, 26-year-old self-taught artist, spent her days at the window, painting the changing color of skies and drifting clouds.
“Amid the gloom and doom, the only thing which gave me solace was art. I chose to paint skies because the colour of the sky never remains the same. The clear blue sky, inky black night sky, golden starry sky, orange evening sky all fascinated me. Isn’t our life much like the changing sky. It never remains the same,” Sadiya says with a smile.
As the year end drew closer, she decided to get the prints of her artwork.
“When I read about the J&K calendar going digital, a thought struck me. I was like why not preserve the art pieces in the form of a calendar, which will look aesthetically pleasing and be useful at the same time,” the young artist said.
After one month of research, she came up with ideas on how to give the calendar an aesthetic look, and having a utlity of keeping track of days.
“Apart from the artwork and the fact that it tells you the date, it has little spaces for making notes, marking the important dates, things to remember etc. It’s especially handy for students to keep a check of assignment submissions or for people who work around strict deadlines,” she said.
She pointed out that the calendar priced at 300 rupees, comes with an easel that can later be reused to display your pictures or artwork.
“My artwork on the calendar can also be cut out once the year is over if someone wants to keep it,” she explained.
Sadiya’s calendar is well-received by people. “I had designed 30 copies in the first phase and all of them are sold out. I will be coming with more copies in the coming days,” she said.