Pahalgam- Childhood interest in drawing and painting led Mahira Shah to the world of ‘mandala’ art and today she holds the world record for making the smallest mandala shikara.
Mandala is an ancient Indian art pattern which involves drawing of circles in intricate designs. The art form was popularised by Indian artist SH Raza, who created several paintings of the mandala art and became world famous for them.
Mahira Shah entered the Indian Books of Records for making the world’s smallest shikara in mandala art. The artwork is more or less the size of an A3 sheet.
“During my free time, I would try my hand at mandala (art). My husband and father-in-law noticed that I had some talent and they encouraged me to take it up,” Shah told PTI from her Pahalgam home.
Born and brought up in Tral township of Pulwama district, Mahira Shah got married to Inamul Haq who hails from Pahalgam. Haq is a proud husband and an unabashed admirer of his wife’s work.
“She worked with the intention of breaking the world record or to set a new record. She created several mandala art pieces such as shikara, spinning wheel and kangri (a Kashmiri firepot made of wicker and clay). The India Book of Records accepted her entry and also nominated her for the Gold medal. I am thankful to her for making me feel proud,” Haq said.
Mahira’s father in law, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah said he encouraged his daughter-in-law to pursue her craft when he noticed her talent.
“I treat her like my own daughter. I told her to pursue her interest and we are supporting her,” Shah, a teacher by profession, said.
Shah said for their family, Mahira’s record was an early Eid gift. “It is as if we celebrated even before the fasting month. We are extremely happy.”
Mahira is sad, though, as no one from the administration came to appreciate her effort.
“This is not just my achievement. This achievement belongs to Pahalgam, Tral, the entire Kashmir, and also India for a world record was made,” she added.
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