Whether its palm leaves, burnt clay, copper, birch bark or our modern paper, writing has made its mark and continues to stay. The art of calligraphy in India takes us through inscriptions on the stone to paper, from epics to Asoka’s edicts, from few thousand years to the present day.

Calligraphy (from Ancient Greek: κάλλος kallos “beauty” and γραφή graphẽ “writing”) is a visual art related to writing. It is the design and execution of lettering with a broad tip instrument or brush in one stroke (as opposed to built up lettering, in which the letters are drawn).

NewsWithChai met one such person, who has not only learnt this art of beautiful handwriting and delicate lettering but also revels in sharing his knowledge with all his students across India, from Arunachal Pradesh to Kerala, from Visakhapatnam to Mumbai.

He has shared his gift of art with us too. The featured image is of ‘NewsWithChai’ etched divinely on the paper by our friend, a wonderful teacher and a Calligrapher, Prince AG!

Here goes the interview with him, with a sincere note of thanks for his gift –

News With Chai: Tell us something about you, your family, childhood, education etc..?

Prince : I am Prince AG. I hail from Kerala, from a village called Thirumeni in Kannur district. Born in 1980, I completed my education with a graduation in education! I started my career as an English teacher and grew to become the head-master of a Montessori school in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

My two daughters breathe life into me every moment of my existence. Somewhere, during the course of my life’s journey, I stumbled upon art and calligraphy and surprisingly a hobby became my identity and career.

News With Chai: Interesting! When and how did you develop interest in calligraphy?

Prince: Art is a natural gift to me. Calligraphy made me an all India icon! Thanks to Mr. Mohiuddin of Oxford Handwriting Academy (Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh), my interest in calligraphy became my profession. I polished myself in the said art with experience. I learnt from my students!

When I teach better handwriting skills to students, I come across students with different IQ levels. I realized one thing. After going through this program of improving their handwriting, many students bettered in their academics. I don’t know the exact reason but I think that good handwriting clears many personality blocks or rather helps to.

News With Chai: Where do you teach? And to what age groups do you teach?

Prince: I teach at various schools, Christian seminaries and at my institute. Anyone, between the age group of 8 to 22 years, can learn calligraphy. I teach them all. However, children below 7 years can also learn but it’s a little tedious task. I would love to do it but now my hectic schedule doesn’t permit it.

You can learn and practice Calligraphy in any language and in any script. I teach in English only.

News With Chai: What is the use of learning calligraphy? Can we make it a career?

Prince: Once you own your beautiful handwriting, it becomes your identity and an asset for life. Moreover, you will develop higher levels of concentration and confidence. This eventually reflects in the results that direct your life from one stage to another. Learn the art to experience it! Its sheer joy.

Yes, it can be a career too. It is for me, now.

News With Chai: How is your life as a calligrapher?

Prince: My life is a smooth flowing experience in calligraphy. There are highs. There are lows. Yes literally, I mean it! I feel I am contributing to the society in my way.

People have forgotten writing. Thanks to technology, touch screens and stylus, etc. When I teach a child how to write beautifully and when I see a young person enjoying the art of calligraphy, I feel complete.

It resonates in me what Rudolph Koch rightly said, “The making of letters in every form is for me the purest and the greatest pleasure, and at many stages of my life it was to me what a song is to the singer, a picture to the painter, a shout to the elated, or a sign to the oppressed. It was and is for me the most happy and perfect expression of my life.”

With more than 12 years of experience as a professional calligrapher and a teacher, I have travelled across the length and breadth of the country. Where ever I went, language was never a barrier for me because my letters did the talking and my smile did the working!

Welcome to Mumbai, Prince! NewsWithChai wishes you all the best.

Prince AG is the founder of Victory Handwriting Academy, Kannur, Kerala. His youngest venture has just started at Bhayandar, Thane. You may reach him on his mobile +91.720.893.7551 or mail him on agprincevictory@gmail.com.
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