Rumi’s greatest work, the Masnavi has more than two thousand references to the Qur’an. It is a volume of work that is deeply attached to it & is often referred to as the poetic Commentary of the Qur’an.
So when working on the Sufi Comics – Rumi book, we included references to the verses of the Qur’an on the same theme as the poem. This would allow the reader to discover a more authentic meaning to the poem.
These days the lettering in a book is almost always done using computer fonts. But we didn’t want to use Arabic fonts to present the verses.
So we asked Muqtar Ahmed, to inscribe the verses of the Qur’an & sayings from the Islamic traditions for the book. He’s the only calligrapher in India to have received a third level Diploma (equal to a masters degree) from Istanbul based Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture.
It’s a treat just to watch him write. As his reed stick touches the paper, the divine words appear in it’s most beautiful forms.
Have a look at the photographs & video clips I took of him inscribing calligraphy for the book.
You look at it with pride.
Your first car.
A shiny, new Renault Duster.
You love everything about it. The shimmering silver colour. The smell of newness. Even the lights inside seem special.
You take your car out on your first drive. You cruise down the neighbourhood. A big smile on your face. Life is sooo good. But, all of a sudden you hear the sound of friction against the side of your new car.
OMG! Your new car just got horribly scratched.
Before you can stop the driver of the other car, it zooms away.
You feel wrecked inside. Almost violated.
How could this have happened?
You’re depressed the whole day. Instead of celebrating your new car, you feel rage. How could that person scratch your new car?
You think to yourself, “Why me? Why is the world against me?”
Have you ever felt like this? (more…)
Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
You may have come across Rumi’s quotes like the one above.
Perhaps in books. Or quite likely on your Facebook feed, Twitter account or on Buzz feed.
If you enjoy poetry you might have even read some of his poems.
Rumi was a 13th Century poet who lived in different parts of the Persian Empire which included present day Afghanistan, Iran & Turkey. He was a mystic, a philosopher and top Islamic Scholar of his time.
But he’s most popularly known for his timeless Poetry that sprang from his yearning for the Divine.
What is astonishing is that he’s the best selling poet in America. Even outselling giants of English literature like Shakespeare.
How is it that the works of a 13th Century Persian Poet becomes one of the most widely read in the Western world?
What is it about Rumi, that makes him so popular?
While working on our upcoming book Sufi Comics Rumi, we researched more about this great mystic.
This led us to these 5 reasons why Rumi is so popular.
Here they are:
So far in our behind the scenes journey you’ve viewed snippets of the final pages, met multi-faceted researcher and member of the team Tanzil Rahman, and explored the process of selecting and illustrating the comics. What to explore now?
Yes the wait is over. It is time now to reveal to you the illustration of the cover page!
For this I delve into the creative mind of Rahil Mohsin to uncover the inspiration, symbolism and process behind the design of the cover page. I ask Rahil to share some of his artistic imagination and talent with us by revealing the illustration, the process of creating it, and the inspiration behind it.
As always, the posts would not be complete without the sneak peeks just for you – so scroll down and enjoy as Rahil reveals all this: what, how and why?
What is the process of creating the illustration? Can you share with us the rough/draft sketches?
Much to the chagrin of a lot of people I know, I am a purist. Most of my artworks, including the ones I’d done for Wise Fool of Baghdad and more recently, Rumi, are done by hand. Which means, the process of making an artwork is slower compared to work on a digital software (with all its fancy tools). That, and a mild doze of OCD. The processes I am talking about are the penciling and the inking stages (inside the book). Ali Bhai and Gaffur bhai bring life into the otherwise mundane and achromatic artwork by adding colours to them.
While I’ve vehemently professed my love to the process that gets my hands stained with graphite and blackened by ink, there are
however a few shortcomings when these hand-made art works are printed.
Even if a small part of the said artwork is neglected (inspite of the OCD) and printed right away, the flaw, however small will stand out and ruin the artwork. I did not want to take such a huge risk while designing the cover page.
I initially made a rough sketch of what I’d in my mind on a sheet of paper. Given below is a scanned copy of the sketch.