I am Waseem, a small karigar from Rustam Sarai region situated 10.3 km from Moradabad city and 195 km from national capital, New Delhi, these distances doesn't matter since I stayed in “Peetal Nagri”. Moradabad is renowned for brass work and has carved a niche for itself in the handicraft industry throughout the world. The brassware is exported to countries like the USA, Britain, Canada, Germany and to the Middle East and Asia. That is why I was using the term “Peetal Nagri” or 'Brass City'.
You might be imagining the bright side of Moradabad, the export of brass handicrafts items handcrafted by many Waseems like me who are suffering with Tuberculosis, Asthma, skin diseases or may be the unexplored ones.
You might be wondering how come we all are suffering with such diseases like Tuberculosis, Asthma etc etc . Okay, let me give you a brief about how the masterpieces( Handicraft Metal Items) are developed. Four stages are important for making a brassware they are: Moulding and Casting (Dhalai), Finishing and Polishing (Chilai), Engraving (Nakashi and Dastkari), Enameling (Rang Bharai)
Brass metal is an alloy of copper and zinc and the quality of the metal depends on the percentage composition of both these metals. In the process of casting (dhalai) we unwillingly smell the poisonous gases from coal imported from China which is cheaper in cost as compared to the cost of indigenous coal from Jharkhand.
We are so called business men but our business is so small that it is limited to a 10X10 room with no electricity or if we have electricity then it has more power cuts. But it's not a big issue as long as we have “mitti ke tel ka diya”( lampv which burn on Kerosene) keeps igniting our spirit to develop the finest brassware.
We have a team of three craftsmen that includes me as well. The other two are Abbas (Bade bhaiya) and Muzzammil( chhota Karigar). Muzzammil was 8 years old when his abba(father) sent him to my workshop totech him the basics of Dhalai, Chilai or may be just serving us tea for evening tea breaks. Now Muzzammil is 16 years old with a non official degree of Dhalai, Chilai, and Nakashi. He didn't master himself in the process of Rang Bharai because he could not see the rang (colors) at dim light of so called Mitti Ke Tel ka Diya. Anyway it doest matter as long as there are other Muzzammils in the town who are perfect in Rang Bharai in dim light of mitti ka tel.
From the 1980's various other metals like aluminium, iron were also introduced and manufacturing units were also enhanced by various new technologies like Electroplating, lacquering, powder coating etc.These units consist of furnace, moulding tools, polishing machine. It is a low technology industry and hand powered labor predominates. So you can consider there is hope of growing and exporting the brasswares.
This Traditional craft is probably five hundred years old and my grandparents were all engaged in the same practice, so did I.China is an all time competitor of ours may be because they have big bright rooms with no power cuts.
My wife Ayesha is carrying an eight months baby into her womb. We always get confused in deciding names for our baby. I always want Allah to bless us with a baby girl so that she will not involve in our pushtaini dhandha(to pursue and continue this historic tradition).
Experienced Product Designer with a demonstrated history of working in the Design industry. Skilled in Trend Analysis, AutoCAD, Conceptual Design, Photography, and Retail. Strong arts and design professional with a Bachelor of Designing focused on Accessory Designing from National Institute of Fashion Technology.