The devastating floods in Srinagar last year not only caused massive destruction of property in the summer capital, but its effects were also experienced by Kashmiris working in foreign countries.
When Srinagar was flooded on September 7, Iftekhar Ahmad Wani, an artist and MBA working in Saudi Arabia was "shocked." "I could hardly breathe when I saw of images of flooded historic Lal Chowk on news channels. The images of devastation were imbibed in my mind," said Iftekhar who has been working as Soft Skill Management Trainer in a British managed company at Industrial city Yanbu in Saudi Arabia.
Back in Srinagar, Iftekhar's family was also trapped in his house at Bemina locality here. "For several days I lost contact with them, but I later learnt that they were rescued by locals. I salute resilence and courage of Kashmiri youth who risked their lives to undertake rescue mission. As a small tribute to them, I painted image of flooded Lal Chowk. Though the floods caused devastation in Srinagar, but it brought Kashmiris together to help each other. We should never forget our past and work together for better future," he said.
Iftekhar said he has been making sketches as a hobby since his childhood. "I have no formal training in painting but have learnt the art through constant practice from my early school days," he said.
Despite living abroad for over a decade, Srinagar has been close to my heart. As an artist, I portray my feeling on canvas. I have also painted majestic chinars, Dal lake, Shikaras, mesmerizing landscapes, Kangri, Samovar and village life," he said. However, he maintained that the paintings are not meant for sale or any commercial purposes. "I just was to showcase Kashmir in its original form," he said.
Iftekhar said there are many talented artists in Kashmir. "We need to groom them to help in polishing their skills. The exhibition will be held on August 11 from 10 am to 7 pm in second floor of Sangarmal Shopping Complex near MA Road.