by Qysar ul Islam Shah
As copy-paste strategies prevail, the artwork of handwriting is quickly declining.
Mashq in colleges, as soon as a flourishing custom, has encountered challenges and interruptions over time. The normal picket slate, generally known as Mashq, was an important device for bettering kids’s studying and writing expertise. It fostered eye-hand coordination and writing focus, providing a cost-effective and accessible choice for each enrolled scholar.
Throughout these instances, education was characterised by a way of marvel and pleasure. Mashq supplied profound advantages, with academics assessing writing high quality and offering corrective suggestions. Sustaining a clear and freshly written Mashq was crucial, with adverse reinforcement for illegible handwriting.
Mashq is the Kashmiri time period for Takhti or Wood Slate. The apply of utilizing Mashq will be traced again to the time of the Indus Valley civilization, suggesting an early familiarity with writing expertise amongst its individuals. A Mashq resembles a picket plank related in measurement to a slicing board, usually utilized by kids of their preliminary years of education to put in writing with a Narou Qalam or twig. In sure components of Kashmir periphery, it was referred to as Narkain Qalm. These had been sourced from an area plant species that will appear like a miniature bamboo. Moms used to develop this plant of their vegetable gardens. Even the calligraphy college students would use the identical pens.
In colleges, there existed a aggressive environment, with academics providing appreciation and encouragement to these whose Masaq exhibited cleanliness each in writing and upkeep. This competitors continued past the morning meeting, with college students gathering in teams to examine one another’s Mashq earlier than college hours.
Mashq served as an efficient device not just for bettering college students’ writing expertise but in addition for mitigating the results of dysgraphia, a neurological situation by which somebody has issue turning their ideas into written language for his or her age and skill to suppose, regardless of publicity to sufficient instruction and schooling.
Reflecting alone expertise on the Authorities Center College Darpora Lolab, now upgraded to a highschool, I recall the ritual of arriving at college in teams, usually an hour earlier than lessons commenced. There, alongside classmates, we meticulously examined one another’s Mashq, conscious of the academics’ expectations. Even after college hours, the respect for authority remained palpable, with college students refraining from crossing boundaries or partaking in play with out permission.
I vividly recall the expertise of attending the morning meeting, the place sure academics, resembling Peer Abdur Rashid Shah, Ghulam Nabi Shah, and Ghulam Ahmad Kumar, amongst others, would examine the traces, checking for cleanliness and correct apparel. The mere anticipation of their scrutiny would ship shivers down our spines, triggering perspiration, whether or not as a result of issues about our uniform’s situation, the readability of our prayers, or the legibility of our Mashq.
Following the meeting, bulletins had been made concerning absentees from yesterday, requiring them to account for his or her absence. This course of instilled a way of apprehension, as college students feared being singled out and positioned in a row of guilt, topic to bodily punishment within the type of lashes with an extended, arduous twig.
As soon as the checking course of concluded, college students had been directed to return to their respective school rooms. In the meantime, we had been tasked with cleansing and making ready our Mashqs for the next day, a laborious course of involving the appliance of a cotton fabric soaked in a mix of black soot and water, adopted by sun-drying and sprucing with bottle bottoms or cup brims (Mohar Deun). Regardless of the trouble concerned, there was a way of camaraderie and competitors amongst us throughout these instances.
Reflecting on our college days, the presence of a Mashq in hand was an unstated rule, universally adhered to. Regardless of its affordability, even probably the most economically deprived college students might readily purchase one. Sturdy, manageable, and user-friendly, the Mashq not solely facilitated writing but in addition aided in increasing vocabulary. Writing pencils, such because the Naroue Qalam, had been sharpened with a knife and dipped in ink, permitting for the switch of ideas onto the Mashq.
Regrettably, the custom of the Mashaq is steadily fading from Kashmir, changing into a rarity.
The Mashq pale from colleges steadily. Across the Nineteen Eighties, these had been changed by Rogan Mashq, which didn’t require numerous pre-writing preparation. It had painted traces already. Then it paved the way in which for pencil and replica which quickly was changed by ballpoint pens. Within the final decade cell telephones and computer systems pushed the brand new technology within the new route.
Presenting this custom to the present technology usually elicits disbelief, because the proliferation of know-how and trendy writing instruments has supplanted the age-old apply of handwriting. The Mashq was instrumental in serving to college children enhance their handwriting. A few of them would grow to be calligraphers with none formal coaching. Now as copy-paste strategies prevail, the artwork of handwriting is quickly declining. We should endeavour to revive this custom.
(The creator is a instructor from Sonnar, Darpora. Concepts are private.)
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