Kids Corner


Calligraphist takes Gurmukhi to Moscow:
Kamaljeet Kaur





It has been a story of pleasant ironies for the 43-year old calligraphist, Kamaljeet Kaur. An illiterate in the Punjabi language till the age of 33, she is all set to present her calligraphy creations in the Gurmukhi script at the International Calligraphy Fest in Moscow, Russia.

A 'born artist', Kamaljeet started with paintings and other art forms from school days but was not known to the art of calligraphy till her friend gifted her a set of fountain pen nibs in school. Even then she started with the art in English and Hindi only.

“I was brought up in Meerut and did my college from Ajmer. Both the cities have no connection with Punjabi. It may sound odd but though being a Sikh, I did not know how to read or write Punjabi. My father started writing letters to me in Punjabi, making efforts to make me learn the language, but it did not work,” she says.

The love for Gurmukhi script came much later in 2004, when she was 33 and moved to Ludhiana after getting married.

“I was amazed as to how I fell in love with the language while earlier I used to run away from it. I started learning the Punjabi alphabet from the internet. Then happened my first calligraphy artwork in Punjabi with the Mool Mantar, and there was no looking back,” says Kamaljeet, who recently shot to fame with her calligraphy on calendars and swords for Chaar Saahibzaade.

Acrylics, oil paints, watercolors, textures to gold leaf intricate artworks, Kamaljeet is now a perfectionist in all forms of calligraphy, that too on various base-materials such as T-shirts, photo frames, mugs, stoles, lamps, greeting cards, paintings, wall hangings, wedding invites, scrolls, etc.

The international exposure through the internet has made her versatile, she says. “The internet has been my teacher of sorts. Interactions with calligraphy artists from Russia and US has made me aware of multiple techniques which Punjabi and Indian artists are generally unaware of. For instance, the gouache technique of art under running water is hardly practiced here on the subcontinent,” says Kamaljeet, who has customized Gurbani shabads in English and Hindi for clients overseas.

She makes sure that her head in covered, shoes are off and water is pure while calligraphy of gurbani or any religious recitals is done at her residence-cum-studio in Dugri.

“At Callifest-2014 in Mumbai, I ran workshops to teach Gurmukhi script calligraphy to various artists. Now I shall be representing Punjabi in Moscow.

“It is hard to believe now that I was estranged from Punjabi / Gurmukhi for 33 years,” she says.

She is also participating in the Delhi International Film Festival this month.

“I have been invited to participate in the Moscow Calligraphy Fest in March and represent Punjabi there. All other languages will be represented by various artists,” said Kamaljeet Kaur, adding that ‘30 years of hardwork in calligraphy has finally paid off.’

“I have many clients in Ludhiana but demand is definitely more from the diaspora who want gurbani calligraphies in their homes, offices, etc,” she adds.

[Courtesy: Indian Express. Edited for]
December 2, 2014

Conversation about this article

1: Sandeep Singh Brar (Canada), December 03, 2014, 3:23 PM.

It's wonderful to see today's Sikh artists taking an interest in a Sikh tradition which has almost been lost. To see historic masterpieces of Sikh calligraphy visit the exhibit 'Sacred Words' at

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Kamaljeet Kaur"

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