In the old city of Srinagar, tucked away in the narrow lanes of Safakadal, lies a small workshop filled with the aroma of sawdust and the sound of wood being carved into intricate patterns. This is the workplace of Ali Mohammad Giru, a master craftsman and one of the few remaining practitioners of the art of Khatamband.
Khatamband is a traditional form of woodwork that involves creating geometric patterns by fitting small wooden pieces together without using any glue or nails. The technique has been used for centuries to create beautiful ceilings and walls in traditional Kashmiri homes and buildings. Each piece of wood is carefully shaped and fitted together to create a stunning visual display.
Ali Mohammad Giru comes from a long line of Khatamband artisans. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all skilled craftsmen who passed on their knowledge and skills to future generations. For Giru, working with wood and creating intricate patterns is not just a profession but a way of life. He has been practicing the craft for over 40 years and continues to be inspired by the work of his ancestors.