Muhammad Hussain Bhat, an artisan from old city area of Srinagar has moved a step forward from rolling the red carpet for someone you respect, he has woven a silk carpet to show love and affection for Bollywood superstar, Salman Khan.
The handmade silk carpet woven by Bhat living in Malik Angan locality of Fateh Kadal area in Srinagar city, is a rare feat of craftsmanship and affection.
Bhat has woven an image of the Tiger star in the carpet and this has been no easy effort even for him with 40 years of carpet weaving experience. Bhat started weaving carpets when he was just 11 years old.
The artisan has expressed his love for the Bollywood super star by weaving his image in a silk carpet.
Carpet industry in Kashmir has been in doldrums ever since it came into direct competition in international market with Iranian carpets and computerised designs of machine woven carpets.
“It is only the rare connoisseur who can tell the difference between computerised machine woven and handmade carpets in international showrooms.
“Our carpet market now solely depends on the best selector for whom price is no major issue. The problem is that there are not many such buyers internationally now,” said Abdul Salam Malik, a carpet dealer of Kashmir.
Hearing about the helping nature of Salman Khan and the stories about how he has been extending support to the deserving ones in the society, Bhat believes Salman can help bring the local carpet industry on track once again.
“This belief has prompted me to weave this piece of love and admiration in silk.
“After I came to know about the superstar’s great deeds of helping the poor, I decided to weave his image in the carpet”, Bhat said.
It took him six months and around Rs 2.5 lakh to complete his masterpiece.
He intends to present the carpet personally to Salman as a gift.
He plans to sell the carpet to Salman fans and lovers after offering it as a gift to the superstar.
Bhat has urged the local carpet weavers to come up with unique and compelling designs if they want to revive the carpet industry.
He has also appealed the government for supporting the sinking carpet industry to save it from extinction.
But, more than anyone else, he believes the moral and commercial hand holding of Kashmiri carpet weavers can only be done by Salman Khan through his mesmerising image and influence.