Our Scripts – the beautiful transformation

Calligraphy has always amused me. I read up on this exhaustive research my uncle, Prof. Swaminathan, had done on scripts – it is called The story of Scripts. I felt truly blessed to have had the opportunity, thanks to him. What can I say, inspiration springs from the oddest of sources, right?

Brahmi script is the mother of most scripts that evolved in Asia, Buddha was the one responsible for its emergence. To see how they finally emerged into Tamil-brahmi, sinhalese-brahmi, Devanagari, Grantha and other scripts was so fascinating. I used some original inscriptions in Bhattiprolu Brahmi, Kushana Brahmi, Kshatrapa Brahmi, Satavahana Brahmi, Ikshavaku Brahmi, Kadamba Brahmi, etc from the 3rd, 4rth and 5th century CE. These are original edicts of the Gupta period and the Pallava period recorded in various parts of India.  And then there was the story about how it transformed differently in the north and south of India, into today’s languages and scripts.

This research opened new doors for me. Now I decided my children should also learn about these things in other ways than from history text books. I used some of these original inscriptions from his study on my wood art and created functional pieces out of them, something that we will lay our eyes on everyday – tee shirts, tea coasters and key holders.

(Courtesy: Prof Swaminathan)

Indian scripts
Art with Scripts

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