Just wandering over my bike in the interiors of the city, a plan to meet the 22 world-record holder from our city, Iqbal Sakka made us turn to further interiors. And the meeting really turned out to be a lavishing one, seeing the minute gold works & more importantly the simplicity of the artist even after all sorts of achievements. We here present you a gist of our conversation:
Q. When was it exactly that you started this work, what was your inspiration behind making such records?
A. When I was young, I used to listen about people making different kinds of records. Seeing them, I’d always felt why not any Indian’s name appear in such news. My father used to do gold work. Inspired from these world record holders & to heighten our country’s name, I started making a thin gold chain. During 1985-88, I initiated with a 1 gram chain; got praised in the market; then of 800 mg, subsequently 600 mg & then a 100 milligram chain with dimensions 0.2mm & 0.5mm which got its place in the Guinness Book. Started with that, today, I have 22 world records.
Q. How much time does it take to create these miniatures?
A. You can’t denote a particular time duration for this work. It’s all about your zeal to do it. Many times I got awake in the midnight, opened my shop & started working. Minting so small gold is not easy. Vision is the first problem & many times Gold flies with air & is difficult to find back. So, again new piece has to be taken & work starts afresh.
Q. How did you contact these record book professionals at that time when there were so less modes of connectivity?
A. People from Guinness came on their own after my works were covered & talked about in local newspapers. They too didn’t pass the record on my name instantly but took 4 years to give their certification for it. After that, in 1991, I was featured in the show “World This Week” on Doordarshan; followed by all big national newspapers.
Q. What do you think about taking up such arts as a full time career?
A. I am already doing Gold work, so making small objects out of it is associated to my profession, I don’t view it distinctly. I have also written the longest ghazal of 1001 shers. I just say whatever one does, there shall be 3 things in it: Junoon, Jazba aur Josh.
Q. Did you face any problem in doing these likes of yours?
A. Raising my country’s name was the only wish in my mind, there were problems but those didn’t need to pay much heed to. People used to say: what stupid things you are doing; regarding technical problems I have already told you. And after all this, we just receive papered honors but not any financial reward either from the record book makers or the government.
Q. What are your next plans?
A. I want to take the number of my world records to 36. One each dedicated to every state & Union Territory of India.
Q. Any message to the artists..?
A. Keep faith in yourself, work with dedication & never be disappointed.
Thanks for your time. It was very nice meeting an artist like you.
Photos by : Yash Sharma