Mohammed Vahid Khan from Jaipur, Rajasthan, learned how to weave from his father when he was 12 years old. His family has been in Jaipur for over 75 years and they pass on the art of weaving from generation to generation and it has been his family’s only source of income since they were poor. In his 20’s he was convicted of murder, an incident he so deeply regrets went out of hand in a flash. He had initially only completed his education till 5th grade and later on continued his education till 10th from Indira Gandhi Open School while he was in Jaipur Central Jail. His 2 sons were brought up by his in-laws and they come to visit him regularly. Now 46 years old and transferred to Open Jail for good behavior, he believes he has learned many life lessons about how one should conduct themselves and hopes that others can learn it the easy way.
Zindagi ki seekhA contemplative man, Wahid Khan weaved in his experiences in jail and connects his life to the life of Gandhi in the lessons he has learned. He wove in symbols of Gandhi like his dhoti, charkha, his corner jail cell, books, and other symbols from life in jail like a potli, a banyan tree from the yard, a bucket, vessels they used to make food and tea, the gate to the jail and even birds eating leftover meals. He believes that in his time in prison he connected with himself, learned about respect, appreciation for the simple things in life. He could experience every emotion vividly, and shares that in prison you have no choice but to face your problems and learn. To the people that see his rug he says, “For life to be enjoyed to the fullest, you must learn to take it seriously. Even in laughter, enjoy it for what it is, do not lose yourself in stretching it out to something that may have consequences.” This rug is named ‘Zindagi ki seekh’ which means, the lessons of life.