RAWALPINDI Business for someone is linked with anothers loss. The same is true as far as business of writing epitaph on gravestone is concerned and its demand has been on the rise in the city, as it helps identify grave in todays overcrowded graveyards. The business is flourishing, as with day-by-day changing trends now have become essential to fix gravestone on beloved ones grave, the idea, which was not much in vogue in earlier days. In earlier days, epitaph writing was not much in trend. But now it is almost mandatory, as it is convenient for people to identify the grave of the dead, said Habib-ur-Rehman, an epitaphist who has been associated with this trade for the past 15 years at City Saddar Road gravestone market. Usually, apart from holy verses from the Quran and relevant Urdu couplets, it is the name of the dead, his or her lineage and the day and date of death, which are inscribed on the epitaphs. We buy marble from factories where it normally takes two days of hard work to chisel and engrave and two more days to prepare a 'Katba at shop according to the demand of the customers, Habib added. Price of an epitaph depends on the quality of marble and the writing stuff on it, if granite marble is used then the price surged up to approximately Rs3,000 while a normal epitaph is prepared in Rs800, Habib informed in addition that, similarly, difficult and unique writing style and abundance of words also increased the price of epitaph. Unrest in Swat and Malakand areas had badly affected this business, as countrys bigger marble reservoirs are located in Swat and Buner. The security situation in Malakand on one part increase the price of the marble while on other it also affected the easy availability of the stone, the epitaph market has been witnessing an unprecedented wave of high prices nowadays, Habib lamented. The inscriptions on a gravestone sometimes contain unique information not found anywhere else, he said. Pakistani well-to-do Christians put a lot of effort into thinking exactly what they want on their tombstone. Its their last words on earth and they want them to be just right, this trend is also getting momentum in Muslims. Hazrat Mosab Sham, the editor of a fortnight magazine said, Gravestones are vital to learn about our family and local history, he added. In our country people often dont pay attention towards it and their children do this for them. Mosab added. Epitaphists feel that the government should take serious steps to keep the art and the livelihood of artists alive. Hundreds of families have been associated with the trade for over fifty years in the city. Their ancestors used to carve various items but now our job is limited to etching epitaphs as an epitaphist writer, I feel that the government should take some steps to keep the art alive so that our families can be provided with enough livelihoods, said Niyaz Ahmad, a junior epitaphist.