Thursday, 28 May 2009

Kashmir People 1

Mushtaq Ahmed Hazari didn’t go to school. He lives in Old Srinagar, and along with his brothers, runs a car rental service. He can organise any car for you, from a Tata Indica to a mini-bus. He is dismissive of the mountain people and warns us against their frauds. “Only two things are made in Kashmir, carpets and pashmina shawls. Everything else comes from Amritsar, so don’t waste your time,” he says. On the day we are to return, there is a general strike to commemorate some leader’s death anniversary. Mushtaq leaves his home in the old city at six in the morning and kills time in a garden until nine before coming to pick us up. After he has dropped us to the airport, he says, he will hang around in the new city until ten in the night. In the bad times, Mushtaq has spent two days on water and biscuits. 

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