Abdulla, in his own words, is fifty, ten and five years old. He is in charge of the wood-fired water boiler at the hotel we stay. When the boiler runs out of hot water, unable to keep up with the bathing guests, he carries two buckets of steaming hot water from the hotel’s backyard through the kitchen, up the stairs to the first or second floor depending on which of guests is complaining loudest. “Poverty,” he shrugs, “I have children.” His hand stops a little above his knees to indicate the children’s ages. His wife and children stay in a village in
valley while Abdulla rubs the smoke out of his eyes in Pehelgam.