Kashmir People 3

I come across Nagina as I walk the mountain roads of Pehelgam. She smiles at me and asks for ten rupees. I only have a fifty-rupee note in my wallet. I give it to her. She folds the note into a small wad with nervous fingers. I ask her if I can take her picture. She smiles and agrees. I ask her age. Three, she says. I put up three fingers and then five to see if she has got the numbers wrong. No, three, she insists. I ask her what she will do with the money. “Give it to my ammi.” She points out in the direction of a herd of sheep and says that she and her family are camped there. “Be sure to give it to your ammi,” I remind her as she skips away in the fading light.


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