Re­claim­ing Kash­mir, through cafes, e-com­merce and ad­ven­ture sports

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Ab­hishek Saha ab­hishek.saha@hin­dus­tan­times.com

SRI­NA­GAR: The re­cently-opened Books and Bricks Café is a firstof-its-kind all-Amer­i­can diner in Sri­na­gar. The in­te­ri­ors are done in brick, wall­pa­pers are pages from a Reader’s Di­gest col­lec­tor’s edi­tion and on the shelves are books — rang­ing from Thomas Hardy to Zadie Smith. In­side, co-owner Dan­ish Yousuf — a 27-year-old post­grad­u­ate in fi­nan­cial man­age­ment from Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity in the United King­dom — is found mostly in the kitchen, help­ing out the chef.

Around three kilo­me­tres away, on the city’s ar­te­rial Res­i­dency Road, stands a unique “restau­rant on a truck” called In Fu­sion. As of­fice­go­ers and stu­dents crowd the ve­hi­cle for biryani and noo­dles, its 29-year-old owner Fa­had Jeelani — a for­mer soft­ware en­gi­neer at Wipro in Ban­ga­lore — is busy tak­ing or­ders and di­rect­ing the cooks.

Yousuf and Jeelani rep­re­sent an up­com­ing gen­er­a­tion of Kash­miris — young­sters who stud­ied and worked out­side, but re­turned to the Val­ley as en­trepreneurs. And, not only food, they are in al­most ev­ery sec­tor you can imag­ine — from restau­rants to e-com­merce web­sites, from web-mag­a­zines to ad­ven­ture sports.

CON­TIN­UED ON P9

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