SRINAGAR — As someone from Delhi, this food fest was the closest thing to home in Kashmir for me. The number of stalls, variety of food options to choose from, and the ambience, were something I hadn’t experienced anywhere else in the Valley.
Organised by the Business School, the food fest was set up in the lawn of Kashmir University, which was spacious enough for all the stalls and people to browse through them. The location of the fest gave me a great opportunity to witness up close a day in the life of Kashmiri students. Besides faculty and students of the university, people from all over the city were in attendance.
Besides the food stalls, a few cultural programmes were also organized to keep the audience hooked. There were also stalls selling clothing, bags and other merchandise like lamps, paper weights, etc.
I met some friends at the fest. Just in time, I heard people cheering on the other end. On a closer look, I saw people were gathered around some musicians who sat majestically singing songs in a language I couldn’t understand. Upon asking people around me, I got to know that it was the famous singer Noor Mohommad singing.
At the fest, there were many food stalls. I also got an idea of places I could check out. The fest provided me with a real life pamphlet of all the famous, must-go-to cafes and restaurants in the city. I made a list and promised to religiously follow it soon after.
There were food critics all around us. It was fun to see them tasting food and sharing their feedback.
Last but not the least, the servers at the stalls were really polite and hospitable. If I had to describe my experience in one line, I’d say – the food fest was a portrayal of the new and fast emerging café culture in Kashmir. I enjoyed it, besides the many other things and experiences that Srinagar had in store for me.