After our dinner on third night in Delhi (2D 3N since arrival night) we managed to take pictures with Mr Bashir’s family. Seen here from left: Mubashir, Showkat, Az, Ilyani, Ammi (Mr Bashir’s sister who is staying in the US and was currently back home for wedding) and his niece. They are Kashmiri family but the men live here in New Delhi running their business, and go back to Kashmir regularly to see their wife and kids. It was fun to talk to them especially when we were heading to Kashmir after this, so we got to get alot of help and info regarding Kashmir from them.
Mr Showkat draw a simple map of the main Boulevard Road in Srinagar and location of gardens we should visit. Also, they gave us address of Mr Bashir’s brother Ghulam Butt who owns a houseboat in Srinagar and mentioned if we could go and stay there, although we politely said we had already booked our houseboat from internet earlier, but we would have to visit anyhow. Showkat also gave address of his home in Srinagar and told us to go and meet his wife and daughters.
Left: Me in front of wardrobe full of Kashmiri shawls in Mr Bashir’s showroom. Right: Az with the family’s cook, Alam . Despite coming from different area in India, he cooks the most delicious Kashmiri meals for the family. Oh yes, if you decide to CouchSurf with this family, be prepared to eat alot of food (and they’ll force you to finish all the food served!). We also got to use internet from the PC at common area.
Okay, quick intro on how we found Mr Bashir: random Couch Search, definitely, and it was in fact too early – when I was still preparing my Master’s thesis in USM! Right after our engagement and I bought ticket for India, there has been intensive research for this India trip, and I was looking for many potential hosts and was excited coz it was going to be our very first CouchSurfing experience. Mr Bashir replied to us very nicely and even offered to call us at home line phone, so he could speak to Az who was staying in KL at that time (when I was in Penang) and from there we feel so lucky to be accepted as his guest. All of the family members were super nice and we were treated just like another family member :) Mr Bashir has got some special Skype account that we can call our family in Malaysia directly for free! Needless to say, we could use the PC and internet at their place and also we could book our emergency train for Agra (detail stories in later post). And perhaps the only delicious food we had in Delhi was ones we had at Mr Bashir’s place! Yes, Alam cooks the most excellent Kashmiri food!
Ah, last picture is in the morning we left Delhi heading to Amritsar. Until we meet again, Mr Bashir!