Way back from Saba’s house to Dal Gate: shared Sumo taxi, Rs.20
Auto-rickshaw Dal Gate to Clermont: Rs.150
Walking out from Tulip Gardens, we walked for a kilometer towards the direction we believe that would bring us to Brein district, and there were big houses sitting along the road and from their house signboard at their gate, we were convinced that we’re going the right direction. We passed by some group of army monitoring some area nearby at the road, and hoping that they would know, we asked them while showing the address written by Mr Showkat at our small booklet. The army officer doesnt seem to know it, and gave a sign to another officer to come to help us. Now we noticed from their uniforms that they are different group of army – Indian army and another is J&K (Jammu & Kashmir) enforcement people. The J&K officer seems to know his place better, and showed us to walked further to a direction.
We arrived at this place Zabarwan colony, but it’s still hard to find where the house is exactly located. Mr Showkat only told us to ask people and said his name as Mr Showkat the Jeweller and the neighborhood would know his house. So when we passed by a girl walking the street, we tried our luck asking her, and it works! She offered to bring us directly to the house, right at the gate.
Saba came out and oh, she looks so pretty! And actually, a teenager in high school! Coz from the phone conversation I hear her voice sounding as if she’s a primary school girl (sorry!), and we actually didnt bother to ask her father how old Saba is.
Saba and her mother gave us a very warm welcome, and it was the first time we stepped into a real Kashmiri house in Kashmir! (not counting hotel and houseboat). Their house is big and has a huge yard with nice garden. Also, mountains at the background!
There’s a living area where we sat while they served us Kashmiri tea and biscuits. Knowing that we are newly married couple, Saba’s mother came to do some traditional ritual to us: pouring our head with almonds.. literally! Watch video for the real action :P
Saba and her mother are talkative and we shared alot of stories of us being in Delhi and met her father and brother at Mr Bashir’s house, and now we’re visiting their family here in Kashmir. We also got to meet the family’s another daughter Lovely (yes her name’s Lovely). Later, Saba helped us to get Tata Sumo taxi to Dal Gate. She even said we were overcharged for the auto-rickshaw fares going to Nishat Bagh and Tulip Garden! It’s always safe if you can find a local to help you get taxi or auto-rickshaw to avoid getting overcharged by these greedy drivers.