Millennium Post

In Kashmir, 200 years of honesty, tradition and trust

The shop in the Zaina Kadal area is named after the person who set it up over two centuries ago.

The small shop, now run by Ghulam Nabi Wani, 63, is situated at a corner of the road outside the mausoleum of the 15th century king Zainul Abbadin, who was called 'Badshah' the great because of his wisdom and vision. By an unmistakable similarity, the shop is still the most trusted address for Kashmiris who believe in buying genuine, unadulterated grocery including spices, teas and edible oil. In fact, no known chef who cooks the traditional cuisine called Wazwan will do so if spices and oil have not been bought from this shop.

‘High quality, mouth watering Wazwan has almost become synonymous with this shop,’ Bashir Ahmad, 63, who comes all the way from the northern town of Duderhama in Jammu and Kashmir's Ganderbal district, 30 km from here, to buy his monthly requirements, told IANS.

Ghulam Nabi Wani has maintained the grand old ambience of his shop almost the way it was five generations back.

Small tin boxes and bags are spread haphazardly in the shop. The cotton strings holding the weighing plates have given way. The nearly six feet tall Wani sits majestically on his wooden settee, making one wonder if Badshah the great King would have enjoyed the same trust and love as Wani does from his customers. Naseer Ahmad Wani, 25, is also running a grocery store some distance away on the same road in the Old city.

Although the son uses electronic weighing balances and has half a dozen helpers to pack goods for customers or loading things onto waiting vehicles, buyers who go to Naseer's shop are only those recommended by his father. ‘That is the power of honesty and trust,’ explains the father.

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