What prompted you to set up Sarposh? Kashmir lies literally at the other end of the country from Bengaluru. Popular knowledge about it is superficial and people’s perceptions of the place are coloured by mainstream news which paints a picture that is far from encouraging.
Kashmir is perceived through the binaries represented in popular perceptions of a paradise — or the other extreme. But there is an entire world in between, filled with ordinary people. I grew up during the peak of the militancy while there were complex events playing out around us. Food was a focal point of life. My grandmother would, on an impulse, fill a samovar with noon chai,
pack some kebabs, pick up breads from the local bakers and take us on a picnic, despite the roadblocks and tensions around us. When I re-located to Bengaluru, I suddenly became aware that the nuances of my culture and food were inaccessible to other people. I realised that this change of location was permanent and I wanted to feel connected to where I came from. What began as a one-time culinary and cultural event for dislocated Kashmiris in Bengaluru went on to become a catering enterprise via a Cloud Kitchen. The challenge was that we were sourcing all our raw materials from Kashmir, which made it impossible to price the food competitively. Also, I very much wanted to present a complete dining experience that presented the cultural background to the food. So Sarposh was born.
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