GULSHAN BOOK STORE- Oldest Book Store of Jammu and Kashmir

GULSHAN BOOK STORE- Oldest Book Store of Jammu and Kashmir

As they say, “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” Reading a book is like an act of play by your mind. Books are uniquely a portable magic. Imagine yourself in the middle of a giant lake and having an access to a reading-room cafe with lots of books and a stunning view of snow capped mountains. That’s the dream of every book lover! Yes Books with a view.

Gulshan Books Kashmir made this dream come true, providing an absolute treat for book lovers, on the bank of Dal Lake. It is one of the oldest bookstores in Kashmir. It is a reading room cum cafe, situated on Nehru Park Island, just a few kilometers away from the city center. It was opened in May 2016 and has managed to attract thousands of visitors since then. It is surrounded by dreamy houseboats and enchanting Zabarwan Mountains. Your trip to Kashmir is totally incomplete without visiting this place.

 GULSHAN BOOK STORE- Oldest Book Store of Jammu and Kashmir

It has a collection of books from different eras to different genres. If you are a bookworm then this is the place to be. It is like, ‘You name it and you get it’. Icing on the cake is the delicious Kahwa that is offered to the readers. They also offer free shikaras rides to people who are keen to read books on Kashmir and its literature. Is it not enough for you to get tempted?

It is jointly run by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) and Gulshan Books Kashmir is the only publishing house that has a collection of around 80,000 books and holds a record in Limca Book of Records as the “only bookshop-library on a lake” in India in its 2018 edition.

 GULSHAN BOOK STORE- Oldest Book Store of Jammu and Kashmir

Gulshan Books Kashmir is owned by a 46-year-old, Sheikh Ajaz Ahmad. He owns a publishing house and five bookshops in the state which includes three bookshops in Srinagar—one on Residency Road in the city centre, the other on Dal Lake, and third smaller book store at the Srinagar International Airport. His entire family has been into the book business for generations.

 GULSHAN BOOK STORE- Oldest Book Store of Jammu and Kashmir

“It was my dream to open a unique bookshop in Kashmir. I approached the former chief minister, the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, with the idea of having one on Dal Lake and eventually we were given the go-ahead,” says Ahmad.
“I’m happy we are being recognized for successfully running the shop at a time when more people are reading on screens and the publishing industry is taking a beating,” he adds.

He is also planning to expand in cities some metropolitan cities and look forward to maintain his family legacy. We are very proud to have Gulshan Books in Kashmir and wish him lots of success for his upcoming ventures.

Jasia Akhtar, Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir women cricketers, Parvez Rasool, Cricket in Jammu and Kashmir

Jasia Akhtar- First Female Cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to Reach Indian Women’s National Cricket Team

National Cricket Team
Cricket has always received humongous amount of attention from every nook and corner of India. However, it has always been seen as a difficult sport for women to shine in. Even as children, boys playing cricket in the streets was normal whereas a girl playing cricket was a rare sight.

It has only been a while that participation of women in the sport has been given importance by players and sports committees. But as they say “Nothing worth having comes easy”, here is the magnificent journey of Jasia Akhtar, the first female cricketer of Jammu and Kashmir to visit India Camp, who was recently selected for the India ‘Red Team’ in the ongoing Women’s Challenge Trophy, and the only female cricketers from the valley to mark a spot in Indian Women’s National Cricket team.

Meet Jasia Akhtar

Jasia Akhtar, Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir women cricketers, Parvez Rasool, Cricket in Jammu and Kashmir

Jasia Akhtar hails from Shopian in Jammu & Kashmir. Her father, Gul Mohammed Wani, is a dedicated farmer and has small, beautiful farms of apples and walnuts. Akhtar mentioned in an interview that she has been playing cricket since childhood.
As time went by, her enthusiasm for the sport grew and she began to seek the support of the state to promote her talent. Unfortunately, at that time, Jammu and Kashmir’s cricket council had limited resources and intentions to promote a female cricketers, as a result, Jasia had to move to Punjab to continue pursuing a career in cricket.
Dreams and Tragedies
With eyes set on her goal of being “A Women in Blue”, Akhtar joined BBK DAV College for Women in Amritsar, Punjab in 2013 and from there she was selected by the Punjab Cricket Association as a batsman in the state team.
As time passed, Jasia became more competent in her sport and began marking victories for Punjab team in ODIs and T20s.

Jasia Akhtar, Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir women cricketers, Parvez Rasool, Cricket in Jammu and Kashmir

Her growth was tragically hindered by the drastic floods of Kashmir in 2014. The house that her father built over the years was ruined in the floods. To add to the misery, her aunt, whom she considered as a mentor, succumbed to the shocks of flood and died of a heart attack. Jasia was deeply taken aback by the incident. She was left with no choice but to stay back with her father and provide a helping hand in farming.
Her brother, Sohail Wani Ahmad, who wanted to join Indian Army gave her strength to focus on her career and convinced her to go back to Punjab.

Very first Moments of Limelight
After surpassing the odds and battling the problems at hand, a brave Akhtar returned to Punjab and her team welcomed her with open arms. She hit her first limelight in September 2017, during the T20 Queens XI Cricket League organised by the Sehwag Cricket Academy in Gurgaon, and scored an unbeaten 44 runs for LIC Chandigarh XI against Sri Lanka XI in the final match. She won the title of Queens XI Cricket League for her team.

Jasia Akhtar, Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir women cricketers, Parvez Rasool, Cricket in Jammu and Kashmir

The life changing selection in India CampOn a usual Sunday post her recent victory, Jasia was training with her team when the captain came and announced that she had been selected for the Indian senior women’s month-long camp at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. And just like that Jasia became the first ever female cricketer from the valley to make it to the national camp.
During an interview, Jasia shared that when Parvez Rasool was first selected for the Indian Team, he told her that it is now her turn to shine in blue. And now, she does!

The Woman In Blue
Recently, on 5 January 2019, Jasia Akhtar was selected for India Red team in the ongoing Women’s Challenger Trophy. She finally won the honourable title of being called a woman in blue and donning an Indian Jersey as she had always dreamt.

Jasia Akhtar is an inspiration to the valley and the voice of many girls and women who are scared to stand up for themselves. Jasia’s story has also motivated the Cricket council for women in Jammu and Kashmir to support the enthusiastic female youth of the valley and as a result they have realised the lacks in the system and is now proudly promoting the talented female cricketers in the valley.
JASIA AKHTAR, JAMMU AND KASHMIR IS PROUD OF YOU. WE HOPE TO SEE YOU MAKE A SPOT IN INDIAN TEAM SOON. Bleed Blue!

Meet Sapna Soni- The Upcoming Actress from Jammu and Kashmir

Meet Sapna Soni- The Upcoming Actress from Jammu and Kashmir

Lights! Camera! Action! There are so many youngsters in the country with starry dreams in their eyes who want to make it big in the world of Bollywood and television. People have this obsession with famous actors because they have beaten the odds and made their career in it. All the aspiring actors want to know that secret recipe to success.
There are many faces from Jammu and Kashmir who have made big in the city of Dreams like Hina Khan, Mohammed Iqbal Khan, Prem Adib. All have been inspirations for the youth of the valley as they showed the courage to come out of their comfort zone and dared to dream big. In the recent times a new face of theatre came up named Sapna Soni.

Meet Sapna Soni- The Upcoming Actress from Jammu and Kashmir

Sapna has a Bachelor’s degree in music and diplomas in entrepreneurship and computer. She has also worked in a popular marketing company in Jammu. She is a multi talented personality who is an artist, a singer, musician and a dancer. She explored her inner talent in her college days and was spotted by a Door Darshan artist, who offered her an acting role.

In her early days of career, her family did not support her and she had to give up. But as they say (and especially Mr. Sharukh Khan), if you really want SheShesomething and you send that message out in the universe to make it happen.
Sapna was married early and fortunate to a man who supported her to pursue her dreams.

She has done movies like ‘Ghuggi Maar Udari’ and ‘Ma ni Mildi’ and ‘Aisa Pyaar Kahaan’. ‘Aisa Pyaar Kahaan’ was her first dogri film. She has also worked in teleseries in Hindi, Urdu, Dogri and Kashmiri languages. She has given 10 years of her life to theater. Acting is her passion and she has made a career in the same.

Meet Sapna Soni- The Upcoming Actress from Jammu and Kashmir

She recently has started a new theatrical group ‘The Kalakars’ to work for empowerment of women. She said,” The group, which is a social-cum-cultural organisation, will promote theatre and performing arts, particularly focusing on women empowerment.”

The keen interest of the plays and full length Nukkad Nataks is to raise awareness on social issues like drug abuse, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao.’ They also plan to organize seminars and educational programmes, in future, to encourage people to come forward and help the people in need.

Sapna’s determination and hard work has been life altering for all of us. She is one big inspiration for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir. We at New Age Kashmir, congratulate Ms. Sapna on overcoming the hurdles and carving a life not just for herself but also for many other Kashmiris.

Meet Bhat Sisters of Kashmir who are making Unique bags for Working Women

Meet Bhat Sisters of Kashmir who are making Unique bags for Working Women

Do you ever connect to a person or a thing just because they belong to the same place as yours?

I do. New Age Kashmir received a message a few days back, sharing with us a piece of very useful information and a beautiful request. It said-
“I am a Kashmiri girl, studying in Mumbai to achieve my dream of becoming a fashion designer. Like every other enthusiastic- passion driven girl, I was looking forward to buying a bag for my internship that would begin as soon as this summer vacation hit the year.
As my window shopping continued, I came across a brand named SHAKA on Amazon App.
And guess what? Shaka turned out to be a brand founded by three Kashmiri women from Anantnag. Anantnag. My home. Can you at your platform, New Age Kashmir” introduce Shaka? It will be an all-time proud feeling for Kashmiris around the globe.”

And we, adhered!

Here are all the details that one needs to know about Shaka

Bhat Sister Shaka jammu and kashmir
SHAKA is co-founded by Kashmiri sisters Shaka, Sipika and Seema Bhat, who belong to Anantnag, Jammu, and Kashmir. They found Shaka in April 2018, meaning that it will complete a year this April. Shaka is a luxury brand that features organizer bags for women which comprise of Corporate bags, All day casual bags, Party slings, Classic totes, Wristlets wallets, etc. The bags are carefully designed and handcrafted for working women.

About the Founders

SHAKA BHAT
Shaka, “The Co-Founder and Business Head” is the namesake of the brand. With an ebullient personality, Shaka has had a decade long experience in lifestyle products. She is the designer and the person responsible for the flow of manufacturing. Her keen eyes and unique designing mind has created these gorgeous bags at Shaka that are highly compatible with carrying a large number of things to the workplace and in the day to day life. She is the backbone of the company.

Bhat Sister Shaka jammu and kashmir

SEEMA BHAT
Seema is the eldest of the three Bhat sisters, naturally, she is termed as a motherly and helpful figure by the people associated with Shaka. She is based in Canada and is a professional woman who has gone through the struggles faced by upwardly professional women in their daily lives. She serves as the “Co-Founder and Creative Head” of Shaka and takes care of the imagination involved in the making of bags.

Bhat Sister Shaka jammu and kashmir

SIPIKA BHAT
The youngest of three, Sipika is the Co-Founder and Operation Head of Shaka. Sipika stands for the youthfulness, style, and exuberance of the brand. She is the content writer, social media manager, the operation head and an all-rounder. She fills the team with her dedicated self and sense of purpose of solving the problems of professional women at work.

Bhat Sister Shaka jammu and kashmir

Purpose of Bhat Sisters
All the three sisters came together to bring up Shaka as a brand that would solve the problem of women who face problems due to unorganized bags. Shaka is the answers to all their prayers. The bags at Shaka are designed properly with separate sleeves and attachments for laptop, keys, charger, pen, makeup kit, etc. The bags are made with genuine leather and are designed keeping in mind the need for space that a woman looks for in the bag. Sipika and Seema call Shaka the baby of their middle sister Shaka that all three of them are bringing up together and call it “a bag for women, by women”.

Where can you find bags from SHAKA
With a price range from ₹6,000 to ₹16,000, the bags are available on e-commerce website Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/ref=nav_logo) and the official website of the brand (https://shakaonline.com/). Shaka is also looking forward to expanding its offline reach across the top metro cities.

We at New Age Kashmir are glad to have received a message that brought us close to more Kashmiris around. Our team is thankful to the sender (name not included due to privacy policy). If you to have a story to share that would inspire and empower our Kashmiri people then feel free to connect with us via email or Social Media (below are the details).
We wish all the luck to the Bhat sister and hope that their brand Shaka reaches great heights.

FEMALE RJs OF THE VALLEY

FEMALE RJs OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR

“Radio is the theatre of the mind” -Steve Allen

On television, people can see it and on radio you’ve got to create it.It gives birth to a million images in million brains. Some people start their day by turning on their favorite radio channels while doing the household chores or on their way to work or even gossiping on a tea stall. It is so fascinating that just by listening to somebody you create a special connection that unknowingly becomes a part of their life.
There are many female voices that have managed to connect to the people of Kashmir and have become the talk of the town. Let’s see who all are there in the list that has created a home in the heart of the people.

Rafia Rahim

FEMALE RJs OF THE VALLEY

She is a 24-year old, who is the first woman radio jockey in Kashmir. She lives in Charari Sharief town in Budgam district. She has hosted many local programs and is now a quite popular name in households of Kashmir. Rafia is a 2016 pass out from the Media Education and Research Centre in the University of Kashmir. Before that she was enrolled in journalism. She had hosted a show called Good Morning Jammu and Kashmir on Doordarshan which used to air debates on social issues. Later, through some audition she got selected as an RJ.
“In February 2018, I got selected for Radio Jockeying. I received proper training in Chandigarh from the radio station. With my program, I try to entertain people and take away all their tensions, sadness and tiredness,” she said.

Mehak Zubair

FEMALE RJs OF THE VALLEY

She is a resident of Srinagar. Now, she works for Radio Mirchi. Before joining it, she did her post graduation in journalism. She has also worked as an anchor for Home Shop 18, Doordarshan and then as a reporter in CNN-IBN.
“I have interviewed people who have fought tough situations like depression and made a name for themselves in different fields. Theirs are inspirational stories which motivate others to have a positive approach towards life,” says Mehak.

Her show starts with ray of sunshine that is bouncing back on Dal Lake. One of the segment of her is show is Khush Khabar in which she has to give some good news to the listeners. She regularly interacts with her listeners to hear their problems and engages experts to provide solutions for them.

Wafa Vakil

She is born and brought up in Zaina Kadal. She is popularly known as RJ Haya. She completed her BBA and then joined 92.7 Big FM. She was always interested in music and was very active in cultural programs in her school days. She used to listen a lot of Radio and she thinks her destiny bought her here. Then, she took a big break of about four years and now she is back with a bang!
She hosts a popular morning show where she talks about the problems which people are facing and about the achievements of women.
“We used to raise the question, and I can say that by the grace of God, most of the problems people have raised on my show have been solved,” said the RJ.

These female RJs are a beacon of light and hope for all Kashmiris. Their voices and determination will inspire the Kashmiri youth to pursue their dreams, for generations to come!