Where the Streets Have No Name

As I pore over the lunch menu, I hear a low, menacing voice behind me. “Give me all your dollars,” a man growls, as he points a rifle at my startled companion’s head. My first reaction is not fear, but befuddlement. What am I to make of this? His snarl sounds real enough, but his theatrical…

On A Shikara in Srinagar

The first time I saw Mohammed Sultan, I marked him as a reticent man. That was two mornings ago. Now, as we sip pink, salty noon-chai by the lake, I reclassify him as a man of measured words and emotions. He speaks with slow deliberation in a thick Kashmiri accent, and can discuss political conflict…