Sunday, June 16, 2019
 
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KP youths excel in their respective fields across globe
for some displacement proved to be a bane and for others it was a boon, losing home and hearth is heart lacerating

Jammu, June 10 ((Scoop News)-When thousands of Kashmiri Pandit families were forced to leave their homes and hearths in the Valley by armed Islamist insurgents in early 1990 no one knew what is in store ahead for them.

“After forced mass exodus, we were virtually on the roads without any roof over our heads, no money in our pockets, nothing to eat, got scattered across the country and exposed to a hostile environment with a bleak future ahead,” lamented Sunil Pandit, a civil engineer serving in a multinational company in western Indian state of Rajasthan.

Back in the Valley, their properties were either stolen or set ablaze, lands encroached and their yields usurped so as to disable them to return to their moorings in their respective native places.
One such displaced family with their eight year old son, Sandeep Pandit, migrated to Bangaluru in 1990 in a bid to mitigate their future uncertainty.


Sandeep did his degree in Chemical Engineering, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) before leaving for Australia in 2016 where he is experimenting with the culinary heritage of his native place as a participant in “Master Chef Australia”, leaving the evaluators of the international realty TV show amazed.

He has been cooking Kashmiri cuisines like Kabargah, Yakhni, Tehar, Maech, Rogan Josh, Mujh Chetni and Kawah on the show arbitrated by Matt Preston, Gary Mahigan and George Calombaris. The show is being telecast across Australia.

Sandeep’s mother taught him the basics of cooking so as to enable him to feed himself at an exotic place and in the process he learnt to prepare rice, pulses, mutton, chicken, spinach leaves, dry beans with turnips and other Kashmiri dishes. It is these teachings that helped him to mark his presence on the popular show.

Even National Conference leader and former chief minister, Omar Abdullah, complimented him tweeting last month that “we have a Kashmir connection this season of ‘Master Chef Australia’. Rooting for Sandeep Pandit. Already we have seen his Rogan Josh wowed the judges with his Kashmiri Yakhni. Can’t wait to see how far he goes.”

While thanking Omar, Sandeep responded by assuring him that ‘will try my best to make India proud’. In the latest episode he got the perfect score required to survive in the competition.


Surprisingly, he is getting a lot of acclamation and support from the followers on social media who text messages about his culinary skills.

Sandeep dreams of opening a food stall where he would sell barbeque meat (Tuji) roasted on charcoal and biryani dishes and hopes to preserve ancient Kashmiri recipes and also showcase other culture.

Interestingly, Vismay Pandit born post 1990 at Chandigarh after his parents had left Kashmir is doing an advanced course at Le Cordon Bleu in Australia after completing his degree from Delhi Institute of Hotel Management.

He is doing very well in his studies and his performance has been of utmost satisfaction to his teachers in the institute there, said Neeraj Pandit, father of Vismay.

“I will not be surprised to see Vismay sitting next to Gary, George and Matt, who are judging Master Chef Australia, in the near future. I have full faith in the talent of my community members particularly the youth,” said Sanjay Kolapori, a businessman.


It may be recalled that a leader had once said that he dreams of seeing Kashmiri Pandits begging like their fellow Kashmiri belonging to the majority community here.


“But no one can undo the God’s will, because He is Almighty, All Wise, merciful to all, compassionate to each,” said Shah Ji Bhat, representing an NGO.
A Ladakhi leader would insist the students of his community in Jammu, in all his interactions with them, to emulate the qualities of Kashmiri Pandit students and excel in their studies.


When this reporter asked the leader about the repetition of his statements while addressing the students, he replied “we will not survive a day if we are thrown out of our native place like KP’s.” ...
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