The joys of homely Kashmiri food spread over a ‘dastar khwan’, cloth on the floor, and eaten with the entire family are fast disappearing here. It’s the call of pizzas, pastas, French fries and burgers in the valley now.

Ask Henna Bashir, who works with an international insurance agency and celebrated her 22nd birthday at a pizza joint on the famed Hurriyat Road in the uptown Rajbagh area.

Henna says she and a group of her office colleagues – all in their 20s – are regular visitors to the eatery, a franchise of Mexican food chain Smokin Joes.

“I love pizzas. When your friends are with you, the delight is doubled,” said Henna.

She and her friends gulped down steaming chicken pizzas and cold drinks even as Bryan Adams’ “Here I am – this is me…. And tonight we make our dreams come true” number played in the background.

Henna is the face of a new Kashmir that is slowly getting a taste of global culture – and loving it. More.