Kashmir’s Youth Icons Saga Of Struggles And Inspiration

Youth are a prized possession of a nation, full of energy, ideas, and dreams. Yes, struggles too. Even Islam, the religion of peace, attaches great importance to this young age. It occupies first slot in the hadith in which Prophet Muhammad says, “Take advantage of five (things) before five,” and begins with, “Your youth before your old age”. Jammu and Kashmir is a young state which, over the years, against all odds, has produced some great names that have won many accolades and earned great respect in their respective fields both at the state as well as international levels. Kashmir News Bureau (KNB) interact with two of youth – cricketer Parvez Rasool and businessman Javid Parsa – from the Valley whose journeys have been full of struggles, but whose dedication and perseverance got them through.

They have not stopped where they have reached, but continue with their efforts to contribute and inspire many others to walk the path of their dreams. “There is a lot of hard work behind any achievement,” began Parvez Rasool, who along with his fellow cricketer Irfan Pathan was waiting for the lunch when we arrived in Sher-E- Kashmir cricket stadium near All Saints Church in Srinagar. “All of us are aware that when it comes to cricket or any other sport, the infrastructure and facilities are equivalent to nil in Jammu and Kashmir. Despite this, choosing cricket as a profession was a big decision. But, the most important thing in my case was my father himself was a cricketer who has been a great support,” he said.

Parvez, who belongs to south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, added that he had to cover 50 kilometres in a bus with a hefty kit when he was playing for Under-16. “I had to face a lot of hardships,” the state’s star cricketer said. According to Parvez, he ‘exactly’ realised that he could take cricket as a profession when he played Under-23 and finished as a top all-rounder and scored 700 runs in the North Zone cricket for which his team had qualified for the first time. “Then, I also had a good Ranji Trophy season. Afterwards, when Bishan Sing Bedi joined, he said several good things about me and my bowling, which made me take my bowling a bit seriously.

That year, I took 33 wickets in seven games and scored 600 hundred runs. Thereafter,, I figured in India A and then in Board President’s XI in 2013 against Australia which had international players including Steve Smith on its side. I took seven wickets for 45 runs against Australia. This was a turning point in my career,” recounted Parvez. “I was then selected in the national team for the Zimbabwe tour but, unfortunately, I couldn’t get to play any game.” Based on his all-round performance in Ranji Trophy 2013-14 season in which he picked 27 wickets and scored 663 runs in nine matches, Parvez was honoured with the Lala Amarnath Award.

He has, so far, played two international matches: an ODI and a T20 match against Bangladesh and England respectively. With the exception of last season, Parvez Rasool has also played with Royal Challengers Bangalore, Pune Warriors India and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premiere League (IPL). “Definitely, when one puts in his best efforts, God also stays with him,” remarked Rasool. Sitting with his guests at a corner table in his single-room restaurant at Sarah shopping complex was the Managing Director of Parsa Foods and Beverages, Javid Parsa. Earlier, when we entered, we mistook him as a customer and went straight ahead to the counter to ask one of his employees where he is. The employee stretched his free arm and pointed towards where Javid was seated.

Our greetings and introduction was a kind of interruption as he was busy talking and listening to his guests, who he later said were going outside the Valley the next day. But he was decent enough to offer us a table next to his and requested five minutes to finish his meals. He ordered food (rolls) for us too. Javid launched his new brand Parsa’s in October 2017, doing away with Kathi Junction he previously ran.

“I want to expand my horizon and it is my dream to take this pocket-friendly menu to every corner of the state, while creating more businessmen,” Javid said. “Majority of the youth who are taking my franchisees have just stepped out of colleges. I want to create a pool of good, genuine and young businessmen”. Javid has already set targets to be achieved by the end of 2018. “We are targeting around ten outlets and provide employment to around 100 Kashmiris, which is a moment of pride for all of us at Parsa’s,” the ambitious businessman said.

So far, under brand Parsa’s, outlets in Baramulla, Leh, and SSM College have been launched. Another outlet is due to open at IUST on September 18. When asked what massage he would like give to the youth of Kashmir, Javid said, “Life never comes easy. We fail but only to rise again. People, friends, businesses come and go. The only thing that stays with us is our honesty, hard work and determination. The most important thing is that you need to listen to your heart. It may not be always right but, at the end of the day, accept yourself as an imperfect human being”. KNB

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