Four years ago, on a road trip with two of my friends to Gilgit-Baltistan, I went to a village called Nagar: not very popular with tourist.Things didn’t turn out to be so pleasant during the 32 hours road travel to Nagar Valley. One of my friends went her own way as she was a local of a near-by village and people of her village had an on going quarrel with the people of Nagar. She tried convincing us not to stay there as the people of Nagar are very conservative and narrow-minded.I heard all sorts of hostile things about this place. Plus, travelling in Pakistan during the last 10 years had become dangerous.A dear friend of mine from Nagar had invited me to stay over, I couldn’t say no.So, I took the risk and went on with my other friend who was convinced to come along.
We had to trek a mountain, make an hour’s walk, luckily saw a small tractor and sat on it to reach our destination. A beautiful journey with breath taking scenery.As we entered his house, a tree full of maroon cherries welcomed us.We stuffed ourselves with cherries and and slept.Our host and the two of us woke up at sun rise took a walk through a beautiful cluster of huge rocks going up his backyard, went all the way to the top.
When we came back, a strange aroma was all around the house. Something was cooking for sure but i had never smelled this before. Finally, it entered the room in a small bright pink tray in the hands of a young girl. My host friend told me she was his sister and she had cooked this dish called Chap-shro.It was love at first bite.I was told I wouldn’t finish it, but I ended up taking a second serving. I learned how to make it from his sister and made it a few times back here in Lahore but the taste and that travel, is still fresh in my memory. Locals of Nagar were so hospitable, even strangers invited us for lunch or dinner. I’m glad I visited Nagar; huge snow capped mountains all around, lush green valley, a few rocks to sit under the cherry tree and a hot plate of chap-shro.