ZERO MILES Cafe: An island of peace and josh in Sopore

  • Soiba Khatoon
  • Publish Date: Mar 25 2019 6:10AM
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  • Updated Date: Mar 25 2019 6:11AM
ZERO MILES Cafe: An island of peace and josh in SoporePhoto: Kashmir Ink

Zero Miles Café has become a place where friends and families alike could stay for hours listening to the heartwarming gyawun of Kashmir and eat good food cooked with love. 

Many people had drawn those imageries in their minds; a cup of cappuccino, eyes closed and Yawar Abdal's Baal Maraeyo playing along. People would crave for those delicacies and all the imaginations to become real, and suddenly Jibran Khan came making all the people in his hometown believe it was possible.

Khan, a 28-year-old budding entrepreneur from Nowpora village of district Bandipora of Jammu and Kashmir laid the foundation of ZERO MILES - GRILL AND CAFÉ; a place that changed the ambience of the apple town, attracting lovers of leisure from across Sopore.

In 2014, Khan quit his job in Chandigarh and started a travel agency in Kashmir, but it was his misfortune that turned out to be a fortune that he didn't get even a single client in the whole year. 

To experience a fall in his very first business venture was extremely difficult for him, but his courage helped him stand up again, and in 2015 he took more than 150 tourists to Gurez which set a record in the history of the remote valley. 

But the following year, Khan suffered a huge loss due the unrest in Kashmir valley that pushed him to choose an altogether different career.

"I believe that food for me is more than just a combination of four alphabets. Its joy, love, care and togetherness combined in the most beautiful way. It’s obvious that I didn't open a restaurant for a word but for a feeling," Khan says.

Setting up a success like Zero Miles with no experience in restaurant business, everybody wondered what his inspiration was. Khan’s resilience has been his own inspiration. 

"Love for my community and to serve them has been one of the driving forces and has always inspired me to establish a mark. All in all, I've been my own inspiration."

In the success of Zero Miles, Khan finds all his earlier failures and flaws transform into the best fruit of his life.

Amid growing tension in the valley, Zero Miles has become a symbol of love and peace at one of the most badly affected areas of north Kashmir as it hosts people from a spectrum of opinion and backgrounds in Sopore. 

For a food place, to stand amidst growing tension and war, is not only difficult but also involves risk. But Zero Miles is an epitome of peace which despite remaining closed during the curfews and shutdowns, continues to provide helpline services to many a youth who need it.

So, Zero Miles doesn't only turn out to be a place of love and care but humanity too. A place that is spreading that strength and josh among people even in this war like situation.

The café has become a spot for many to mingle over good food, music love for touching songs by Yawar Abdal and Mohammad Muneem, spreading smiles and happiness in a war torn place where thousands have been shattered. 

It has also become the most successful food place in northern Kashmir. 

"Zeromiles! Just zeromiles away from my heart. This place is the reason of my fun memories. The coffee isn't the only thing that gives you a jolt here. The way of hosting and interacting with people is the best thing about this cafe. It also acts as a ‘go study Spot’,” said a young regular at the café, Ifran Khaleel. 

“Interiors are the thing to rave about. It takes you out of depression and anxiety I often experience.” 

There are so many things about this place I can't put into words, he says.