Like other men of his age, Bilal also wanted to work with influential bureaucrats in a government office where he would receive a good monthly salary, get married and settle down. But life had a surprise for him. Bilal's great grand father, grand father, and father all were Pashmina weavers. This work had started in the family in 1950s and since then, saw no interruption. The family brimmed with talented weavers and as many as a hundred shawls would be woven by this single family per year. The family was very well known when it came to the pioneers of Pashmina weaving. Women from around Kashmir would come to Bilal's grandfather and custom make their shawls according to the a certain weave. Bilal's father would first educate them on the types of weaves, count and other details about Pashmina weaving. Then the customer would choose wisely. This was the honesty and ethics that the family always showed in their work and for this reason, a customer would never bargain with them, because everyone knew, that these people would do anything but lie or deceive. Today, it is 2020 and Bilal works as a Pashmina weaver. Where did the reputation of the family vanish? Why didn't Bilal choose a government job? Where are the customers who looked for the Kota family? What actually happened? Bilal's ordeal Bilal's great grandfather passed away in 1964 and after 15 years, his grandfather passed away in 1979. Now all the responsibility was left on his father, who couldnt manage everything alone because there was a dearth of extremely skillful weavers which the family never compromised on. Hence Bilal and to leave his studies half way when he was in 12th standard and accompany his father to weave shawls which were in great demand, especially those which were prepared by them. The condition of the family was still manageable and Bilal and his father were content, till 1988, when tragedy struck and Bilal lost his father. It was a dreadful accident and Mr Ghulam Nabi was found dead on national highway, after his vehicle was hit by a bus. Bilal lost a loving father, the family lost its biggest support and the world of Pashmina lost one of its greatest patrons. "After my father's death, when I entered the room where we all used to work, it was really hard for me to continue. Every thread, every needle, everything in the room reminded me of those times" says Bilal who works on his own today, "But I gained strength, worked harder and continued this legacy that my great grandfather had started some 70 plus years back.
Bilal and Pashmina.com
With the introduction of machines and power looms what was left with with Bilal was also slipping away from his hands. The owners of power looms have never let hand artisan grow ever since they started manufacturing machine made shawls in huge quantities. Bilal and many of his friends who are hand weavers of Pashmina suffered a lot and were left helpless in poverty. With Pashmina.com, Bilal is quite satisfied, His hopes are quite high ever since he knew that we only sell handmade products. Bilal is one such weaver who never has to be told or made understood any type of work. He does all on his own and that is just perfect.