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Salma is from Srinagar, the Capital City of Kashmir, a disputed territory at the base of the Himalayas that lies between Pakistan, India, and China.  Her and her husband live on a small floating island in the middle of Lake Dahl just outside the city, a place only accessible by canoe.  Luckily, her friends and family live on nearby floating islands, also accessible by canoe.  Over seventy islands inhabit the lake, and resources on the islands are scarce.  Goods such as household products and food must be brought from the city (a ten mile journey by canoe), or produced on the island.

Salma spends most her time working in the village bakery, where she mixes shapes, and bakes bread dough into an Indian flatbread known as chapati.  Everyone in the village knows Salma is the best baker in the village, and most decide to buy her bread rather than make it on their own.  Salma also helps her husband with their hydro-garden, a garden planted directly on top of the water that grows vegetables and beans to sell at the local vegetable market.

The local vegetable market takes place every morning at 5:00am.  Each gardener brings their produce in their canoe to a central meeting place in the lake and the bidding begins.  Due to her religious and familial beliefs, Salma is not involved in any sort of monetary exchange from her bakery or gardening endeavors.  She finds that her hobbies have become what she is already expected to do, such as cook and bake.  In the home Salma likes to make many different Kashmiri curries, such as Rogan Josh, the most traditional of the Kashmir curries.