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Parij Pran Borgohain, Prateeksha Darabdhara
Date of Publish: 2017-03-16

 

Along the nature's curves in Meghalaya

 

The scenic beauty of the nature, the culture of people, the indigenous cuisine, the markets etc. are some of the key elements that any traveller would like to explore when travelling to any destination. People like to take pictures or videos or in fact buy something from the local market as a souvenir to preserve their travel experiences in the form of memories. Although these would constantly remind them of their fun and good times, yet they often miss out to enjoy one of the most important part of their travel i.e. the travelling part itself. It is the journey to any destination that many a times hold the most beautiful views. The roads can tell a thousand stories that usually remain unheard. The roads can themselves describe not only the place but the people and their way of living.

A trip to Meghalaya is something many people from Assam often like to experience. Be it a vacation, a break out of the hectic work schedule or a rock concert, people find different reasons to visit the ‘Abode of Clouds’ or Meghalaya. The cold weather that can drop to as low as 2 degree Celcius in the winter owing to its average altitude of 1496m itself sounds tempting. People want to touch the waterfalls, go for rafting in the Barapani Lake, rope sliding, boating in the crystal clear water of Dawki or even a helicopter ride to enjoy being on the edge of life. These are experiences everyone need to have to add masala to their life. The food, the ethnic attire, the diverse culture are also some aspect that makes Meghalaya a paradise for travellers. The pine-fresh mountain state that comprises of the foggy Khasi, Jaintia and Garo hills holds in itself panoramic landscapes that are enough for people to be awestruck. But these images can be enjoyed at its fullest when you keep in mind the aspect of the road travel.

Any person travelling to Meghalaya normally goes to Shillong, books a hotel and then a cab to visit the likes of Dawki, Cherrapunji, Mawsynram and all such known names. These places do offer you everything to cherish and remember, but when you keep your eyes focussed at the world outside the window of your cab during the long journeys, you get something that will give you a taste of real Meghalaya.

The roads that curls like that of a girl’s hair is the foremost thing that will surprise you during your first ever Meghalaya tour. And when the clouds decide to travel with you on the same road, you will experience something like being on cloud nine. The only fear you would experience is that your driver would take a wrong turn, because on the other side there is a free fall of some hundred metres. But if you let go the fear, what you will experience is being on top of the world walking on clouds. The pine trees covering the hills create an amazing scenery, and all that you can do is wait there and enjoy.

Meghalaya can offer you views not only in terms of the high hills. Infact, most parts of the roads that takes you to some of the most visited parts of Meghalaya like Dawki or Cherrapunji makes their way through valleys, over rivers and across country sides. Coming to all of these one by one, the view of the valleys can surely be termed as relaxing all by itself. When you travel in the early morning hours, like we did, at the first view, the grass covering the valleys that you expect to look green, looks white. In a place like Meghalaya you would assume it to be a result of a snowfall, but only to know that it doesn’t snow in the state anymore. The white layer is infact created by the dew drops that freeze overnight on the leaves giving it a look you desperately would want to touch. Some of the valleys are so vast that you would otherwise be tired looking at it if not for its beauty that look perfect for a romantic music video shoot. The small houses, cemeteries (in some places) and some of the deserted buildings that you pass by looks like a perfect location to any street photographer. You could also see the local people in their traditional attire doing their daily chores, not bothering about you. This way you could get a more realistic and natural view of the Meghalaya life. The people carrying things in a basket hanging on to their heads appear more like a real life painting.

With valleys and hills come the rivers. The rivers of Meghalaya may not be known for their large size, but when you get down the road to have a closer view you would know why it is worth spending time. At first glance, kayaking is the first word that would come to anybody’s mind. But perhaps it would be better to enjoy the view of the water crashing onto the rocks. And when you look up you are sure to be awestruck by the near perfect blue sky. Although it looks good with some perfectly shaped clouds but nothing beats the look of “a clear blue sky”.

For 20 years now, we have never witnessed the sky so clear, so blue! That sight made our trip worthwhile. Nature lovers like us can sit there forever without thinking about any complexities of life. It makes you forget all your worries and compels you to praise the ultimate artist. We are now convinced that there ought to be someone behind this, some blessed hands that have created this masterpiece, this earth with all its breathtaking beauty. With the soothing sound of the water splashing and hurriedly making its way through the stones and pebbles, with birds celebrating life and the cool breeze hitting your face that makes you close your eyes automatically; any stop in between your journey can fill you with utmost pleasure and relaxation. A small leakage of water through the chiselled hill looks like a waterfall. While riding uphill, take a moment to look back, to see what you left behind. You will witness a trail of cars crawling its way along the curves of the hill. It fills you with a sense of pride and happiness to see how far you have come.

Another point of attraction are the small and cozy looking wooden huts that are spread across the way. When mankind is busy constructing skyscrapers, we can here find happiness by looking at the tiny houses that are located amidst the fields. The sight of these wooden Assam type houses in Meghalaya, with a Khasi lady carrying a baby tied to her back and chewing ‘Kwai’ and trying to make fire in front of the doorway is enough to make you feel warm and content. Thanks to the government who have managed to keep the road proper and smooth which adds to the enjoyment. No matter how far you go, how deep you enter, you and your vehicle will bear no pain.

The journey to any destination, the roads, the views, the way to reach the final place gives you a lot of memories. It holds the power to gift you a moment that will forever be stored in your heart. A moment that will make your heart skip a beat every time you recall it. Hence, make sure you enjoy it to the fullest, make sure you do not utilize the time to take a nap, but to live your dreams. Because that journey might leave you speechless and then turn you into a storyteller.

 

Parij Pran Borgohain and Prateeksha Darabdhara

All Photographs by Puja Sarkar
( Parij Pran Borgohain, Prateeksha Darabdhara and Puja Sarkar are students of 4th Semester, Department of Mass Communication & Journalism,Tezpur University. Contact No: 8876905772)

 

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