Staying in Guwahati for work seemed the best of both worlds, because as a writer the only way words get seduced inside is being in a beautiful and peaceful set up. The month long plan of moving away from the city, comfort zone, people I know and be lost in the confines of an unexplored city had me gushing into the idea. The stay however reminds me of a weekend I spent in Shillong a good 100 kms from the capital I was put up in, with a visiting friend.
Drive on the terrain
We booked a Sumo taxi the typical local choice of the commuters in between the cities for a three hour beautiful drive. The scenic beauty alongside the highway was a spell binding and soul searching experience with regular appearances of waterfalls, valleys, thick concentration of trees and drizzles to justify a cloudy weather. Getting down for a chai in the midst of this grandeur was the perfect thought transcending into action to camouflage in the Shillong plateau.
Unpacking the bags
Soon as we reached we found a hotel by the advice of this taxi driver who had been an enthusiastic guide along the drive. The view of this elevated hotel was bliss as the curtains opened to a view of the entire hill station. Racing thoughts of how this small community of people secluded in the finery of nature lived an amicable life. Did they miss out on the city life, or were they more than happy to ever move out of this place they call home.
The very question or even otherwise got us trekking up and down to pull out every skeleton from the grave and understand them deeply. A well planned and maintained city with good roads and less traffic was the 330th most populous city in India. Varied offerings of café’s, pubs, restaurants with good food and good north eastern rock music set a tone to the entire experience. After a good meal we walked towards the hotel when we realized we had an entire day to ourselves so hired a cab to leave for Cherrapunji and other exotic places to check out on the way there.
Twin city escapade
The driver seemed a professional in weaving in and out of the hilly roads and striking a conversation with him made us realize he was a professional racer. The annual racing competition in Shillong was a regular scope for him to live his love for the sport. Funny young man sang local tunes while driving as we were lost in the magnum opus that was a regular to him. He stopped at the origin of the Nohsngithiang falls, referred commonly as the seven sister falls was a magnificent spread of waterfalls over a rocky height of 1,033 ft making it the tallest falls in the country.
However the Elephant falls was a contradiction in terms of the size but yet this was more intimate in nature. One could linger along the fall in its three step flow with manmade bridges made in between to crane you in to the water. The climb had us breathless hence a quick round of refreshments later we headed back to the cab.
A host of small and big interesting spots out of public demand and few that interested out driver friend were on the bucket list of the wettest place on the earth. Stopping by to study the plants, insects and bird watching were some of the other activities we indulged in apart from awkwardly gawking at the majestic attributes of nature at every step.
We headed back to the hotel and reached by midnight just to pack and sleep and leave the first thing in the morning after breakfast. I was back in Guwahati while my friend flew from 21 degrees temperature to a 42 degree one and complaining. While the beauty and exuberance of this short trip was coaxing me into writing a piece on it.