Posted in Nomad's Diary

Saga of Shillong (5.2)

Chapter 5: Scorching Sun, Clear water and Living Root Bridge (Part 2)

So, after being fried in that heat, when we reached the bank, I saw Moon was gathering rocks. I asked, “Why are you picking them up?” Masi smiled, “He said that these rocks will help sharpen my knives.” Moon said to me, “Didi, all of you go to the washroom if you need. We will leave for the border within 15 minutes.” Oh God! That washroom! It was stinking but at least it was not dirty. Dad already bagged some cucumbers and chips and water bottles for the journey. It was past noon. The area became congested due to traffic. So, I would suggest that if you go to Dawki, please visit this area before noon or in the afternoon.

India-Bangladesh Border Gate

After crossing the traffic, we finally got some speed. Moon was showing us the border side. The side of Bangladesh looked like the nearby neighbourhood. Moon told, “Daily many Bangladeshis cross the border to sell things here and sometimes they sneak into the Indian side. Security is very tight here.” I was wondering 70 years ago this land was undivided. May be back then children used to play at the no man’s land or maybe there were some houses. Eventually, we reached the spot. To be honest, you can skip this spot if you wish. There is nothing to see except the border gates. We lost time due to this trip and we were late for living root trip too. Still, my mother didn’t forget to take at least 10 pictures even though the BSF was insisting us to leave the gate as soon as possible.

Losing almost 2 hours from the border, we finally took place. There was no network. All we could feel is that Moon was driving it hurriedly. After driving for 1 or 1.5 hours, Moon took a break. It was 1:30 pm. There was a beautiful fall at that place, called Borhill Falls. It is better called a cascade. The waterfall made a stream which flows toward Bangladesh. The scenery was beautiful. Few tourists were taking a bath on the upper stream of the falls. I asked, “Moon dada, how did they reach there?” He smiled, “They took a different road and that won’t lead to Mawlynnong.” I sighed. Still, what amazed me more was the white flowers which were covering the hill.

Flora of Borhill
Borehills Falls
Stream from Borehill
Posted in Nomad's Diary

Saga of Shillong (5.1)

Chapter 5: Scorching Sun, Clear Water and Living Root Bridge (Part 1)

It was day 3. I was sleeping like a sloth under my blanket. I could hear, my father was shouting, “Get up rascal. You need to shower. At least go to the potty. I can’t manage a bathroom this time.” I could hear mother was asking, “Yes, bring three parathas and tea too.” Now folks, if you visit the hilly regions, you must try the parathas (stuffed bread). upon hearing the name of paratha, I finally got up. Brushing the teeth, I was looking at the frozen snowflakes on the window sill. Whoa! Was it snowing all night?

By 8:30 am, we were ready to leave for the day. While travelling, I always carry a small bag containing, my phone, wallet, charging battery, umbrella, earphone, comb, lipstick, eyeliner, necessary medicine and a mirror. My father calls it grandpa’s mitten. This time also was no difference. Moon was a very punctual man. As promised, he came by 8:00 am. I said, “Brother Moon, good morning. What’s today’s schedule?” He replied, “Today we are going to have a long journey. There are only two spots to cover, Dawki river and living root village. But if you guys don’t hurry up, we can’t be back by 8 pm.” Suddenly, we heard, “Be careful. Did you forget about my knee replacement surgery?” I smiled, “Moon Dada, buckle up.”

Journey to Dawki was long. Dawki is a river which has crystal clear water. If you search for its photo, I am sure you will be amazed to see its beauty. It seems like the boats on the river are floating in the air. So when I asked my mom to visit the site, she immediately said, “Yes.” It took almost 3 hours to reach there. But the road was really interesting. We crossed many hills of limestones. Moon said, “This area exports limestones to cement factory. Many people even smuggle them. You know, as the Bangladesh border is nearby, smuggling is easier.” After one and half hours of driving, he halted twice for a few time. Each time he said, “Click some photos if you need.” And each time, I said ‘cheese’ until my mother was satisfied with photos, worthy of uploading on social media.

I know that I’m a fashion disaster
25°23’13.6″N 91°52’17.6″E
Posted in Nomad's Diary

Saga of Shillong (4.2)

Chapter 4: We became Cavemen (Part 2)

What attracted me most about the garden of caves was its serene nature. After this place, We headed to Nohkalilai Falls viewpoint. According to legends, there was a widow named Ka Likai. She had an infant daughter. To survive, she had to work hard from day to night. But unwantedly she had to leave her daughter unattended. So to have an easier life, she remarried. But the second husband hated that infant. One day when Likai was out to work her husband killed the child and decapitated it. He cooked her flesh and offered that meal to Likai. As Likai was too tired due to hard she ate it all. Later when she went to take betel leaf after the meal, she found a little finger.

The Bamboo Bridge
Nohkalikai Falls

Her husband explained it all to her. Horrified with the incident she ran away from home and jumped into the lake where her baby daughter’s bones were left. This heart-breaking story dad was explaining on the way. I asked, “Ma what was your experience in your time?” She replied, “It was not so great tourist spot. It was just a viewpoint.” When we reach the point, it was almost a very small market place. Girls were selling handmade wooden crafts. They were selling wild cinnamon barks along with black peppers and other spices. I was focusing on the emerald green lake; thinking about the poor mother and her daughter who are resting together there. Moon said, “Around this time the falls is not so big. It’s real beauty blossoms at the rainy season.”

The Table-top at the side of Sohra-Shella Road