NORTH EAST TRAVELOG – PART 2

3) The Taxi Tour : From Shillong, we had to book a taxi for traveling as there was no local transportation available. Well, in a new city we always wish to stat safe with a responsible taxi driver. We got that as well with our taxi driver whom we referred to as “Dada”. He was a really kind person with no unnecessary demands or fooling behavior. He was really loyal to us and took us for a tour from Shillong to Cherrapunji, Dwaki, Mawlynnong and back to Shillong. Also, the moment he realized I was prone to vomiting on hills if the car is above the speed of 40, he drove at a speed of 20-40. Even though it was more exhausting for him and the journey of 2hrs went to 2.5hrs, he did it happily without giving it a second thought. Such people win hearts with their generosity and kindness.

4) The Orange Roots : This place is regarded as the best pure vegetarian restaurant in Cherrapunji. When I say best, it’s not only because of the food but again the hospitality and services. We just had to order food and sit comfortably when our food came. While we were eating, I realized that they served us continously without charging extra. The waitress would come confidently, asking if they could pour some more sambhar or chutney in our plates. They attended the table every 5mins to see if we needed something more with smiling faces. They were all independent ladies, working hard and seemed to love their work. As people from North we always face food challenges in North East but I definitely didn’t face it. These wonderful ladies served delicious food and a memorable hospitality.

5) Itoung Guest House : This homestay was located in Asia’s cleanest village, Mawlynnong. As we reached there, the caretaker Mr. Julius came all the way to the main market to receive us. He guided us to homestay and was immensely polite. He showed us the room and discussed the rates. We encountered some problem regarding the fare of the room so he connected us to the landlady over call. She again fulfilled the perfect hospitality statement by giving us a reasonable discount, understanding that we were there just for a night. Mr. Julius remained helpful with again a smiling face, not fooling us at any point of time. He rushed with water to our room at 10pm as soon as he realized we needed drinking water. He guided us well and stayed supportive throughout our stay. He bid us a smiling goodbye and wished us a happy journey.

North East and it’s people made me believe in humanity and kindness once again. People were always smiling eager to help us with anything. Somebody guided us to the hotel and someone fed us with Maggi when they realized we couldn’t eat anything else. They respected us and did not fool us anytime. They possibly knew that as tourists, we not just take back the memories of scenic beauty but the people. I personally brought back the most precious memories of sweet, wonderful people ready to help us with a smile. Woman particularly were very independent, working at hotels, having their own shops and loving their independence. North East gave me the chance to meet wonderful people and made me realize that humanity and love exists. They are all innocent people who actually follow and believe in the Indian culture of “Athiti Devo Bhavah.”

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North East Travelog – Part 1

“ Good people don’t have to say they are good people, it just shows.” – Shaun Parker
When we travel, as a tourist we always love and expect to witness great hospitality and support. We create an impression of that place not by its beauty but by the kind of hospitality and behavior we experience from the people there. Indeed, if we are treated wonderfully by the people of that place we will always be smiles talking about them in future. This is something common and human nature.

While on a visit to North East, I came across people that were not only helping but did everything to make us feel home. Irony struck me there when I realized we here in the North make fun of the people from East whereas did everything possible to keep us smiling. A tour from Guwahati to Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong, Dwaki and Shillong : the people won my heart to an inexpressible extent. The fresh weather felt even more beautiful with the kind of hospitality and love I received.

1) The Confident “Aunty” : The tallest plunge waterfall in India, Nohkalikai Falls had a small market for tourists. Luckily, we found a large shop with all the traditional stuff of North East. The owner of that shop was an old, cute woman whom we referred to as “Aunty / Dadi.” She was someone that made me feel so homely and at the same time was the perfect example for an independent woman. At the age of 60, she managed her shop so well. She was so innocent and honest with her work, smiling and giving us everything at reasonable prices. Her smile and generosity won my heart completely. We managed to do all our shopping from her shop. She didn’t fool us as tourists, instead she gained immense respect in my heart.

2) The La-Kupar Inn : This traditionally decorated hotel or homestay would be a better word was a bliss to me. Located in the valleys of Cherrapunji, it was full of lovely hospitality and homely treatment. The manager Mr. John and their entire staff was really polite, friendly and eager to help at all times. They managed to provide us with a beautiful, cozy room and also made sure that our dinner was purely vegetarian. The best part about all of them was their smiling faces. Mr. John himself received us at the gate and had a bright smile to welcome us. The entire staff whenever met us or even saw us, they always smiled and said a hello. They said “feel absolutely at home ma’am.” We could sit at the reception anytime, use their WiFi or even go and sit in the garden for long enjoying the weather and the campfire. They guided us about the site seeing as well. Indeed, that place was truly like home with such wonderful people whom I will remember for a lifetime.

Indeed, this Travelog has a lot more to it. The next part will be uploaded soon !!

World beyond the stars!! (CHRISTMAS SPECIAL) 

There is a world beyond those blue skies, a world with twinkling stars and revolving planets ; the complete definition to a dream world. A world where everything is simple going but still extraordinary. A world where there is no barrier to living and loving, no discrimination between people and no boundaries of time. Where time doesn’t control lives but flows like a calm ocean, smoothly and peacefully. The place where everything seems to be magic is the land where every child dreams to go. In the age when a child crawls he is told that there is a world beyond the infinite sky, up near the moon where Fairies and Santa Claus exist. Those imaginary characters are so beautifully etched in the minds of children that their only wish becomes to travel to that moon on the flying chariot of the Santa Claus.

Day or night, they look up to the sky thinking as to when will the night come when either of the shooting stars will fulfill their wish and take them to a journey to that world beyond the stars. Innocence, children possess it everytime.  They search for a magic lamp in the daylight and believe someone named the Tooth Fairy exists who meets them the night they keep their broken tooth below their pillows. The journey to that world remains a dream but they eagerly wait for those dreamland characters to visit them especially when it’s the Christmas month. When they know that it might be snowing somewhere up there and anything they wish for will be fulfilled by some white bearded, old fat man who will come with a bag full of gifts. That’s how imagination amalgamates with innocence and brings out the formation of a refreshed world. The kind of place God wanted to create and maybe that’s why he blessed his favorite souls, children with the beautiful realization of their own dreamland where they are the only ones who rule and live.

Every night God manages to effortlessly be the Angel himself, the Tooth  Fairy at times and also the Santa Claus just to let the childhood win over him everytime. That’s where his soul touches the earth and nature through the heart of a child dreaming of a world with purity and love.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU !! THIS CHRISTMAS TAKE A JOURNEY BACK TO YOUR CHILDHOOD AND MEET ALL THESE CHARACTERS WHOM YOU HAVE WISHED TO SEE IN EVERY SHOOTING STAR !! 

The Circle of Life !! 

Life, for some it is full of innumerable moments of happiness they inherit as their fate and for some it is confined in a small world within which they learn to discover what being happy actually means. Everybody has their own definition to being happy. For some it maybe buying a brand new car and for some just buying a cycle. Our life is confined into stages and it moves like a whole circle. There are distances to cover and challenges to face but at the end all that matters is the way we perceive every moment through that round window.

We come across situations where nothing seems right and all our means to being happy are destroyed. Loosing a job or failing an exam can never decide the future we have to live. The only thing that matters at that point is we are breathing and we can still keep up that smile and move ahead. Smiles are the most beautiful part of an expression. No matter how worse the scenario goes, if one can maintain a smile on the face and wait patiently for the storm to end, then surely one can find positivity even in the most crucial situations. There are people who have nothing but their perception to life gives them peace. Somebody with less money is not always sad because they know how to find happiness even in the smallest of things. 

It is not necessarily important to have fame and money in order to achieve the ultimate point of being happy. Someday visit an area not so developed and one can find the most beautiful smiles playing along those streets. Streets which may not be clean but they seem blessed to witness those laughs and giggles. Someday visit a village where technology hasn’t dominated and one can find divinity in the atmosphere of th sunset. Why travel the world in search of happiness and peace. Try to lend a helping hand to someone in need and that is the true essence of happiness which cannot be bought or sold. Try to perceive life differently and we can cherish a smile while looking from the Circle of Life !! 

BACK TO THE STREETS !! PART 1 :

She had those little fingers beautifully crafted by God to spread kindness in the world. Those black eyeballs and the large eyes had the keen look which can only be found in a child who doesn’t realize anything about the world. Her hair tied up in a ponytail added to the innocent look she carried. Her dress had the imprints of colorful flowers but her life was caged in an unknown black and white scenario. There was nothing that could differ her from a normal child but her fate wrote something that she wasn’t aware of. 

We always have imagined children smiling and giggling, playing around in the streets. But this little girl grasped my attention because of the speechless look she had, a child who wasn’t ready to smile. There was something different about her, something engaging. Her face had those black marks of dirt, which ironically added to her beauty. She had something which proved that maybe its not necessarily important for anyone to have an outer beauty. Sometimes the silence of somebody, the look of the eyes adds to more in a person. 

Children need not to be caged, they look more beautiful when they cover themselves with sand. That defines their non judgemental behaviour, their grounded thoughts. The only thing that this girl did not have was a better situation to her credit. She deserved something more, maybe the flowers printed on her clothes should actually surround her making her feel blessed. Maybe a better place to live, a better environment, something more loved that could bring back the smile that was hidden. The smile that could be seen only when those eyes could see a world she dreamt of when she saw other girls walking to school,  hand in hand with their parents, smiling and feeling blessed. 

REALITY WRAPPED IN DARKNESS

Childhood comes with innocence and no child has the ability to judge who has a fair eye and who does not. The so called sixth sense that people have comes with an age. Specifically in girls, it comes only after they step into teenage. Maybe this is the reason people find it really easy to convince children and use them for their illegal purposes. Also they find it manly to stare at a young girl who is not even aware of the sight she is subjected to. This picture says a thousand words but what struck my mind was how pimple mould children with financial needs and spoil their life for child abuse. 

Child abuse can be physical, mental or even emotional form of abuse. Physically abusing a child who does not realize the difference between a good or bad touch leaves a lifetime fear in the mind of that child. Mentally abusing a child with constant frightening or subjecting them to child labour leads to a deep mental trauma. They never find their way out of that darkness and it kills them regularly. Emotionally harassing a child who is unaware of what is right or wrong can actually make the child lonely and afraid of emotions. There are children who are silent or extremely introvert because they never know how to express themselves. They fear being judged and getting ignored by the society. Their self confidence goes so low that they start questioning their own skills. 

The girl in this frame is not even aware that the man is staring him with an evil thought in his mind. She doesn’t even know that he might just keep staring at her and indirectly harrassing her dignity. The only thing that she will remember is that if you aren’t smart enough to judge the look of those eyes, they will stare at you with a wild and irrelevant desire. Many people find kids who are in need of money or job and in the name of getting them jobs, they sell them to some factory or industry where they are made to work and even made to beg. They are ill treated and abused physically, mentally and emotionally. Their families keep looking for their children who disappear suddenly in the darkness of life. They never find a way out, they never get to see the light again. All they remember is that childhood which had to be their favorite part,  became the most evil one. Child abuse destroys lives and souls. A child abused is equal to the death of a thousand pure souls.