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. 

WILDLIFE – A CLOSER LOOK 

Nothing can be more wonderful than the beauty of nature. God created this Earth, man and along with them he created the flora and fauna. He invested a lot of his colors and love in nourishing the beauty of wildlife. Every creature he created has it’s own beauty and is equally amiable. Every creature is unique in it’s own way and is completely adorable. God created land and then gave it animals on land. He created water and filled the oceans with the beauty of aquatic animals and corals. The world beneath the oceans is not less than meditation and has the most beautiful creatures. It gives peace and takes us into another world of life where everything seems to just, swim.

God has given animals the most unexpected talents which make them different and yet beautiful. The gave birds and flys the wings to fly higher without fear. He gave nature the lion and lioness as the masters of the jungle who actually are a reflection of how love is all about being each other’s strength. He gave camel the ability to survive in deserts without feeling the urge for water. Man cannot breathe underwater but oceans have their own aquatic world. This is the beauty of nature and the miracles we encounter in wildlife.

Animals are also blessed with the same feelings of love, concern, togetherness and loyalty. They may not speak but they have their own language. The chirping of birds early morning seems to be the most peaceful thing. The hen is said to be the alarm for every person. The owl is one such animal that never sleeps at night. There are innumerable examples where we see how beautiful wildlife is. Nature is a blessing to mankind that gives them the opportunity to witness some of the most amazing forms of nature.

STORY 1 :

Small in size but independent at their work and identity.

Squirrel is one of the most cute and adorable creature. At the same time they are equally hard working. Everytime I have noticed squirrels, they are amazingly active and alert at their work. They are independent at their work and prefer taking precautions. They collect their own food and store it for further use. Rains, storms, sunlight nothing comes in their way to work. They are alert and their speed is incomparable.

They might be small but their personality is completely opposite to their size. A squirrel is always doing some or the other work. You look at a squirrel for a minute and the moment you get up to capture it in your camera, it disappeares. Even if we try finding them out, we can’t match their speed. They are also blessed with the feelings of loyalty and togetherness. Never will you find a squirrel working alone. They are all in a group, working and playing irrespective of their surroundings. Nothing bothers them except for the fact that they are here for a purpose and they have to live life in their small world.

STORY 2 :

Here goes the fish in the mouth of the crocodile and it is a brilliant shot !!

Crocodiles and fishes have a really sour relationship. The little ones have to make their way out of the eyes of the crocodile. Obviously the crocodile being the most fierce creature in water, it has a different kind of fear. Little fishes who hardly have any way to protect themselves are always captive to such large creatures. It is as the food cycle goes, one animal survives on the other and so on. The same can be seen in this beautifully captured shot. It takes a huge amount of hard work to capture something like this which is exactly portraying the reality.

A crocodile is really attentive when he has to prey. Due to it’s dark color appearance and silent way of going along water, it is nearly impossible to detect his presence. He sits quietly at one side of the water with his eyes stuck to the food he has to capture. After waiting there silently for a long time, as long as it sees a small fish, it just moves forward to grab it. No effort is the needed to eat the fish. Obviously being the weaker one, the fish becomes a prey to the crocodile. One thing admirable about the crocodile is it’s attentive nature and patience. One can get good results only when he is attentive and at the same time is patient enough to wait for things to fall in place.

STORY 3:

Sitting quietly doesn’t mean I’m not observing. That’s the genius creature.

Turtles are the most creative and colorful creatures. They usually survive both on land and water and are amazing if observed closely. Not everybody will know that turtles make good, loyal pets and are really amiable. The best part about them other than their shell is their eyes. They have madly deep eyes and are wonderfully expressive. If noticed closely, turtles tend to speak with the intensity of their eyes. Not every animal is so intense and expressive with eyes but turtles have this special quality.

They walk slow but as they say, slow and steady wins the race. Their speed never becomes a hurdle in their personality. They are beautiful with that small face inside the shell and those amazing eyes. I personally feel people who pet turtles are lucky because they sit quietly for a long time and tend to listen to everything you have to say. They have that feeling of friendship in them and that makes them so special. Their pace does not matter as long as they are trustworthy and loyal. God has created some of the most beautiful colors in their shells that can leave you open mouthed and this turtle actually took all the attention only because of the eyes and the amazing colors it is blessed with.

STORY 4:

The picture says it all and so does this adorable rabbit.

Rabbits have a special place in my heart when it comes to pets. They are delicate as cotton and need to be nurtured with innocence. They understand that touch of care and concern. They understand the feeling of friendship and affection. They are sensitive to both nature and at their emotions as well. Rabbits are like new born babies who need special care and attention. They are soft and delicate, deserving a care like a young child. They need to be taken care of very attentively without any kind of carelessness.

They learn to walk early and the first thing they do is to jump. You play with them and they will jump all around, trying to win the game. Carrots are their favorite and they even have a crush on Maggi. The best part about a rabbit is their warmth. They feel the warmth of the person looking after them and in return they give the warmth that gives peace. No matter how tired a person is, if he has a rabbit then all his tiredness vanishes as soon as he plays with them. These little creatures are delicate and need extra protection but at the same time they are beautiful souls. God has blessed them with beautiful souls that know the meaning of warmth and love.

STORY 5:

Humans or animals, the relation of a mother and child remains special.

The relation of a mother and child is same for all creatures. Every child be it of a human or animal, has an eternal connection with the mother. This little monkey is so affectionately sleeping in the arms of his mother that nothing bothers him. It is like the safest place where he gives up on all worries and finds peace. Monkeys are originally very emotional and affectionate. It is said that monkeys are the ancestors of man. They have certain instincts same as humans. One of them is the affection they share for one another.

No matter how many differences God created in humans and animals, one thing that was beyond his control was the love a child has for his mother and vice versa. A mother be it of an animal or human, has the same amount of love, dedication and affection for the child. In every aspect of nature, mother nurtures the child in the best possible way. She hunts for food and also protects the child from every trouble that may encounter him. She has he courage to fight the king of the jungle if she has to protect the child she has been nurturing since childhood. The picture says many things which can’t be expressed in words. Certain things are meant to be felt by the soul because they come from the soul.

STORY 6:

My wings are my pride !!

The wings of a bird are it’s pride and they make sure that nobody causes harm to them. They walk with dignity and fly like the queens of the sky. Nobody has the authority to ruin their freedom. They are the masters of their souls and live without boundaries. Ironically, women on Earth are not yet the only masters of their soul due to the male dominated society in certain areas. But the sky is all about birds. It is their home and their nation. Birds being the creatures blessed with wings never should be kept in cages.

They are made to fly higher in the sky and only that suits their personality. They shelter in the trees and make their nests with their own effort. Birds being the queens are equally beautiful at their appearance. They seem to be very possessive about their wings. They open up their wings and that is where the real strength of a bird lies. Also it is the miracle of nature that no bird will ever be found just sitting because of the fear of flying. They aspire to fly since they are young and that is their identity and power at the same time.

STORY 7:

United we stand, divided we fall.

Scary if seen closely but they depict the most wonderful thing that mankind needs to learn, unity and togetherness. These crocodiles can’t speak their unity says it all. No matter what the situation is, they stand together facing every storm that comes along. Crocodiles undoubtedly are fierce but only to their enemies. When it comes to the crew, they are one whole army that can destroy all the dancers. Even if they are silent, they know what is to be done. Just the twinkle of an eye does it all and the game is over for the enemy.

Humans even after being capable of speaking have forgotten the meaning of togetherness. They have forgotten that the strength of a hand is better than the effort of one finger. One person alone may win his battles but will fail to win it for the society. We are all a part of this society and owe something back to it. It is necessary to stay together or else it will be easier to get defeated. If one has to win wars, togetherness and loyalty plays the role. Wildlife in every aspect teaches many things to mankind if observed closely.

STORY 8:

I’m there for you even in your darkest moments.

Who says the only humans can be friends with each other. Just have a look around and you will find the most amazing friendships on the branches of some trees. These monkeys say so much in this picture. Friendship is all about feeling it from within and being loyal as a friend. It does not require the medium of language or words to be friends with somebody. It is a beautiful emotion that can only be felt and understood by love, affection and care. A friend in need is a friend indeed, as the saying goes along.

Animals make much better friends in today’s scenario. People tend to betray their friends for their gains in business or even personal relations but such negative things are not found in animals. They better know the meaning of loyalty towards a friend. In animals they better understand that no matter what the situation is, they play together and they fall together. They see the good times together and even the bad times. They are each other’s soul and they live for each other.

STORY 9:

Love is in the air for the masters of the sky !!

Love is the most beautiful feeling of the world. It makes the two souls stronger and more passionate. Even animals have the tendency to fall in deep and true love which brings out the best in them. The lucky ones are blessed to fall in love and discover their soul mates. Love is not about just the physical form of love, it is more of a soulful connection between two souls that love unconditionally to become one soul. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and that really matters in love.

Loving and never being to discover that how it happened is actually true love because you never had a list to love. It just happened and that’s why it is called falling in love because it happens in the most unexpected way and makes the person mesmerised. It is usually said that people in love are the love birds and here is the proof. These two lovely souls who are deeply into love with each other attract everybody’s attention but their eyes are stuck to each other. They love unconditionally without the fear of the society. They become the strength for each other and the reason for each other’s existence.

STORY 10:

The jungle awaits the family that completes it.

This is the place that is home to the huge variety of wildlife. Nature has given mankind such beautiful flora and fauna that is belong explanation. This place looks silent and calm, peaceful and within it are all these creatures who are in many ways different from humans but are having the same emotions. They are the most amazing creations of God and also deserve respect and love. This barren land with trees standing together like an army can either be seen on the border of the nation or in a place like this where togetherness is worshipped.

These trees are home to those monkeys who jump from branches and live life to the fullest. These trees are home to the birds who make their nests and keep their kids safe. The land is home to every animal who realizes the importance of this place. Animals are very loyal and possessive about their home. No matter what happens, when somebody tries to destroy their homeland, they stand up together and fight irrespective of what will be the circumstances. This is the power of nature and the strength of the flora and fauna.

CONCLUSION :

Words are never enough to explain the beauty of nature and the wonders it has given to mankind in the form of flora and fauna. The variety of wildlife that nature offers is commendable and it is our foremost responsibility to take care of this treasure we have. Wildlife gives a completely different outlook to life and explains things which are lost from human life.

They explain the importance of togetherness, loyalty, love and concern. They explain the responsibility one has towards his home and towards his friends and family. They let us believe that together we can win battles which seem impossible to win. Even though they can’t speak but as they say, actions speak louder than words.

This was a journey to the wildlife that we have forgotten but yes people it still exists. I hope it struck a chord with your heart and definitely made you feel that animals teach lessons that humans have forgotten.

THANK YOU FOR READING THIS AND I HOPE YOU LIKE IT.