A travel guide to the Meghalaya I fell in love with

Journey date : 2nd April 2017 – 6th April 2017
Caution : It’s a very long post but I’ve added everything possible in this post, all the information you may require from places to see, places to stay or eat or the very important “commute within Meghalaya.”
Meghalaya!
About Meghalaya –

The name – Megh means cloud and alay means home.(I think I’m gonna nickname my daughter alay in the future :P)
Where should I begin to describe this place – I’m at a loss of words.
Abode of the clouds, the Scotland of the east, the land of waterfalls, the queen of hills
– all these names start to make sense as you embark on a three hour road journey from Guwahati Airport, maneuvering your way up the pine covered hills, dotted with pretty lakes and picturisque landscapes, treating your eyes to a green sight that will remain with you for the most part of your life.
Beautiful and breathtaking! But that’s an understatement.
If I could use a word or two to describe Meghalaya, I would say “Green” and “White”.
The lush green rolling hills dotted with pine trees, the thick waves of mists that appear out of nowhere leaving you spell bound, the clouds, the rains, the beautiful roads, the numerous waterfalls you see as you drive through the roads, those old Khasi villages, the kind and warm hearted smiles of the Khasi villagers – what’s there to dislike this place?
If you’re like me and you need a quick guide for a three – four day visit to this state, read on. … More A travel guide to the Meghalaya I fell in love with

Finding Home in the tucked away corners of the lovely little village of Paomata

What do I remember of my stay at Paomata, the short refreshing trip to Paomata and Dzukou valley?

As I trace my mind back, first and foremost the bumpy ride through the hills towards Paomata.
Children playing football in the hilly grounds.

Two siblings hastily climbing a flight of stairs towards their front door.
The chai in a candle lit room served by sister Benny and her family.
The warm woolen blankets in the candle lit room and how we fought among ourselves for the most cozy bed for the cold night.
A god sent bunch of wonderful company to be thankful for.

The lovely people of the hills greeting us on our arrival at Paomata.

The delicious sumptuous dinner in the cold night oh I wont forget the pork and cat fish cooked by them on our arrival.
Merymaking and photo sessions while packing breakfast and lunch for the next day trek to dzukou Valley.
The short breathtaking trek to the pine forest view point. The empty roads and fields on our way to the top…….
I wanted to explore every hidden corner of the village, capture the daily life of the good souls in the lively far away village, enjoy some more view points through pine trees from a higher ground level than we were the first evening, have more conversations, laugh some more heartily and eat a lot more generously.
But I had to bid goodbye with the hope of coming back another time, another season, in the hope of making another trip, in another year.
More Finding Home in the tucked away corners of the lovely little village of Paomata

‘Pondicherry, a charming miscellany’ -Why the French Riviera of the East calls me back again and again?

Much like in Goa where you get the feel of the Portuguese settlement in its colonial era houses, churches and buildings, about 5000 miles away from France and around 3 hours drive down from Chennai on one of the most scenic highways of the country – the ECR (East Coast Road), Pondicherry still retains much evidence of its colonial history and lets you soak in its French legacy.
The french legacy, clearly preserved in its French quarter, in the streets lined with trees and adorned with colorful bougainvillea, the mustard colored colonial villas, chic boutiques and quaint little cafes at every nook and corner, gives me a French feel and a vibe that’s decidedly Pondicherry in nature and every time I walk down the tranquil and shaded streets of this beautiful town, I wonder if I’ve been transported to a French town.
It’s been almost a year since I last visited this little town with my best friend and the past few days have been calling me out to drift through those beautiful Pondy (as affectionally called) streets that scream of a fresh Bohemian vibe with cozy and quaint little cafes at every little corner.
Following are the reasons why this French Riviera of the East calls me back again and again. … More ‘Pondicherry, a charming miscellany’ -Why the French Riviera of the East calls me back again and again?

Chains of Dusk – How I and many others grew up at the place we call home

So I said ‘Dad, I’ll come with you.’

The year must have been 2005 or 2006 I’m not so sure. My dad had received an anonymous call on his official number some two three weeks back. This group of people we refer to as ”Naharol” – the gunmen often came barging into our homes when we were kids, taking away our belongings, driving away our vehicles – something they were particularly very much keen about, on the pretext of borrowing them and promising to return the vehicles – a promise they seldom kept, and asking for a place to hide for the night in our homes reassuring us that they would leave our homes before dawn without a trace, to which our parents would politely tell them ‘ Nupi angang yaobanina nungaidou mande.’ (There are girls and kids in the family so it wouldn’t be so convenient.) … More Chains of Dusk – How I and many others grew up at the place we call home

Baratang Island – Of mangrove creeks, limestone caves and human safari

It’s 17th of September 2015. I wake up in this damp room to the sound of the pouring rain on the tinned roof at Eco Palm Resort, Port Blair, with my best friend beside me. I hear an occasional roaring sound of distant thunder and it seems to be coming closer. I sigh. My mind then traces back to a night ago when I was in my all too familiar bed of my one bedroom apartment in Chennai. It all still seems so unreal, I think to myself. It’s still raining heavily and I wish the rain would stop, but I know there isn’t any stopping this heavy monsoon rain. I just pray that it won’t play spoilsport today. I check the time. It’s 2 am. And after a few more minutes of contemplating a fraction of my life gazing at the ceiling fan, I finally get up and get fresh for the day. … More Baratang Island – Of mangrove creeks, limestone caves and human safari

7 days of Island Life – A week in Andaman

It’s been 10 months since my trip to the Andaman Islands, but the memories from the trip ever so remain fresh and still linger on. And each time I come across pictures and posts of the islands, I’m reminded of my 7 days’stay in the islands. Each time I open the folder of pictures from the trip, I’m filled with this strong urge to go back to these beautiful group of islands. … More 7 days of Island Life – A week in Andaman