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‘Spending some of the best days of my life at the Scotland of the East’
This isn’t all about me! This is about Meghalaya, the land in the abode of clouds with enchanting grandeur, blue hills and waterfalls; a place where the most amazing weather exists.
I was lucky enough to get through the entrance of The English and Foreign Languages University, Shillong Campus. And that’s it! It gave me ample chances to explore this mesmerizing place.
My journey – exploring the hues of Meghalaya – started at EFLU, a central university, although a less popular university in the Northeast. The campus is wrapped in green solitude with tall dark pine trees and the fog. The intermingling of different religions, caste, languages and students from different parts of the country has enriched the ambience of the campus.
Stepping outside of the university campus, one can easily find the “Kwai” (betelnut) filled smile of Khasi women. Their hospitality and their devotion for Jesus are really worth mentioning. Sunday’s are so beautiful in Shillong. The women dress up in their traditional jainsem, for the Church prayers.
The uniqueness that exists in Shillong is the lady vendors. Most of the shopkeepers from the state are women. This gives us the hint of the matrilineal society here.
A Khasi girl from Meghalaya once said, “It is not the inhabitants of this place who made the streets dirty, who use to tease girls or create drama after consuming alcohol. But those are the people from outside, who defame the reputation of this serene land.” She also explained how happiness knows no bounds when a girl child is born, unlike the rest of the country.
People here are doing a great job by involving themselves in various works related to tourism. The first hydro-power project in the Northeast region is an artificial lake created by damming the Umium river, a mesmerizing beauty. Laitlum, Krangsuri falls, Dawki, Cherrapunji, Shnong Pdeng are some unforgettable places that I could visit in the last two years. The land of hills and low cloud, I also witnessed the beauty of different flowers and creepers. Cherry blossoms and those purple flowers during the Spring will make everyone fall in love.
To talk about roaming around Meghalaya, the taste of the pineapples, ‘sohphie’ and ‘Jadoo’ are incomparable. One can easily find roadside vendors selling local fruits. Try them!
While I was kind of homesick and cried almost the half way till Guwahati on my fist visit to the University; I never thought that this place will give me so much of beautiful memories to take back… from the dances of tadpoles in the drizzle till writing poems on a pine seed, in a cool breezy evening.
The ‘westernized Shillong’ taught me a lot. The distinct food habits, fluent English speaking skills and the love for western music and western dressing styles… Attending ‘Tera Madre’ a festival of indigenous foods and the Monolith festival added a pocketful of happiness as I spent some of my best years at Shillong. We are fortunate to attend the first ever film festival organized in Meghalaya, in U soso thama auditorium.
Thank you Shillong for these two awesome years in your lap. Will cherish these evergreen moments for ever…
Until we meet again…