Women Power in Shillong ( Meghalaya)-I
Meghalaya is the only state in India, where Women Power is really visible. Although, women ( Mostly from Low income group) do almost all the work but in the State of Meghalaya the women heads the society. You shall find women handling almost all the work/job, right from being a petrol pump vendor, vegetable seller, fish vendor to almost everything.
In this category I shall try to put more pictures of women who handle all sorts of work in the state of Meghalaya. I found women in almost in all the shops right from grocery to wine shops.
Suggestions for a 12-months packing list
Luggage & Bags: Sturdy rain-resistant suitcases. These get thrown around either on top of a bus or get squashed when packed in the boot of a taxi/Tata Sumo. Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Weather in Shillong is extremely whimsical. At times, it rains when the sun is shining brilliantly. Sometimes during the summers, the wind howls. Some amount of woollies required the whole year round. Pack sturdy walking shoes besides formal ones, including dainty sandals. Ladies here are *very* fashion-conscious. Suggested gear:
Apr-Sep=Summer & Moonsoons=Light clothing, raincoat, umbrella, wind-cheater. Light sweater/shawl recommended as Shillong weather is whimsical.
Oct-=Autumn=Light woolies Toiletries & Medical Supplies: No need, except your daily dosage. Be aware though that, being a Christian state, shops selling medicine may be closed on Sundays. Also, some life-saving drugs are not easily available but have to be procured from Guwahati, 3 hours away. Photo Equipment: No need. All types of photographic equipment, including batteries, are readily available, except on Sundays. Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: No need. Various Goverment resthouses and private B&B have sprung up even in remote areas. Besides, you can start early and return to base by late evening. Miscellaneous:
1. Peace-loving people with a placid lifestyle.
2. 'Kwai'-chewing (betel nut) people.
3. Shillong is a cosmopolitan place.
4. English gets you by even in remote areas. Reason? Missionaries.
5. Scenic beauty. Some places are virgin territory.
6. People are passionate about archery betting, football, music, chewing 'paan', foreign
influx, uranium mining. Avoid discussions regarding last two topics.
7. 18-hole golf course.
A Snatch of Paradise
One of the most tranquil, unspoilt, fascinating and hardly-touted waterfall is located barely 15 kms from Shillong. To visit that spot, sit calmly, soak in nature and gaze at the frothy, milky-white cascade, is to experience pure paradise.
On the Shillong-Jowai National Highway, after about 15 kms from Shillong, there is a place called Mawlangad. To the right is a road which leads to Pepbah village (3 kms). From the village, the Rangthem or Rengthiam waterfall is barely a kilometer off. It is formed by the Umngot river, the source of which is Urmasi u Joh in Smit village. You'll have to walk for roughly 10 minutes before selecting a suitable spot for rumination.
A to and fro journey from Shillong should not take you more than 2 hours. Unless, of course, you are totally enthralled.
Rabindranath Tagore's Brookside Bungalow
The Brookside Bungalow in Rilbong, Shillong was made famous by the Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. He stayed here for about a month during 1919. His highest tribute to Shillong is contained in the novel, ‘Shesher Kavita’. Almost 13 chapters of that novel have Shillong as the backdrop. The poet laureate had visited Shillong thrice.
Brookside is a large country house in the Rilbong locality of Shillong by the side of Umshyrpi stream. The bungalow earlier belonged to the-then Commissioner of Chittagong District. The large compound is dotted with eucalyptus and other trees that provide plenty of shade. The entire road from the junction of the Harrison bridge till beyond the bungalow is long, windy, solitary and peaceful. These, coupled with the rolling clouds, soughing pine tress, the tremulous stream, must have moved the poet to pen a number of his immortal works. The room, the bedstead and other furnishings used by Tagore, have been retained by the owners of the bungalow for posterity. Unfortunately, this landmark bungalow is now in a state of repair. It is advisable to check if it is open before you visit it.
Another structure, Sidhli House, on Upland Road, Laitumkhrah in Shillong, which was the abode of Nobel laureate during his last visit to Shillong in May-June 1927, where he had penned two of his most important works, has been demolished. That, at a time when the country is celebrating his 150th birth anniversary. A plaque to the left of the main gate used to greet the visitor. It read, "Here lived Rabindranath Tagore in May and June, 1927. His famous novel 'Yogayug' and poems 'Susamay' and 'Debdaru' were written here.” According to the records, the house originally belonged to an Italian, Louis Joseph Dalingrad. Later, the house was bought by the royal family of Sidhli hailing from Goalpara district of Assam. The queen of Sidhli, Rani Manjula Devi, wife of Raja Ajit Narayan, stayed in this house, till her death in the 1980’s.
A Hill Station in the North East Corner of India
"Signs of Christmas!"
After nearly two weeks in India, it was fun to see actual signs of Christmas. Shillong and Cherrapunji beyond have been settled by Christian missionaries and there are signs of Christianity all around. We ran into these Christmas carolers strolling the streets of Shillong at night.
"Life happens outdoors"
"On the way to the market"