Human race is a monotonous affair. People spend their entire life filling their stomach for existence and never feeding the soul. The so called society had been dominating its instincts over decades hoping to live our life in misery and full of regret in the end. Then in these moments, I used to ask myself what it means to be alive, to breathe fresh air, to see the ethereal beauty, to escape from the madness of city life, to experience sweet melody of mystic waterfalls, to find my lost soul and to heal itself..? So it was time to create my own story rather than dreaming or living someone else’s life. The quest to truly understand this purpose led me to Meghalaya few months ago.
- The Plan: To travel about 8 thousand kilometers in three weeks.
- The Method: Improvisation
- The Objective: Explore the North East India that we only knew by books and digital media.
- The People: This is the story of five engineers with common aspirations in search of lost happiness and to find the purpose of life.
The journey started from the scenic mountain town Shillong where we hired a self driven car to explore and discover a slice of paradise called Meghalaya. To experience this pristine land, all of us pushed their limits and came out of their comfort zone with a hope to find a new perspective in life. City life was behind us. Behind us was also the miserable life, the uninspiring lectures, the exams, the expectations from the society and the long lasting struggle for maintaining attendance.
Magic was the only word to acknowledge this waterfall with its shimmering blue waters. But the water was icy cold and jumping in these circumstances needed some real warrior’s spirit. Suddenly my inner voice shouted “If not now then when? If not us then who?” I trusted my intuition and jumped ferociously in this magical pool. No other tourists dared to touched their feet in the water and were astonished to see our dazzling spirit to do the impossible. The sun was setting (sunset at 4.30 pm) and we decided to stay overnight in Mawlynnong (Asia’s cleanest village). As the darkness engulfed the daylight, the anticipation to see the cleanest village was glooming. Suddenly our car came to halt expecting to feel the sanity of this cleanest village. But the village we imagined was wreckage with garbage all around and everyone were cursing each other for suggesting this place as top priority and no one was ready to take the blame. A soft voice came from the dark and said “This is Riwai village and Mawlynnong is still 2 kms ahead”.
These words spirited our desire to push towards the unpredictable and in no time we reached Asia’s cleanest village. I was stunned to see the ambience of this village. Not only was this village spotless clean, but we were overwhelmed to soak the warm hospitality and ever smiling faces of the Khasi tribes.
There were bamboo baskets outside every house, used as bins. Not everyone here had a car or a bike but they definitely owned a garden outside every house. Despite being very close to the International border (with Bangladesh), the enemy of this village was surprisingly PLASTIC.
There was a viewpoint from where we could see the Bangladesh soil. A villager told us the possibility of crossing the border which was just few kilometers away from the cleanest village. Excitement was already over the roof and with our cognitive mapping skills, the estimation was that –“We just needed to descend this hill and could probably end up in international soil if there were no fence”. With Google maps on our side, we headed towards the border while experiencing uncharted trails and vast expanses of the nature.
By the time, we had already lost enough altitude and Google maps shocked us by showing our current location in Bangladesh. Each moment was split in two: the excitement of entering a new land and the fear of being convicted of high treason for crossing the border. Being able to write this blog, we were certainly on the right side after all. The havoc that just happened would no longer regain our trust on Google maps. But nature never fails to disappoint you and the next morning, all of us were bombarded with surprises when we reached Dawki. The umngot river in Dawki has a separate fan base for its transparent water and crystal clear visibility.
I felt like nature was pouring all its love over me. With refreshing views on the way, we ended our day at Zero point. It stands as an International border between India and Bangladesh. Despite being the International border, there was no demarcation or fences separating the two nations.
Here on the right side, I was standing alone on the Indian soil while the Bangladeshi’s were watching on the left side and in between us stands the International border.
Nature and life is full of surprises and we never know what beholds us. There was a hope to find new perspective in life and with mystic beauty all around us, we continued our journey into the unknown with uncertainty of what lies ahead…….!!!!