This is an old entry but these are memories that I’m very fond of from my days at Shillong. The Scotland of East as it is aptly called, it was love at first sight when I first stepped into the city. With its dim, lazy skies, slight drizzle sprinkling over your face and the smell of pine cone permeating the air, it’s a polar opposite of the smog permeated streets of Bangalore or Delhi.
So coming back to Dawki, located in the Jaintia Hills it’s present on the Indo – Bangladesh border sharing it with Tamabil its Bangladesh counterpart. Decided to take a Tata Sumo shared ride. It’s a three-hour drive through some surreal atmosphere. The poor roads and the bad suspension of the vehicle is certain to take a toll on my back but I didn’t seem to mind them as I spent my entire journey stunned with the unreal atmosphere I travelled through. The cab rounded the bends offering us the sight of undulating grasslands, water bodies, tall pine trees to the roads heading into clouds without a sight of what is up front. Yes, I meant it. Somewhere halfway to Dawki, we halted in Laitlynkot in a small shop to stretch our legs and savor a cup of the local tea. A very much needed break with the temperatures starting to dip down as the altitude started increasing. Tourists are not very frequent here which was very apparent from lack of any branded goodies that you get to enjoy in a city.
After passing through several bends and long stretch of bad roads I finally reached Dawki. The atmosphere was certainly laid back and relaxed at the Dawki border. The border is mostly busy with the trucks transporting coal and stones. On one side you have the busy border check posts with BSF Jawans from both countries watching over from their nest.
Though at first sight this place wouldn’t remind you of an international border. On the other side you can also catch the view of magnificent Umngot river running from the Indian side to the Bangladeshi side with greenish-blueish water so clear that one can see the bottom of the river even from as high as the bridge over the river. The place radiated so much tranquility I was taken aback at the sight of this hidden paradise. The river was so crystal clear, the fishermen and the boats which seemed to be floating on air.
I strolled along the town to absorb a bit of local flavor. The local women carrying their conical wicker baskets on their backs, contained fruits of all kinds. Decided to get a handful of exotic fruits like plums, peaches, pears, and cherries and pineapples slices and all available for a few rupee change. I headed onto the roadside dhaba just a few hundred meters from the border check post for my lunch. Fish caught fresh from the river fried with spices along with rice and dal tasted heavenly.
The thought of going back felt so dreadful especially on the back busting route back to Shillong but the experience was rewarding enough to fight through the pain.
Shillong is a timeless beauty, the more I think of my days the more I have the craving to visit the place again. I will share more of my experiences from my days at Shillong at the next entry.