November 06, 2016

Ticket to the Show

The people follow the sign
And synchronize in time
Its a joke - nobody knows
They have got a ticket to the show

~The Show, Lenka


Shillong, Meghalaya
20 Oct, 2016

Last time I saw the Barapani lake (Umiam Lake) was about 19 years back. I was expecting it on the 3 hour ride between Guwahati and Shillong. I remembered it. Cannot say the same for the Ward's Lake. I wandered into it after walking off from the bustling Police Bazaar area to bide my time. My companions for the 'trip' and the 'show' were coming back to base. While they were another couple of hours away, I walked along the park surrounding the Ward's lake. Came upto the wooden white bridge spanning the lake and stepped onto it and into a flood of memories I didnt know I had. I had been here before.


The night sets in by 5 in this part of the country. So does the chill in the air. For the rest of the waiting, I cozied myself up in a warm comfy bar and let the anticipations of a good break of routine sink in - while I reveled in the sweet reminiscences and bitter intoxications.

Guwahati to Shillong

The White Wooded Bridge of Reminiscence

Ward's Lake

When you take a selfie but dont want it to look like one

4:53 PM

Police Bazaar


"Badi Zor! - UUMMMHHHHH"
You will not know what it sounded like. Took me a while to get 'Sorted' into the usual-ness of it.
Kaka and company were back. And these phrases dotted their narration of all that went about in Cherrapunji, Mawlynlong, Haflong, David Scott trail, Dawki and Back. 

More tales ensued. One after another. I had not known most of them outside of the Whatsapp group for this trip. Plus there was another guy I had shared ride with enroute Shillong. The group diversity affected the conversation diversity in direct proportions. I kept losing the thread of conversations as I fluctuated in and out of the other dimension. Most of what I know of the night is what I was told the next morning. And I will leave it to that.


Bhoirymbong, Meghalaya
21 Oct, 2016 

The venue for the NH7 Weekender was about 30Kms away from the city. Fighting the morning laziness, hangovers and the will-to-forever-sleep-on, the bags were packed and movement was made. 
Took a while and a little lot of trekking to get to our campsite - SHADY Tents. While we settled, the festivities had begun. Lights and Music from the surroundings beckoned. But you dont rock before you roll - some more than others.

The Venue - NH7 Weekender

The Entrance

The Arena

And another arena

And Us with the Mug

Music and Lights

Camp Site - Shady Tents

One with the guy named Shady

Tent no 10

The 'Bucket'

Steven Wilson

More Steven Wilson

And More Steven Wilson

Maybe we needed one more day of it - but we do accept the finiteness more easily than we think we do. Shillong chapter was done. We didnt even wait another night to leave. One proper night's sleep was going to do a world of good to the jumped-upon and trampled toes, headbang-strained necks and chorus-hoarse voices.
More so to the next part of the trip, none of which had been planned yet.


Kohima, Nagaland
24 Oct, 2016

Sometimes, you dont quite have your heart and interests committed in a given plan. But you also do not want to be the reason to bring the plan down ('cause you dont have one of your own). So you just go with the flow - hoping someone defaults.

As we lay sprawled in a Guwahati hotel, having planned to take the local train to Kohima in the night, our frames of mind mirrored the conundrum mentioned above.
Nobody defaulted - apart from casually leaving the hotel at the time when the train we were supposed to be in was supposed to have departed. As it happened, the train just stood there while we got tickets and chose a coach to encroach as if it just wouldn't leave without us.
The train dropped us in Dimapur at the break of the morning and another 3 hours on road had us looking at the slopes of Kohima.

If Kaka were to write the rest of this passage, it will end right here. 
For him, his mind is his Instagram (which I appreciate) and the hotel room is the city (which I do not). So, he can tell you about the journey to Kohima, which in itself is fulfilling, but so is the destination. 
We walked across the length of the city - one end to the other - and brought back mental images of the new that we saw - in plenty and in everything. What we saw, what you can see, and other information is floating in the air around you and merely a few swipes away on a given app. To be here is one different thing. Its the show. And you have the ticket.

Kohima - Morning

Kohima - Night


Kohima was the end of the party. I split to join my family in Gangtok while others turned homewards. 


Gangtok, Sikkim
27 Oct, 2016

Had it not been for the Teesta (river) serpentining all along the road, the road journey upto Gangtok (from New Jalpaiguri) might have seemed a lot longer. But it did take time and by the time I reached Gangtok, my mother had already completed the local sight seeing and scheduled the next day plans for the Nathula Pass (Indo-China Border) and the Tsongo Lake. 

The time out of the itinerary I had, I put into meeting up with a good old friend from engineering days who chanced to be in his hometown. This trip had been a lot about reminiscences. And it continued.

All Along the river Teesta

Enroute Nathula

Borders and Flags

NOT Tsongo Lake

Tsongo Lake

M. G. Road, Gangtok


Home (Patna, Bihar)
30 Oct, 2016

Hadn't had a Diwali at home in a while. Since its been a while I grew up from crackers, food and passive entertainment lit up my diwali and the remaining few days of my two week long break. Its always good to be home. And its always Diwali when you are home.

Say No to Crackers - Say Yes to Music

Diya Wali Deepawali

And food


Apart from the loss of obvious comfort, the only bother about going back to Bangalore was the flight schedule I had managed to book for myself. Patna - Ranchi - Mumbai - Bangalore. 
While I found myself agitated at the first break of journey at Ranchi itself - the sight of Mahendra Singh Dhoni boarding the same filght and swiftly settling into his seat did act a a pleasant distraction - for me and for the rest of the flanneled fools like me aboard that plane. 

Maybe I too, like the others, should have gone up and taken a picture with him. Wonder why, but for once, I just settled for a mental picture (like Kaka's mental Instagram) and patiently completed the remainder of the journey - one song at a time - thinking about life, universe and everything - and the tomorrow - settling back in the work routine - and
getting back to being the busy and the tired and the pursuer and the pursued.

Do not read between the lines.
Rights to exaggeration and bragging reserved.
Its not how it happened; its how you remember it.
No characterisation intended
Data and information may have been skewed to suit the storyline
Everything is relative to your perspective
This is where stupidness begins - 'Cottonmouth' Kaka