Watching dragons in Nagaland

Today I woke up to something unique, something that I had never imagined to see in my life, a dragon passing silently through the hills while the village sleeps.

Nagaland is a beautiful place, I am in Makokchung which is in the interiors and takes around 6 hours to reach from the nearest station ie Mariani. Yesterday when I came here I had very little clue about what will I be doing here but the tenuous journey has surely relieved me of my anxieties. I think to myself, what is the worst case scenario ? That I won’t be doing anything and just stay in some locals home surrounded by the beautiful scenery, well that’s not a bad scenario at all.

A beautiful landscape on our way to Mokokchung

I look at the clouds as they play the game of shape, light and shadow and I think, what is the purpose of the clouds ? Well in the plains it’s clear, they come with a fixed mindset and more often just flow in one direction, here it’s different it’s more like the clouds are dancing around, closing with each other, climbing on top of one another.

There is an insect here, a group I must say, they start with a slow murmuring sound and then they keep growing it loud till each of them are in a synchronised tone. The final sound is more like a wooden flute being sung on a low pitch. If you close your eyes and concentrate you can feel that sound travelling through your head, taking control of you.

I have not had the opportunity to interact with the locals, but they seem very nice, smiling faces. A girl who had a grocery shop offered me the local variety of cucumber, it was so nice of her. People from outside have been saying bad things about the locals though, they try to take advantage of you, not helpful etc etc. I will reserve my judgement on this.

This is a big town, I am pleasantly surprised by this, there must be at least 60,000 people living here. For my north Indian friends, there are roads, all kinds of shops, good network, internet etc. What I mean to say is that Nagaland is a real place and it is beautiful.

A lot of people have suggested that I should go to dzkou valley, I’ll sure be attempting that. Thank you so much for your suggestions people.

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A day in Guwahati

So many myths are being busted one by one. I always imagined Guwahati to be a place surrounded by hills with a lot of forest cover and people of mongol origin. Yes I came to this conclusion by listening to people. It is anything but this. Guwahati is a sprawling capital of Assam. There are people from various ethnic backgrounds. There are the Nepalis, the Bihari’s and then people from the states of north east. One notable thing which you immediately feel is that women in this city are so much more comfortable to be out on the roads or in the bus. Talking about myths being busted, everyone speaks fluent Hindi here. Now let’s come to the personal part. I do not have a plan for my travel so my kind is jumping to anything which can give me more clarity on what I’m going to do. Which I don’t feel is a good thing, the image in my head is that it is so much more better if you can float in uncertainty as it gives you the best of everything. Maybe it is too soon for me to expect that kind of an attitude from myself, I’ve just come from a city where certainity is valued by everyone. I met this lady Anjali Borah who operates bhut Jalokia restaurant in the city. The women is so humble and confidant of whatever she seems to be doing. She has the restaurant and also constructs ships for the government. I had traditional Assamese food for lunch, bamboo shoot and chicken and a veg thali. The chicken was beyond anything that I’ve ever tasted, in the sense that it touches that taste spots that have not been used before. So it does taste like a bit unnatural and if you are not open to new tastes then you will feel awkward. But I feel the idea is to let it grow on you. We were given this dish as complimentary. It is chicken and some herbs. I’ve been having these conversations with my friend Vatsala about how we tend to sound so perfect on our social media platforms. And I believe it is true. So from now in I will try to not just write about the almost perfect things but also about the state of mind. The state of mind: Feels confused about what will happen next. A bit afraid of the uncertainty. Feeling lost in new surroundings. Looking forward to see more of nature.

Project Seek

Seek and you shall receive. True or not ?

I feel it is true. Last summers me and my friend left our homes with only limited money and tent gear. We hitchhiker across the Himalayas for 20 days and met the best of the people we could.

One thing became clear to me then, if we know what we want it will be made available to us.

If only we understand our desires and keep them clear in our head, they will be fulfilled. We need to realise that there is no one way for desires to be fulfilled and that it takes effort and sacrifice to get what we seek and be ready for it.

I’m leaving on a journey to north east to further my travels by the same maxim. My seeking is to understand the culture of the region and meet good people. The rules are simple, only hitchhiking, no staying in hotels and trying to be as economic as possible.

I’ll be writing about my travels and also posting stories to my instagram.

You can follow me on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/studiobluecat

Smile returns and smaller pleasures if life

Life is about the smaller pleasures. If there is something important to learn it is the art of identifying and appreciating at the small pleasures of life. 

As I write this I think about if everyone has the access to small pleasures but then maybe everyone does not have and it is just my privilege. But i would like to think that everyone has.

My friend Ismail has just come back from his hitchhiking trip. We were travelling together earlier, I’m glad to meet him and listen to his stories. Also I am feeling lighter. I think travelling gives you good energy which makes problem around you happy. That is what I think. 

This also reminds me that I’ve been meeting some really wonderful people this time at my stay in Agra and Delhi. But this all gets forgotten after a point. Although every time I come back here this time of saturation gets more and more. Probably I need to travel again. Soon. 

Pakistan wins and thoughts on partition

It has been hard to write these days. I do not know what is it but something seems to be blocking me from typing down my thoughts. What is it ? Is it because of lethargy or busy schedule ? I do not know. But what I know is that not writing makes me go blunt, makes me keep going over some ideas again and again. It kind of stagnates me. Writing for me is kind of a therapy where I talk to myself . As I write I jot down my thoughts into coherent and expressive words. My brain moves forward in thought. I build on my ability to analyse. 

Today India lost to Pakistan badly, my father told me that he is sad and happy both. Sad because India lost and happy because Pakistan won and now he won’t have to face anymore stupid messages in his WhatsApp that try to target Muslims while poking fun at Pakistan. It’s a strange equation isn’t it. 

He was born a year after partition. Half his family moved to Pakistan during that time, but his grandfather chose to stay. The place where he has lived was later made home by Sindhi families from Pakistan. This is the culture he and I grew in. Thankfully there was very little or no enimity between people here. The Sindhi’s kept to themselves and their business while the Muslims helped them in all ways to settle down. A portion of Dargah adjacent to my home was given to a Punjabi family because the plot they had got for themselves was too small to live. The uncle, around 70 years old, I recently saw him post a status on Facebook demanding building of ram temple at ayodhya no matter how much blood is shed. 

It is madness. My friend, she says that partition was madness too. Because the people that you had grown up, broken bread with were the same that were killing you and likewise. 

I have been reading Manto lately, he was very disturbed by the partition and the way he tells his stories in a very raw form tells me how horrible the event might have been. 

I am about to host a walking tour of my part of the city. I do not know till how much time things will be the same. Thing are changing rapidly, our old neighbors are gone, parents have become old, people have died around me, people who have fed me and who I have always seen around selling things in bazaar. I do not know till how much time things will hold. 

I hope and I work towards a better future. 

The Indian media narrative

In the following piece I’ll write down what I feel the Indian media is trying to tell us. 

Pakistan is our biggest enemy and is supporting all terrorism activities in India. Midi’s policy have been highly successful and he is reversed as a world leader. The culprits of Babari mosque are under rials while the seven men who were shot in MP were terrorist. Making the BJP government support of terrorist outfits like Bajrang dal and RSS sound like normal. Hauling armed training of groups like Bajrang Dal as preparing for surgical strike while terming the same training of hijbul as terrorist training. Violence is being hailed as the new normal and the only problem this country seem to have is that of triple talaq. Everyday I read stories on the front page about triple talaq and my objective mind is unable to accept the report (it might be true or false but does it deserve front page ?) 

A wonderful world

What a beautiful world we live in. Today I got up at 4:30 AM to catch an early morning train. On the way to the station I observed the city around me. It looked so beautiful and interesting. 

I saw the sunrise, heard the azan, the bhajans, the morning municipality siren it all flowed together. Everything flows together if only we have the capability to flow with things. 

I looked at the eagle and the parrots and I wondered how come they are all headed into he same direction. Where are they heading to ? Or is their only purposes is to be seen by me, how long they might have been following the same routine before they finally succeeded in heir attempt. Or maybe it is otherwise and they do not care two hoots (I prefer it this way more ).

There are millions of way to look at things. The more we let our mind loose, the more we can appreciate the true beauty of things. The understanding that there is no truth and everything is true is beautiful. We have been trained to think in a singular manner, good or bad, low or high but reality is always multiple and depends on what you want to see. Reality is circular, it is good and bad and high and low.

 I hope that we embrace the multiplicity and enjoy the beautiful world around rather than keep worrying about anything. I hope our world is remembered for love and not violence.