Sunday

Impossibly green and alive - Meghalaya






The beauty of Meghalaya lies in its rolling mists in the valley, the undulating rivers, waterfalls, sparkling mountain streams, emerald green lakes, precipitous ravines, the massive hills, the vast expanse of skies, the deep forests – all of natures elements surrounded us, shielding us from the crazy urban jungle we had escaped from

Meghalaya is overwhelmingly beautiful, where everything is impossibly green and alive. Another thing that fascinated me were these giant group of trees standing together majestically at many places we drove past. These are called – law kyntangs- dedicated to forest spirits, along-with several monoliths (our resort had many too) that supposedly serve as memorials – are symbols of good energy.

Added to this natural magic is the culture of the state contributed by the Khasis who are a matriarchal tribe. They can be identified by their beautiful smiles and the cloth tied over their left shoulder called - jainsem- covers them from head to toe, in a graceful sweep.

With their infants tied on their backs, covered by the checkered cloth, mother and child look like a single entity. The women are independent and always busy. Drying clothes, caring for children, working around the agriculture produce, running business and shops – they are the bread earners for their families.

Lest I forget , the Khasi women do not like being photographed - they are an extremely private people. I always requested for a picture – and only some would oblige.

Gambling. You thought it is a vice? Think again - its legal in Meghalaya! And how novel is their gambling! Promoting a sport and motivating the archer! Wow! Lottery by archery - dozens of archers form an arc and shoot at a haystack for 4 exact minutes. The number of arrows is counted and the last 2 digits are announced. Bets are placed daily on what the day’s number may be. One could bet as little as 1buck which could earn 8bucks in turn, if you are a good guesser. There is no upper limit so bets can go as high as the individual demands. We placed moderate bets for the thrill and infectious banter, on the last day, but did not hit no jack pot

Days were merging and gliding into an amorphous state of time – we lost sight of the calendar, nearly missed the date of our flight as we were badly mixed up on the days and dates! Sometimes it felt like my o-my-God have we over estimated the time we need to spend here, and sometimes it felt we had very little time and needed to extract every bit from this vacation:)

7 comments:

Neelu said...

Simply...WOW !

gita said...

I recently saw a documentary that showed angry resentful men of Meghalaya,who get nothing as inheritance.

When these men travel out to other parts of India and see how the male dominates - they begin to resent their role back home.

Guess the state Govt needs to wake up to this reality too?

Jim said...

We came upon such high energy places too from time to time, full of hundreds of stone monoliths, some 28 ft tall, honoring ancient Jainta Kings and used as walking sticks by giants of old. There were enough monoliths here to construct a dozen 'Stonehenges'. Supposedly giants lived amongst the villagers and these strong fellows could haul these large stones for hundreds of miles. They were so big that their rings later became arm bracelets for their Pnar descendants.Very interesting parts to India :)

Mee said...

@Neelu-ty:)

@Gita- truw abt the inheritance part, given matriarchal society. Guess its natural for the resentment too nah?

@Jimmy- is that true?! The monoliths were strangely like the Bhutanese white flags seen deep in the ravines, on flat lands and places one couldn't figure how they would have accessed it! Very mysterious and compelling a sight indeed.

Y Trip said...

Great series of posts on Meghalaya.. I know where I want to go now :)

I loved the pictures!

JJJ said...

you have motivated me more to visit meghalya!!!

my heart is restless

Mee said...

@Y-Trip- glad you liked them all:)TY.

@JJJ- and the restless one speakth:)