Friday, 21 October 2016

The NorthEast Diaries

I love attending outstation weddings, especially if it opens up a chance to turn it into a vacation. So when a friend of ours decided to get married in Assam, we were ecstatic. We started planning our "North-East" vacation way before bride and groom their wedding!

After weeks of research, we realized that unlike other parts of India, travelling through the states of northeast is not an easy affair. Because of the rough terrain there is no railroads and the only option is by road. Sometimes covering a distance of 100 km can take as long as 6-7 hrs. We concluded that in 2 weeks we should be able to cover -Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

I have so many awesome experiences to share that I think I will dwell on the details of each state in upcoming entries. But overall it was an overwhelming adventure, filled with so many "firsts" that I decided to jot it down

1. My First Domestic Flight

It's embarrassing, but true. As kids we travelled a whole lot in train, after which I kinda stuck to Bangalore. When in Chennai it was mostly bus and  later I married a car maniac who even took me to Noida by road! Not that I'm complaining because as convenient and time saving flight maybe, it doesn't come close to road trips.

2. My First Cruise

At Least on this I won't be the only one. I had often travelled in ferry and boats (all kind), even houseboat for that matter, but never on a ship. And I loved it.

3. My First Helicopter Ride

Since my dad was in Air Force, I grew up watching planes and helicopters. Growing up, our park always had a worn-down helicopter and we used to play hide and seek in it! But I didn't exactly get an actual ride on it before this trip.

4. My First Pork (with bamboo shoots!)

I am not a great fan of red meat, am more like a chicken-person. But when in Rome do as Romans do, or atleast I decided to taste how they do and what a revelation! Meat so tender that it melts in your mouth - literally! Apparently they smoke the meat in bamboo shoots and put simple ingredients which is very low on spice but filled with flavours. It was a gastronomic delight.

5. My First Cave Exploration

Again it's something I wouldn't have thought I would enjoy but was proved. Caves are supercool.

6. My First Meet With A Rockstar

Now I may not have met any international star per se. But he is a well known in Shillong - "Rock Capital" of India. And we had the luxury to indulge in some mouth watering dinner with his soulful voice in the background.

7. My First visit to Border

Infact two borders, India-Bangladesh AND India-China (must visit!)

I could go on and on about tons of other adventures but I guess that has to wait till next blog.

Northeast is visually stunning and a treat to your palate but what I loved the most is people. They are genuinely nice and welcoming with such a soothing aura that you just feel relaxed and comforted.

Before going on this trip I assumed  like most people that northeast is one entity. I categorized them all into one group and now I realize how stupid I was. It's like saying entire south India is same. Each of these 3 states had a distinct culture. They were like siblings, sometimes they have some things in common but mostly each has a different personality which makes it unique.

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