It is day 1 of my journey to the North-eastern part of India.It is early morning and after playing Call of Duty on Xbox in throughout the night I set off with my heavy luggage. I took a drop from my friends to the Domestic airport of Delhi. I hug them and check-in for the flight to Guwahati. I took the window seat because I heard that you get to see Mt. Everest on flight. I looked out of the window of the airplane and Delhi felt like a mysterious place. The sun has not come up yet. I take off and its time for sunrise. I was lucky to witness the most amazing sight from the flight. It was a 5.55am flight. Ironically when i readied my Nikon D600 before leaving from Delhi, I saw that the camera’s card had space for 555 shots. Strange isn’t it!. A 5.55 flight and 555 shots in my card. Anyway so i witnessed the sunrise from high altitude. It started with orange and blue colors. Then the sun rose higher, ever so slowly and it was dark orange. As the sun rose higher, the colors seemed to pale away thus creating an amazing smudge. After 5 minutes the sun rose completely and the colors were stronger. Orange reddish tint and deep blue sky. Then in 15 min it was the proper clear sky and yellow clouds. Then 30 min later there was light blue sky and white clouds. I knew it from this sight that my next 15 days will be full of colors and life. An hour later in the flight and i saw the great Himalayan range. I had intentionally asked for a left side window seat as that allows me to witness the Himalayas at their widest. I wonder if few of the peaks were from the Mt Everest or Kanchenjunga family. That was the exciting part of the flight. Here is one pic from the window.
So after that, the plane landed at 7.50am. Its a cute airport is Guwahati’s. Their are posters and pictures from different states of north east. It sort of welcomes you to the world of north east. I took my luggage and took a shared cab to Shillong. A solo cab costs 2000 but if you share it with 3 other people then you have to pay 500. The taxi guy pushed our luggage somehow into the trunk and we set off for Shillong at 8.30am. En route i could sense a very mixed landscape. Mountains here are like trying to rise but they were pushed down it seems. Its April month and the colors are confusing too. Its green brown I don’t know which is more prominent. 50 km into the journey and its coal factories and cement plants. India is in the top 5 countries when it comes to coal reserves and people here are making full use of it. Now approximately 70 kms onwards i start seeing green mountains. The terrain is typical of those Scotland highlands. No wonder Shillong and its nearby areas are called the Scotland of the east. Some 10 km before Shillong i saw this huge lake from the car. It was like an ocean. The driver said that there is a huge power plant which is made on this lake. Although i don’t know much about this lake right now. But while coming back ill see it. I entered Shillong city and i see a line of Maruti 800 cars as taxis. Never ever have i seen so many Maruti 800’s. In Delhi these cars are long gone. There is traffic on the roads. There are narrow lanes but people are disciplined. They always move in rows. I checked into this hotel called the blue pine. I unpacked and asked the hotel owner to get me a taxi for Shillong outing. He got me a guy who would take me to different places in Shillong, 7 of them – 1. Shillong peak 2. Air force museum 3. Elephant falls 4. Lady Hydari park 5. Catholic church 6. Wards lake 7. Golf course. So I set off in his cab at 1.30 pm. First was Shillong peak
1. Shillong peak – It is the topmost point in Shillong @ 5ooo something feet. You enter a secured military area to reach the point. The area is beautiful and had lovely grass in peach/ green color. I reached the point and i could see the entire city from there. A wide view. It was a little foggy but i took some shots. There were other tourists also over there and a small market helped visitors with supply of water and snacks. We headed back from the Shillong top to the air force museum now.
2. Air force museum – It was a small cute museum in another military campus and this time it was an airforce area. Cameras are not allowed in the entire campus but inside the museum. So i clicked some pictures in the museum. We have old guns, dresses of airforce personals on display over here. They also kept dresses and culture related photographs as demonstration.
3. Elephant falls – I was really excited for these falls as I had seen pictures of these on the internet. I reached there via a few stairs going down. It felt nice there. The fall has 3 levels and thus you can see it in 3 parts. The fall is long and thus the name elephant falls; like an elephant’s trunk
4. Lady Hydari park – The park is like any other park in any other city. But the add on here is the zoo. There are some animals that are kept here for everyone to see. There is a little lake also. There is another water pond where ducks swam. The park is clean and in the rest of the areas there are people enjoying and playing around. There are couples walking. Its like Shillong in one place.
5. The church felt like it was placed from those David Alan Harvey pics. Catholic people climbing the stairs. People gathered in churches and waiting in queue for confessions. I could not get to click the interiors of the church. I moved out and took some pictures of the church. Its a nice blue colored church.
6. Wards lake – I then set off for the wards lake. Its like any other lake in any other city. I did not find it interesting. Probably I would have if I was here with a woman I loved. There were a lot of couples and groups who were boating in the lake.
7. Golf course – Lastly I saw the golf course of Shillong. A huge ground with green grass. It would take hours to walk the entire course so I stood on the edge and took some shots. It was cloudy for the last 2 hours and finally it started raining. A very light drizzle. I had to pull out my jacket and quickly pack my camera.
I sat in the taxi I head off for the hotel. Its a calm evening in Shillong. As i enter the main bazar for my hotel, I see the rush of the city. The core streets are as busy as any other famous hill station of north India. I entered my room and decided to open my laptop to transfer the shots. Then comes the shock! A broken laptop. I was stunned for a minute. My laptop was broken in flight. I had put the laptop in the luggage with a fragile tag. I made a mistake. I was furious and was left wondering. My entire trip needed the laptop. My travel is for 16 days. How will I transfer the shots to hard drive? How will i create back ups. I slept over all these questions and hoped for a better tomorrow.