Friday, 16 May 2014

Shillong - My Home Forever

 It pains me like the loss of a dear one, as if someone left without an answer, never to come back again.I have traveled to many places, seen many beautiful towns, but that longing doesn't seem to leave me.My family is leaving Shillong, my hometown, this month, and even though I haven't lived there for the past 13 years,it has been a part of my life and conversation would always come back to it, like an old lover about whom I cannot stop speaking.
  What is it about the place that mesmerizes me so, and holds me back like a toddler tugging on to its mother's dress.Is being born there the only reason? - No, its got to be more.Of course everyone shares a special bond with their birthplace, but Shillong exudes much more warmth, so much that even those who lived there for a couple of years have fallen prey to its charms.And believe me it is true love, for even though the youthfulness and beauty of the city have long faded,and in its place the concrete and more botoxed facade is visible now, in the end, it is always more about the attitude than the looks.
  I am still not used to crowds, pollution and the busy life of the metropolis, I miss walking to school, the market and everywhere else.I miss beautiful flowers and incessant rains, when I walked to school in slippers and carried dry shoes in my schoolbag.I miss eating berries in spring and living without a fan in my house.I miss the wooden buses, the Chapel in every school,the rock music playing from neighbors' house on weekends, the community cleaning drives and the quintessential chicken chow.I miss the pine cones lying on the hill slopes,eating oranges sitting in the winter sun,the unique fruits and vegetables found only in hills.I miss wooden floors in my home,the tiny springs jutting out from rocks and the green moss on the corners of stairs.   Hills have a character of their own, and the people are different.Although it would be lying to deny that we did not face any tough times due to communal tension, curfews and the like,in the end there is a reason behind everything, a long history of exploitation.No country or city is averse to that.But I'd rather forget that.What I cannot forget is travelling the winding roads from Guwahati waiting for that cool fresh air to hit me on reaching Barapani.Of the surprise of seeing multiple new shops jutting out, brands pervading my tiny city, bamboo crafts interspersed with hip-hop casuals at Glory's Plaza.Those tweed clad ladies, and lads in leather jackets,those warm smiles emanating from kwai(betel) stained lips.Steaming momos, and chilly winds.
 What I have written may not make much sense to those who have never been to Shillong, but for those who know - I have never known (read loved) a city better, and never will.


  1. Wel written and it does depict our Shillong the way it was when we were young. Every word and the feeling behind it makes sense and I doubt any non Shillongite would understand that. Wish we could show our kids the Shillong it used to be...But none the less, Shillong will still be Shillong to us, the way we remember it, the way you have written abt it, Forever....

    1. Thanks Ritu..yes most of it would make sense to someone who's lived there :)