I was without a clue about what was waiting for me but two months in advanced I googled every stop I was going to visit in the North East India, just to know how it looked like. (Oh! And it did not let me down).
It is an untapped and underrated place in India with limited facilities but that is the charm of it all. If it had full-time Wifi and bustling roads, there would be no difference between the metro cities and these small towns. People would be engrossed more in their phones and less on the beauty outside.
Every mountain, every town, every snowdrop, every turning corner had something for me to take back. Never was there a day when North East India failed to leave me in awe. It allured me to such an extent I was ready to settle here with a one-way ticket.
My co-travellers were all 45 and above (without parents) and I knew this was going to be one hell of an experience. Even though they were my relatives, I learnt from adjusting to letting go, from laughing until you cry to lame jokes. The trip wouldn’t have been the same if it wasn’t for them.
The First Step
With all the last minute packing, I rushed to the airport with swollen eyes after 2 hours of sleeping for my early morning flight. With a gang of 23 people we began our expedition to the Adventures of the North East (That’s what I call it).
On the first day after landing in Ghuwati, we finally reached Bhalukpong after a 4 hour drive, which was already so hectic. It made me anxiously wonder how I would survive the next 12 days on such a tight schedule.
Highway from Ghuwati to Bhalukpong
It was 4:00pm and I had my first refreshing vapoured hot beverage for the day that had dawned at 4:00 am. We set foot for a scenic drive to our stay at Bhalukpong from the Ghuwati airport.
It was a mesmerising evening, small houses painted with bright colours had occupied the parallel sides of the highway along with coconut trees. You’d find at least one cow or goat along the doorsteps of these houses. Each house was connected to the highway with narrow kacha roads. I wondered how they lived their life because I spotted grocery shops only after every 3 km.
We took a tea break at this small dhaba where I found cooks making chappatis.
On one hand, the car passed over the silver Bhrahmputra, the only river with a male name and on the other hand the sky was filled with white bubble gum like clouds.
The only river with a male name in India is also known as the son of Bramha. It is one of the largest rivers in India that even flows through China and Bangladesh. To me, it was a monster you do not mess with.
After crossing the Bhrahmputra and just before reaching Bhalukpong, we had to cross a forest road that was filled with dense vegetation. It lacked lights and apparently also has tribal dacoit’s attacking at any time. Luckily we did not get a chance to mess with them and instead reached our night stay safely.
An outburst of luscious green vegetation, volatile pointed mountain silhouettes, roaring winds, and the empty midnight where I could only hear the sound of silence, local life is all I needed.
It was chilled already and I knew – Winter was Coming.
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