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Kartik Aggarwal

Abstract Others Romance


5.0  

Kartik Aggarwal

Abstract Others Romance


Monsoon Lust

Monsoon Lust

4 mins 17.3K 4 mins 17.3K

Since childhood, I was always fascinated by rains and eagerly awaited the monsoon season. As rainwater used to fill in our lanes, making it an Indian version of Venice, floating paper boats was my favourite past time. I dreamt of visiting a place where there would be rain, rain and more rain. I always adored their silent, and sometimes thunderous wetness. I wondered if such a place actually existed on earth! With time, I learnt that a place like that did exist, and concomitantly my wish was fulfilled with a recent trip to Cherrapunjee, famously called the 'rain capital of the world'.

Immediately after starting our drive from Shillong airport, we were treated to nature's magical aura. Tantalising, undulating smooth roads carved into the hills made our drive an exhilarating experience. We cannot recall the number of times we pulled over the car to absorb the pristine beauty, trying to capture every bit of it in our cameras. However, this was only the beginning. The naturally beautiful and picturesque hills with perpetual clouds and mist enchanted me. High above misty valleys and foaming rivers ensconced in swirling clouds and perched on an escarpment, lies Cherrapunjee. Now it made sense why it has become famous all over the world for its magical monsoon.

Thin layers of mist had made visibility poor but they had added their own mystique and aura to the balmy evening. The charm of the air was such that it had made us forget the sense of time. The sky was cloudy and Cherrapunjee looked spectacularly stupefying. The foggy hills grew darker with every passing minute and assumed a ghostly experience. Soon streaks of lightning illuminated the sky and the dark and menacing clouds, full-blown with the rain, descended with the singing force to a sublime whiplash.

Nature had rolled out a carpet of verdant greenery and the fragrant flowers were blooming in luxuriance. The night's heavy downpour had given way to soft drizzling and created many natural waterfalls here and there, which leapt and roared from the edge of the road, deep into the gorges below. Cherrapunjee's most enchanting Nohkailikai Waterfall had swelled into a huge roaring cascade. On both sides of it, some more waterfalls had sprung up. I took a stroll down the road savouring the beauty of nature. It was the play of clouds that lent its mesmerising show to the hills. The clouds that were concentrated as mists at the foot of the gorges during the night were rising early in the morning, floating around the hills at almost touching distance. I felt like walking on the clouds. At one place, the clouds had entirely enveloped the hills and did not seem to peel off. I'd lost myself all over, in the boundless eyes of nature's ravishing illusion.

But a little patience rewarded me even further with an impressive spectacle. The clouds lifted their mantle over the blue mesmerizing hills and exposed the silvery-white waterfalls and lush green gore. The rain continued to play hide and seek with me and Cherrapunjee transformed itself into a photographer's delight, providing a dramatic canvas for an artist's dream.

We'd lost the sense of time but it flew on wings and by late afternoon rain had changed into a gentle platter. Soft pastel shades appeared in the skies and a rainbow made an unexpected, but a pleasant guest experience. Due to the remoteness, most of the scenic spots and the roaring underground streams are devoid of human presence. Here I could feel the essence of Lao Tzu's quote, 'Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished'. My patience and love for nature showed me the best versions of it. I managed to delve into a few of the unchartered territories here, the best of it is the Root Bridges. Since Cherrapunjee is wet the entire year, it isn't easy to build roads at every corner. The locals here have devised techniques of sending roots of a live Indian rubber tree in a pre-planned direction, thereby making a bridge out of its roots. Sometimes, the roots of two trees planted on opposite banks of a river are entwined to form a bridge. These root bridges are so strong that some of them can carry fifty or more people, at one time. Some of them are 53 feet, 70 feet and even over 100 feet long. One has two bridges stacked, one over the other. It was amazing walking on the marvellous spectacle of human engineering made out of nature.

They say some places touch your heart, but some move your soul. Cherrapunjee is indeed that place.


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