Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Gifts: Expected and Unexpected

I mentioned in my previous post that a party would be thrown on the occasion of my good result and that it would be the ideal gift for me. The party was thrown and it was wonderful. But, before describing that event, I will talk about one unexpected gift which I received.

Two days after knowing the result, my father suddenly anounced that he would have to go to Shillong to attend a conference. It would be a two-day affair for him. At least, that's what my mother and I thought till he asked us whether we would we would like to go with him too! Without losing a minute, my mother took a leave from her office too. The flight tickets were booked, the bags were packed and the camera was made ready in a single day. So, it would be a two-day affair for us too!

We took a flight to Guwahati from Kolkata and reached Shillong from Guwahati by car. The car journey was one of four hours. But, it was not at all tiring. The road was so beautiful. Everything around us was only green. I was mesmerised by the hills covered by dense green jungles, the winding hilly roads and the narrow streams with their big rocks and swiftly flowing water. One can never get tired of these sights.

On Day One or rather, Evening One, we could not explore Shillong much except for Golf Club. Golf Club is actually a vast green ground for playing golf. It is really very vast and when golf is not played there, it is a favourite hangout for the residents of Shillong as well as a tourist spot. The sky looks amazingly blue standing at any point of Golf Club and the clouds that can be seen, are the most beautiful ones I have ever seen.

While my father attended his conference the next day, my mother and I went over to Ward Lake in the city itself. The lake is surrounded by very neat and well-maintained gardens. There was a very beautiful white flower called 'Forget-Me-Not' in the gardens. I also noticed a very nice purple flower which was common even on the streets. Shaluk flowers had grown in the lake itself. Altogether, it was a very pretty sight, specially from the wooden bridge which connects the two segments of the gardens. After about twenty minutes, we were forced to return to our car as it had started raining quite heavily. We found my father sitting in the car as his conference had got over. Then, we decided to go to the Elephant Falls but when we heard that it was situated on the Shillong-Cherrapunji road, we changed our destination to Cherrapunji instead. In about two hours, we reached Cherrapunji. This time again, the road was spellbinding. The higher we went up the hills, the more prominent did the clouds gathered at the cliffs become. It was pretty funny too as our car struggled to pass through the fog for fifteen minutes and sunlight flooded in through its windows in the next fifteen minutes. On the way to Cherrapunji or Sohra, we stopped at a 'View-point'. The sight from the point was lovely and it gave me goosebumps. The forest trees covering those hills were gently moving in the breeze but to me, it seemed as though many people were hiding in tose forests and whispering to each other. From the top of a hill in Cherrapunji, we witnessed the fog slowly clearing to give us a glimpse of the the Seven Sisters Falls. One can see seven small waterfalls at a time from the top of that hill. We also visited the Mawsmai Caves in Cherrapunji but did not risk entering them as we had neither torches nor the proper shoes(it was very slippery inside the caves) with us. On the way back, we also got a taste of the rainfall of the place with the second highest rainfall in the world.

We also saw the Elephant Falls on our way back. Somehow, I did not find it that beautiful and I found it very spooky! The next morning, we went to Shillong Peak from where the whole of Shillong can be viewed. We were quite lucky as we were able to do so. Sometimes, the fog refuses to clear for hours on end, disappointing many tourists by hiding Shillong from their glance.

As a city, Shillong is not a typical neat hilly one. It is not the sort of hilly place which everyone will imagine at first. The outskirts of Shillong, the tourist attractions and the roads to different places from Shillong make it a place worth visiting. We could not visit many other spots as time was limited. But, the trip was very enjoyable and an excellent gift. The surprise provided by the gift was a gift itself.

While coming back to Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport, Guwahati, we visited the Kamakshya Temple. To describe it in one word, it was untidy. It is a place ruled by the Pandas and it didn't seem as though we offered a puja at the temple. It seemed as though we were running some sort of a race. The way that Panda rushed us through the rituals was annoying and something close to torture.

Back home, I received my expected gift. The party was a huge success. My paternal aunts, uncles, cousins, maternal grandparents, two of my friends(Sritama and Mekhala) and some office colleagues of my mother had been invited. I wished my maternal uncle and aunt and my cousin Woodsmoke could be there too. The fun would have become two-fold then. On a sultry Sunday afternoon, our guests enjoyed rice, dal, stuffed parwal, Topshe Fish's fry, Bhetki Fish's paturi, chicken korma, mango chutney, papad, rasgulla and two-in-one ice-cream. I got loads of pens. Those pens will last till the last day of my ISC exam. Besides those, I got two glass bowls, two table lamps, two Titan Sonata watches, a cheque, some cash, two Ganesha idols, two flower vases, chocolates and five books. The books are 'The Iliad', '101 Short Stories by O.Henry', A collection of short stories by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, 'Galpoguchha' by Rabindranath Tagore and 'Gone With The Wind' by Margaret Mitchell.


Woodsmoke said...

Ping ping!
Very very good updates. The menu is super fab. Mouthwatering to say the least. :)

B. O'Hemian said...

Nice gift! And well written travelogue. Any photographs coming up?

Potoler dorma, Topshe machh bhaja, Bhetki paturi... I am drooling! This feast is fit for a wedding!!!

~ Deeps ~ said...

quite a amazing week for u :)

i agree with subbu sir, well written travelogue :)

if you have digicam then pics plz of shillong :)

Aarbee said...

Oh yes, sounds like a real cool trip! Pictures pliss!!

And it's good to know that you're having a lot of fun after ALL that hard work. :)

Dibbasatya said...

iliad i loved dat book,
did u get the poetry form or the prose?
and congratualations for ur results!!

Amiya said...

Wow, so you had a fantastic time. Well after all that hard work, this was only due :) And like everyone else has already said - very nicely written travelogue. I being vegetarian, my mouth didn't water at the mention of those dishes but I can sense how much your guests would've enjoyed it :) :)
And wow, you got so many gifts! How come you received quite a few of those in pairs? I mean, two of each. Just coincidence?
Enjoy your loot! :)

SPIRITed! said...

Gone With The Wind is amazing. See if you don't fall in love with Rhett Butler! :P

Sukanya Guhathakurta said...

Though I wasn't travelling with you to your destination,yet your travelogue makes me feel as if..umm.. even I gathered the experience which you had.I wish you would be happy just like this throughout your life.Have a blast for the rest of your vacation.I have come accross a new resolution of mine-"Don't let someone become a priority in your life when you are just an option in their life!" What is your opinion about it?

Kavya said...

wow! that sounded like a treat all right!! lovely gifts too! and loads of them!!!
all desreving! keep it up, sweetu!

Butterfly said...

Let's hope we'll enjoy another mouthwatering menu when we meet next month.:-)

Yeah, phtographs will be coming up soon.

We don't have a digicam, but I'll post some pictures anyway.

I'll post the pictures soon!:-)

I got the prose form.

@Amiya Didi
Yes, it really was pure coincidence that I got all those gifts in pairs. But, the watches were presented by my aunts and they had planned it between themselves.

Fall in love? Nah, I don't think so...:-)

Hey, thanks!:-)
And, I agree with you in your new belief. In fact, that's how everyone should feel.


Rohit Talwar said...

Like Ami said, after all the hard work, this is something you deserve. And the trip sounds superb. Wish I could see the falls and mountains.. please post pictures if you can :)

And the books! They make the best gifts :)