Wednesday, 29 July 2015

SHILLONG: when the gods call - PART I

I am a poor traveller; poor in the sense that I travel less although I wish to enjoy places. This is quite contradictory, isn't it? Yes, and all the thanks to my laziness!
But this time, a few friends sufficient enough to cause the humdrum, made a toast to a plan for a Shillong tour. And I joined in, trying to test my travelling luck one last time.
Luckily, there was no disappointment. The tour proved to be cherishing. The Department of Meghalaya Tourism is well organized and they gave us the best and most comfortable sight-seeing planner. We returned happy. 
The complete tour was broken up into three days of exciting travel. The first day, we were taken to Cherrapunji, the second, to Asia's cleanest village, Mawlynnong, and the third day, we drove around Shillong. Cherrapunji is around 75 kilometres away from Shillong town (w.r.t. Police Bazaar point). Mawlynnong is located at a distance of around 90 kilometres.
We expected rains; so, we had five umbrellas packed in our bags before the journey. The roads housed spots of pleasure: the curvy mountains rubbed with specks of clouds, the valleys that nested little huts and houses, and the roadside tea stalls of bamboo. Everything seemed like a painting on the air. Cherrapunji trip had the following spots: Seven Sisters Waterfalls, Nohkalikai Waterfalls, Bangladesh View Point, Mawsmai Cave, Thangkharang Park and Ramakrishna Mission Ashram. Although each of these was unique in their own way, the most striking were the Nohkalikai Waterfalls and Mawsmai Cave.  
'Nohkalikai' in local tongue means 'jump of Likai'. Likai was a woman who earned by labour. She had a daughter who was more than her life. She had to remarry as she turned widow early. Her second husband could not bear her love for her daughter and was jealous of their bond. He felt Likai's love for her was the reason why she did not pay attention to him. One day, when Likai went out for work, her husband planned a murder, chopped her daughter into pieces and cooked the little one's flesh. Likai, on returning from work, was surprised to learn that her husband had cooked the evening meal. He offered the meal to Likai. Tired, she ate the meal and after dinner she went out to have a taste of betel nuts. As she drew the hand out of the grinder, she found a finger of her daughter. Suddenly, her world turned ugly. She was struck with unimaginable grief, and grew insane. Her heart was too weak to carry the weight of her daughter's death. She could not believe she had eaten her love's dead flesh. She knew not what to do, and as she had already grew insane, she jumped off the waterfalls. So, the waterfalls was named after the 'jump of Likai' to remember a mother and her love for her daughter.
The Mawsmai Cave is a natural cave which has a length of almost 150 metres and can be traversed through. The tourists can have a trip through the rocks amidst the cave. There are a number of narrow paths and so, people with problems of bending and breathing are advised not to take a chance. However, it was an adventurous inside, like Indiana Jones going for the Crystal Skull. There are little bridges to cross watery portions but since it was raining, the bridges were a bit submerged. But nothing seemed a problem. The water trickling from the sides of the rocks presented a true experience of a dream. The Mawsmai Cave is, in fact, a place which must not be missed at all.
The fog played its best, but we did not regret. The fog touched a sweet sense in the photographs we took. The Nohkalikai was a playful place. The fog lifted for only around 2 minutes. The people there commented that even a 2 minute glimpse is luckier; sometimes people return after 6 days of visiting without having a pleasure to watch it. Perhaps, that's how silent Nature participates in games with Her world!

Seven Sisters Waterfalls
Bangladesh View Point

Seven Sisters Waterfalls Eco Park amidst fog
Nohkalikai Waterfalls: India's second largest falls!
At Nohkalikai Waterfalls: fog surrounds the hills!

Roadside on the way to Cherrapunji
Just me!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

BURP !!!

[Dedicated to all food-lovers.]

There is a certain misunderstanding in understanding the concept of a joyful dinner! Obviously, you should not measure it by the number of plates you have gobbled up, not because quantity is hypothetically secondary, but because your order may come in a bowl! Oh! Come on! You need not add the number of bowls, not because quantity is too mainstream to weigh joys, but because half of your orders may arrive in plates and half in bowls! Now what? Would you average them? None marries a dull mathematician! You need to be smart enough!
Sometimes, a quarrel over the most insensible subject makes a dinner joyful! Sentiments are the last thing that technology shall eat up. Forget Einstein's technology quote; we haven't yet discovered the tenth dimension! I am still stuck up on how to figure out what a 3D looks like in 2D! Still, there are us who fight over whether the lady at the other table is married or not! The one who gets a smile from the cutest girl at the restaurant gets his favourite drink. And that makes a dinner worth a dinner!
Although selfies/groupfies are the new style remarks these days, believe me, food plays an important part in deciding whether you are smiling in the "..."-fies or not! A dish of chilli prawns if not served with the proper urban superstitions is a waste! Like, a prawn's extended tail should be felt (sometimes seen) to consider it a perfect starter. Otherwise, all general fish fries are same. Chicken in corianders should taste like chicken in corianders. Otherwise, all chicks are same! And there is this plate of butter paneer. The perfect blend of butter and paneer fried to the best limit of brownish look makes it adorable; otherwise even Ramu Kaka makes butter paneer in his eighties!
Maintaining a healthy diet is utmost necessary. In India, most people find themselves in obese-category on the BMI scale. This is due to a phenomenon called eating-beyond-bellysize. Diets are like resolutions- they are kept to be broken. And we are so skilled in employing this. After all, diet should not sadden us. What say? Eating is a gift. And eating beyond bellysize makes a dinner joyful.
Often, company decides the nature of a dinner. Girlfriends or wives mean a dinner like a funeral. Mom means the best dinner we always cherish at home. Seniors go on a 50-50 note; some are over conscious while others don't possess the talent of identifying a fruit! I have kept the last option at last because their presence always means a bombastic dinner! They are sometimes called friends, and sometimes we know them by the same name, 'Oi' or 'Ay'.
Finally, when I am concluding this piece, I shall say: Enjoy your meals. They are important and...Sorry! Excuse me! BURP !!!

Friday, 10 July 2015

[This review appears on goodreads].

I loved the book cover design and also the name of the book. I think it is very unique. I liked the fact that author dedicated the book to poetry lovers.
The poet writes in free style. He follows no fixed pattern like any modern poet. From the poem Rains I noticed he can rhyme well too but he doesn’t force or restricts himself.
He sees poetry even in simple daily occurrences in life. He is a good observer. He writes poems on people and issues which we as a society tend to ignore. And I appreciate this quality in him. After all a true poet sees the unseen.
I found his poetry more like folk tales or regional language poets. If you read Kannada poet, Kuvempu’s English, they are very similar to his poems. . After centuries, if our future generations need to know about our culture and lifestyle, then this piece of literature would help them.
He describes a lot. He has satire poems written about stark realities of life. And also breaking stereotype like Stepmother and C.R.O.W. I liked the conclusion (poet’s words) added after a poem. It seems like the poem is a song and there is narration after. It gives a clear picture on what circumstance the poet has written these lines. It is easy for people who have minimum vocabulary or find it difficult to decipher poem’s true meaning. To be honest, I read some of his poems twice to understand them more deeply. His poems need to be read slowly and leisure.
He expresses so gently about everyday emotions and I think everyone can connect with his poetry unlike what people usually think that poetry is not their cup of tea. He is a poet since eight he says and I see the way he writes. It shows how beautifully he expresses. And it seems like he has been reading poetry along with academics. I like rhythm in the poem Stubborn. The poem My Kite is as if a child has written it.
The Moustached poet: few pots of poems is a good collection of poems giving glimpses of his life and various people around him.
Suggestions: I would prefer the poet divided poems into different segments. And also please write an Author’s note at the end of the book for your kind readers. I suggest the conclusion poet’s words are renamed as author’s note because poet’s word is the poem itself.

PS: I wonder as to why Mr. Goswami doesn’t grow a moustache!


Had the bird not flown, I would not have known how far the skies existed! Content of poetic literature is difficult to judge for poetry is amorphous! One pair of eyes should bear sufficient viewpoints to generate a judgement of poetry. And this is where, a poet sees a poet. I thank poetess Nikitha Hingad for reviewing my book, The Moustached Poet: a few pots of poems. This review is worth my efforts, and I thank her for the suggestions. For my next book, they shall be followed as said! And regarding my moustache, I am still trying to grow a perfect one! :)