Majestic hills and dramatic cliffs, vibrant flowers and quiet fields, quaint little houses, neat gardens, and the night I spent in a cozy cottage.
Unlike the stifling city life of Guwahati, Shillong is a sleepy town where night descends early. You can lie in the warm embrace of your love or you can cozy up in bed with a book or, if you are a bit of a dreamer, you can spend the night at the porch steps, watching the lights go off in the distance and soak in the tranquility of solitude. It is a perfect weekend getaway for rejuvenating oneself.
The night of my stay was windy, with a hint of chill in the air, not much for warm clothes but enough to give you the goose bumps. I could see the stars twinkling, the moon spilling its light over the grey clouds. The distant hills stood vigil against the sky. A hollow sound echoed as the wind drifted past the trees. The swaying leaves made different shapes and shadows by the tiny yellow light, above the porch.
I stayed at the Royal Heritage Tripura Castle which had suites with gabled roof, bay windows and tiered backyard garden. There was a white wall, to my right, flanking the garden, with vines snaking through it. On my left, a green picket fence ran the length of the lawn, broken at places by big and crooked trees. Lights dotted the carpet grass at intervals and two chairs sat just in the centre, beneath a large tree. The picture looked straight out of a Nora Roberts story.
I felt a pang of envy. How good it would be to come home to such surroundings, everyday. To sit at the porch and enjoy the sights, all the day’s tiredness melting away, inch by inch. I remember lying on the steps, beneath the stars. At one point, I thought I saw a wishing star and my heart skipped a beat. Oh, the legend of wishes coming true, wished upon a wishing star still manages to thrill me. Normally, wishing stars just zoom away even before you could conjure up a wish. But, this one was passing by, in its own leisure. I lay there for some time watching its progress, my mind giving the verdict that it was an aircraft but my heart making a wish anyway. There was some magic in the air that night, a subtle intoxication that played with my senses.
I don’t know for how long I sat there, just gazing. But it was one of those times when you feel connected to your own self, when the world seems to blur away, when you get a new perspective on everything that has gone by, everything that is and everything that will be. Such moments are what keep us sane, don’t you think? With the hope of many more such instances, I went back into my room and to the life I had kept aside for a few days.