The road less travelled - Aizawl, Mizoram (land of the highlanders).
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The Capital | beautiful room with mirrors | INR 590 May 3: 6 AM | Silchar> Aizawl |maxi cab All passengers are army men | checkpost at Mizoram | asshole policemen | With a inner line permit into the land of the blue mountains | May 3: 5 PM | Aizawl | Hotel Chawhlam Managed by migrant Bangladeshees | wander around the capital city | May 4: Aizawl The State Museum closed | public holiday | internet cafe | T.V | World war Z | zombie apocalypse initiated | rejected by Lily | May 5: Aizawl> Champhai | Maxi cab from Bara Bazaar After prayer and pee we began the 200 kilometre journey to Champhai | Listening to Mizo songs and Christian hymns | Fellow passengers sing and have their ritualistic paan and supari | Through hill forests | granite quarries | streams | land slides | the green hill ranges | the wavy roads leads to the village lost in the valley | The Champhai Tourist Lodge | Nepali cook/ caretaker | May 6: Champhai The rice bowl of Mizoram | the rare plain area of Mizoram | acres of rice fields | wandering around the village | market | find food | a hill made of multani mitti | local women apply the mud on their faces to protect against the glaring sun| May 7: Champhai Birthday | Lillian makes me a birthday cake out of biscuits, rusk, sliced cakes and flowers | Morning bread and eggs | we walk to village Zote | make graffiti in a rusting field shed | we climb a hill | we can't make it to Rih Dil (the lake corridor to the Mizo heaven called Pialral) so I dig a heart shaped hole | Lily reads me a Mizo folk tale | we walk to the town |Thunder strikes, it rains | Another year passes by | I am still counting pebbles in the sky | May 8: Champhai> Aizawl | Tata Sumo | 8 AM Back to the same hotel | a floor down | cheaper | INR 800 | cockroaches in the bathroom (extra guests, I complain to the manager, he smiles) | T.V | May 9: Aizawl Day of rest | The State Museum | tribal artefacts | internet cafe | May 10: Aizawl Today is the last day of my Mizoram permit | Tomorrow I turn fugitive | I need to cross the state border by night | As luck will have it, it's a Sunday | The day god and its subjects rest in a Christian state | No shops, no buses, no Tata Sumo |Just the good folks in their good clothes wander the streets | Zam Zam Sumo counter agrees to take us across to Silchar after sunset | And then on to the troubled state of Manipur | May 10: Aizawl | 9 AM to 5 PM> waiting at the bus station | 5 PM to 12:30 PM> we reach Manipuri Bazaar (Assam border town) | 12:30 PM to 2 AM> waiting May 11: 2 AM to 3:30 AM> waiting in the cab, empty dark street with drunks | 4 AM> Silchar May 11: Silchar | 4 AM to 6 AM> waiting in the waiting room of the transport companyMay 11: 6 AM | Silchar> Imphal | 12 hours After waiting for 7 hours at Aizawl bus terminal | a red maxi cab takes us on a harrowing journey to Silchar | It involves 90s Bollywood songs, potholes | a four hours wait at Assam border town while the driver drinks beer at a shack cause we are too early | We wait till 6 in the morning for our shared cab to Imphal |They inform us there will be an infinite strike in Manipur from the next day | Against all odds we reach the fortified capital city of Imphal | We cross through over 20 checkpoints | All heavily guarded by military and many involves us to disembark and walk 50 metres across | The thatched huts, the green hill forests and the serpentine river lay in odds with the heavily armed patrolling troops and the North Eastern Frontier Railway tunnels | May 11: Imphal | New Airline Hotel Non availability of rooms | deluxe room | INR 1680 | Splurge | much needed comfort | May 12: Imphal Lazy morning | walk around | Kangra Fort closed |Shahid Minar | polo was invented in the ground next to the Minar | all women market | hotel restaurant | T....
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