A rather rare and pleasant sunny day of March 15th, Meghalaya
After spending first day of our Meghalaya trip in doing rather touristy things under gloomy weather conditions we were quite psyched up to move to Cherrapunji. Although it was little nippy early morning in Shillong, occasional glances from Sun over the clouds were promising of a bright and sunny day ahead. A perfect weather had just made our plans of exploring this little piece of land, also known as Scotland of India, even more exciting. At Shillong’s shared taxi stand we were waiting to hop on to a shared sumo to Cherrapunji. The only worry was there were at least 20 other people hoping to get in to the next sumo. Amongst them there was also an Indian looking couple “Pseudo-backpacker alert!”, my heart screamed. Which perfectly complemented the look on Varun’s face. Her hat and his shirt had my eyes glued to them! We had already missed one shared taxi which was now standing there with 13 people in it plus a young driver who was probably not even legally old enough to drive. All of us there had just one aim - to get in to the next taxi that comes or else the taxi after that was 4 hours later. The whole scenario was enough indication for my competitive self to take control over me.
Shuttle arrives, door opens and the one on my side gets stuck. Against my wishes this girl miraculously saves the whole of back seat and to my surprise, waves us to get in quickly. That was totally unexpected! But they were on their way to win my heart.
Meet Sharon and Samson, born in India, brought up in Kuwait, well-travelled, now based in California and this is how our journey of numerous travels began.
The trek through 3000 steps to Nongriat was fun and meanwhile we discovered they are siblings and not couple. Siblings on a backpacking trip to India from California for 6 months planning to explore as much about their motherland as possible. Interesting! We spent four days together spending time in the waters under double roots bridge, going for hikes to secluded waterfalls and when tired came down to the clear blue pools and climbed those boulders wandering to random directions.
Four days later we were leaving but they stayed back for another day. We bid good-bye and started our trek back. Few minutes into the trek I sensed Varun wasn’t happy that we were going back and we clearly didn’t get enough time in water with the Tharakans. Impulsive or not but I just turned and started walking back towards Nongriat.
It was the warmest smile on Sharon’s face when she spotted us coming back. It was the best day with them cause some-how we knew how it felt knowing our time together was up. This was us refusing to give in and steal our day back with them. After that amazing day of more swimming hiking folklores and night under starts, together we headed back for Shillong. Tharakans bid us goodbye and boarded their train to the next adventure.
Peak hot burning summer of May 2015,New Delhi
Hey guys, we are thinking about leaving to Delhi tomorrow. If we can catch a train. Can we crash with you guys?” Samson texted.
24 hours later we were talking travels over drinks at our place. Post Meghalaya they had covered Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand before coming to Delhi. The famous road melting Delhi heat left us with little options and we decided to spent the days inside our air-conditioned world. We cooked, played cards, got high, watched random Bollywood movies and then cooked some more! At late nights when the weather got a little bearable we went out exploring Delhi. Binged through some less explored food joints and walked around in the quiet colonies of Delhi 6.
We talked and talked and talked and our stories never ended. Samson’s Hindi added the extra factor of drama and humour and we laughed till our stomachs would hurt. He would do impressions of actors with old hindi film dialogues and that is a whole new unbeatable level of B Grade masala! His stories of past girlfriends and two timings and time spent working for US Army were total entertainment, entertainment and entertainment!
A much-needed campfire next to the river at Kasol in June 2015