It was getting late and I was looking for every possible option to get some cash. Just like every other “common man” in the country, Modi’s demonetisation has affected me too in several ways. I had to go to Cherapunjee to attend the Shine a Light Music Festival, but the financial condition at that point of time didn’t seem to support my cause. However, I was adamant and despite the odds, I boarded the Kamrup Express from Duliajan, that too with a general ticket. I knew the journey wouldn’t be a cakewalk, but to be at the festival I could go to any heights.
Shine A Light: Voice of the Silent Hills, is a three days music festival organized by a few young enthusiasts, who believe to bring the world together through music. It’s worth mentioning here that the festival survived for three years without any major sponsors backing up the event. This has been made possible by a few people who believe that music is the elixir, the world is looking for. As a music lover, I could only contribute to this musical extravaganza by being a part of it. Since I’ve missed out on the previous two editions, I couldn’t afford to miss this one. I was so fascinated at the thought of being at the festival that the train journey to Guwahati, which I despise the most, seemed wonderful.
After a lot of speculation and last moment money arrangements, I and a few friends of mine started our journey. At around 4 in the evening, we left Guwahati and were on our way to Cherapunjee. After four to five hours’ drive, we found ourselves lying on the road stargazing, at the wettest place on earth. The silent hills, the starlit sky and the chilled breeze announced our arrival at Sohra (the local name of Cherapunjee) and we were all happy to be at a place, we’ve been longing to. Since, the festival was about to set off the next day, all the bands were already there. We could hear them jamming, as we entered the gates of Sa-I-Mika Park, the venue of the festival, and the festival junkies in us jumped in excitement.
The next three days were a complete bliss, as we’ve been transported to a world, where music gave us freedom and solace. All the bands that performed kept the crowd to their feet and enthralled them with their mesmerising music. One interesting fact about the festival is that it inspires and encourages true music, which doesn’t involve twisting and turning knobs to create sound (you know what I mean). So, an organic music festival at a place like Sohra was enough to bring rhapsody to everyone present there. The two stages catered exactly what the audience expected, as musicians from across the country belted out tunes that are going to linger in our heads for at least a decade, if not for a lifetime. Artistes like, Taba Chake, Nassif Ahmed, Jeff Bordoloi & the Souls, Keith Antao, Abhay Kanchan among others, adorned the day stage with their mellow, yet charismatic performances. However, the main stage stole the show by showcasing some power packed renditions from bands like, Sceptre, Primitiv, Boomarang, Stillwaters, Ragamaya, Menwhopause, Dew Drops, Elephant in the Elevator, Natura et cetera.
After three days of love, peace, freedom and Rock ‘n’ Roll the festival came to an end, like every other good thing in the world. We all wanted this to continue for another few days, but the reality spoke differently. So, we had to relinquish our inner desires and pack our bags (which, we hardly unpacked) and head home. With an arsenal of memories to cherish and new songs to hum, we left Sa-I-Mika Park and Cherrapunjee, and drove back to our daily ho-hum.