My Serene Sojourn

Being a woman, a married woman and a working one at that isn’t an easy job. There are so many hats to don and so many roles to play. It’s not a bad thing but sometimes it gets a little too much. There just isn’t enough time or opportunity to take that leisurely walk, soaking in the sun. There just isn’t!

If you are a woman, you would probably know what I’m talking about. There’s never an off switch, a day where I can stop being everything for everyone else and just live for myself. The crux of all this is, there’s just not enough time for me to let my hair down. A few hours maybe but to steal an entire day or more is nothing short of a heist! But a heist is definitely what I need; a heist to take a few days off just for myself.

But where would I go? Shillong of-course!

Shillong: A Paradise on Earth for Me

For me there’s no place on earth which is more peaceful than Shillong. Yes, a pristine hill station tucked away in one corner of the country; a corner which many don’t even acknowledge exists. But the point here is I have memories in Shillong; memories that make me smile even in the toughest of times. So there’s no way that I’d go anywhere else to escape the mundane cycle of my everyday life other than Shillong.

Beautiful Lakes of Shillong

But driving from Bangalore to Shillong would be a little far-fetched considering I’m not really the greatest driver in the world. Well the fact that I find my feet too thin to even fit on the accelerator, brake or clutch would give you an idea of my (non-existent) expertise in this department. So I’d just need to reach Guwahati and from there I’d drive up to Shillong. Well alright I’d need to brush my driving skills a little (read a lot !). But after all that is done, I’d drive to Shillong through meandering hilly roads lined by a placid mesmerizing lake.

There’s just something about that 100 km stretch from Guwahati to Shillong that even thinking about it fills my heart with joy. Perhaps it has got to do with the fact that it was the route that always took me home. Whether for holidays or to escape the brutal heat of Guwahati, that road always carried me to happiness and bliss. It took me to the most beautiful cottage situated in the most charming hill station in the world, my home for over a decade. Those drives took me to my happy place, my haven of peace in this whole wide world. So a drive taking me up the hills of Shillong is my idea of a perfect trip, my serene sojourn.

The stretch lined with Pine Trees and Umiam Lake

A road lined with lush green hills on one side and wild streams on the other. A road lined with pineapple plantations on the hills coupled with the soothing sounds of flowing river. A road lined with pristine houses and settlements. A road lined with numerous small yet enticing temples and churches along the way. A road lined by the picturesque Umiam Lake that could give any lake in a foreign land a run for its money. A road lined with pine trees right out of a painting. A road that is actually a road and not a bed of pot holes! Yes, that’s the path I’d drive through from Guwahati to Shillong. Perfect, isn’t it?

My Abode Of Clouds

I’d soak in the fresh air, the tiny drops of rain and the beautiful clouds through my windows. Don’t sound so surprised for I’d be driving to the Abode of Clouds after all! Could I even ask for more? I’d sip on the fresh tea from roadside stalls to keep me warm. Just thinking about it gives me Goosebumps and I can almost smell the aroma too.

I’d nibble on the fresh slices of pineapple and oranges along the way. And then I’d stop at the small Shiva temple situated on the banks of the Umiam Lake, a place where I’ve always found inner peace and tranquility. A drive so alluring that even the thought of it makes me fall in love with the stretch all over again!

Something about this temple always makes me happy

A trip of nostalgia, a trip to a place I called home for the better part of my life would need to have some known elements. When I was a little girl, it was my dad’s Official car that took me up and down that highway. It was a navy blue Ambassador. So I’d find one for my trip to bring in that familiarity, to reminisce all those times when I traveled that beautiful stretch engrossed in the romance of the hills. An Ambassador, preferably a navy blue one, would be my ride while I take in the sweet scent of the hills enhanced by the Lavender Ambi Pur Car Air freshener.

Of-course, I’d have my sister and best friend for company for we share our history of Shillong together. My sister was born there and I had also met my best friend for the first time there. It was where we had our first crushes and our first heart breaks; yes right in the lap of that beautiful town. It was where we learnt what we meant for each other. Yes, I’d go with them for they know what going to Shillong means to me, for it’s the same for them too. My road trip to my Shillong, a place where perhaps my life was at its best and all worldly worries were at rest! Yes, that’s the trip I’d take to bounce back at life, my perfect road trip!

 I drive these curvy hilly strides,
Through magical greens,
And meandering streams.
Some old, some new,
Memories sketched in hue.
With bated breath, I return as vowed,
To this serene abode of clouds.
That's the sky in my Shillong
This post is written for Indiblogger's 'The Perfect Road Trip Contest' in association with Ambi Pur India

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