It started as a friendly religion question on the bus.
W: Are you Christian?
W: What denomination?
I: No Denomination. Just Christian.
I: I don’t believe in denominations.
W: (After a brief pause) Come to church with me on Sunday.
Perhaps my answers weren’t “Christian” enough as it prompted an invitation to church but the service wasn’t half as bad. Only two minutes cab ride from Laitumkrah, Don Bosco Youth Center had white robed priests welcome us at the door. Inside was a spacious hall with stained glass paintings on normal sized windows.
The speaker was a new deacon from a tribe called Tarao.
According to the head priest (?), he was “the first Tarao deacon- priest in the world.”
The congregation clapped.
Everybody present was a tribal.
The tribal congregation cheered.
Tribal pride was conspicuously evident.
After church, we decided to walk around town.
Green bends and the ever crowded police bazaar acted as perfect backdrops to a fascinating story telling afternoon with a future priest turned MA student in Shillong town.
The evening started around 5:00pm when we arrived at this “Livewire,” coffee house event.
The band was performing their fourth number when the electricity went out and the vocalist was forced to do some improvs which got boring after a few rounds.
So, we left the place…
It was beautiful outside.
The weather was fresh and crisp as it had just rained.
The sky was a mixture of different colors in its subtle festive mood.
The distant horizon was ever inviting as we got on a cab westward towards Police Bazar.
The place emitted vibrant evening energy.
The center point in Shillong buzzed with traffic.
Taxi drivers were keen to take you home.
But we walked past them.
We didn’t want to go home yet.
We were enjoying the little puddles.
We wanted to feast on the pink cotton candy.
We wanted to browse through the many different stalls.
We wanted to lose ourselves in the bustling crowd.
We were mere dusk lovers not wanting to find our way home…
“He did not know where the train was going, but he was thankful to be in the moving thing.”
-Milk Raj Anand, Coolie
Cherrapunjee, the heaviest rainfall area in the world is 56 kilometers away but Shillong gets its share of rain in an abundant fashion.
Roadside vendors are then forced to cover their Supari dukan or the pirated CD collection while above-knee dresses and folded pants flood the streets.
But it is for mere few hours.
The setting sun then forces its way towards dusk and the pink skies welcome summer nights to present endless stars in the sky…
I am starting grad school here.
I will be studying Anthropology.