Meghalaya- Abode of the clouds caves
I walked up a trail that had been created by many footprints. It was dubious by fallen rocks, bushes and the sound of the wind through trees. I walked… and walked… and walked… And finally a twist! Freezing darkness, cold rock walls, dripping sound of the water and echoing footsteps! A cave! I stepped in and saw my shadow dissolving into the surrounding darkness. And then….” Kumno!” someone said! A gray man was standing in front of me. He again said “Kumno!” and then thumped me on my head! He started shaking me! I was shocked and irritated. “You are late! You moron!” I woke up wildly! My mom had bursted my bubble. Waking up can be really harsh, especially when your dreams are better than reality! Close but no cigar! Again!
This often happens with me. This place reoccurs in my dream! A recurring dream probably merits close attention. Something wants you to pay attention! But what?
I’VE GOT BIG PLANS!
Christmas holidays were at hand! Me and my 3 useless friends were calling the shots for planning our next trip. Fortunately my friends don’t come into “Goa is on!” category. We believe that adventures are waiting for us. And that’s why the room was filled with the words Trekking…Hiking…Snowboarding…Rock climbing and so on! I was quite in the whole discussion and suddenly I jumped and said “Caving!” Everyone stopped talking and stared at me in amazement! “Really?”, “It isn’t safe!”, “ It’s not a solo sport!”, ”You need to be 100% sure in this”! “Are you talking about India?” and Blah…blah…blah…everyone was speaking together! But my heart was constantly reminding me about that dream! After sometime when everyone was looking at me in disgust, I said “When was the last time you did something for the first time? It’s time to get away my friends! Everyone seemed convinced up to the point! And that day I finally took the first step towards my dream! I screamed in excitement “Caves are calling us and we must go!”
“But where?” I thoght!
Bragging about something and convincing others for that is easy, but making it real is a hard nut to crack! In my case, I think I can go anywhere I want, if only I knew where to go! I again tried to remember the place of my dream and let my fingers google at ease! I opened my eyes. My fingers had done their work! I read “Caves in India” and the results… “Meghalaya- Abode of the clouds!”
After reading for sometime, I was astounded! Wow India! Meghalaya has about 500 natural limestone and sandstone caves. The deepest cave in the subcontinent named ‘Synrang Pamiang’ and the longest ‘Krem Liat Prah’ are in Meghalaya. And the most amazing thing is that Meghalaya is one amongst the ‘Top 10 caving destinations of the world!’ I had got my place! “Meghalaya! See you very soon!”
LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN!
We were standing at the Guwahati station waiting for the taxi. Meghalaya was about 105 kms from there. A vivacious journey of about 5 hours! Our destination was ‘Cherrapunji’ also known as ‘Sohra’. A town often been credited as being the ‘Wettest Place On Planet Earth’ because of it’s record-breaking rainfall! I regretted coming with my friends in that romantic cuddle weather! Freezing temperature and feathery rains! Have you watched the movie ‘Avatar’? If not, then Cherrapunji is enough! It emulates the movie as there are countless living bridges. The locals(Khasis) have developed techniques from ages of growing roots of trees into large bridges. Here it is proven that “love creates bridges!”
Finally the wait was over as the next day was ‘The Day!’ As we moved to ‘Krems!’. A cave is called as ‘Krem’ in their local language. In our caving adventure we were going to explore numerous lime stone caves! Siju, Mawswami, Mawsynram, Krem Kotsati, Synrang Pamiang, Krem Umthloo, Syndai were some of the tongue-twisters in our list!
“I am looking like a mechanic!” my friend raved. We were dressed in full legged jumpsuits and helmets with a storm of caving gears. “Don’t worry! In you is a treasure!” the other said looking at the cave! We all burst out laughing on his infantile joke. “Ready Cavers?” I snickered. The ‘Y E S’ was massive as we already entered the cave! So, this is how it feels! The echo of my dreams! Same place, same whiff, same feels! While walking in, I witnessed the magnitude of nature! The cold walls were whispering something! Something that I always wanted to hear! We saw astounding formations such as flow-stones, cave curtains, cave pearls and candles. Everything was so marvellous and divine! We walked through waist deep water and even swam to navigate the caves. Suddenly, I fell on the slippery surface. And a man came in front of me. He was the same gray man of my dream. He smiled and said,”Kumno!” I looked around to see my friends. But they were not there. I tried to get up but somehow could not! I looked at that man for help. He was still smiling! He again said “Kumno!”I was now irritated and annoyed. I bellowed wildly but felt helpless! That man said, “Why are you screaming, don’t you want to go to college”!
“Y E S…M O M” I bawled. But this time, no echo!
Sometimes it takes a great fall to really know where you are! I have got the Dreamers Disease!
It always seems impossible until it’s done! I continuously pinched myself to ensure that, it’s not a dream in the whole journey of Meghalaya from Guwahati.
I walked up a trail that had been created by many footprints. It was dubious by fallen rocks, bushes and the sound of the wind through trees. I walked… and walked… and walked… And finally a twist! Freezing darkness, cold rock walls, dripping sound of the water and echoing footsteps! A cave! I stepped in and saw my shadow dissolving into the surrounding darkness. Now I was ensued about the reality. My friend introduced me a man saying, “This is our local guide!” That man shook hand with me and said, “Kumno!”
…And I just laughed!
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR!
So, this was all about “Once upon a dream!” Some places are like dreams! And for me, Meghalaya is one of them. Between me and Meghalya is a ‘Skinny Love’! Where two people love each other but are too shy to admit it, but they still show it! This fiction travel tale was to introduce you the concept of caving in India. I am sure it will definitely discover ‘Meghalaya’ in your bucketlist!
Comment your dreams below!