Twice in a year, what a lucky guy I am and again to North East India. What a place to go, just go! Anyone (if there is anyone) who reads these posts must now realise how much I love India. Admittedly, I have only seen a tiny part of the country but what a country to visit! And the North East, what an undiscovered gem!
To be honest, most people (my own family included on their Indian trips) do not know much about the North East. Its isolation due to the geographical (wet and mountainous) and geopolitical (Bangladesh) reality means that it is a pain to get in and out of the region. So why bother when you can stick with the beautiful sights of the Golden Triangle, head south to Goa or take in the sights of eclectic Mumbai. And these are all great things to do, and activities that I will do one day. But for now, I am still captivated by the wonders of the North East.
Few Indians realise the beauty of this corner of their land and even fewer foreigners venture to this part of the world. Apart from the above mentioned difficulties, it is also a land that unfortunately that has had its fair share of internal turmoil. But move past these problems and you will see a magical land, untouched by the ravages of modern society. Traditions prevail here in the North East, proud traditions that have given the area far more advantages than the rest of India. Literacy in the North East is higher than the national average. Education and multilingualism is evident when traveling in North East India. Sikkim, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram do not have the problems with female infanticide that plagues the rest of India. Again this translates into more egalitarian roles for women. Unlike the rest of India, women are running businesses and controlling the wealth. Its location as well, at the crossroads of the North Indian, Tibetan and South East Asian worlds have given this area a fascinating backdrop and its people a richness in their culture that is unsurpassed in much of my travels. This is real fusion country, having a unique identity that is its own.
North East India, is not an easy place to travel round. Like the rest of the country, it is plagued by incompetence from upon high, and this area especially so as it is ‘in the corner’. But it is a rewarding place to visit, it is a stunning part of the world to experience. I feel very blessed that I have been able to travel around the North East of India so freely and openly, one of the advantages to travel as a whole round this country. Wandering like I did in the countryside of Sikkim or chatting with the locals in Meghalaya would not be possible across the border in nearby China, the police would swarm around you in a few minutes. And I am also very lucky to have picked the North East of India as the first part of the country to visit. I do not know what the future holds, whether or not I shall return to India. But if my path leads to the North East, don’t worry, I will be there in a flash.
And just in case, you have not realised from these posts, I love India. It is a tough country to visit, but man, is it a great place to visit. Everyone in their life, if they can do it, must see this land at least once before they die. You will not regret it!