“ Good people don’t have to say they are good people, it just shows.” – Shaun Parker
When we travel, as a tourist we always love and expect to witness great hospitality. We create impressions of that place not by its beauty but by the kind of behavior we experience from the people there. Indeed, if the natives treat us wonderfully, we will always be smiles talking about them in future. This is something common in human nature.
While on a visit to North East, I came across people who were not only helping but did everything to make me feel home. Irony struck me when I realized we here in the North making fun of the people from East because they do everything possible to keep us smiling?
What a shame!
A tour from Guwahati to Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong, Dwaki and Shillong :
The Confident “Aunty” :
The tallest plunge waterfall in India, Nohkalikai Falls had a small market for tourists. Luckily, we found a large shop with all the traditional stuff of North East. The owner of that shop was an old, cute woman whom we referred to as “Aunty / Dadi.” She was someone who made me feel so homely and at the same time was the perfect example for an independent woman. At the age of 60, she managed her shop so well. We managed to do all our shopping from her shop. She didn’t fool us as tourists, instead she gained immense respect in my heart.
The La-Kupar Inn :
This traditionally decorated hotel or homestay would be a better word, was a bliss to me. Located in the valleys of Cherrapunji, it was full of lovely hospitality and homely treatment. The manager and the entire staff was really polite, friendly and eager to help. They managed to give us a beautiful, cozy room and made sure that our dinner was purely vegetarian. The best part about all of them was their smiling faces.
Mr. John himself received us at the gate and had a bright smile to welcome us. The entire staff when they met us or even saw us, they always smiled and said a hello. They said “feel absolutely at home ma’am.” They guided us about the site seeing as well. Indeed, that place was truly like home with such wonderful people whom I will remember for a lifetime.
The Taxi Tour :
From Shillong, we had to book a taxi for travelling as there was no local transport available. Well, in a new city we always wish to stat safe with a responsible taxi driver. We got that as well with our taxi driver whom we referred to as “Dada”. He was a really kind person with no unnecessary demands or fooling behavior. He always gave us the right advice and managed in all conditions without any complaints. Also, the moment he realized I was prone to vomiting on hills if the car is above the speed of 40 kmph, he drove at a speed of 20-40 kmph.
Even though it was more exhausting for him and the journey of 2 hours went to 2.5 hours, he did it happily without giving it a second thought. He got stuck in traffic just to take me to the church for he valued my religious sentiments!
The Orange Roots :
This place is the best pure vegetarian restaurant in Cherrapunji. When I say best, it’s not only because of the food but again the hospitality and services. We just had to order food and sit comfortably when our food came. While we were eating, I realized that they served us continuously without charging extra. The waitress would come confidently, asking if they could pour some more sambhar or chutney in our plates. They were all independent women, working hard and seemed to love their work. As people from North, we always face food challenges in North East but I definitely didn’t face any.
Itoung Guest House :
This homestay was located in Asia’s cleanest village, Mawlynnong. As we reached there, the caretaker Mr. Julius came all the way to the main market to receive us. He guided us to homestay and was immensely polite. We met some problem on the fare of the room so he connected us to the landlady over call. She again fulfilled the perfect hospitality statement by giving us a reasonable discount, understanding and not fooling us at any time. He rushed with water to our room at 10pm as soon as he realized we needed drinking water. He guided us well and stayed supportive throughout our stay. He bade us a smiling goodbye and wished us a happy journey.
North East and it’s people made me believe in humanity and kindness once again. Somebody guided us to the hotel and someone fed us with Maggi when they realized we couldn’t eat anything else. They possibly knew that as tourists, we not just take back the memories of scenic beauty but the people.
I brought back the most precious memories of sweet, wonderful people ready to help us with a smile. Woman particularly were very independent, working at hotels, having their own shops and loving their independence.
North East gave me the chance to meet wonderful people and made me realize that humanity and love exists. They are all innocent people who actually follow and believe in the Indian culture of “Athiti Devo Bhavah.”