Friday, March 1, 2024

Shillong Jottings

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Extended holiday

Officials at the Main and Additional Secretariat are still enjoying Puja Holidays.

Many visitors could not get their wok done since the officers they wanted to meet are enjoying their holidays and that too, ten days after the official holiday period. In some central government offices officers had gone on leave from the last week of September.

Their colleagues say they might return only after Diwali. This has been the trend for many years now and office attendances following Durga Puja is at its lowest. A lady who required a signature on a document from a particular officer was told that he would only be available after Diwali.

She asked if there is any deputy/assistant who can sign the document which was urgently required by her daughter studying in South India.

The lady was told that only peons and clerks are present in the office. The lady returned frustrated and cursed the festival season!

 “No Car” day

The president of Bolivia has urged his countrymen not to use cars on Sunday and make it a pedestrian day.

The president himself took the lead recently when he walked and jogged in the major streets of the town. Many in the city asked why Shillong too should not follow suit and have a “no car” day once a week.

This will be a sign of respect to pedestrians. It’s quite a sight to see how bad-mannered drivers do not even allow pedestrians to cross the streets.

Some regular pedestrians have decided to form an NGO to demand their rights for walking and crossing the streets without the fear of being run over. High time but will they win over the din and fury of the car crazy citizens here?

These days people hire cabs and take out their vehicles even to do short distances. Time has come where some leading light of the city start becoming pedestrians.

If China can enforce the use of bicycles only in offices and workplaces then Meghalaya should emulate both China and Bolivia.

 Hotels fully booked

It is learnt that all hotels in Shillong are enjoying 100 % occupancy during Durga Puja and beyond.

Only the most unlivable spaces are available. A lady of means who came to Shillong for some research work had to stay at a hotel in one of the crowded lanes of Khyndailad. She thought it was a weird place.

Then there is the case of two Japanese tourists from Yokohama (Japan) who also stayed at a downtown hotel. They were not aware that the hotel also allows guests to cook their own meals in a kitchenette. Those using the kitchenette seemed to enjoy chillies…. Lots of it too.

The pungent smoke of chilly being friend in hot oil enveloped the entire hotel.

The two Japanese ladies opened their windows and put their heads out, gasping for fresh air.

Later they were told that the exhaust fan in the kitchenette of their fellow guests had gone kaput. Bad experience this!

 Wanted names for roads, lane and bye-lanes

Many roads in Shillong are nameless. It is always very difficult to explain to visitors the address of a place as there are very few landmarks around.

Many tourists have rued the absence of signage in the city. One tourist got totally confused between Camel Back Road and Bivar Road since there is no signage.

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