Shillong Jottings…

Welcome chaos
Life in the capital town was thrown out of gear for two weeks. Since February 3, cabbies and commercial vehicle drivers had gone on a strike resulting in a fortnight of agony for daily commuters, school and college students and the general public at large.The strike was finally called off on Wednesday last, thereby bringing in much respite to the citizenry and life in the city came back to ‘normal’ which also means traffic jams, curses and swears among fellow drivers. Such as life in this city! The two commercial hubs of the town – Iewduh and Khyndai Lad – sprung back to action and so did the rows of vendors selling street food in the evening hours.
A sizeable crowd was noticed on Wednesday itself and the crowd is only growing in numbers with each passing day.
After enjoying the humdrum of the evening hours on Saturday, a member of the SJ team took a cab from Khyndai Lad to return home. The short trip was not without its share of action. The cabbie quoted a higher rate and the SJ member resorted to the familiar art of bargaining but had to relent in the end.
On the way back, a thought crossed his mind: “What if we resort to a strike to bring down the taxi fares?” Anyone interested?

The ‘four musketeers’
Recently at a junction near NEIGRIHMS in New Shillong Township, a lone cop was patrolling the thoroughfare towards the city. All seemed visibly normal until the ‘four musketeers’ arrived on a two-wheeler. The flamboyant group rocked the streets on a single bike. What comes next is predictable: CHALLAN! But hold on to your horses. These guys had packed in a surprise.
Let us do some homework before we enter the climax. As per new traffic norms, even the pillion rider has to wear a helmet unlike yesteryears. And ‘tripling’ or riding with two pillions on the back on a motorcycle is also violation of law.
This ‘fun-tastic’ group seemed prepared to face the wrath of the traffic police as despite being noticed they rode straight towards the cop. Nonplussed, the traffic policeman saw that all four of them had worn helmets!
Being at his wit’s end, he let them go without detention or penalty. However, the SJ team understood what he must’ve thought of the incident — hilarious!

Eating places galore
Shillong has suddenly become a foodie’s delight. In every locality an eatery springs up with delightful cuisine. A Mediterranean food joint at Laitumkhrah –Roma Eatery has a long queue of people waiting to enter it.
Shillongites do take to variety. Who would have thought that Mediterranean food would have so many takers? There are little joints serving typical Khasi food but with a style that makes people want to revisit and hang around the place because of the soothing ambiance. And talk about bakeries, well, a new bakery springs up at every corner of the city.
Sourdough bread which is a healthier alternative to regular white or whole wheat bread is also becoming popular in Shillong. Sourdough with lower phytate levels means it is more digestible and nutritious. The prebiotics also help to keep our guts bacteria happy, and it may be less likely to spike blood sugar levels. Diabetics might find sourdough bread a better idea. The best part is that there are home deliveries too for sourdough bread.
Although Shillongites love food, they also go for healthier food and track down these rare eating joints.
So much so, a doctor who is also much sought after in his particular field of work is also planning to set up a Mediterranean eating joint soon and with accomplished chefs! This can only happen in Shillong! And where else but in Shillong will you have anyone making chips out of yam and sweet potato which is so yummy? The part-time cook is also a marathon runner.

A never-ending outpour of filth
A whole generation may go by, by the time we see that one ‘smokestack’ in one part of our city not doing its job — emitting a murky cloud of smoke out of the burnt garbage.
An obnoxious smell accompanied with the smoke is more often than not seen billowing out of a dumping ground next to the GS Road near Cantonment area in Jhalupara.
Men have come and men have gone, but that particular spot has seen innumerable years and become an eyesore. Time and again, the concern was raised, but to no avail.
Sneakily garbage is dumped at the spot and subsequently the pile is set ablaze. After being lit, the wastes emit a foul smell which causes discomfort to those around the place such as joggers, commuters etc — who have to breathe that in.
Will a generation need to pass by for those concerned to do something about a small patch of land being used as a garbage dumping ground?

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