Monday, July 22, 2024

Shillong Jottings


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The moving juke-boxes!
Nothing quite compares to the eclectic music taste of Shillong-ites, but it’s the taxi drivers who truly crank up the volume on this phenomenon. From crooning Jim Reeves to philosophical Bob Dylan, melodious Sonu Nigam to the local flair of DBRYN, these cabbies are jukeboxes on wheels, and can give the biggest DJ’s a run for their money.
The biggest victims of this shock are the unsuspecting tourists, fresh off the plane, expecting a quiet ride through the rolling hills, only to be hit with a sonic barrage that challenges their very notion of “elite” music. A member of our SJ team eavesdropped on one such hilarious encounter.
Bob Dylan’s No Woman No Cry (an artistic mash-up, surely) was echoing through the cab’s speakers, followed by the emo angst of My Chemical Romance’s The Ghost of You. The look of sheer bewilderment on a young Mumbaikar’s face could have been bottled and sold as a souvenir. His jaw dropped, eyes widened, as he marveled at this auditory revelation.
Our bemused tourist was treated to a passionate monologue from his driver about Shillong’s status as the music capital of India.
Imagine his surprise, expecting the stereotypical driver’s music playslist and instead getting a musical education straight out of a hipster’s playlist.
By the end of the journey, the young Mumbaikar was not just carrying the memories of clouds and hills but memories that were etched in the chords of surprise and wonder. If there’s one thing he’ll reminisce about, it’s the day a Shillong taxi ride turned into the ultimate, unforgettable mixtape experience.

Hopes for Voiceless, a non-profit organisation for animals, has installed wooden bird houses in various parts of Jail Road, Shillong, to protect the birds from the torrential weather. The organisation also conducts various feeding drives for dogs and other animals
in various parts of the city. (Photo contributed)

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