I Can't recollect what state of mind I was in when I had decided to undertake that journey. Definitely it was a call taken in crisis and had the purpose of liberating myself..; The very nature of journeys, that I had started off with.
"Don't go alone ! Take someone with you"
'Care' came up in the form of a whats-app message.
Winter vacation had started... The hostel Mess run by me and my friend would end in two days. And I was free to get rid of the stress finally... Those had been the most stressful days of my life.
Her warning was something that I should have taken seriously. Because I was going for a road trip. And that too to a Destination about which I haven't heard, read, or seen anything.
"Nongstoin" I remember seeing as a destination written on the road signs at the T junction of Barik Point in Shillong. Other than that, it was a side of Meghalaya I haven't explored yet..; situated in the West Khasi Hills District of the state.
Reaching hostel, remembering her cared- warning, I presented my plan to Safeer. He had just woke up and on the very moment agreed. I wasn't surprised; because that was what I had expected of him. He has always been worth enough to be invited as a co-traveler.
The spontaneity added, we left within an hour. The Yamaha RX 135 that I had kept for myself from an another friend of mine was in good condition, just asking for petrol and oil. His thirst was satisfied and in that happiness he took us out of Shillong.
Deciding on 'Nongstoin' as the destination was an after effect of seeing a photograph taken by a Travel photographer based in Meghalaya. In his photograph, the smooth beautiful road was captured as taking a curve around a dark redden hill. The photograph was actually the result of juxtaposing three images... It was a panoramic image, and the reality was three times played with...
Riding along the brand new road, which was going to be inaugurated by the prime minister a week later, we weren't disappointed..; the road and the terrain through which it was looping around was worth enough to be enjoyed without any visual manipulations...
Nongstoin is the Headquarters of West Khasi Hills district. The town is somewhat around ten kilometers away from the beautiful bypass. Though the town holds numerous buildings than the tourist paradise of the state; Cheraapunjee, it lacks in providing accommodation to its visitors. There's only one guest house in Nongstoin town.
Nongkhnum Island, the biggest river island in Meghalaya and the second biggest river island in Asia spans up-to 20 to 25 sq. kilometers in area. The Island is formed by the bifurcation of Kynshi river into the Phanliang and the Namliang river and is the most preferred tourist destination in Nongstoin.
It's a destination while we traveled (in motorcycle) that needed enormous amount of perseverance to be reached upon, the one and only reason being the pathetic condition of the road.
It was while reaching Nongkhnum that we had realized one phenomenon; Riding in a motorcycle (RX 135) from Shillong to Nongkhnum, we had rode through almost all forms of terrain. When we started riding on a well finished tarmac, but gradually faced trouble in the form of disintegrating tarmac.
Leaving behind Nongstoin and riding for Nongkhnum took us through the worst forms of roads that we have ever ridden; it was a mountain road, which due to severe disintegration of the tarmac was existing as an off road trail for its riders and drivers... Less than fifteen kilometers left for our destination, the existence of road itself was in question. It had transformed itself into a pathway, which was again transformed into a dusty one, the moment a vehicle went through it...
The road had tested our patience and perseverance to the very core. I had always believed that "The road has answers for everything." The crisis that made me hit the road had come back to my conscience once I reached Shillong. But now I had a better way to deal with it. Once again the philosophy of my traveling was overwritten; there's no pain and crisis that cannot be cured and fixed by the road !
Photographed at West Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya, Northeast India.