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WHERE THE CLOUDS COME HOME

It is about Shillong and it's people

Meghalaya- where the clouds come home declares a tourist brochure. Well, it's literally true. And they come home quite frequently. The Khasi tribe dominates Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, and their language is Khasi. They use the Roman script. Khasis have a matriarchal society: husbands go and live with their wives. If there is more than one daughter then it is the youngest one who gets the ancestral house. Children take their mother's surname.

Khasis are simple people. When I was in Shillong, I asked a girl with red cheek if the red on her cheeks was natural. She immediately started rubbing her cheeks to show that it was.

Taxis in Shillong do not have a meter. They behave like Rickshaw-wallas, except for the fact their rates are more or less fixed. They also have shared taxies. No taxi exclusively hired by anyone. If seats are available, one can always hail a taxi though it may be partly occupied.

One should not reach Shillong after 5 pm. It is difficult to find accommodation. We had the misfortune of reaching Shillong at 8.30 pm. There was a Khasi boy, Ben, with us in the bus. He spent one hour with us trying to locate our contact in Shillong. May be the Meghalaya government should add in its brochure: Meghalaya, the land of helpful people.

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