[dropcap]B[/dropcap]ack in February 2013, I was sick and tired of dealing with my OCD. I wasn’t even aware of the fact that I had this but at the same time, I knew that something was going wrong with me. I used to be all absorbed into my intrusive horrible thoughts and with each passing day, it was getting worse for me. I was avoiding any social interactions that could trigger my OCD including my boy and friends. I kept myself isolated from anything REAL, wondering if there was a way out to the constant battle that was going on in my head. I was scared like a small birdie, aggressive like a mad bitch and numb like a stone to everything that mattered. We had a trip planned in advance to attend my bestie’s elder sister’s wedding to Guwahati, Assam but we ended up going to Shillong, Meghalaya due to my sick health and the continuous battle with OCD. I was sure, everyone was getting tired of my inexplainable behavior and I appreciate them for still hanging in with me. I really do. Anyways, enough of OCD, lets focus on Shillong and the experiences we had there.
[dropcap]Shillong[/dropcap] is a calm place covered with the rivers that glow when sun rises from east and hill tops that offer an absolutely amazing view of the city and the forests. Often called as the abode of clouds, it is located on a plateau and has picturesque surrounding and nice localities, popularly known as the Khasis. The city is surrounded by green mountains and pine trees which offer a safe feeling of ‘a home away from home’. It is the land of lash green meadows that offer comfort and calmness. The places brings back the conjured images of narrow , winding roads,pine trees,betel chewing ‘kongs’ and pink-cheeked adorable kids.
Winter is the best time of year to visit the place if you’re willing to have a chilled up trip. The place had enormous number of musically talented people and is getting more westernized by time. The khasi people especially, seemed really helpful, nice and broad minded.
It was Valentines’ day already and I was still very down. We checked into a nice guest house and went out to explore the city. We found out that there was going to be a rock concert that evening and since I’ve always been into hard rock, that sure did help lift my mood up.
The city is kind of a semi-western place where you can easily spot couples walking hands in hands, street music freaks (I loved ’em) and the historical evident of the city, beautifully managed to the best. The roads were sloppy, diverging into different directions and we followed it like we were chasing a snake.
Shillong Peak and The Elephant Waterfalls
We went to the highest peek of the city called ‘Shillong peak‘ and enjoyed the view for a while. We could see the endless forests and the small huts amidst them looked so miniature. I almost felt like I was on the top of the world. Haha!
There were other tourists too, mainly students hanging out. The wind was blowing fast and since it was winter and I had to wear a jacket to keep myself warm enough. I had bad cold symptoms and I sure didn’t make a good choice in choosing my clothes for the day! There were shops for tourists to get souvenirs and food. It was a calm and serene place however I could hear the roar of some waterfall, somewhere close to us and that’s how we ended up finding our way to the falls.
The most amazing place I visited there was, the elephant fall, the immensely beautiful natural waterfall cascading gently through rocks and pine forests. The falls are divided into three falls which you need to see at different levels. When the British came, they found a rock there that resembled the shape of an elephant, so they named it elephant falls, however local people used to call it the falls with 3 steps. The whole rock piece got demolished in an earthquake later. The never ending stairs to the ends of the waterfall were quite tricky to step on and I was careful as a scared kid holding my boy’s hand. We were very enthusiastic, but getting down to the lowest level and then getting back up to the plains is a very arduous and risky task (NOTE: I wouldn’t recommend it to the people having knee pain or joint problems). In rainy season, however, it gets very slippery and stairways get even more dangerous to follow. It is the best place to hang out with your family or friends as it has plenty of nice things to offer like the cool breezy and lively water which is as clean as a crystal and sparkling many tiny water falls as well.
However, it was the most amazing sight to witness the giant waterfall. The water was literally sparkling running down the unknown paths deep down into the forests. We explored the place, we laughed especially when the guards warned us to stay away from the waters, multiple times! We kept on clicking snaps to collect the memories that enchanting place seemed to offer. I loved the sound of water and I could make up a melody out of its generous and enchanting movements. It is best to not just stand there but to watch and adore the beauty of the falls and the sparkling water. It’s a nice place to shoot photos to keep as memories for your life in comparison to the two upper steps of the fall.
The unforgettable greenery and the three steps of the fall have been very well organized and maintained. Quite appreciable! The greenery seems as fresh as the first leaves of the season, the big and small falls every now and then, getting wet in the showers when it rains slightly and then driving to your destination is like a huge icing in a cake.
Shillong Peak Garden: The V’day Party
By chance, we spotted a V’Day party going on near the falls. They had decorations in the form of hearty balloons all over a garden on the hill top with music, volumes high, as if inviting us to join in and we so did! My OCD was gripping me again, but I was trying my best to focus on having fun. Anxiety made me shiver and want to go back to my room. But I let the horrible thoughts be there and continued with the party.
At one point, I got so sick of it that I wanted to break down and cry. I don’t know how I managed going throughout the day. I didn’t wanna ruin the day and the fun other people were having, they looked so happy so I just along with them and the flow of events. It was Valentines’ day (and I’ve always been a festival person, always looking for reasons to celebrate) and I was supposed to make my boy feel special (I really wanted to) and have fun with friends. But all the anxiety and panic attacks had put me into a mind numbing state. I just kept on looking at the views that the valley offered; the forests that seemed happy just a minute ago now seemed sad. The trees were swaying with the wind and the forests seemed like a safe place. It felt like they were waving at me with each sway, asking me to come and embrace them.
Getting back to City
Anyhoo, we returned back to our place around 5 pm and got back to our respective rooms. Tired from the whole journey, all of us were still excited to attend the rock concert in the evening, except me. I excused myself to rest in my room and asked my friends to go, have fun. I really wanted to go, have fun but my anxiety didn’t let me. I hated being locked in my room, I hated not being able to let my mind be in peace, I hated myself for all this going on with me. I shouldn’t have though, this way I was only letting my OCD win over me and trap me in its endless loop. How could I have? I wasn’t even aware that I had this disorder. I was feeling helpless and numb. It was evening already and I looked outside the window as the sun disappeared behind the hills. I knew deep inside that my boy and friends were upset cause of my unexpected behavior and I wasn’t in a state to explain it to them.
The V-Day was about to get end, the clock had struck 7 and the rock concert had begun. I could hear the music and the joyful hoots of people from my room. I felt bad, guilty for not being able to make my boy special when I should have. I needed strength so I prayed to the God whom I’ve never seen but have all my faith upon. I told myself to shut down my brain, even if just for a few hours, and get something in Action!
The Surprise: Neither did he expect nor I!
I had planned a lots of things for this very day and had numerous stuff burried in the depths of my luggage that I’d need. So I quickly got a warm shower and put on a nice dress. My panic attacks were still going on but I didn’t let them stop me from doing what I had in mind.
I put candles all over the room and lighted them to create a soothing yet charming aura inside the room. I gift packed my V-day gift that I was supposed to give my boy and put it on the bed nicely. I made the room look as nice as possible. I quickly made a playlist on my laptop of all the songs that we both love or relate to. I put the music up to a voice that echoed the whole room and switched off the lights. The room looked so beautiful that my OCD went away for a moment and I kept on admiring the view.
I called my boy to come to my room for a moment and I hid behind the door. Lol. I wanted to surprise him, make him feel loved and special despite the continuous anxiety attacks. Well, he knocked the door first and entered the room. I was holding my breathe, fearing what if he didn’t like my surprise. He had a genuine smile on his lips and a little of boy blush. He expanded his arms and I ran towards him to hug him. I was feeling happy and embarrassing at the same time. I had that girly blush so I hid my face in his arms. With the song, A Thousand Years, in the background, he asked me to have a dance with him. I took his hand, he led me to the middle of the room and we swayed our bodies, close to each each other with the melodious and slow music in the background. I was trying my best not to look in his eyes, guess I was feeling a little shy and that’s a girly thing. He was constantly smiling and his magnificent and sparkling eyes were telling me that he was absolutely delighted with my surprise. This was my first ever dance with a boy and it couldn’t have been better. Even though our steps weren’t in sync. with the song and we had no experience of dancing like that, whatsoever, we truly enjoyed just being with each other. Later, he found his gift on the bed and got busy in unwrapping it. My pup was happy :) and I was feeling better finally at the end of the day. The guilt had vanished. I ended it.
We bade good-night to each other with a hug and I retired to my bed. I was again alone and anxiety wore over me. I felt exhausted and tried to sleep it off ’cause the next day we had a new place to go and explore. This one V-day in Shillong, Megahalaya, was an experience to be remembered always. Not ’cause of the beautiful places we visited, not ’cause of the sights we witnessed but ’cause of the realization of the fact that no matter what tricks my brain plays on me, no matter how hard a game-plan OCD makes for me, at the end of the day, Love is what’ll stay with me. Amen!