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You walk through several villages - Umsophie, Nongthymmai, Nongriat to a staircase that plunges into a deep river valley which seems like Hobbit Land. 

When you reach the bottom, you enter a totally different world. The natural beauty of the place is remarkable: the greenery is exorbitant, with every nook and cranny covered in foliage and the fingers of trees spreading everywhere; water either trickles over stones or forcibly thrusts its way through riverbeds of great boulders; there are spiders the size of butterflies and butterflies the size of birds. It’s all set to a soundtrack of painfully-loud crickets, gushing water, chirruping of birds and the occassional rock song the villagers are chilling to. 

After descending to Nongthymmai village, you need to trek down through a rocky trail until the first cable–trussed wire bridge. Another twin wire-bridge is a while away, and you reach NONGRIAT village and the first root bridge - the longest living root bridge after 3200 steps. A steep ascent and you are at UMSHIANG DOUBLE DECKER living root bridge. Between giant trees covered in vines, elegant bridges made entirely of roots and branches span the stony riverbeds, you find emancipated Khasi women, pipe smoking granddads and turquoise glacial pools. During the monsoon, the living root bridges allow the locals to cross the seasonal torrential streams. It might take 10 to 15 years to build one of these bridges and to make it walkable, but it will then last up to 500 years.

On your way back the 3200 steps and more, you will almost give up and think of building a shack beside the turquoise pools till the government builds a rope-way up to Laitsynkew but then in the end, it’s worth the pain !


A Dream Within A Dream 

Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream? 

-Edgar Allen Poe




   On June 11th 1963, Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, sat down in the middle of a busy intersection in Saigon, covered himself in gasoline and He then ignited a match, and set himself on fire. Đức burned to death in a matter of minutes, and he was immortalized in a famous photograph taken by a reporter who was in Vietnam in order to photograph the war. All those who saw this spectacle were taken by the fact that Duc did not make a sound while burning to death. Đức was protesting President Ngô Đình Diệm’s administration for oppressing the Buddhist religion.

(Source: bundy-ramirez-dahmer)

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