Dhanno said, “I don’t want to see any more waterfalls. I want to see Shahrukh Khan. Now.”
After a half-day trek down 1000 meters to see a living roots bridge, our friends wanted us to go see a famous waterfall, Nohkalikhai in Cherrapunjee. On Day 10 of our travels in the North East, Teja, Dhanno and I thought every where we look is beautiful, we don’t want to get back into the car to see something beautiful elsewhere. Specially not if it involved the gruesome ride out of Cherra Resorts.
Teja said, “I don’t want to miss the sunset.”
Our friends said, “We’ll reach the falls before then.”
I was skeptical. Dhanno and I had spent a better part of our journey doing speed = distance/time sums. Which somehow had no bearing on the actual time it took us to reach some place.
The 10 of us squeezed into one car. Dhanno was cranky, Thoi was hungry and Namya uncharacteristically quiet. The sky had darkened and we were still 5 kms away. Which could mean 10 minutes or an hour. I removed my sunglasses. The sky lightened and held out some hope.
The kids refused to get out of the car to see the waterfall. We sent them some tea and biscuits, which they ate and slept. Teja, Bubu and Surjit took photos of the sky.
The next day, Bubu told me how the fall got its name. Nohkali loved a boy from her village. When her husband found out about their affair, he cut up her lover, cooked him and served her the meat. She found a finger in her food. She went mad with grief, ran and jumped into the valley. And the fall is named after her. I’m glad he didn’t tell me the story while we were there, sipping our tea.