16 October 2011

Going Back Home

Shillong Peak, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
I'm going home. Next month at this time I will be in the hills of north east India. I haven't to Shillong since I graduated from St. Mary's High School in Laitumkrah many years ago. I went back to India once but at that time the hill states were closed to travelers and Darjeeling was as close as I could get. This time my daughter is going with me to see what I've been talking about all these years.  Sorry folks - my Khasi is so very rusty! I'll be embarrassed to open my mouth.

I've  been warned that things have changed - there is more traffic and noisy congestion, the sweet cottages with flower gardens are now buildings made of cement. My old bedroom where four of the eight Perry kids slept in a double bunk bed is now a classroom in the elementary school where my father was headmaster. I've asked to walk to the river where we washed clothes on Saturday mornings, picnicking and playing wild games while our laundry dried on the bushes.

The state's name "Meghalaya" means Abode of the Clouds and the British liked to call it their Scotland of the East. Most years it is the rainiest place in the world.  We are going north to places I've never been and will ride elephants on safari in Kaziranga. As soon as we land we are heading to a village drum festival.

My brother Jim lives there still with his wife and three young sons. I asked what I should bring and he emailed a link to a cookie press. They want to make Christmas cookies. It is the only thing already packed in my suitcase. I stopped at Micheal's today and picked up cookie cutters (still need gingerbread men), piping tips for icing and food coloring. Send me any of your best holiday cookie recipes! This should be interesting!

I don't leave until the second week in November but it is starting to feel like I am going on an adventure. It is all very exciting!
 


9 comments:

Enal Richard Dkhar said...

Welcome home Joan...its nice to learn that you are coming to shillong, your home....as someone informed you, shillong now is like a concrete jungle....etc...etc.....no more wah umkhrah,no more queen of the hill.....Perhaps, you will shed tears when u reach here comparing your childhood days and shillong today...many cried for this......but still lets hope the glory of shillong will retain someday.....

Khublei

Kate said...

Joan, I am very excited for you! What a splendid post today!! I carefully scrutinized the school group picture and found 4 children that looked a bit different than the rest of the Indian kids...how many did I miss? It will be so nostalgic for you! Loved the Kaziranga Park link. I do hope that you can post photos while you're there; it would be so much fun to see you in your old residence with some childhood friends. I visited India in 1986 and still have fond memories of all the Indians whom I met there. Terrific people. Incidentally, I assume the cute little braided lass in the photo is you!!

Marcheline said...

All the very best and most exciting and wonderful times to you! Selfishly, I look forward to traveling vicariously when you return with all those fantastic photographs and stories. Don't forget to keep a travel journal so you remember EVERYTHING when you get back!

Suzie said...

How fun for you, Joan, to travel to the past. I too will be time traveling that same week. I am going to Puerto Vallarta, Mex where I lived 20 years ago, but I am going with three high school friends I have not seen since 1964! Have a fantastic trip!

Charlestonjoan said...

enrich - I think I will find what I am looking for. Can't wait!

Kate - It is very exciting! There were eight of us kids altogether - mostly blonde at that age.

Marcheline - I am very interested in taking pictures of what I remember from childhood. I doubt I will have much computer access while I am there.

Suzie - You too! Travel safely.

Pixel Peeper said...

A cookie press, huh? It's the little things...

This will be such an exciting trip, not just for you but for all your readers. I can't wait to hear the stories and see the pictures.

Jack said...

Enjoy your trip, Joan. I googled Shillong. It looks like it is the part of India near China and Burma (old name). In WWII, my father spent the war in that general area -- the CBI theater. He is long gone, now, so I don't know precisely where. It is a long way from Charleston, in every way . . .

Enal Richard Dkhar said...

Joan you said youll find what you are looking for....whats that you are looking for...i will help you....phi dang nang kren khasi ne em...nga kyrmen phi dang pnah bha...

Charlestonjoan said...

Pixel - it is the little things. That was a fun request to fill.

Jack - that is right. There was a lot of activity up there even further east than where I am going - the Burma Road. Your Dad didn't leave any photo of his time there did he? Some of those tribes were head hunting tribe then.

enrich - I think I am looking for the familiar smells and sights as much as anything. The kids playing the old games we played, rivers etc.