The North-East BlogKnow what leading academics, writers, poets, musicians, activists and journalists from the region have to say to develop an informed perspective on matters related to this part of India.
In a city such as Delhi, your air conditioners should be all-weather but not if you happen to be transferred to Cherrapunjee. You may not even need an AC there.
In fact the Voltas All Weather AC advertisement on television (featuring the much-transferred Murthy) doesn't paint the true picture of Cherrapunjee. Yes, it doesn't rain as much as it used to in Sohra (the local name for the place) but we Meghalayans don't take too kindly the portrayal of one of the state's most popular tourist destinations as a humid hell.
Eastern India may be more humid than the parched lands of North or Central India, but by no means Cherrapunjee is as sweaty as the Voltas ad presents it. The creative heads at Ogilvy's Meridian have got their meteorology a little wrong. Precipitation does have a connection with humidity, but temperature plays a major role in the weather being sweltering. And the mercury doesn't rise too high in these hills.
If you are planning to visit Cherrapujee (and you must) don't believe a word of what Murthy complains about Cherrapunjee.
"Welcome to Cherrapunjee, always raining always chip chip
Walking sweating, talking sweating, bathing sweating, all sweating..."
A couple of weeks ago, I was in Cherra and the weather there was as pleasant as a May in Meghalaya can be.
Such misleading advertisements can have an impact on tourism. And I take umbrage on behalf of my home state. I have submitted a complaint with the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) on this matter (my first). Just a little attempt to set the record straight.
But before you navigate away, here's a video and a little lore on one of the amazing wonders of the place - Noh Ka Likai Falls (also written as Nohkalikai Falls). At 1,115 feet (340 metres), this is one of the tallest waterfalls in India.
"A young woman named Ka Lokai had a daughter from a previous marriage and has married for the second time. Her new husband loathed his step-daughter. One day on returning from work in the fields she was surprised to find that her husband and prepared the evening meal and he also served the food to her himself. She ate the meal with relish. Later she discovered her daughter's severed fingers in a betel nut basket. Distraught with grief and remorse she rushed to nearby cliffs and threw herself over the precipice adjoining the waterfalls. These falls have ever since been named Noh Ka Likai, which translates (from Khasi) to the leap of Ka Likai."
More about Soumyadip ChoudhurySoumyadip Choudhury aka Somu aka Chaiwallah is an internet addict. His wife and family suspect that he is secretly married to his laptop. The electric shock that he got while trying to fix a neighbour's TV set as a kid, perhaps ignited his interest in everything tech. A do-it-yourself guy, he doesn't believe in hiring electricians, plumbers or carpenters. But often ends paying the professionals more to fix his botched jobs. Somu secretly wishes he knew how to code and also grumbles a lot. He also Tweets a bit as @soumyadip.
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