I woke up early morning and went to the terrace to get a view of the village. Those pangs, withdrawal symptoms were showing up.. Two more nights to go.. Bhim woke up and we went down for breakfast.
As we were getting ready, we got the news that Piyush was leaving for Guwahati as he had a family emergency. Ratan had informed us to pack up and be set to go to Dzuleke village.
Bhim and I were ready and we waited outside the inn waiting for the others. We were chatting with Victor and Nhizo- the manager of the inn. Nhizo lived in Delhi and other places and came back to his home village and Victor was teasing him. Both were pulling each other’s legs and it was fun to watch.
Srini mentioned that Munsang was from Ao tribe so I asked Victor about it. Victor said they were considered an advanced tribe as they were very educated, progressed faster than other tribes. Nhizo’s wife was from Ao even though he was an Angami. Victor did mention that inter tribe marriages were ok, even outsiders were allowed to marry into the tribes. Same clan was not allowed.
Victor had given me a bunch of tulsi leaves I asked for and I was grateful for it. We also thanked him for the rice beer as he got it from his home. We wanted to pay him, but he put his hand on his heart and said, you are our guests, I don’t sell this. We are not allowed to sell and we don’t believe in it. I am happy you enjoyed it. This what I mean by their hospitality. Ratan had mentioned that Nagas were not only hardworking, their hospitality was unmatched compared to other north eastern states and we were seeing it. Saying our Goodbyes to them, we made our way to Dzuleke.
Let me stop here and remind you about that night, by the bonfire where different people from different backgrounds and thought processes came together and had an amazing time. It was in this beautiful remote village untouched by connectivity.
I truly wish I could describe that day in Dzuleke. A village of just 40 families, absolute quietness and stillness. It would in a year or so fall into connectivity and I was glad we could visit it now before everything changes. Ratan, Bhim and I meandered towards the vast fields, crossing a stone bridge and sat away from the rest of the group.
Abhishek – who worked with Ratan and a young girl Avantika who was travelling solo in Nagaland for a month and was going to study sustainable architecture in Kohima sat with us. She was distant initially, as she quoted Karl Marx, capitalism as evil, as Bhim and she debated. The guido Vhizo was humorous. He was a fantastic host as we had a delicious lunch at his house perched high up in the village.
That morning, that afternoon, that evening was an other worldly feeling by itself. Time stood still. The rest of the group were chalking out their own way. Some were leaving that afternoon, others in different directions the next day. Bhim and I isolated ourselves from the group and took a walk just when the sun was about to set. We got beautiful huts next to each other. Mona, one of the girls from the group would be with me that night. Ratan was sharing the next hut with Bhim.
I remember speaking to Bhim about perceptions, about how something can be so misconstrued and misunderstood even though the intent is truly not that. As we came back to the hut, it was completely silent. Then we saw it.. The colours of the sky.. From yellows to blazing oranges to an outer world Pink. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the pics and no filter was used.
My hut had a living room with logs of wood and the lady had already started the fire. We sat closer to the fire, adding logs and blowing it with the iron pipe. Just then the gang descended. Avantika was back to her cheery self, Ratan, Abhishek, Vhizo joined in. They drove to the next village and of course got Rice Beer. 😊
Smoking, talking and enjoying the moment. We had a lovely Bangladeshi couple joining us later. The debate between Bhim and Avantika was getting louder while Ratan was I think, kind of trying to diffuse the situation. All I did was sit with Vhizo and make fun of them😊
I told Vhizo, these three are the 3 big nations ok? They are constantly fighting thinking they are right, we two are tiny nations whose future and safety depends on them and we have no say except watch them and suffer in silence. Abhishek and Runsaaf- the Bangladeshi were the cool guys smoking up by the fire and not caring- They were Canada wondering what kind of fools these nations were. And last but not least was Runsaaf’s wife sitting in middle of all this. United Nations – UN doing nothing about it! 😁
Vhizo and I had fun commenting on the entire scenario! I have no idea how time passed. It was super fun. I had a lovely chat with Vhizo, he was speaking about his family. His 5 year old son was staying in Dimapur along with his grandparents. Most of the children from Dzuleke studied in Kohima or Dimapur. There were no children in the village. His son played the Ukulele and he had a performance in Dimapur next week and Vhizo was going. Amazing right? I remember the way he spoke about a guitar and what it does to him. He even quoted a line from AC/DC😊.
The lady of the homestay got us casseroles with food and kept it on the table. We had a late dinner and called it a night. And I feel the only reason we split is because the firewood got over and it got very cold.
Mona was hanging out with the guys from the group so she came back around the same time I hit the bed. We chatted a bit and she narrated an incident which she and her friends experienced during Diwali. Getting swindled out of a lakh of rupees by phone! It was hilarious and this gal had a sense of humour, she was laughing at it and at their stupidity. I remember laughing till my stomach hurt!
Tomorrow we would head to Dimapur and I would finally get to meet Mungsang.