The journey into the night | Milaap

The journey into the night

[caption id="attachment_7466" align="alignnone" width="2000"]Champhai at 4am. Champhai at 4am. [/caption] One evening while going back to hostel from office I could not help but realize the ironic presence of the damp wind under the sunshine at dusk. It was trembling but making its existence felt. I too was walking on the brink of some sort of bewilderment, touching the rather yellow grass of uncertainties with my bare feet when I stumbled into the tunnel of memories. The moment your heart starts journeying in reverse, you long for familiarity, you yearn to see those known faces, and you remember those annoying smiles which you realize are more precious than you thought. In such intricate situations your heart pushes you towards yourself, triggering you to do what you love as that’s the only way out. I grabbed the shown way and ventured into a night journey to a town called ‘Champhai’. Booking a mere ticket could be task in a land where the majority does not speak the languages you understand. I asked something, they responded something else, they nodded at my questions and I tried answering all their answers. And then we come down to just words and fall further to gestures.As we embarked the journey I was perplexed to be entering into the pitch dark road with a vast void on one side and a green, steep hill on the other. Squeezed in my seat in a Tata Sumo I was constantly trying to decipher everybody’s expressions. Now the beam of the vehicle’s headlight started unfolding the narrow road. One can feel the voidness beside the road when headlights would pierce into dark nothingness. I was finally finding solace in the familiar feeling of unknown. After half an hour driving through the spiral road I looked back and found a hill studded with diamonds, embellished with richness and shimmering in the dark like an upside-down crescent moon, it was Aizawl. We must have traveled for 20 minutes more when the driver stopped the car on one side of the road. I paused the music to know what’s happening; there was pin drop silence, suddenly the lady beside me started murmuring something, I was startlingly looking at them unable to understand until they unanimously said “Amen!”. The road to ‘Champhai’ showed me some unbelievable customs and practices. I experienced kindness and trust in the most palpable form. As the road is quite narrow and not much accessible, there are small stalls at different points which are opened 24*7, the most beautiful thing is that these shops do not have any keepers. There is usually a price board and a money box. Travelers journeying through the road from Aizawl to Champhai often stop by to shop for fruits and vegetables and drop the money into the box. I had heard about these ‘Nghahloh Dawr’ but seeing this experiment of trust was an immense delight.[caption id="attachment_7467" align="alignnone" width="2000"]The gifted plain land of Champhai, Mizoram The gifted plain land of Champhai, Mizoram[/caption]The journey was long and tiring but my eyes did not rest and were in constant commotion to capture as much possible. At 1 in the night we halted at an eatery in some small village to have some thingpui (local tea) and snacks. Two beautiful girls must be in their early twenties were managing the shop at midnight in this godforsaken place, my heart was rejoiced to experience the sheer equality in gender roles. In another two hours I was in ‘Champhai’ which means plain land. ‘Champhai’ has the largest plain, cultivatable fields in Mizoram. The driver of the taxi didn’t leave until I checked in the hotel. I was overwhelmed by the night journey that went through not just treacherous roads but through confusions, kindness, trust and understanding. The sun had started rising up and the sky was splashed in multicolor fading away the stars. My sleep had gone again for rest and I rather decided to watch the romanticism of sun and the mountains.