It is one of those places which makes my eyes big and curious. It smells both like death and life at the same time. The butcher chops a goat with his big meat axe. He is precise and powerful. No plastic wrapping. Only raw nature. My Indian friend is embarrassed. “We don`t have fancy super markets like yours in the west”, he says. “Our markets are very primitive”. But for me, this is how a food market should be. It is not only because of the exotic impression. I simply fancy fresh food in no branded packing. It is honesty. The visit to the meat market in Darjeeling not only made me understand where the food come from. It made me aware where I come from.
That´s right, Cherrapunji in northeast India is the most rainiest place on planet earth. Well, at least it have been so several years. Ironically the same place is really scarce of water in winter time. Like when I was there in january 2015- Cherrapunji was dry as a cookie (I was almost disappointed). However, the monsoon with its seasonal wind brings serious amount of water to the area and the sky opens up for six month long wet t-shirt party. With its deep rocky valleys Cherrapunji gives the impression of being on a different planet. This include “Nohkalikai”, which with its colossal 340 meters is Indias tallest waterfall. In other words, Cherrapunji is holding two natural records and this kind of feauters make the place famous. Cherrapunji is hard to get to, but if you are in the northeast of India, it´s certainly worth a visit.
My friend Bijoy kindly ask me to sit down. “In Tripura we have a saying that the guest is a god” he explains, “even if people are poor and food are limited, tripuri people will share as much as they can in order to take care of their guests”.
Tripura is one of the “seven sisters” states in north east India. We are in Jampuijala, the home village of Bijoy´s wife, Mina. Most of the houses are made of mud, and are surrounded by greenery, fruit trees and vast plains of ricefields.
It is still early in the morning. The small remote village is covered by fog, the cock crows and we are wrapping shawls around our bodies to keep warm. The fresh ray of sun hits the steam twirling from the cups. Mina serves hot chai tea with a humble smile.
I am absolutely not a god, but I certainly feel like one in Tripura.