20 June 2006
The Bumpy Ride
Most villages in Nagaland have two simple syllables, things like Ka, Ko, Ta, To... followed by a Ma or Wa... Kisama, Khonoma, Longwa, Tofema... like that... anyway, after a taste of see-the-artificial-tribal-huts at Kisama, we decided to go to a real village - Khonoma. The driver decided to take a shortcut, which had countless sharp stones popping out of the entire 20 odd km of slushy mud road and potholes were liberally strewn everywhere. The ride was so bumpy that I had an erection 20 minutes into the drive.
Khonoma was pretty. I wonder why film producers don't shoot lead-pair-running-around-trees videos in such villages, instead of Swiss meadows. We walked a bit, with Paulo dropping early hints on her dislike for any form of physical activity, walking in particular... anyway, more on that later.
The skies are perpetually dark and gloomy. Rain is a regular occurence. People go about their work paying little attention to the rain. We took shelter in a wooden house under construction. Supong never used his phone to make calls or send messages. He was really irritated with Reliance because they refused to allow outgoing calls once his balance became negative. Anyway, if he wasn't playing some ringtone, he would be taking aim at Paulo to click pictures. Mostly the latter. He told Joy and me, but not Paulo, about his his girlfriend. Anyway, Paulo thought he (too) was sweet.
We got a local SIM card for my mobile, which was valid in the 7 Northeastern states. So Supong would message his girlfriend from our phone. We couldn't refuse, nor could we resist eavesdropping. While we redefined frugality while using the limited balance, the writer in Supong came out through our phone. One particular message deserves special mention... 750 characters long, with exceptional attention to spelling, grammar and punctuation... he ended the message saying "This is my friends' phone. They have balance, so i am using it."
Anyway, Supong did take really good care of us, putting in much effort to ensure that we're happy with what we experienced. But for him, we would've had a rough time.