At a distance of around 50 km from Shillong, with gorges, waterfalls, fog, mist and the inevitable clouds kissing its narrow, winding roads, Cherrapunjee surely blows your mind away. But hold, there’s more to this place than its scenic beauty. A travel writer describes it thus: “Every time I return to Cherrapunjee in non-monsoon days, I am struck by the disparity between the image that the place has in most people’s mind and the reality that is before my eyes.”
It’s called the rain capital of the world with an annual rainfall of up to 2,000 cm. But what I see before me is the ultimate irony: women and children trekking long distances to fetch drinking water, bone-dry barren hillsides and huge gorges.