Shillong is a perennially overcast city tucked away in the hills of the North-East. If you are looking for a destination where you can be truly invisible, this just the place for you. This is an ideal spot for the ones looking to escape the banalities of everyday life. The city has a wonderfully laid back air that makes one happily oblivious to ‘deadlines’ and other infernal things that dominate our existence. This placidity permeates into everyday existence that stepping into Shillong, the urgency to get things done will vanish.

It is a place where life is ruled by the vagaries of the weather. There are days that one could experience all seasons within a span of twenty-four hours; sunny mornings, thunderstorms by mid-day, gloomy afternoons, warm evenings and bitterly cold nights. Situated just 30 km away from Mawsynram, one of the wettest places on Earth, Shillong get more than its fair share of rainfall.

The charm of Shillong lies in the beautiful nooks and crannies in the outskirts.

Find a nice cottage or homestay away from the bustle of the main city, take out that stash of books you’ve been meaning to read for ages, get a nice cup of coffee, and read away. Stay warm and snug when it rains. Venture out to bask in the post-rain glow radiating all around when there’s a respite from the downpour. Stepping outside, it will look as though the plants are on a sugar rush.

If the call of civilization is too strong, you can explore the many quaint cafes in the city for a quiet lunch or dinner. There is a lot on the palate for the musically inclined.

Dylan’s cafe, in particular, is one of a kind.

This cafe has a wonderful playlist. Beatles, Pink Floyd, Simon and Garfunkle, and of course, Bob Dylan. Sitting there and sipping on their signature milkshakes will get you high and chirpy in no time.

The Evening Club, on the other hand, has the propensity to shift you into a melancholic reflective state if you are predisposed to that. This sparsely populated pub with dim lighting and beautiful mahogany tables is a great place for deep conversations if you have company.

There is an elegant subtlety to this place that wraps you in a delicate bubble of self-absorption.

This place also has live performances every evening and a great Sangria.

A trip to Shillong is for the souls craving a bit of solitude and a break from the grinding routine. This place can offer you a wonderful retreat into yourself to catch up with your reading and spend some quality time with the people you are with. The internet connectivity there is at best erratic and that is not bad at all. You will still be connected to the world outside but minimally. Sometimes, that all we need.

Also read: A travel guide to Meghalaya, the land in the clouds

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