Flights Of Fantasy
[M Panging Pao]
Winters in Northeast, especially in Arunachal Pradesh, are a delight to experience. The weather is cool and salubrious, the air is crystal clear, you can see hundreds of kilometres up to the snow-clad mountains, and the general mood is festive and buoyant. During clear winter nights, one can spot millions of stars sparkling in the sky.
The landscape of valleys and meadows are a treat to the eyes, the numerous rivers and streams are crystal clear, and the light breezes are all-enriching to the eyes, heart and soul.
The pristine environment attracts thousands of tourists making a beeline for these spots to see and experience themselves. With the opening up of Sadiya, Bomjir and Bogibeel bridges and improvement in roads and railways, tourist inflows from neigh-bouring states and even from other countries have jumped multifold.
The salubrious weather and pristine environment attract large numbers of avid picnickers. Many picnics are organised by various families, clans, organisations, classmate groups, etc. Plentiful picnic parties from neighbouring states also can be spotted. Along the countryside, picnic parties can be spotted at most available streams, rivers or valleys. Along most roads one can spot picnic parties in hired buses and other vehicles buzzing ahead, blaring music of all kinds.
A few places experience snowfall in winters. Many tourists from neighbouring states rush to these places to see and experience snow in the mountains and valleys. Many people in the neighbouring states have never seen snowfall. Places like Tawang, Mechukha and Mayudia are attracting thousands of tourists.
Most important family or clan events like clan get-togethers, marriages and death anniversaries are organised during winter. The crystal clear waters also see an increase in tourism activities like adventure sports, river rafting, trekking etc.
Winter also sees the availability of green leafy vegetables, fresh and delicious fruits like apples, oranges, kiwis, Valencia organes, and persimmon. Flowers like dahlia, roses, petunia and marigold bloom, turning the landscape more beautiful. Enthusiasts can also spot large numbers of migratory birds from as far as Russia and Europe.
Winter is a season for festivals, parties, reunions, picnics and vacations. One can hear singing, dancing and laughter all around. Many festivals also occur during winter. Winter is the time to get cozy under blankets and warm clothes. Unlike summers, during winter, one can spot many people sitting out soaking in the warmth of the sun.
However, this winter season is a precursor to something more warming. The reason is the upcoming elections, scheduled to be held soon. Arunachal is special because both parliamentary and assembly elections are planned to be held simultaneously. With political activities heating up, Arunachalees can feel some warmth.(The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)