Unlike Meghalaya, in Japan cherry blossom culture is “natural”, it has been celebrated, in some form or the other, over hundreds of years. It didn’t grow out of a need to impress tourists or to be an “international” PR event. “International” is the new buzz word which hurts my ears! And then I have to ask, why cherry blossoms? Why not ‘sohphoh’ blossoms? (a member of the apple family found widely in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills) Those blossoms are quite beautiful as well. At least the hardy and indigenous ‘sohphoh’ gives you fruits as well. Many locals use it to make jams, preserves and ciders as well so I am for the ‘non-international sohphoh’.
The Greatest Festival of the Pnars is here and here’s a chance for the Khynriam, Bhoi, War etc to know their Pnar brethren a little better. Do forgive us, if you knew them rather well already.
It is inarguably impossible to follow up a festival which had The Wailers and Megadeth as the headline acts. However NH7 attempted to do that this year by bringing Steven Wilson, formerly of Porcupine Tree, to Shillong. The progressive/alternate messiah. The tripper of minds. The maestro of melancholia.