In The Inspiration For Earthbound, Ideas and Inspiration and The Cloud Kingdom, I acquainted you with one of the most beautiful places I have visited in India and the how the place inspired me to integrate a great deal about it in my first novel that I wrote 1.5 years ago.
In this post, I will basically write about a place where I spent a couple of lazy summer afternoons with my cousin eating dark chocolate, almonds and coffee ice-cream, and not wanting to return back to my city life back in Calcutta. It was the summer of 2011 and my second visit to Shillong, Meghalaya, the place where my father was born and educated before he moved out to study metallurgical engineering.
Here is the article I wrote a while ago presented in it’s original form without further personal annotations.
Nestled amidst towering old conifers; lies an iconic structure and a testament to Meghalaya’s colonial past; the Golf Club, a symbolic rendition of the exclusivity of the city’s colourful culture coupled with it’s warm, breathtaking landscape.
A walk around the golf course on a mid-summer’s day fills you with warmth as your feet rub against a carpet of pine cones and you hear the needles rustling the foliage of the pine groves as they slip through great lengths and assemble underneath in all their glory. The chill in the cool, crisp air and the vapors rising from your mouth fill you with a sense of eternal well being.
After the World War I, as golf gained popularity in India; the present 18 hole golf course was officially inaugurated in 1924 as a resort to invite European golfers from Bengal. Golf was initially brought to Shillong way back in 1898 by some British civil servicemen and a 9 hole golf course was constructed in Laban, a small distance from the present Golf course.
In winters, there is an icy spell of wintry drizzle that creates one of the major challenges to the golfers apart from the fact that the landscape is hugely undulating with a thick carpet of strong native grass spread over it’s 6,100 yards. The sixth hole is 594 yards and is a very trying one. The ninth hole is a sharp angled dog leg of 372 yards, par four is another challenge.
The Golf Course provides a very picturesque view of the valley with it’s hardened mountain soil and colourful local settlements with their sloping roof tops dazzling in the sun and their narrow winding roads. after a long game of golf, the clubhouse perfects your experience as you sip a delicate brew of indigenous tea surrounded by conifer groves and rhododendron bushes feeling the calmness rushing through your veins, your worries slipping off your shoulders, the ethereal sense of being one with nature, harmoniously blended with it’s benign existence while watching perhaps another game in progress. It is truly a great way to enjoy your sport while being enveloped in nature’s beauty and abundance.
It is quite possible, P.G. Wodehouse might have loved to have Bertram Wooster and all the other eggs, beans and crumpets play a game of golf at the club while there was some serious bets being laid in the backdrop.
A game of golf can be quite challenging as one has to negotiate a sudden spell of icy rain over an undulating and tough valley in one of the most scenic and beautiful golf courses in India situated just a few miles from the shadow of the mountain, the Valley of Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on the planet.
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