So this was around 13 years back, when I was in Employment and new comer in Telecom Industry, was working for a giant operator in Assam & North East Region. At that time, new guys were given opportunity to travel most adventurous places in North-East because experienced one were aware about the risks of those places and they could deny.
Amazing trip started by Train from Guwahati to Dimapur, I was accompanied by one more fellow and prepared ourselves for further journey from Dimapur to Mon. We have been provided with Car for further journey, Got our Inner Line Permits from Dimapur to Enter Mon. We started early morning with plans to reach Sonari in Sibsagar district Assam by Evening and stayed at Sonari. By reaching Sonari, we could realize the risks and adventures we were about to face next day.
Real journey starts from here, we started from Sonari towards Mon that was around 55 Km on hills, we crossed Assam Border and were welcomed by Nagaland Police check Post, they checked our documents and ILP, asked about our purpose of visit and advised us to be safe and careful. Few tens of Kms and we heard sounds firings, a Police Patrolling Team stopped us for an hour and let us go when sounds of firing stopped, they gave us another piece of advice that do not stop car for unknown people. We came to know this firing was between two Tribes.
Finally we reached the beautiful destination Mon in afternoon, did our work and started back journey to Sonari early evening so that we could cross Nagaland before sun sets. We entered our hotel room in Sonari, my fellow was not willing to go Mon again to complete the work but I agreed him to travel next day with our Bags and to stay at Mon till we complete our work. Lets talk about the Mon a bit. Mon is a historic town of Nagaland, known for the Konyak Tribe warriors were also called head hunters. Cutting heads of their rivals and hanging them in their home premises was a matter of pride and bravery for them once. Longwa is a large village in Mon that is exactly half in Nagaland and half in Myanmar. Konyak Tribe was known as the most dangerous tribe of the world.
So we started again next day with our plans to stay in Mon, reached there and found a kind of home stay known as guesthouse. Checked in there, rent was surprisingly high but we had no choice. We have been told this is the safest and nicest place to stay in Mon Town, many tourists/ Foreigners come here for work and vacations. We were terrified, which hell kind of tourists that too foreigner would come here on vacations, on my another trip to Nagaland in another town I realized we were actually foreigners for them when people asked are you coming from India.
Anyway we have been asked about our lunch, hesitantly we demanded for pure vegetarian food unsure about what they will offer. We have been provided with Dal, Rice and Naga style boiled vegetables in slight curry without any spices. One doubt was cleared now that when we ask for pure vegetarian food in Nagaland, we will be offered only veg with extra caution. We completed most of our work that day and came back to rest in our guest house in Mon.
Next day we were well prepared to complete our work and leave Mon by afternoon, we had only work left at Mon Village up on the hills about 3 Km from our guest house, there we went and met the village king. Village King in Nagaland these days as well have their own authority, respect and pride. Village king was the person kind of appearance in above picture precisely the head hunter. I talked to him through a local translator, of course initiating talks with him was even horrifying but it went well. He was very pleased to know that we are there for providing them mobile services, he was well convinced that we were there for their development. We have been given due respect from the King of village itself , I was delighted. We completed our rest of work there and left from there with mixed emotions of relief, excitement and happiness.
It was not only a travel experience but life experience as well. First lets talk about the people. Naga people are believed to be hunters, many people talk that they eat dogs. Let me clear this not every Naga eat dogs and even if they eat and you ask for vegetarian food they will serve you with extra care and precaution. They are trustworthy, if they have accepted you no matter what they can shed their blood for you. This adventurous trip was highly loaded with thrill and fear as well initially, while writing this I could feel goosebumps. I learned from this journey that unless you spent real time with any person you can’t judge about them. And fear is only fear till you haven’t faced them.
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