For the coming month and a half, I’ll be writing a series of posts which will complement the campaign of a ‘just launched’ Indian personal grooming brand – Cinthol. This blog has agreed to participate, intrigued by the creative concept underlining the campaign.
Alive is Awesome, as the campaign is so called, deals with showcasing the offbeat art of adventure bathing. Imagine a stressful week at work, unable to meet deadlines or assignments. All you can wait for is the weekend, where you can relax in the comfort of your home, and spend as much time you need under a cool shower. But wait! What if instead of heading home to the same bathroom you use daily, why not head to a nearby waterfall, to the river in the woods, or to that secret ocean hideout – and immerse yourself in the freshness of natural water. This is what an Alive is Awesome Bathing experience is about – an escape, an adventure, much more than just a mere bath under a mechanic shower.
Sweet memories, it is easy to remember the times in my life when I went splashing water in the outdoors. The most recent of such an adventure was this summer when to run away from the unbearable heat of the Indian plains, I left for the Khasi Hills in Meghalaya, taking the road less traveled to reach the village of Mawlynnong. Considered as the rainiest and wettest region in the world, Meghalaya is where monsoon plays its magic; shaping much wonders in the region’s landscape – such as countless known and hidden waterfalls and caves. Mawlynnong is located in the south of Meghalaya, in foothills that overlook the Bangladesh plains, and is considered as the cleanest village of Asia.
The journey turned out to be blessed, for as soon I reached the hills, dark clouds welcomed me and for the first time in weeks I felt cool air calm down my irritated senses. Soon there were thunders followed by rain, and I couldn’t help myself open the windows of the shared taxi I was in, feeling fresh droplets of water saturate my dehydrated soul. Some of the passengers were annoyed, but then there were some who seemed to savor the rain as much as I did. By the time I reached Mawlynnong, it was evening, but late in this remote village. I met up with Vicki who’d agreed to guide me, and he showed me to the coziness of my room. Sleep was easy to come; the thunder and rain of monsoons acting as a sedative.
The next few days turned out to be wonderful. Not only did I find Mawlynnong to be extremely clean and pretty, it is the Khasi tribal people of the village who fascinated me the most with their infectious charm. I went wandering to nearby villages, chatted up with new found friends, but mostly relaxed in the soothing ambiance of this faraway and hidden gem of a village. The most relieving of experiences occurred in the afternoons, when I, Vicky and a few village children would hike our way to a natural stream little far from the village. Dressed only in a towel, as soon we’d reach, the kids would shed their inhibitions and jump naked into the flowing cold water. Surrounded midst dense green vegetation like one of those photogenic hideouts found in travel magazines, the stream also has a waterfall little upstream which made the whole experience even more delighting. The fresh natural mountain water felt rejuvenating and I even massaged my back standing under the beating water of the fall. So, for two hours every afternoon, we would be in this hidden stream having a gala of a time – splashing water everywhere, throwing each other here and there. It was the joy of summers – the simple pleasure of jumping in natural water and spending as long as you can being wet – and eventually turning into a free and careless fish. Definitely, it was times when being alive felt awesome.
The days passed quickly, and soon I had to leave the village that I had grown fond of. Though the drive back home was pleasant, the idea of having to face the summers again was least welcoming. But luckily, it started raining in the plains by the time I arrived. The monsoon had traversed along with me; and had brought a part of Mawlynnong to the plains.
Author – Vaivhav Todi