Early Sunrise Early Sunset - Tales of a solo woman traveler across North East India

Preface About The Book Title

‘Traveling is not something you are good at. It’s something you do like breathing.’ What initially started as work (Researching about the lesser known destinations in the north-east India) quickly transformed into my passion; and it was then that I knew this wanderlust within me was unstoppable. Also, being a woman with a family to take care of, I always wanted to break the stereotype of our prevailing patriarchal society with the fact that a woman can very well follow her dreams even after getting married. It always gives me a sense of pride and honour to have a supporting husband, mother in law and daughter who very well understands me and my goals as a woman solo traveller. With such a loving family by my side, I am very proud to being able to share my enthralling north-east experiences with everyone via my upcoming book “Early Sunrise Early Sunset”.

The book will cover my expedition to the Eastern India states including the seven sisters, Chhattisgarh, Sikkim, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orrisa. I couldn’t have given more justice to the title of this book if not this. Talking about India specifically, Arunachal Pradesh lies on the easternmost tip whereas Gujarat lies on the westernmost tip of the country. Therefore, people living in Arunachal Pradesh are the first one to witness the sunrise across India (around 2 hours early than that of Gujarat) i.e. they have already started with their daily chores at 4:30 AM while the people in the rest of the India are still in their bed having a sound sleep. I wasn’t sure either, when at first my driver asked me to be ready by 4:30 AM the next day. But surprisingly, the markets and shops were all open by 5 in the morning.

Also, since the people of East India start their day much earlier than the rest of the people in the country, they are again the first one to end their day. So, whenever you decide to visit eastern India, you won’t find many of the tourist places open for visitors beyond 4 or 5 PM as it starts getting dark by then. This reminds me of an incident when I was in outskirts of Kohima in Nagaland. It was during one December evening that I received a call from my daughter’s school bus coordinator in Bangalore. He called to inform that he would be dropping my daughter at home a bit late than her usual timings. Since it was all dark by then, I got really scared of the fact that my daughter wasn’t home yet. However, as soon as I checked the time in my wrist watch, I realised that I was in North East and which is why it was all dark outside at 4:15 PM only.

What next boosted my confidence to pen down my entire voyage was the rare sight of matrilineal society in India, which only prevails in Meghalaya. Here, women are the head of the family and they are the one responsible to earn a living to support their families. It came to my utter surprise that the entire north-east was quite different in terms of culture from the rest of India. The fact that it is the safest part of the India for women to live always make me fall harder for this place. Yes, be it 4 in the morning or late in the evening, women can easily roam around without any fear of her safety. My visit to the world’s only women run market in Imphal- Ima Keithel Women’s Market is very well mentioned in detail in the book and I am sure the readers will love to know more about this woman oriented state of India.

This entire journey in the development of “Early Sunrise Early Sunset” was no easy and hope to reach a milestone where I can actually be able to make people well aware of the undiscovered beauty and diverse culture of the East India by sharing my experiences in a form of a book!

About The Book

Early Sunrise Early Sunset is my tribute to three emerging trends – Rise of North East India , Online Tourism Sector and Growing participation of Women in travel to self explore. The book journeys through my own personal solo travel experiences meandering through 7 sisters , Sikkim, West Bengal, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and our neighbouring countries over a period of last 7 years. It is a true reflection of – Moments I spent in exploring the attractions of these hinterlands, Impressions I gathered meeting in person with plenty of native people , Knowledge I gained staying in authentic Home stays, Hotels and Resorts over long durations, Interactions I ventured during long transits from fellow leisure or business travellers and Feelings of liberation I absorbed as an individual woman venturing in green tribal terrains of North East and East India. I hope this book will bring this region more closer to rest of India on tourism map.

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