September 2016, like every year I went for my annual pilgrimage to the Ziro music festival (Arunachal Pradesh). Yesterday was the last day of the festival this year. The amount of regret I felt in the last couple of days for not being able to reach there, is something that I never experienced before.
Ziro receives about 900 cms of rainfall every year, this makes the entire valley a slushy-muddy place. The importance of gumboots is something you’ll understand only once you reach here. Though the people here, especially the locals are so friendly and helpful to clear my path as it’s almost impossible for me to walk around. I get like special privileges of pitching the tent inside the festival ground, I am the only one who is allowed to enter on a bike or car like a VIP.
Last year, after the final performance of Sapta followed by Bint el Funk, I was waiting near the main exit for my friend to get the bike and pick me up. One of the volunteers, his name was Byayi. He saw me standing on the side of the trail where there was no place to sit but slush all around. He went running and brought me a chair. Though I was feeling a bit awkward sitting on a chair while people happy-high on Apong (A Local rice/millet bear) and music, passing by looking at me curiously. Byayi noticed it, he went running again and appeared in like in a minute with another chair and sat next to me and said: “Let me give you company brother”. This gesture was probably the most heartwarming thing ever happened to me. I met all sort of people in my life, the sympathetic ones, some being genuinely curious that why I even left the house and travelling, some people just be over-friendly to impress the opposite-sex species around, some call me a great person who is “enjoying life” despite being a cripple. I’ve experienced this innumerable times that I could easily reckon the genuinity of it. Undoubtedly, what Byayi did will always be in my memories.
Sharing some of the moments ZFM 2016. Check it out.