The drive through the mountains today was very scenic, although the roads were not very good. Our average speed was low despite not much traffic. However, the breathtaking scenery around made us stop frequently for photo ops!
In the middle of the jungle road between Kohima and Touphema an army jeep overtook us and asked us to stop. Out stepped armed army men. We were not sure why we were stopped. Then the “boss” stepped out and came towards us with a smile. He asked us, “Your car number board says you are from Tamil Nadu!”. When we said yes, he said, “What the hell are you doing here?”… so we told him our mission.
We were surprised to learn that he was Col. Sudhan from Tamil Nadu, posted here, and was in charge of bomb disposal in the insurgency area. He spoke to us for a while, we took pictures with him, he gave us his private mobile phone number and asked us to call him if we had any difficulty at any time and also warned us that we were in the middle of the most insurgency infested area and asked us to be careful!
Origin: Imphal, in Manipur
Destination: Tuophema, in Nagaland
Distance Covered: 173 kms
Tuophema Tourist Village is a one of a kind community supported facility in Tuophema Village. We were entertained to music by the Angami Ladies. Their music is totally related to the work they do. The ladies sang the “weaving song”. They sing as a group while they separate cotton from the seed, gin it, fluff it, spin it and reel it, all as they sing. Next they entertained us with rice pounding songs. They sing as they pound rice and make it into flour.
We were told that these were dying arts and there was no next generation to carry it forward. These were the last of the Angami tribal ladies who know to do the works and sing the songs.