The Secret Behind Shillong’s Betting Dreams


The Secret Behind Shillong’s Betting Dreams

Illustration: Cleon Dsouza


t is a pleasant, windy Sunday afternoon. Bara Bazaar, Shillong’s biggest market, sprawled on a luxuriant hilltop is abuzz with activity: At one end congenial Khasi women sell betel leaves and an array of spices – brown, yellow, and red powders that smell like heaven – and at the other end grump butchers and fishmongers go about their business. Patrons struggle to make their way through this messy labyrinth, and amid this din, a group of men are catching forty winks in a squalid corner.

It’s 2 pm and they have less than an hour to catch up on their dreams; this slumberous adventure will foretell how the evening unfolds.