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Irreverent Shillong was the capital of colonial and post-Independence Assam (which embraced almost the whole Northeast) until 1972, when it became capital of the newly carved-out state of Meghalaya. Since then it has developed some accoutrements of a typical modern Indian town, including a lot of concrete and some urban sprawl, but it retains some old-time charm in certain pockets – and a strong sense of individuality and difference, with its many Christian churches and its residents' tastes for hanging out in cafes, playing and watching rock music and football, driving around in spruced-up automobiles and gambling on archery. The heart of town is Police Bazar (PB to locals) where seven roads meet at a hectic roundabout.

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