alt-shillong ver 3.2a

finally an incomplete anthology of poetry from shillong is here… and still a work in progress

robin s ngangom
kynpham singh nongkynrih
desmond kharmawphlang

tarun bhartiya
pijush dhar
ananya guha
simanta bhattacharjee
nabnita kanungo

nongniah kali

To be added
bevan swer, don ryntathiang, anjum hasan…

And also an academic sort of polemic from someone called Prasanta Das on Shillong Poets. Three political pieces on hawker evictions, minimum wages and that popular theme corruption(in two parts 1 & 2). A guide to Uranium mining.

[looking for some pieces to link or reproduce on that idiotic notion rock capital. some shillong reviews of recent novels. thinking of a series on scamsters and frauds of shillong… put your contributions in comment and we would move it around]


17 Responses

  1. watch youtube vid before reading or vice versa
    A fellow Nongniah Kali told me about this clip of this guy who came to shillong for a leading international channel. so like i find most of the tips on how to assemble my broken Karbrator and Betri, i youtubed it.
    it begins with the quintessential representation of what india is supposed to be through the eyes of a doh lieh. the sadhus, the red sunset etc etc you get the picture.we then shift to our police bazar and we have our traveller meeting a “local guide” (refer video) whose probably the pimpest looking guide ive ever seen anywhere and who has a striking resemblance to a local entrepreneur who runs a night club in town.
    so the general blah blah about this place being the rock capital (refer video) with an overdose of really sad metaphors begins and then the costume change where our phareng friend is adorned with a leather jacket etc etc(just like amit pal was with the jymphong but just a different brand of clothing this time kein)
    later when the rest of the city is now asleep or forced to because of the load shedding, the party begins at the night club where the guide was also seen and the many rockers present there start flaunting their skills or lack of. the first of course was our very own mascot of that beatnik from the west-two sock i just waxed my legs but forgot to have a bath louie and the usual suspects.
    of which the most intriguing was our very own rangdajied who was as usual getting angry in falsetto and trying his level best to “snatch the sword” at the night club (from whom is a good question although i believe it was half attempted to be explained by the admins of this blog years ago when the rangdajied album was released. some say the admin has gone cuckoo trying to understand their material)
    and of course how could you not have our very own respected and most honourable i shall suck on anything if it looks like a bong and click on any flower thats talking to me and once upon a time member of the administration whose book i once ate aloo muri from telling the doh lieh that we required a band from australia whose performative equivalence is that of B4u capsule to come bring us!!
    music is not the common thread that unites us all. the injustice that a major section of people from this region face when they do not know a bah “burom” (familiar?) or a kong heh at the sketriat is often discussed at our very own islands and on a subconscious level is probably the only link that unites us all (for a very short period of time)

    where do local bands play in shillong these days?? where were the fete shnongs where real rockers threw their first punches and received even more and also experienced their first mosh pits(barit kein) and at the same time hear for the first time paranoid, trooper, breaking the law,Symphony of doesnt that sound more rock capital(!!!) not some corporate band whose been asked before going on stage not to say the word fuck or they wont win a hero honda or a government sponsored event on republic day where a flatulence(read famous girl band) plays RATM’s “killing in the name” when the nation in itself is responsible for the genocide in conflict ridden areas.

    another funny thing is bringing these have been bands or doh liehs on musical instruments in town and exploiting us under the context of good music. who the fuck has heard of diemonds anyways????????!!!A fellow Nongniah Kali(dont i just have many??) aptly said that shillong is the rock gutter of the world and i must agree although i dislike him because hes one of those with the new MPFI engines that he revs everytime i pass him on the crowded streets of shillong.

  2. I was waiting for them, I expected them to come in a Maruti or a nice bike considering HIV positives (according to a local “consultancy agent”) were supposed to get Rs12,000 worth of benefits per month. Then maybe go driving around town like the good ol days and have a whisky while listening to Megadeth on the car tape(not stereo for you pimp my ride that daddy bought from the govt tender money wannabes) So after a long wait, i finally see familiar looking faces. I asked them why the fuck they took so long, (vini palazo is almost closed and i’m absconding from keating road kong coz a friend of mine hasn’t paid her yet ). They had Rs15 amongst the three of them and the cab fare from where they stayed to where we were supposed to meet was Rs 15 as well. So being foresighted, they decided to save it for the whisky that we were supposed to have. No car and only Rs 25( i had ten bucks), we decide to hit the parking lot in Laimu and not do the ole in out but to get ourselves a half of pogo. So we paid homage to my old school (that recently was in the papers because some kid threw some other kid off the balcony) and slowly emptied the poly bag. There is a reason why they call it ‘khor’ alright. I do not intend to sound penguinly kynphamish or was that someone else now?
    We smoked a cigarette and started talking about old parties and drives and old flames and the town (don’t want to be too detailed, stuff like that is publishable, some search party might be dispatched and someone might just land up repenting writing stuff ) and finally about life and how fucked up it was, how we all fucked up,got fucked and are still fucked(fucked is saccch a bootifool ward in the english like a telehinduvangalist once said). The khor started to hit hard and now i was at my blunt best. “How the fuck do you guys manage man?”
    “Were all gonna die one day” was one answer “Its just a cycle, I’m gonna be born again as a beautiful sunset(after many sips and more tokes)” was another. The last was just stupid “I can’t manage.I need money man”. I mean come on man, I’m writing about you dude-gimme some juice man,spice it up at least, gimme that stop aids keep the promise stuff. I hated this guy. Cynical twat.
    The alcohol was over. Drunk and horny, we all decided to go meet one our old flames we were talking about. I would have to walk for half and hour to meet my flame and its starting to get hot in this city. Think. Think. Think. Got hard. I started walking.
    Thinking of her in her room, will she still remember me? Jat city woman i called her after she left me for a Delhiite. Choot. But she’s in town for a few days and i don’t want to miss the oppurtunity. Oh shut up and just go to the bit where you’re at the door already.
    So I’m at the door. Pressed the bell. Checked my breath. Too late.
    “Umm what you doing here?” “To do you” the devil in my pants and in my head screamed. “To do you” I slurred. Slapped!!door shut.
    What an insult to my manhood. I could even hear it cursing. I decided to go meet one of my many charitable friends in police bazaar. She stood there with the rest of the city trying to mingle with the crowd but the one layer too thick lipstick was enough for her to stand out from the rest. I loved it.
    Smiled,winked,3 fingers scratched on my cheek,3 and a half fingers she scratched on her nose,my index finger scratched my temple and i cracked it (pay you broke), 1message received,open inbox- room 9 7slodge. I ran.
    She was already there. real magic alright.
    Lah don jrei ne iam?? fuck i forgot
    Ran downstairs the pan wallah looks around worryingly and hands me a pack. “kloi mung mama la bow”. reached for money. Shit!! Ummm think, think, think (still hard). Bow shato. Ran upstairs (some text missing) I could barely move but I’m smiling. Reached for the ashtray and smoked a half smoken cigarette. The last person ate at EC. Hate the pizza dough they use.
    “Bye, I’ll see you Monday mo.”
    Several Mondays and years later Jamaican and Afro American vegetable sellers and smokers born of well to do families mentally migrate to Shillong and employ their theory on sales and marketing of vegetables in music. It worked.
    Meghalaya has an idol. I’m looking for a vending machine. Hurry up I don’t have much time.

    • enjoyable read :))) …understood every word, maybe it has something to do with the school we went to? hated it !!! :)))

  3. Keating Road

    What do we know
    of dark places
    that fill the spaces
    between workshop
    shelves and liquor
    stores. the street
    outside bears tyre
    marks of tired lives
    stretched like grime
    under a fingernail.

    Oiled hands beneath
    dark machines
    soil sheets in rooms
    across the road, or
    press rubber pieces
    into deflated souls.
    the city lies beyond
    the gutter, a junkyard
    heap of mangled trees
    and graveyard houses.

    What do we know
    of dark places
    that fill the faces
    passing by in shuttered
    light. the road outside
    bears potholed longing,
    it secretly deepens
    with midnight feet
    and wheels that turn
    like bottle tops.

  4. Last night i watched a drama unfold on the local news as Hamlet Dohling begged, with serious conviction, the HNLC for a reason why they killed the KSU dawki unit president. N he repeated it again tell us the reason why he was killed n again n again n ended wit how cannibals who feast on each other wil only end gnawing their own foot in their mouths. Is there ANY reason why a man should b killed? Kasab took hundreds of lives mercilessly n yet he was given a fair trail. I mean what was he n the union looking for… ‘justification of murder’? N if any reason were given, would it suffice? Would the parents b consold n the ‘execution’ forgotten? The next morning HNLC PS denied having any hand in the murder n calld it state propaganda. I fear this PR facade between these two powerful organisations. There is more to their rhetoric than meets the eye n the underlying umbilical cord which binds them is awaiting a rebirth of unprecedntd proportions. Is there recognition of the validity n the authority of the HNLC in Hamlet’s question? No Manipuri wil b asking why the army raped n murdered Manorama Devi. Everyday we read how drunk members of our jaitbynriew finish each other off…drunk khasi men n women killing their spouse, uncles, in laws n anyother living thing unfortunate enough to walk into their alcoholic killing zone. Dont these so called cannibalistic acts account for anything? Or are they frighteningly outside the purview of the perceived valid institutionalised authority of the union n the council? Simply saying if we didnt do it or dont comment on it then it never happened! Finally there is no greater paradox than the self styld guardians of the jaitbynriew identifying themselves using the colonial masters language! Eg english words like Students Union, National Liberation Council or even Khasi National Durbar. Take a cue from the other states n start using ur own language Seng Samla Pule etc. P.s nga la pyrshah ia ki jingong lade da kaba thoh da phareng! Tangba ngam don bor halor u paidbah kum ba don kine ki seng.

  5. dedicated to those who died for the jaitbynriew…
    Sumar Lyngdoh, farmer, shot dead by assam police at langpih
    Anthony Marbaniang, daily labourer, shot dead by assam police at Langpih.
    Suman Das, little girl going to fetch water, burnt alive at Golflink.
    Tejbahadur Thapa, elderly cow herd, burnt alive at Ri Bhoi.

    Though we be thriving there are the ‘others’ who b dying…
    Im slem Ri Khasi!

  6. D.L
    Phi ong:”Ngam lah im kumne”
    Kane ka iing trep
    Teh da jingduk
    Sha sor shillong
    Phi la rai kut.

    Phi ong:”Ngan wan phai biang”
    Ine i iingtrep
    Kdup da jingduk
    Sukjai phi thiah
    Hala synduk.

    I D.L ila mih na shnong ban leit kamai noh ha sor. La lap ia ka met jong i na kawei ka nurum haka sor. Ym pat lap ne kem ia ki/u nongpyniap. – kum bla thoh ki kotkhubor.

  7. Physical strength and stamina is what coal miner Shyam Prasad Pokharel needs to survive in a profession like his. Living in India’s northeastern state of Meghalaya, the 60-year-old Pokharel descends a 200 feet deep pit using a jerry-built bamboo ladder to fetch coal boulders in a basket that rests on his back with the support of a belt that goes around his head. Physical strength Pokharel had. But two weeks ago, when Khasi tribals started assaulting and killing Nepali-speaking people, Pokharel needed will power and morale too to cope with the trauma.

    After the Khasis launched an all-out war against Nepali speakers, many people fled to neighbouring Assam for refuge while others like Pokharel stayed on witnessing the macabre drama unfolding. “I locked myself up in my room and kept remembering my family and praying to God for strength,” said Pokharel, who feared his turn would come anytime.

    Langpih, a village on the Meghalaya-Assam border and object of boundary dispute, was the epicentre of the Khasi-Gorkha standoff. The incident erupted there on May 14 when security personnel gunned down four Khasis for trying to attack Gorkha people. Hell broke loose after Khasis started harassing, beating and killing Nepali-speaking Gorkhas in various parts of Meghalaya to exact retribution for the Langpih killings.

    Khasi Students Union, which wields more power than political parties here, along with other student bodies warned Nepali-speakers to leave Meghalaya immediately. “It was like the 1986-87 riot when thousands of us were chased away,” said Diwakar Poudel, a shop owner at Ladrampi.

    Political undercurrent

    Some see the May 14 Langpih incident as a calculated act with sinister political motives behind it. At the centre stage: DD Lapang, Mukul Sangma and Himanta Biswa Sarma.

    Lapang, a former chief minister of Meghalaya and who is of Khasi lineage, lost the top job to Congress’ Sangma recently. Sarma, Assam’s health minister, apparently had a role in Sangma donning the chief minister’s mantle.

    It is said that Sarma is after putting uranium-rich Langih on the map of Assam. He has helped Langpih-based Gorkha people by building for them health centres and other infrastructure.When Lapang lost his job, he plotted the Langpih riot to hurt both Sarma and the new Chief Minister Sangma. Over 1,000 Khasis from different villages poured into Langpih on May 14, beating up Gorkha people there indiscriminately.

    “The incident was orchestrated by Lapang to show how weak the law and order situation has become after Sangma took over as chief minister,” said a Gorkha leader based at Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. He said the Gorkha people were being used in what was just a game of politics.

    This is not the 1980s

    Local media and those in Nepal covered the Langpih incident regularly and that pressed the Meghalaya government to contain the growing attacks against Nepali-speaking people. This was something that did not happen during the 1986-87 riot in which thousands of Nepalis were driven out of Meghalaya. A police station has been set up at Ladrampi to keep law and order. “Police and village elders told us to stay behind assuring us of security,” Toplal Bhandari said. “The Khasis even urged our landlords to expel us but the latter stood their ground.”

  8. What is this anti-national site?

  9. UP yours!!

  10. Shillong Golf Course: The new site for the Meghalaya Assembly.

    The recent controversy surrounding the site for the construction of the new assembly has prompted me to question the choice of the government and the protests that have come from all quarters. To get straight to the point; I propose that the government set their sights on the Shillong golf course as the site for the new Assembly. Firstly because of the more than abundant availability of land in the golf course. Secondly it is centrally located and at the same time a bit detached from the main heart of the city; thereby preventing any traffic jams when our legislators rush with red lights to the assembly where some of them promptly fall asleep! Thirdly, its purpose in terms of producing any prominent sports personality in the game of golf has been less than negligible; i can think of only one sports personality who won the longest drive. And we have to consider that the 18 hole golf course has been around for more than a 100 years (It was built as a 9 hole course in 1898 and upgraded to an 18 hole course in 1924). It would be a shame if in 37 years the golf course celebrates 150 years of existence and yet has not one national/international champion to show. Our boxers, long distance runners and others are making a name for themselves practising and perfecting themselves in sub standard conditions with an equal measure of sub standard assistance by the government and the state has not produced one golfing contender even with a world renowned golf course in the state. Cricket, Football, Boxing, Karate, Chess and other sports have produced their share of contenders and champions from our state but i am yet to know of any Golfing champion from our state considering that the course has been around longer than the JN Stadium. (Please note that most of the prominent sports personalities in our state come from the middle or lower class; and this has been the case even before statehood was achieved). The historical significance of the Shillong Golf Course can be reduced to the efforts and extra curricular desires of our former colonial rulers and has nothing to do with our state’s struggle for freedom and independence. Next we can ask ourselves who uses the Golf course? I leave aside the 30 minute walks/outings/romps by the middle class families and children on Sundays and holidays, people who are simply de stressing themselves; and one will find Wards Lake, Nehru Park, etc filled with (only) middle/lower class families. These families and children enjoy the wide open green space and not the Golf Course itself, that is they do not go to Golf Links to play golf. If any middle class person objects to the Golf course disappearing it would be simply for the loss of a playground for the children. If environmental concerns are bracketed into vague phrases such as ‘the green lungs’ of the city and so on; then i suggest we get rid of the wide open fields and plant trees all over the course. I am sure that this will increase the environmental significance of the golf course ten fold. If aesthethic appeal is considered then i suggest that an entry fee be charged; the course should generate revenue of its own and this revenue should go to the farmers who are struggling to buy land of their own.
    Let us examine the complete utilization of the golf course as a golf course. Tournaments are few and spread out over many years while the course remains littered with garbage, living and plastic, throughout the rest of the year when it is not ‘played’ upon. The ruling elite are the only ones who truly use the golf course and the symbolism of ‘playing golf’ as a status symbol cannot be denied taking into consideration the Army/Airforce officers/wives and the upper crust of Shillong’s elderly elite who indulge in this sport as a ‘pastime’. If the course were to be reduced from an 18 hole course to a 9 hole course as it was originally designed would that make any tremendous impact on the ‘talent’ of those who pursue this sport so diligently? Furthermore Garrson Ground is itself an 18 hole Golf Course so golfing enthusiast still have a course to go to. It is staggering to know that within 5 km of each other these two golf courses take up over 150 hectares of fertile, green, wide open land for the recreational pleasure of less than a quarter of the citys’ population.
    I am aware that this proposal of using the Shillong Golf Course will never see the light of day. The social status symbol that this sport has been grafted with is beyond the reaches of the middle or lower class. To severe the Shillong golf course from the hands of the upper and powered section of Shillong’s golfing community (who are negligible in number) would be more horrendous than say the state losing an entire forest to mining or losing its borders to its neighbours! But i hope that it will raise the question on the influence of the ruling elite; the politicians and the rich upper class of shillong society who are more influential and powerful than we dare to know. Just as the elite officers of the British Empire built this strange and alien golf course and introduced this alien sport, not indigenous to our people, and these Colonial officers defined their elite status using this sport. So also this elitist mentality has infiltrated our present day society and mutated the playing of this sport to those who share a similar display of elitism whether material, political or social. Although football may have been introduced by the colonial rulers, but one can look at the nature of the sport in England itself and decide whether football or golf is elitist (Football hooligans from England are well known throughout the world and they are definitely not from the upper ruling class of British society while the origins of Golf can be traced back to the genteel courts of the aristocrats in Scotland.) If you, the reader, are offended by the proposal the Shillong Golf Course be split up for utilization as a building site you have to ask yourself why you are offended. Is the history of the state and you as an individual so tied up with the whims and fancies of centuries dead individualistic, imperialistic and elitist desires that you remain defiant (or conveniently ignorant) of the fact that they are foreign? You may enjoy the sport of golf and maybe even play it and thus maybe offended. I enjoy archery but my only experience of the sport (although archery is indigenous to the Khasis) has been limited again to the middle/lower class experience of it as a gambling sport and a few glimpses of SAI archers practising! Archery, the Khasis form is unique and known as ‘speed archery’, has been dropped to market gambling and this is a sport which has a been ordained a divine origin as found in khasi folktales. It is high time that our people claim their own rather than that of others. You may be offended because of the historical importance of the golf course. But the khasis never played golf and unless you are a century old colonial officer cum golfer then only would i be able to understand your indignation at the proposal. It is a piece of land, its ‘true’ potential has not been utilised, the people need land; if not for constructions then for farming. And the golf course has not ‘significantly’ contributed to the welfare of the khasi people in all the years of its picturesque Scotish existence. If beautiful scenery, picuresque backgrounds, clean air and green grass are the standards to measure ‘contributions’ to the people and the state then everyone who has ever set foot on the golf grounds can be said to be truly ‘blessed’. But we live in a harsh and unforgiving reality where such romanticism is simply a temporary escape and not reality itself. And in order to survive as a people we must reassess the way in which we look at the world around us and the way in which we look at ourselves. Just as one day someone might suggest draining Wards lake for the benefit of the ‘common’ people or reclaiming the ‘Law Syiem for poor, homeless Khasi families. Someone may ask why the Governor of Meghalaya needs so much land when he is just a nominal head without political power. Or why ministers with political powers need so much land for their official bungalows? Or, God forbid, someone might ask why so much land is and will still be needed for Christian burials or why so many trees are cut for cremations? Someone may question why. And that is enough.

  11. I agree. Golf is a disgustingly elitist sport, played by a sparse few over an area that wudve been better used had it been a dumping ground.
    Kids playing football, cricket aka real sports are evicted by these douchebags so that the pretentious, poser imbeciles can make themselves feel important. Pot bellied, gay pant wearing, golf club waving, kid evicting ass.. *takes deep breath*

    Shillong needs to get over what it thought it once was n do someting about the Shillong it is now.

    D golf links have to go.

  12. And that animal torture facility we call ‘Lady Hydari Park’ has to go too.
    I know it did us the honour of being featured on the list of ‘Ten worst zoos in India’ but hey, I can’t help how I feel.

  13. bhartya chudai

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