Category: Culture

January 16, 2017 /

The story of Nangeli is a disputed one. Academic historians have yet to find sufficient external evidence of the events the story describes. For me, the veracity of the facts is less important than the singular fact that the story exists, and continues to be told. It narrates the protest, anguish and anger of those who are excluded from the reach of our collective conscience because they have no text, and therefore no ‘history’. This comics story first appeared in Art Review Asia and is dedicated to Rohith Vemula (1989-2016), who, like Nangeli, chose death over a life of indignity.

Read the PostThe Story of Nangeli

January 15, 2017 /

Rice! A mountain of cooked rice lay piled up on the cement floor. And standing by the door was Dhiren Roy, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment. Hot, steaming rice. As he inhaled the aroma, a strange transformation came over him. He began weeping convulsively. “Oh dear ones, look down from heaven, see how much rice I’m master of now! You died for want of a handful of rice, but see me now! I’m the king of rice today!”

Read the PostThe King of Rice

January 8, 2017 /

Getting ready to shave, like the opening
Of Ulysses. I, too, am not wearing
Anything. You grab a handful of my
Buttocks, bite my neck: “Shaving without me
Again?”—“We’ve got plans… to the monastery.”

Read the PostDarjeeling

January 8, 2017 /

A Church that concerns itself with the poor must raise the question of why they are poor in the first place. The comfortable and the cosseted insist that this question not be asked. Or, failing that, insist that it be dismissed as ludicrous. From their increasingly hyperventilating resistance comes a surprising reminder of the revolutionary power of the gospel.

Read the PostWHO IS AFRAID OF A CHURCH FOR THE POOR?

January 3, 2017 /

Armoured with a notebook, a lousy phone camera and a few overnight clothes, I nervously left Shillong alone and drove down to Topatoli in the Nagaon District of Assam, in order to re-enter Meghalaya from Raid Nongkhap,which spreads from Ri Bhoi District into Assam. I left with a thirst for narratives, of people, of nature, of existence in this space whose identity as a periphery was intensified and galvanized in the 1970s, post the formation of the Meghalaya statehood. This was when the river Umsiang was identified as a natural boundary between Assam and Meghalaya and when cultures in the region were starting to fracture, at least on paper.

Read the PostOn the borders of identities

January 3, 2017 /

John Peter Berger (5 November 1926 – 2 January 2017) was an English art critic, novelist, painter and poet. His novel G. won the 1972 Booker Prize, and his essay on art criticism Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to a BBC series, is one of the most popular introduction to radical/leftists analysis of art.

Read the Post[WATCH] WAYS of SEEING – in memory of John Berger

December 31, 2016 /

We deliver to you a short stale recap of 2016 in Meghalaya through the fiery humoured lenses of Shillong FTW, a Facebook page, which has managed to grab people by their pretentious asses through their brilliant memes and turn a mirror to Shillong’s ugly, ever aspiring “buromness”.

Read the PostCuz it’s Shillong liah!

December 31, 2016 /

As we come from the land of the cleanest, highest, lowest, deepest, firstest, buromest, we need to confess to our very own claim to fame – RAIOT is the first online gutterzine of Bishop Cotton Road, Shillong. If the conversations in the Burom class sitting room are anything to go by, this gutter RAIOT view of the world is finally finding its calvinistic place in the far reaches of Meghalaya. So enjoy this curated award-winning best selection of 2016 writings (in North Europe) on Shillong.

Read the PostRAIOT WEBZINE’s utterly useless guide to Shillong & Meghalaya – 2016

December 30, 2016 /

On RAIOT, poetry leads the pack in rejection rate. Our mailbox is full of poetic submissions, reminders about submissions, peeved queries about our silence – poets are a touchy lot. But still we masochistically persist in our obsession with poetry.

Read the Post[Holiday Reading List] POETRY on RAIOT

December 30, 2016 /

Writing is unknown territory for me, but there is a personal reason behind me writing this review. The release of this film forces me to say something which, as a former wrestler for almost ten years, I’ve always pondered on.

Read the PostDANGAL’s tale of unsung struggles

December 29, 2016 /

That day, my love isn’t very far away
When pain will end my life’s journeys
When my inner anguish transcend its limits
My desperate and unsuccessful glances tire
My sighs and tears lose their fire
And my hopeless youthful life be torn away from me

Read the PostLast Letter

December 29, 2016 /

2016 unfortunately felled a lot of greats, so our Music Section became a bit heavy on Music Obits, but we assure you that the odes and laments were all ours (no consultants were used) and when words failed we simply let the music speak for itself.

Read the Post[Holiday Listening] MUSIC on RAIOT

December 24, 2016 /

Hapdeng ka tlang kaba dait thah slam slam,Ka Sngur Batlem bad u Kitbor Bah ki poi ha Sor Shillong, ka Sor kaba thaba, kaba khring bad kaba pah. Ka Sor Shillong wat la ka khring hynrei kam ai jingtngen ne jingshngain, wat la ka thaba hynrei ka i kynsha, wat la ka pah hynrei kam ai jingkyrmen,pynban ka tan bad ka khwan. Ka Sor ka pynlyngngoh bad pynshaiong ia ka Sngur bad u Kitbor. Wow! ka pyrthei aiu kane kaba im tangba kaba ym don mynsiem, ka pyrthei kaba khnoit bein ia ki rangli-ki juki bad kaba bam im im peit peit ia ki mynsiem briew. Napoh ka bos ka Sngur bad u Kitbor ki iohi shi lynter lynti ia ki longkmie kiba kyrshah shilliang, ki rangbah, ki samla bad ki khynnah rit kiba ialum lang ha la ki jaka bapher bapher bad ki bat ha ki kti ia ki jingthoh ha ki kot sada “ Ngi dei ki Nongdie madan bad ngi dawa ia ka hok ban kamai jakpoh”

Read the PostKa Khubor Krismas – Hangno Ngan Kha Ia U Khun?

December 23, 2016 /

The New Testament records the work of a first-century Jewish Messiah and the fate of the millenarian sect he left behind. In my view – notwithstanding some radical comment to the contrary – there is no doubt whatsoever that Jesus Christ existed, that he was a charismatic mass leader, and that The New Testament is an immensely rich source of information about his life, work, and times. It is equally my view – notwithstanding 2,000 years of Christian tradition – that he was not God, never claimed to be God, and could not have made such a blasphemous claim before a contemporary Jewish audience without condemning himself to political oblivion.

Read the PostJesus – a radical guide

December 3, 2016 /

Nobody likes to be a street-hawker forever. In fact, nobody wants to be a street-hawker to feed their children or even for themselves. Now, if the elites of Shillong can please tidy up their excessive garbage output to the Umshrypi and Wahumkhrah rivers, and bear with us so they can walk on the footpaths more comfortably, many dreams and lives can be shaped.

Read the PostMemoirs of a Hawker’s Son

November 30, 2016 /

Eat Dust is no work of fiction, although one is left wondering at the bizarreness of the truth behind the loot. It is a book however that passes on timeless lore, like the story of Paikdev’s spring. As Hartman takes us over hills that once stood in Goa, to the court room, and river side, and traces his own story from Kenya to Goa, one gets a rich context for what is actually, and incredibly, unraveling in Goa.

Read the PostEat Dust: Mining and Greed in Goa – a review

November 29, 2016 /

Nicholas spent the first 14 years of his life in Mokokchung in Nagaland. It was, he says, a small little town, and he went to a small little school there. After clearing his Class 10 board exams, he moved to the relatively big city of Shillong for his junior college studies, and then his bachelor’s degree in arts, at the St Edmunds’ College.

Read the Post“I don’t have a house, car, or bank balance”

November 20, 2016 /

It is laconic, not quite cynical, resigned yet nevertheless still searching sensibility that Nongkynrih fully realizes in Time’s Barter. Given his ability to convey multiple competing impressions within a few lines, Nongkynrih’s turn to Haiku and Senryu in the collection makes sense.

Read the PostTime’s Barter : a review

November 19, 2016 /
November 14, 2016 /

Yesterday was the birth anniversary and the beginning of the centenary year of Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh (1917-1964), beloved Hindi poet, fiction writer and critic, who should count among the greatest of thinkers and culture personalities of modern India. His impact on Hindi literature was as transformational as that of Ghalib in Urdu or Pushkin in Russian literature. One can only remember him with great sadness and wonder what he would have thought of the situation we are in today.

Read the PostIn Darkness – Muktibodh’s century

November 10, 2016 /

No one cares about your instrumental skills
Get a sound engineer
Create an association
Play for the
Covers will kill you!
Experiment more, this isn’t the damn IIT JEE or CAT!
Don’t stay within the art-form
Try to start off young
Lose the lame leg
Don’t love the “lifestyle”

Read the Post10 (unsolicited) suggestions for the Indian Live Music Scene

November 7, 2016 /

It is very hard to actually begin to categories and study Khasi Comics. It is an even harder task to actually find the copies of these comics. However, if you are fortunate and lucky enough to find such comics, you become a privileged witness and an amazed observer to the history of the comic book in Meghalaya; specifically the Khasi Comics. In Meghalaya, the comic book art form is very young; starting approximately around the 1980s and from that period until the present date, very few works have emerged.

Read the PostA Short History of Khasi Comic Books

October 28, 2016 /

It is inarguably impossible to follow up a festival which had The Wailers and Megadeth as the headline acts. However NH7 attempted to do that this year by bringing Steven Wilson, formerly of Porcupine Tree, to Shillong. The progressive/alternate messiah. The tripper of minds. The maestro of melancholia.

Read the PostNH7 at Bhoirymbong – fest review and a few suggestions