If you follow RAIOT, you know that we love Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih. We even managed to publish an extract from his first ‘novel’, when it…
Author: Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih
Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih is one the most important contemporary writers from Meghalaya. He writes poems, short fiction and drama in Khasi and English. He has a total of 13 publications in Khasi. His collections of poetry in English include "Moments", "The Sieve" (Writers Workshop), "The Yearning of Seeds" and Time's Barter: Haiku and Senryu" (HarperCollins). He is the author of "Around the Hearth: Khasi Legends" (Penguin) and the co-editor of "Dancing Earth: An Anthology of Poetry from North-East India" (Penguin).
His poetry has been widely published in national and international journals.
His awards include the first Veer Shankar Shah-Raghunath Shah National Award for literature (Madhya Pradesh, 2008) and the first North-East Poetry Award (Tripura, 2004). He also received a Fellowship for Outstanding Artists from the Government of India (2000).
Kynpham teaches literature at the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India.
I ask, will you come to my funeral?
You ask, will you come if I die?
I will come before you die.
As your masked relations mill about
like carrion birds,
ready to take you away
There was a parking lot in Shillong
that took a year and crores to build.
Why, I asked, was it not used to ease congestion?
It awaited the Minister for Roads to inaugurate,
who awaited the fall of his government.
And the waiting goes on,
for here they change parties and governments
like Hindi film stars changing dresses in a song.
This is the best time to read Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih’s poem Sundori, while we sit amidst angers, rumours and curfews in Shillong. Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih is the key Khasi modern poet whose rooted yet critical verses uncover the unsaid of Khasi society. Sundori was written during the troubles of 1990s when the local nationalist anger and resentment was at its peak.
When she took an afternoon nap,
she was tigerish: “You sons of a vagina!” she
would snarl, “you won’t even let me rest for a moment,
sons of a fiend! Come here sons of a beast! If I
get you I’ll lame you! I’ll maim you! …Sons
of a louse! You feed on the flesh that breeds you!
Make a noise again when I sleep and I’ll thrash you
till you howl like a dog! You irresponsible nitwits!
how will I play the numbers If I don’t get a good dream?
How will I feed you, sons of a lowbred?
The cow is the wife of the bull …
Remembering U Soso Tham, most celebrated poet of the Khasi Jaintia Hills
Remembering the birth anniversary of U Soso Tham, most celebrated poet of the Khasi Jaintia Hills, Raiot presents five of his most well known poems, translated into English by Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih.