SUNDORI – a poem by Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih

While we sit amidst angers, rumours and curfews in Shillong, this is the right time to read Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih’s poem Sundori. 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. Kynpham wrote this poem for his friend, Pijush Dhar. 

Beloved Sundori,
Yesterday one of my people
Killed one of your people
And one of your people
Killed one of my people.
Today they have both sworn
To kill on sight.
But this is neither you nor I,
Shall we meet by the Umkhrah River
And empty this madness
Into its angry summer floods?
I send this message
Through a fearful night breeze,
Please leave your window open.




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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.


    June 2, 2018

    Touches the core of our being specially in times such as this.

  2. Indie Prakash
    June 2, 2018

    Considering myself a daughter of Shillong and the North-east, now living in Mussoorie, it is heart breaking to see the conflagration that is consuming my beloved city. May God give sense and strength to those in power to contain this mayhem and bring it back onto the road to peace and progress once more.

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