Friday, June 26, 2015

Hey, hey, hey…

With drumbeats
With the warmth of the heart
With the unseen string of love
We wrap the Great Siem of the hills

With Cherapunji, with the wet sky
The way the generous clouds
With the monsoon rain
Embrace our Luit

The Krishna cowherd plays the flute
The Khasi cowherd plays the sharati
Both the flutes made of bamboo
Both divulge the same music

The leaves of the tall pine trees are green
Our baniyan trees are of the same hue
Blei or the moon, in the valley or in the hills
On the autumn night pours the same moonbeams

Digging the red earth
The Khasi farmers work day and night
Even in farms of the valley, a thousand Rongmons
Embraces the same farmers…

[In a world increasing becoming insular, Bhupen Hazarika was our ‘great uniter’. This is the basic translation of a song from his Asomiya film ‘Pratidhawni’ (1964), where he recounts the similarity between the Khasi culture of Meghalaya and the Assamese culture of the valley. What’s in a name, he says, in essence, we are all the same. Siem is the traditional Khasi king.]

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