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  • Writer's pictureSpeak Your Roots

"Pahsyntiew" by Indari S. Warjri

Updated: Jun 19, 2023


I heard of your beauty

Blushing daughter of the deities

Sheltered in your cave of chastity

No man dare explore.

A dark cascade rises from

your shoulders

But a tender lily

Should not be bruised by

hostile rocks.

Your slender hand will stretch

Towards the flower in the man's hand

For in his hand man hold

Unnamable delight.

And you became mine,

sweet maiden.

O be the mother of my sons!

But also the warm nest for

my love.


O children, may you be noble

May you possess the

strength of rocks

May you protect the weak

May you be suckled on knowledge

For the celestials beckon

And I must return.

The sons became men, royal in stature

Having wisdom gifted by the gods

They came to rule the misty hills;

To dwell in pinewood mansions

Where carpets of clouds

And cloaks of rain

Conserve the forests of the Khasi hills.

O mother, giver of life,

See your sons-the syiems.



"Pahsyntiew" by @indariwarjri based on the legend of Ka Pahsyntiew 🌹
Indari S. Warjri (Associate Professor) is Head of the Department of English, St. Mary's College, Shillong.
The Legend of Ka Pahsyntiew has been published in English, in the book Around the Hearth: Khasi Legends (Folktales of India) by Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih. The book is published by Penguin Books.



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