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  • Writer's pictureSpeak Your Roots

Thlen by Samuel Sawian

Updated: Aug 14, 2023


Between the years of the fall of the republic of U Syiem Lakriah, and the rise of the daughters of the River Nymphs, there was an age undreamed of, when the iron state of Rangjyrteh stood tall over the plains of Sylhet and the beasts of the wild had foresworn their promises to heaven.

Onto this age was born a boy, a son of Ka Kma Kharai, the daughter of U Mawlong Syiem and illegitimate heir to his republic of Mawsmai.

Deformed at birth and sired by a mysterious father, the boy and the mother were driven out of Mawsmai by his grandfather, the Syiem. The Mawsmai Syiem was a powerful Syiem and his republic old. The rumours of Kma Kharai and her boy spread like wildfire, across the wilds of Ri War.


Her boy, a demigod to some, a demon to many, grew up in the jungles - the sacred forests that surrounded each settlement. Gifted with the power of shapeshifting, he could transform himself to any animal he chose. They couldn't be bigger than him and initially, he could only transform for a short time. Sometimes a cat, at times a crow, often a snake. It was easier keeping this form, for they were always in hiding in the caves and tunnels under Sohra. As he grew older and stronger, he retained his transformations for longer. She warned him though, to not stay in his transformed state for too long, or he might forget how to become human again.

Mother and son lived this way for a while. Moving from village to village. Always mindful never to be recognised. They say this was when she introduced the love of raw flesh to him. They say she gave him a taste of man flesh. Then one day, outside the thriving market of Rangjyrteh, when the boy's appetite had been transformed completely, Kma left him. We do not know where she went and little was heard from her again.


What she left behind was a young python, left to wander the caves alone, doomed never to remember what it was to be human again.

________


Hapdeng ki snem jong ka jingkyllon jong ka hima U Syiem Lakriah bad ka jingphuh jong ki khun kynthei jong ki Puri Um, ka la don ka ïa ka bym lah ban phohsniew ruh, haba ka hima nar jong ka Rangjyrteh ka ïeng rasong halor jong ki ri thor ka Sylhet bad haba ki mrad khlaw ki la len ïa ki kular ksiar jong ki sha ka bneng.


Ha kane ka ïa la kha ïa u khun shynrang, u khun jong Ka Kma Kharai, ka khun jong U Mawlong Syiem bad kaba long ruh ka khunkliar jong u syiem. Haba la kha ïa uta u khyllung u la long uba sniewdur bad uba itieng ban peit bad namar ba ym tip u dei kpa ïano, la beh shnong ïa u bad ïa ka kmie jong u na Mawsmai da u Paieit jong u, U Syiem. U Syiem Mawsmai u dei u Syiem uba donbor bad ka hima jong u ka la long kaba rim. Ki khuborjler shaphang Ka Kma Kharai bad u khun jong ka ki la par kum ka ding ba klang sha shiliang ka Ri War.


Uta u khun jong ka, u la man blei ha ki katto katne bad u ksuid kynsha ha kiba bun. U la heh la san ha ki khlaw - ki 'lawkyntang kiba ker ïa ki shnong. U la don ka bor ban kylla dur bad u lah ban kvlla sha uno uno u mrad uba u kwah. Kim lah ban kham heh ïa u bad ha kaba dang sdang u lah ban kylla tang shiphang shipor. Teng teng u kylla miaw, ha teng ka tyngab bad bunsien u bseiñ. Ka kham suk ban neh ha kane ka dur namar ba ki hap ban shu phet ban rieh ha ki krem ka Sohra. Katba uta u khynnah u nang heh bad nang khlaiñ, u la lah ban pynneh ia ki jingkylla jong u kham slem. Ka kmie ka la maham ïa u ba nym neh than shi slem ha kine ki dur, namar ïoh u klet noh kumno ban long briew biang.


Ka kmie bad u khun ki la im kumne katto katne por, na kawei ka shnong sha kawei pat, lem bad ka husiar ïoh don ba ithuh ïa ki. Ki ong ba ka dei ha kane ka por ba ka kmie jong u ka la ai bam ïa u da ka doh im. Ki ong ba ka ai ha u ban mad ïa ka doh briew. Te ha kawei ka sngi, ha ka ïew ba shongshit jong ka Rangiyrteh, haba uta u khynnah u la bang bha ïa ka doh briew, Ka Kma ka iehnoh ïa u hangta. Ym tip shaei ka leit bad khlem ïohsngew shuh shaphang jong ka hadien kata.


Ka la ieh shadien ïa u 'seiñlung, ieh ba un ïaidwir ïa ki krem marwei, ban kit bad ka nusib dum ban nym kynmaw shuh da lei lei ruh kumno ban long briew biang.


Kane ka jingïathuhkhana te phin ïa sngewtynnat baroh! 😃😃
"THLEN" ka dei ka jingïathuhkhana kaba la thoh da i @samuel.sawian
Khublei Shibun @samuel.sawian ba phi la shah ban sah dak ïa kane ka khana kaba bat ïa ka jingmut jingpyrkhat, khamtam namar ba la pynshong nongrim ïa ka ha ki khanatang bad khanaparom jong ngi ki Khasi! 🤩🤩👏👏
Thank you @samuel.sawian for this gorgeous and thought provoking story. You have merged folklore and fiction in the best way to tell a story that embodies so much meaning! 👏👏
🟡 Khasi translation by @speakyourroots
🟡 No part of the story and its Khasi translation may be reproduced in any form without the consent of the author and the page. All material for this content has been posted with the permission of the author.
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