By Ibankyntiew Mawrie, TNT News | SHILLONG:
Remember the good old days when we were young and listening to tales told by our elders was our favourite past time activity.
Tales and folklores that often left us in awe, wondering what it would be like to be born during that time. One such story that has been down through generations is about U Sier Lapalang and the origin of some of the main rivers and streams in Shillong.
To begin with, the Khasis believes that the nine rivers (Khyndai Umdih, Khyndai Umtung) which has its origins in Shyllong Peak (Shillong Peak) dated back to the time when the mother (doe) of ‘U Sier Lapalang’ (The Deer) came up to the Khasi land to look for her son who ran away from home (the plain areas).
After running thousands of miles, she finally reached Shyllong Peak but the tiredness got the better of her and nearly died of thirst. Seeing this, the God of Shyllong ‘U Lei Shyllong’ waged his staff on her head and a spring came out in her place, ‘Ka Umpohliew bym rngad shuh’.
The Khasi believes that the spring is still there in Shillong Peak, but only a person who really thirsts for it can find the magical spring. They also believe that the main streams—Pasir, Umthleh (presently known as Umjasai in Malki), Umdyngpun (Umrisa in Lawsohtun), Umsyrpi, Umkaliar, Umdih, Umrynthong (in Mylliem) and Kyntunmon (in Smit) originates from the Mythical Spring.
These nine streams flows down to the four main rivers (Saw Basan) —the river Umiam, Umngot, Umkhen and Umiew and later joins the Bay of Bengal in the plain areas.
It is indeed to learnt about the beliefs that some of the indigenous faithful still holds on to. Myths they may be but the meaning is rather more complex and deeper than any human can decode.