Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lianchhiari - Lalnunsanga

'Should the wind carry this voice.'

Reaching the edge of the rock
she beckons me
Saying ''Come sit with me and sing''
Would they hear I ask
''I don't know'' she says
To what purpose then I ask
''I don't know'' she replies
''But come sit. We'll drown out this emptiness
and pretend that echoes are answers''

So in the still of the night
There by the side
of a mountain,
There we sat
Singing songs of lovers
In a strange land.

She lifts her voice
to the lilt of a soft breeze
The cliffs sway to the nuances
Of notes that rise and fall
in a dirge of bitter reverie
Every word she punctuates with the deepest longing
Every strain she thrusts with the urgency of living
(or is it death?)
Calling him home
Come back to where you belong

Till her voice starts to tire,
She turns to me
With eyes pleading through a film of water
Begging not to let the silence take over
The killing silence that surrounds threateningly.

So I raise a stammering voice
To the odour of pollinating flowers
Of cherry blossoms blooming
from a melancholic cherry tree.

Dispersed into the unsure wind she smiles
''Let it fall all over, all apart, near and far
Let it reach them anywhere,
anywhere they are''

Closer and closer to the edge
She dances wildly
But before she falls over
Dawn breaks and I ask her
Would they hear
''I don't know'' she says
''But it's better than the emptiness
and we'll pretend that echoes are answers''

So in the still of the night
There by the side
of a mountain
There we sit
Singing songs of lovers
In a strange land.

Lalnunsanga currently lives in Shillong and is pursuing his doctorate in English literature at NEHU.

The story of Lianchhiari, daughter of a powerful chieftain, and her commoner lover Chawngfianga, has been immortalised in Mizo folklore in a single image: that of the forlorn maiden sitting atop a perilously rocky ledge on a cliff overlooking the distant village where her beloved had quietly moved away following disastrous negotiations for her hand in marriage.  http://tourism.mizoram.gov.in/page/lianchhiari-lunglen-tlang.html


  1. Beautiful. And poignant.

  2. And very creative, going into a legendary figure's head to come up with something like this.

  3. Your blog has a beauty all of its own. Very special blog. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thank you for the kind comments, Magnetic Island Artist Edward Blum. I've been getting a little tired of people visiting the blog but never saying a word, either good or bad. Do drop by often :)

  5. I'm sorry to say I discovered this blog a little late but I'm excited that I did! Brilliant stuff here. And Sanga, hauntingly beautiful as always...the longing :)

  6. Been searching for this folktale only God knows how long.Thank you for putting up this beauty of o poem online. Kindly suggest me where can I purchase a book exclusively written on Lianchhiari & Chawngfinga. Regards- Nelson (Manipur)