MATERNAL UNCLE’S LETTER TO HIS GRAND NEPHEW
Many thanks for your concern about my health. As I said, I have given up smoking and my ulcer pain has also gone. I feel much better now. Have no fear- I’ll live long, long enough to be able to come to your wedding. In fact I have fixed your wedding day on October 12, 2015 at Mawtawar in a very respectable Wahlang family. When I escort you there, people will be pleased and happy and they will kill the fattest boar (niangbri) which you love to eat. After that for the honey moon, you will be going to Wah Umshing to fish crabs in the moonlight. Crabs are very tasty if you roast them naked in fire and then marinade them with salt and lime.Make no mistake that during the wedding ceremony, you will have to make a solemn Declaration, one which the sons of Israel have been making for thousands and thousands of years as recorded in the Old Testament. I have also added some Khasi elements to reflect our matriarchal social system in which a son in his Mother’s House is only ‘U Khun Mih-Iing’ ready to take wings and fly away. So he leads a very care-free, wayward life in his mother’s house, which he knows is only a transient house which in any case, can never be his. Mother is also aware of this and this explains why a Khasi mother never discusses or consults a son on any family matter. Sad but true and incomprehensible.
In the other house, on the other hand, you will be treated as “U Khun Ka Briew”. Literally but correctly translated, ‘U Khun Ka Briew’ means “Son of a Bitch”. In other words, a Mister Nobody Or a Plaything of a Woman, who, in turn is a Plaything of the Devil himself. Genesis 3:12 & 13 of the Old Testament.
Declaration Part I
With this ring I thee wed
With my Body I thee worship
And with my Worldly goods
I thee endow.
Wherever you go, I will go,
Wherever you live I will live.
Your people will be my people
And your God, my God. (Ruth 1:16)
Whatever I have, whatever I own,
Whether earned or unearned,
Whether gifted or inherited
Shall be yours & your alone (Khasi element)
Children will be born of me,
But they belong only to you.
They shall also bear only your Surname
As if they have no father of their own.
As if they have come into this World
By jumping up hot-haste
From the bowels of the Earth
Or coming down head-long from Outer space (Khasi Element)
Wherever you die, I will die
There and only there I’ll be buried (Ruth 1:17 Old Testament)
For I have no dolmen of my own
To encase my restless bones (Khasi Element)
In case you do not wish to make the Declaration you will have to walk in the footsteps of a great one I chanced to meet in Delhi some years back. Himself a Khasi, this great One married a Khasi, brought her to his mother’s house and tactfully persuaded her to adopt his surname. His children have also adopted his surname. I therefore, have no doubts that as years roll by and the family expands, this great One will become a formidable Patriarch like Abraham five thousands ago.
This is my cherished dream for you, my nephew.
May it be fulfilled unto you with the gracious favour of the Most High.
- Mama Delhi
(NB: I’ll write more when you are two and twenty. But by this time, most probably you would have found your own destiny at Lady Hydari Park as it had happened to someone in the fabulous summer of 1962 - though abortively.)