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Shillong’s Hammarsing Kharhmar is taking traditional Khasi rhythm to the world!

The feature was first published in the Telegraph and TNT- The Northeast Today has not edited any portion of this piece

Alipta Jena | April 20, 2018

Sawyan made his home country extremely proud after his first solo EP, Last Dance, was released and backed by Casablancas.

Casablancas also lent his vocals to Sawyan’s song, No one there.

Sawyan grew up in Shillong, where he learnt to play the guitar, before he moved to Boston and started the band Mon Khmer.

He “stumbled” out of economics into music, after a childhood that was surrounded by music. “My dad loved to sing and play the guitar. There would be a music session at every party. That was my first introduction to music, rock n roll in particular.  I grew up hearing a lot of Bob Dylan,” he said.

“Dad taught me a very strange scale/finger exercise which he had made up and it helped build my technique. I guess being an architect he constructed it like he would a building. I picked up things mostly by ear, jamming, watching friends, performing in school and college. Learning by trying,” he added.

For him, “music was an escape out of a directionless existence but also meant stepping into the unknown at the time”.

He listened to and drew inspiration from experimental rock bands like Can, Roxy Music, Brian Eno, Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy and the repetitive, propulsive rhythms of Krautrock and minimal electronic music.

“You can hear little bits of all these influences in my latest project, Exhibition, which is signed to NYC-based label Cult Records,” he added.

Traditional Khasi rhythms and beats influenced him greatly. Hearing them as a kid at the spring festival, Shad Suk Mynsiem (dance of peaceful hearts) made a deep impact. “Birthplace, a song by my old band, Mon Khmer, evolved out of a Khasi beat and melody that I had heard as a child. Recently, I have been very inspired by a group of drummers who play at Shillong Lajong football games,” the musician said.

His favourite tracks are No one There, Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie, his favourite artiste, Poinciana by Ahmad Jamal and Weird Fishes by Radiohead – the greatest band in his opinion. “I also absorb a lot from the people I am with. Far away places, immediate surroundings, distant memories, the present, the past, the days that wait ahead, fear of not doing anything, faces old and new, these all inspire and fuel the urge to create,” he added.

Sawyan has an album coming out this summer via MAGNIPH (Japan) with Exhibition. It is called Sad Eyes, Happy Feet.

He has also been working on a restaurant in Shillong with his family. “It’s been a dream of mine to build something with them for my beautiful hometown. Making a record with the Khasi percussionists is definitely on the cards,” he added.

For those struggling or looking to make their mark in the field of music, he has a few words of encouragement. “Be fearless, be kind. Discipline is key,” he said.


Meet Meghalaya’s Tatyana Momin- An accomplished designer, model, a loving wife and a doting mother!



“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” — Edith Head.

Fashion has always been an important part of a man’s lifestyle and it has evolved with changing times- During the 70s people were so fascinated about flare pants, platform and Hippie chic prints, during 80s it was the decade of the power dresser but also of punk which gave us Madonna, Tina Turner and Cher, plus numerous other superstars. Less was definitely more in the ‘90s, and that included back flashing. The more you bared, the cooler you were.

Northeast India is known for its fashion statement and it is no doubt then that the region has given many internationally acclaimed fashion designers to the world.


Shillong news in association with TNT-The Northeast Today brings to you an exclusive interview of the very talented Tatyana Momin, Miss Northeast 2015 Beauty pageant winner, a successful Designer, a lovely wife and a loving mother from Tura, Meghalaya.

TNT: What is the meaning of ‘Fashion’ for you as a developing designer?

Tatyana: Fashion to me are any clothes and accessories which makes me comfortable. It is a better way to express and signify who I am, what I am and Where I’m from!

TNT: What are your interests regarding fashion?
Tatyana: Fashion changes from time to time and that’s what actually interests me, Shopping! Yes! You get to experiment with your looks be it shoes, clothes, hair and makeup whilst it’s on Fashion!
TNT: How would you relate fashion in Northeast India apart from rest of the state in the country?
Tatyana: Northeast India has always been known for unique taste in Food, Music and not to forget Fashion and style! Whenever the visitors from outside visit NE the first thing that shoots their eyes are the vibrant, diverse and beautiful Traditional attire’s we’re clad in or the Hiphop, punk, rock look carried Off fabulously all in one roof! To be honest Northeast India should be the Fashion Capital of India! Fashion is unbelievably LIFE here!
TNT: Would you like to share few fashion tips to the young people of Northeast?
Tatyana: The Fashion tip that I would like to give would be Be comfortable in your own skin and wear whatever you like because Fashion is what you wear and followed by all! Also Experiment with your Fashion sense, Life is too short to wear boring clothes!
TNT: What message would you like to convey for the upcoming designers/Models?
Tatyana: My message to them would be, “Whatever you’re doing, do it with all your heart! You have this once in a lifetime opportunity. Make the most of it. Remember there are many who dream of stepping in your shoes!” My best wishes to all of you who’ll be stepping into this industry!

ST Editor Patricia Mukhim gets security cover after petrol bomb attack

By Our Reporter, Shillong News | Shillong, Apr 20, 2018:

Home Minister James K Sangma informed the Assembly today that they have provided security cover to The Shillong Times’ Editor, Patricia Mukhim after a petrol bomb was hurled at her residence on Tuesday evening.

Inclusion of Khasi & Garo languages in 8th Schedule: A dream long over-due

By Our Reporter, Shillong News | Shillong, April 20, 2018: 

Even after 46 years of statehood, the attempt of get the local languages of Meghalaya included in the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution is long over-due.

Meghalaya: From ‘Trash to Cash’- Community building through recycling

Shillong | April 19, 2018

The importance of a sustainable living is slowly but steadily gaining momentum in the present decade and many states in India are increasingly adopting means of a sustainable lifestyle. In view of this,  the Meghalaya Research and Development Society (MegRDS) conducted a seminar and training on “Trash-to-cash: Building Community through Recycling” at Shella, East Khasi Hills. The programme was sponsored by the Government of Meghalaya under the Voluntary Action Fund (VAF), 2016-17, East Khasithrough the District Planning Office, East Khasi Hills District. Akmenroy Nongrum and Elkin Ryniaw from Bethany Society , Shillong collaborated with MegRDS for the programme.

The programme attended by youths  and womenfolk was aimed at introducing the  possibility of generating employment through recycling and to encourage the practice of the 3 Rs .Reduce, Reuse,Recycle at the household level. The importance of a comprehensive and inclusive waste management was emphasized. The methods of composting were demonstrated by Akmenroy and Elkin, who  also detailed out the marketability of organic compost. MegRDS demonstrated recycling of plastic bottles into usable ottoman, table and displayed products made from plastic bags and discarded glass bottles.

This is an ongoing effort of MegRDS to direct focus on a planned solid waste management in the fast urbanizing Meghalaya, one that benefits environment as well as provide means of livelihood to the ever growing number of unemployed youths. If one knows how to use things, they must also know how to dispose them or recycle them in the right manner.

Meghalaya: Woman asked to compromise after being assaulted by VEC secretary

From Our Correspondent

Tura, Apr 20, 2018

The trend of violence against women in Garo Hills continues as a case of a 60-year-old woman being assaulted by the VEC secretary of Alokdia village surfaced after the victim questioned the siphoning of 4 days of job card wages due to them. Surprisingly when the victim tried to file a complaint on the matter, the police as well as local MLA of Tikrikilla tried to pressure her into settling the matter, instead of pursuing the case further.

The incident, according to the complaint, occurred on the morning of April 16 at about 8 AM when the job card holders of the same village had come to discuss matters pertaining to their VEC.

The VEC secretary, Nogor A Sangma, had earlier demanded 2 days of MGNREGS wages from the villagers but took 4 days of wages instead. When he was questioned by the victim on the matter, he allegedly started punching her in the face and kicking at her in the presence of all other members of the VEC. The incident left the victim traumatized.

Incidentally the assaulter, Sangma is also a government school teacher, which means that he is ineligible for the role of a secretary or president of a VEC.

The woman later wrote a complaint and visited the local outpost of Bogulurbitha under Tikrikilla PS which the police initially refused to register and then upon registration sought a compromise between the parties.

The matter became even more serious allegedly after the local MLA of Tikrikilla, Congressman Jimmy D Sangma also joined in the matter asking her to withdraw the case and compromise with her assaulter. She however refused to back down leading to threats from some more people, all of who wanted to save the VEC secretary. The MLA however could not be contacted on the matter.

“He assaulted me without any reason and in front of everyone,” said the FIR filed by the assaulted woman.

Finding no hope of action being taken against the assaulter, the victim today approached the deputy commissioner of West Garo Hills, Ram Singh to seek action against the perpetrators. The DC assured the victim that the matter would be looked into and immediately forwarded the matter to the SP and the BDO of the block where the incident took place.

“Even while she was speaking to the DC, there were calls coming from many places asking her to compromise the case. Why should she do so? The matter should be investigated thoroughly and the culprit booked accordingly. You cannot continue victimizing a 60 year old woman this way,” said activist Jaynie Sangma who is assisting the woman in this case.

The WGH SP, Dr MGR Kumar stated that a preliminary investigation into the case is currently on and if required arrests would be made.

Featured image courtesy: Crimepatrolreviews.com

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