Ancient weapons still in vogue in Khasi Hills
SHILLONG: In these days of super advanced weapons of mass destruction, there is still a remote corner in this country where ancient weapons are sharpened by hundreds of enthusiasts with religious regularity every day, not for killing but for the sheer fun of getting sporty and of course, earning money.
Welcome to the pristine and exotic Khasi Hills, where tradition and modernity blend in perfect harmony. Every day, hundreds of Khasi youth take up the ancient bow and arrow to find their targets. The popular game of "teer", which is perhaps the first "gambling" to be given official recognition is "fought" out every day in Shillong.
The game churns out lakhs and even crores of rupees to stakeholders, including the state government, which earns handsome revenue from it. "So, you see, while for others in this country of the great Arjuna and Rama, bows and arrows might be curios of the distant past and seen only in TV serials, here in the Khasi Hills these ancient weapons of precision not only help earn money but also hold a place of pride in the traditional heritage of the people," said an elderly archer even as he took aim at the Polo Grounds for the final round of the day's archery.