Shillong, April 7 : The Mystery of the Cave is a book written by Dr Glenn C Kharkongor (Chancellor, MLCU) and translated into Khasi by Patricia Mukhim (Editor, The Shillong Times) with illustration by Careen J Langstieh (Associate Professor of Practice, Community Centre for Arts, Craft and Culture, MLCU) and published by MLCU Press. The book – which was launched last year during the Shillong Literary Festival 2023 – was launched at Mawmluh, a place which served as a source of inspiration for the story of the book, on April 5th 2024.

To commemorate the launch of the book, a program was conducted at the Conference Hall of the Monolith Restaurant, Mawmluh, where dignitaries namely Patricia Mukhim, Careen Langstieh, Mr P. Kharwanlang (Sirdar, Mawmluh), Dr. Larilin Kharpuri (Dean Research and Publication, MLCU), Dr Iadonlang Tyngsong (Additional Registrar, MLCU), members representing the Mawmluh Tourism & Allied Activities Cooperative Society (MTAACS) and executive member of the community were present at the event.

Teachers and students from Ram Krishna Mission Higer Secondary School, Nabon Sawian Memorial Presbyterian Secondary School and Roban Sing Memorial Lower Primary School attended the program which was hosted by Dr Iadonlang Tyngsong.
The program began with a welcome speech by Dr Larilin Kharpuri who briefed everyone about the purpose of the program and also explained the significance of the book launch as it is related to the cave located in Mawmluh.

This was then followed by a speech by Patricia Mukhim who informed that the idea for the book was inspired by the cave at Mawmluh and the presence of stalagmite in the cave had helped determine the onset of Meghalayan Age. She went on to state that, “The book is a fictional story of exploration which also contains information concerning elements and species found inside the Cave along with illustrations that will help students visualize what they look like”.

She encouraged the students to explore the cave with their teachers under the guidance of a guide so as to get a better understanding about their surroundings. “Many of the local residents know little about their surrounding compared to visitors from outside who know a whole lot more; this makes it important for us to take the initiative to learn about the environment we live in so that we can educate others to respect our surroundings and prohibit them from littering”, she added.

Thereafter, a brief story-telling session was conducted by Careen J Langstieh who narrated the story about Mewan and Iba from the first few pages of the book and showed them illustrations contained in the book which sparked curiosity and engaged the students.

Mr P. Kharwanlang (Sirdar, Mawmluh) then gave a speech on behalf of the community as he thanked the representatives of MLCU for the initiative of publishing a book that not only educates but inspires children to appreciate the beauty and importance of caves while also emphasizing the importance of educating others who visit our cave to preserve cleanliness.

The book was then distributed to the teachers from the 3 respective schools, members of MTAACS and executive members of the community.