It occurred to me that, much as I would like to, if I thanked every person who had a part in making this work possible, the thank you would be longer than the book. I have been aided in my wanderings in the jungle by Khasi Good Samaritans beyond count, so to all of them I extend my gratitude.
I would like to give a very warm thanks to the local governments and good people of the following villages in southern Meghalaya, who have all taken me in, patiently listened to my questions, and helped me at innumerable points along the way: Shnongpdeng (especially the illustrious Syngkrem Clan), Amkoi, Nongbareh (Rim and Lyntiar), Khonglah, Padu, Kudeng (Rim and Thymmai), Darrang, Pashum, Burma (it’s redoubtable Sutings in particular), Rangthylliang (and its eco-tourism heroes), Mynrieng, Mawsohmad, Mawmang, Kongthong (including a king among Kongsits, and Roy), Kongtim, Pdei, Sder, Khober, Tluh, Mawlam, Sohkhmi, Tyrngei, Mawalatang, Mawkliaw (and its excellent Thams), Suktia, Nongriat, Nongthymmai, Mynteng, Ramdait, Tynrong, Nongsteng Nongbah, Umblai, Thieddieng, Nongsluid, Phlangmawsyrpat, Dewsaw, Lyngkhom, Domskong, Phlangkynshi, Umwai, Laitiam, Nongpriang, Sohkynduh, Rymmai, Mawtongreng, and Thangkyrta.
Even though I’ve thanked you elsewhere, everyone who has supported my “Living Root Bridge Project” over the years had a major part in allowing me to collect much of the information found in this book. So, for your truly generous contributions, thanks doubly.
I would also like to thank the Goswami’s of Guwahati, Achala Upendran, my agent, Kanishka Gupta, and, of course, my family for all the years of love and support they’ve shown me.
Finally, this book is dedicated to Heprit, the last living legend, and a dear friend. I hope the damn backpackers don’t drive you crazy, but if they do, I’ll understand.