Ekushe Ain (21st Law) for the 21st Century

Given the recent events in Bengal, India and the World as a whole, the Sukumar Ray poem seems to ring truer than ever.

শিবঠাকুরের আপন দেশে ,
আইন কানুন সর্বনেশে!
কেউ যদি যায় পিছলে প’ড়ে,
প্যায়দা এসে পাক্‌‌ড়ে ধরে ,
কাজির কাছে হয় বিচার-
একুশ টাকা দন্ড তার।।
সেথায় সন্ধে ছটার আগে
হাঁচতে হলে টিকিট লাগে
হাঁচলে পরে বিন্ টিকিটে
দম‌্দমাদম্ লাগায় পিঠে ,
কোটাল এসে নস্যি ঝাড়ে-
একুশ দফা হাচিয়ে মারে।।
কারুর যদি দাতটি নড়ে,
চার্‌টি টাকা মাশুল ধরে ,
কারুর যদি গোঁফ গজায় ,
একশো আনা ট্যাক্সো চায়-
খুঁচিয়ে পিঠে গুঁজিয়ে ঘাড়,
সেলাম ঠোকায় একুশ বার।।
চলতে গিয়ে কেউ যদি চায়
এদিক্ ওদিক্ ডাইনে বাঁয়,
রাজার কাছে খবর ছোটে,
পল্টনেরা লাফিয়ে ওঠে ,
দুপুরে রোদে ঘামিয়ে তায়-
একুশ হাতা জল গেলায়।।
যে সব লোকে পদ্য লেখে,
তাদের ধরে খাঁচায় রেখে,
কানের কাছে নানান্ সুরে
নামতা শোনায় একশো উড়ে,
সামনে রেখে মুদীর খাতা-
হিসেব কষায় একুশ পাতা।।
হঠাৎ সেথায় রাত দুপুরে
নাক ডাকালে ঘুমের ঘোরে,
অম্‌‌নি তেড়ে মাথায় ঘষে,
গোবর গুলে বেলের কষে,
একুশটি পাক ঘুরিয়ে তাকে-
একুশ ঘন্টা ঝুলিয়ে রাখে।।

Rough translation:
In Shiva’s homeland, the rules are quite strange, as I can truly attest,
If someone slips, and falls by err, police come by to arrest.
Your ordeal continues inside of a court room,
Where judges are ready to fine you a fortune –
21 rupees is the price you must pay,
but wait till you hear what they charge in the day –
for sneezing before six, a ticket is needed,
without this in hand, you will be ill-treated –
they beat you like drums, and snuff up your nose,
you sneeze not just once, but 21 blows!
The fine for teeth-chattering is 4 rupees flat,
for growing a mustache a bit more than that –
a hundred nickles, paid out in cash,
plus 21 prayers with both hands clasped.

While walking the streets, your steps cannot wander,
a step left or right and the king is called yonder.
He summons his guards who come in with a run,
to force you to sit while you sweat in the sun.
There is some relief, as they offer some water,
unfortunately so much that its not worth the bother.

But this isn’t the worst of it, by any means really,
for those who write poems, their punishment is silly,
they’re placed in a cage under strict lock and key,
with no chance of exile, or option to flee.
A hundred Orrisans are placed, so it’s fabled,
proclaiming exhaustively the multiplications table.
And then there’s more math as you tend to a store,
account for the sales – it’s a menial chore.

One last offense, that’s punishable by law,
Is snoring at all – it’s seen as a flaw.
The glue from a bilva tree, the dung from a cow,
It’s all used quite viciously, here’s how:
they rub it in coarsely, the hair of an offender,
who’s tied to a tree and spun like a blender.
For 21 spins he goes round and round,
and 21 hours till his feet touch the ground.

Advertisements

Most Reviewed Amazon Book?

I was wondering which was the most reviewed book on Amazon and came across this list on the site (been a while since its been updated though). It seems that the first Harry Potter book is most probably the most reviewed product with over 7000 reviews of which nearly 6000 are 5 stars. Interestingly, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix had more reviews at the time the list was last updated (in 2008).

Wonder whether there are any other books\products with a higher number of reviews…

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Book 1.

Elad Blog: Who Cares If It’s Been Tried Before?

There is a difference between knowing the path and walking it:

Every large market, and every good idea, will have half a dozen others who are digging around the edges of it. Many of these companies will be doing something similar to your own idea, or will provide a service that at a high level sounds similar. In some cases these companies will win if they have a superior product or an unfair advantage in distribution think Microsoft bundling browsers with their OS. In a lot of other cases, the market is still wide open even if at a high level it seems crowded or busy.

via Elad Blog: Who Cares If It’s Been Tried Before?.