29 April 2014

“Ekushe Aayeen” (Sukumar Roy)

And that concludes our 21st wedding anniversary.
Sharmila thought it was our 22nd.
My mother in law berated us for our drinking.
My father in law had a few sips of gin and tonic when my mother in law was not looking.
Sharmila and I went to relax with our “family outside our family” – friends at Milton’s.

… in other words, nothing has changed in 21 years.

I still awaiting my third ring of marriages (after engagement ring and wedding ring)… suffering 🙂

“Ekushe Aayeen”

The Rule of 21

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.

Translation by Sujoy and Chandana Chatterjee

Posted April 29, 2014 by Rajib Roy in category "My Family


  1. By Vicky Ruffin Cupit on

    Oh RR – you are in trouble on the ring thing… especially if it involves your wife or in-laws…. I was reading this to my husband and he sorta kinda had a whimper at the last “ring” but immediately followed it up with a fake cough…. men!

  2. By Sibapriya Dasgupta on

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Rajib & Sharmila! Rajib, do you think your life has changed or you have been able to change her in all these years? You may answer via Wattsapp!!

  3. By Hena Mukherjee on

    Many Many Happy returns of the Day, Rajib. And thanks for the nice time we had last week. Tor e-mail ID-ta janabi, please?

  4. By Joydeep Haldar on

    Happy Anniversary……Sharmila Roy & Rajib Roy, Sharmila is in a hurry to get to the 25 mark so that she can buy the casa on the Chilean Andes…


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