Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, May 22, 2008

By Tawsif Saleheen

All of you might remember Sir Isaac Newton as the guy who single handedly ruined seventh-grade science. What you might not know is that he also loved apples. In fact, Mr. Newton was sitting under an apple tree when that besotted fruit fell on his head and he discovered gravity. If he were sitting under a coconut tree, school would have been more fun.

Jokes aside, Sir Isaac Newton is respected all over the world as the first man to discover that if you drop something it falls on the direction of the ground. Before his time, people refrained from dropping things for the fear of hurting their heads. Mr. Newton's theory, however, proved their fear wrong and led to a series of amazing discoveries that changed the world forever. The value of life improved as people became more knowledgeable about their surroundings. Before, for example, if a crow used you for practicing targets you would simply curse and walk away. Thanks to Mr. Newton, now if a crow uses you for practicing targets you would know that it's all happening due to the force of gravity. The end result, however, would just be the same.

Mr. Newton also came up with three laws of motion, and was so happy that he named them after himself. Much to the ignorance of the protagonist himself, Newton's three laws of motion have certain sociological significance from Bangladeshi perspective. Newton's first law of motion, for example, states that a politician who keeps blabbering will keep on blabbering unless acted upon by external forces. The forces just mentioned include (but may not be limited to) scotch-tape, duct-tape and other known form of adhesives including molten lead. Much to the surprise of the known science world, imprisonment fails to be a force strong enough to keep the politicians from talking. The aforementioned fact was established after conducting a case study in Bangladesh.

The case study showed that the politicians in Bangladesh loved to talk. They also loved to scream, shout and howl, and produce numerous other guttural sounds often beyond the range of audible-wavelength. It was anticipated that after arresting the politicians on grounds of petty crimes such as theft, vandalism and mass-murder, they would stop talking. Instead, they started talking even more within the jail-premises, jeopardizing sanity and eardrums alike. Last heard, Bangladesh is about to turn into the largest importer of scotch-tapes.

Newton's second law of motion states that the bribe received by a bureaucrat is directly proportional to the girth of his potbelly. It is rumored that an average Bangladeshi bureaucrat would want to receive bribes for every activity possible, including signing papers, reading proposals and even breathing. Following the anti-corruption drives taken by the current Bangladeshi Government bureaucrats apparently have stopped taking bribes. However, it is rumored, that they have also stopped signing papers and reading proposals, stacking-up the files for good times when they can start receiving bribes again. The girth of their potbelly remains the same.

This brings us to the last law of motion. Newton's Third Law of motion talks about the cultural sector of Bangladesh. The law states that if an average sized elephant and the popular actress Moushumi are rushing towards each other on a slippery surface at an average velocity of 50 km/hr, after the collusion Moushumi would slide on the other direction at 50 km/hr. The elephant on the other hand would be dead. The law however only exists in theory because scientists believe that it's not particularly prudent to get Moushumi on a slippery surface. If she slips and falls she would not only give rise to a series of earthquakes all over the world, but anyone she falls on top off would instantly be turned into humus. When asked if she can actually turn a man into humus Moushumi replied, “No comments.”

In conclusion it's only logical to admit that Sir Isaac Newton was a great man and a visionary. From falling apples to mischievous crows, he has made discoveries without which the world wouldn't be the same. His theories have given our politicians hope and taught our bureaucrats to hold on. Above all, Sir Isaac Newton has taught us the ultimate truth about life - If Moushumi falls on you, you will die.



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