This poem is based on my reminiscences of the very first day of Law College and the thought-enriching lectures delivered by Professor Eqbal Hussain and Dr. Momin Noorjahan ma'am.
Met a bunch of enthusiastic outfitted folks,
All were somewhat hesitant, anyway cracking amusing jokes;
As the clock struck half-past nine,
The class ended up being fully squeezed.
A tutor in tie and tweed entered,
Asked us to settle down
And chuckled, the law is all about settling down!
Then turned towards the shiny blackboard,
And embellished it inscribing in big letters,
A question of million-dollar, I say more than millions,
That is ‘WHAT IS LAW?’
Many voiced their opinions, some showed the silence of law,
Hinted at suppleness of feather and the command of the claw.
Tapping on the book, the professor spelled out,
"Having skimmed through thousands of texts, still sorting out,
Is this really law? What is law?
There Are myriad of views and all’re millions times reviewed,
Austin, Hart, Pound, all are Bemused;
Characterized as an ass, definitely full of nonsense,
Conversely, reckoned as a philosophy of commonsense;
Be like sharp as prickle and delicate as a flower,
The silence of a valley and the chaos of a seashore;
It's the law that makes us the performers of the ring,
It’s the law that wields social engineering;
Law that exhibits the power of the hunter,
Law that maintains the peace and order;
Law is just and injustice may seem fair,
It turns to be ash, it also becomes the fire;
It’s the pleasure, it’s the pain,
A gamble of society, cards of loss or gain;
Fathom the plight of Bleak House and the predicament of Macbeth blood,
Sometimes an eye of Big Brother and eventually the flight of Mockingbird.
After investing several decades, I still do not know,
What is law, what ought to be law?”
The period got over and he walked out,
Left us spellbound in the arena of law.
Nodding our heads, we heaved a sigh of relief,
That day, better to kick the bucket than solve this Rubik’s cube.
To plunge into a fresh lake, we all again set ready,
And within a while, the new professor appeared.
But the whole class looked into each other’s eyes and predictably giggled
When putting the book on the desk, the professor cursorily glanced
And catechized, “so tell me, what is law?”
The answer that would dawn upon by and by,
The Wizarding World of law is full of enigmas;
The more you explore, the more you know,
Certainly, a long walk to go;
Tout ensemble, the law knows no laws,
It's the tune of cuckoo, also cawing of crows;
LAW is indeed a Logical Analysis of the World,
But logical like love, solved yet unresolved…
Every law student shares some common memories of law school and one of them is encountering this million-dollar question in the very first class, ‘what is law?’ Needless to say, this question has countless conflicting and interesting answers but none of them is deemed conclusive.
(The poet is a fourth year law student at Jamia Millia Islamia)