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By Rajat Agarwal, Symbiosis Law School, Pune

Chapter One:

The Air

The five years of paid vacation has just started – you can feel it but you don’t want to explain it.

It is 9th June, 2008.

I stepped into a real world today. A world full of uncertainties. Strange alleys, stranger people. I have come to study law but was struggling to answer one question asked in completely two different contexts:

“Why are you studying Law?” (One posed by the academicians, the other by ‘others’.)

I am still struggling to answer the latter.

Law is in the air. However, lawlessness had already slipped stealthily into our world. Nights have become longer and days shorter. Even the 10:30 a.m. lecture looks too early.

First day of the class and you never forget the first person who sits beside you, your first friend in your college life and then a lot firsts start to happen – first lecture – first insight of any law – first legal discussion (where everybody think they are already lawyers and argue with all ‘bolly-legal’ notions) – first fight – first exam – first crush (obviously, and because of whom even 10:30 a.m. lecture looks pretty late now).

The five years of paid vacation has just started – you can feel it but you don’t want to explain it.

 –

Chapter Two:

The Water

It’s not plain air anymore where you can spread your arms and feel the freedom. Now, you have to swim across the channel.

Its 2nd year of law school where most of us have just returned after interning at an NGO and feeling proud (actually bragging) about it. New first year-ites enter college and we consider ourselves to be the ‘brown-pant’ seniors.

It is at this time I started taking law seriously (but it is still 2nd year, so you can imagine the level of seriousness). By this time legal subjects increased – faculties now ‘knew’ us – number of internals escalated – and the fake responsibilities, of not being a 1st year anymore, drilled a hole into our ear drums.

It’s not plain air anymore where you can spread your arms and feel the freedom. Now, you have to swim across the channel.

This year moves faster than you can imagine. You have someone to look at and something to look forward to. You have to send the not-good-enough CV’s to the reluctant firms, participate in moot courts and other co-curricular or extra-curricular activities.

Few friends come closer others, remain there. It is an end of 2 years and an entry is made towards the three years of black- mode. The 23 Enigma starts to haunt us from now onwards.

 

Chapter Three:

The Earth

You are fired with eight canons of procedural and substantive laws at the same time.

The gravity of the 3rd year brings you back to earth. It is one of the most gruesome years where you are forced to realize that ‘you should not have taken law into your own hands’.

You are fired with eight canons of procedural and substantive laws at the same time.

Academics, moot courts, internships, you have to prove yourself in all. This particular year the actual race begins. We realize where we stand among the crowd.

Most of the friends drift apart both physically and emotionally. The only thing which is left to talk about is marks or the date for the next submission or the next internship.

There are less number of smiles and even lesser hi-fis. The only thing that soothes your eyes is the sight of that one person you have been looking at all through these years.

By the end of this year you either engrave a Walk of Fame or a tombstone in you law school career.

We realize where we stand among the crowd.

Chapter Four:

The Fire

As it is rightly said by Terry Pratchett, “Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.”

Here comes the 4th year where the gamble begins and one small mistake can burn you down. This was the time where I had to decide which place I should intern and for how long. Number of subjects remains the same, only expectations increases.

Life moves faster than any person can think of. Lectures starts at 8 in the morning. Late nights get reduced. Our regular hangout places have already been taken over by the juniors. There is hardly any Goa, Lonavala, Lavasa or Mahabaleshwar on the cards.

The only thing which is talked about is law firms and placements. CVs grow both in length and depth. This year you have to be on fire.

As it is rightly said by Terry Pratchett, “Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.”

 

Chapter Five:

The Ether

“It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.”

~ Frank Zappa

Both paperwork and nostalgia hovers over all throughout the final year.

This is the most amazing year of all the five years in college, although placement is a big thing to worry about. Friends come back together. You talk to people whom you might have avoided all these years. Mistakes are confessed and apologies get accepted.

The travel in these 5 years has the aspect of a dream. It is something outside the normal, yet we are in it.

It is peopled with characters we have never seen before and in all probability will never see again.

It brings occasional homesickness, and loneliness, and pangs of longings. But it is like the Vikings who have gone into the world of adventure, and home is not home until you return.

I’ve learnt one thing, and that’s to quit worrying about stupid things. You have five years to be irresponsible here, relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember the time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So stay out late. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does.

The travel in these 5 years has the aspect of a dream. It is something outside the normal, yet we are in it.

This is Rajat Agarwal signing off.

2008-2013

Are you a final year student in a law school in India? Send us your 1825 write-ups at [email protected]

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21 COMMENTS

  1. This just made my day. Every word is so true. I saw the last 5 years like a flash while reading your post. I will call you and explain my excitement. Brilliant work!

    • Well, it’s because you have contributed a lot to this memory lane. 🙂
      I wish, if I could relive those days again.

  2. This is so well written.
    I’m in my first year and this article is really helpful for someone who wants to put things into perspective.

  3. Truly amazing. Cheers to the dysfunctional yet eerily inherent way of life. I am in my second year and I am struggling to keep in touch with what I was before I entered the law school. I hate and loathe my life sometimes but I probably don’t want it any other way.

    A true love – hate relationship!

  4. “The work never ends, but college does.” I think the last line just sums it up beautifully. A wonderful read for a first year student. 😀

  5. I, absolutely, love your post. The words seemed to flow from your inner recesses. I’m still in the 2nd year of my Law School and what you’ve written about the third year, gives me jitters. But then, the excitement of being in the “most amazing year” overpowers it all.
    Cheers! 🙂

    • I have kept myself in a room for one day and relived every moment while writing this down…and please remember what I have written in my last paragraph…Its all true..!
      Have a great day! 🙂

      • And your reliving those moments makes this post so poignant. All that you’ve written would not just sum up to a great day but a great life at law school. 😀

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