Aparajita Paul : A Person to Remember

By Prerit

The day was Friday the 13th 2013. The Surana & Surana National Trial Advocacy Moot North India Rounds was about to kick off here at RGNUL. I was excited for this day. Just about 2 months into law school and I was about to witness my first ever national level moot. And not only witness it but actually get to be a witness in the case. I looked forward to the 18 law schools coming in from all over the North.

Now let’s rewind a few weeks back.

A regular day in class when a teacher tells us the names of some amazing seniors in RGNUL. Somehow the name of Aparajita Roy Paul stuck with me. That evening, laptop in front of me, hers was the only name I could remember. As it is with all things in the internet one thing led to another and before I knew it I had her Blog, LinkedIn and Facebook opened in multiple tabs.

Her public facebook profile showed only a few cover photo updates with some beautiful thoughts captioned in by her. Next, I moved on to her LinkedIn profile. My first reaction- WOW! She had done such amazing things. I mean you name it and she’s done it! As I glimpsed over the contents of her profile I thought she would definitely be a 5th year student.

Then I took a closer look and there it read “Batch of 2015”. To achieve all that in just 3 years of law school!? I was amazed. I never would have thought of doing so much and doing it so well in 5 years of law school, let alone 3. I excitedly showed her profile to a few friends sitting in the room at that time.

Her achievements made me feel happy, made me feel good. It instilled a sense of positivity in me. Gave me a renewed sense of hope. It was sort of a brilliant road-map of all the things you can do in law school and beyond. I was inspired. People often asked me “Prerit tu kis se Prerit hai?

Finally, I could say that I’m inspired by someone-Aparajita. I made a LinkedIn account for myself and shot of a connection request to her with a message saying how I’d heard about her and that I’d love to be part of her network. To be honest I was slightly intimidated by her professional clout but nevertheless sent her the request. She accepted a couple of days later.

The next day in class I heard about her blog again from a teacher and so decided to start reading it that evening. For the next few days I was consumed with the Freshers’ Intra Moot, reading her magnificent blog every once in a while when I needed to take a few minutes break from researching.

Come September and I thought I’d reach out to her one of these days. You know for all the help and valuable insight she could provide. A few days of September passed when on the 11th I saw an update on the RGNUL Intranet saying she was in urgent need of O +ve blood and that those who had the same contact the undersigned. The next morning I found out that she had contracted dengue and had been hospitalized.

And the day after i.e. the 13th, she passed away early in the morning.

It all seemed wrong. Unbelievable (It still is). How could she die? What kind of a cruel joke was god playing? Our VC called us at 4 in the afternoon, announced her demise, observed a 2 minute silence and cancelled the inauguration ceremony of the Surana & Surana National Trial Advocacy Moot. I performed my part in the moot with a strange feeling of loss.

On the evening of 14th a memorial service was held for her in the academic block. Her parents, little brother & other family members came too. Her batch mates, juniors and seniors spoke about her, applauded her personality, character, hard work etc. They said memorable and funny stories and experiences they shared with her. The atmosphere was intense. Emotional. Heavy. Many of us teary eyed while her mother spoke at the end.

Coming back from the memorial service that day I walked in silence. Racing slightly ahead of a couple of friends. My head confirming something which somehow my heart already knew.

Amidst all the chaos of law school, I’d forgotten how beautiful this place looked sometimes. But every now and then when I look at the academic block, when I look at the health centre, when I look at the girls hostel, when I take a walk in the campus I am reminded of the agony of her parents, the colossal waste of talent, the feeling that I won’t see her in campus. Ever. Just can’t shake this feeling. But the rule of life is that the show must go on-now or someday in the future, with or without someone. This could be the best part of life. But also the worst.

It seems all too ironic now when I read some of her blog posts. Like the one titled “Chapters Of Life” or Lost and Found.

I wonder every now and then. Why do I feel so bad? Surely, I’ve seen death before. I’ve heard of people in school die too. Then why does this experience feel so different? Why does it have a much stronger impact on me? The answer, probably, lying in some cryptic psychology jargon. But I think that’s what a mark of a true genius is. To inspire people, to touch lives without even being actively present in them.

A family lost its loving member, her friends lost an irreplaceable friend, RGNUL lost its most brilliant student, India lost a great would be legal luminary. And I sort of lost my inspiration. And while she is no more, her impact on our lives still lives on.

Well and why’d I blog about this? Because these are “Things I’ll Never Say”. Untold-Unsaid.

Aparajita Roy Paul RIP
Aparajita Roy Paul RIP
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  1. I’m reading this in 2019 searching about here on google, everywhere possible.
    Her Magic is still on !!!
    I hope she’s listening

  2. All the RIP messages, all the eulogy posts, they’re all unreal. You DON’T expect to ever read them for someone who’s your friend and who’s quite young. And yet here we stand.

    I remember her as one of the most cheerful persons I’ve met. Her excitement over usually mundane things, her unmatchable work ethic and her ‘get it done’ attitude will be missed. You’ve certainly been inspired by her achievements, but she knew how to have fun. With her, it was all about the balance.

    I’m gutted I didn’t talk to her more, I just didn’t expect this. Nevertheless, I’ll remember her fondly as will most of her friends.

    I do, however, feel for her family and hope they find the strength to tide over this tough time.

  3. This is so touching. Paul was a very close friend of mine, and I still can’t process that she is gone. Forever. I still want to believe its all a bad dream, and I will wake up to find her there. I can relate to everything you have written here – she was an inspiration to almost everyone in our circle of friends. And she was the most brilliant, amazing girl I had ever met – or will ever meet. She is irreplaceable.
    I had blogged about her. http://blog.sanketsaurav.com/?p=67

  4. A very well written article. Every single word stands out to be true and exactly what I felt about her.
    She was a very close friend since school days.
    Its still hard for me to face the truth.
    I am sure she has been an inspiration for anyone and everyone who even remotely knew her.
    ” I am reminded of the agony of her parents, the colossal waste of talent, the feeling that I won’t see her in campus. Ever. Just can’t shake this feeling. “- I couldn’t agree more.

  5. I’m speechless. Even though I’m not remotely close to any of you guys, but somehow even I could feel what kinda person she was & what a loss it would have been. My eyes were really teary by the time I reached the end of the written content.
    R.I.P Aparajita. Wherever you are, I want you to know, you’re alive & kicking in all of our hearts. & yes, make sure you floor everyone in Heaven with your personality & your words.

  6. Aparajita was 2 years my junior in school. I was in 11th when I first noticed her when she read out a self-composed poem in the morning assembly. Now making people pay attention, especially high school seniors, in those annoying assemblies, was a big deal in my school. But I actually strained my ears to listen to her. And can you believe what was the poem on? A Cow. Such was her ethereal magic with words.
    A few years later, when she herself contemplated on joining a law school, was when we talked again. And after her joining RGNUL, we were a part of the same ‘national law school’ fraternity and ended up talking now and then. I marveled at the number of achievements she had, the ease with which she made new friends and still maintaining this camaraderie with people she had known for a while.
    At this hour, more than the feeling of shock and loss, I have this feeling of pride; that in my life I came across this gem of a person, who in her short but eventful span on this earth touched so many lives. My biggest regret would be that I couldn’t see her achieve the things that I was definite she would achieve had God not been so cruel.

    RIP Aparajita.

    Loads of Love,
    Bhumika Di.

  7. I was with her at her second last internship (JSA Gurgaon). She was a brilliant brilliant scholar. Hard to imagine that she is no more with us.

    RIP Aparajita
    obo your co-interns at JSA

  8. This is the most heart touching post I have ever come across in this website or for that matter any where till now. Losses are hard to cope up with. And I can feel your loss. When I heard about Aparajita, I was in my first year. I had a brief talk about her with few of my friends. Yes, both of us are in the same age group and I felt inspired too with the amount of enthusiasm she had.
    Such a loss is hard to forget. May she rest in peace. She will be always remembered by her loved ones and sincere followers like you or me.