By Thulasi K. Raj
To A Special Teacher Dr. Nilima Bhadbhade
“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”
-Forest E. Witcraft, American Scholar and Teacher
Dr. Nilima Bhadbhade is one of the most senior professors at ILS Law College, Pune.
Our first encounter was when she taught the Law of Contracts in the second year and the second was when she taught the Law of Evidence in the fourth year.
It seemed like she carried with her an elegance that was incomparable. She always entered the classroom with a smile and wished us Good Morning even before we did.
One of her finest qualities would be her deep knowledge of law and ability to introduce to us the magnificence that law as a subject contained.
An exceptional teacher creates melodious classes and Bhadhbhade ma’am does exactly that. She made us adore the first law subject that we learnt. She introduced us to the niceties of all provisions, which we would have otherwise disregarded.
She paid heed to the most basic of our doubts, took us through all the possible relevant foreign judgments she could manage to finish and conducted discussions which were intellectually stimulating.
I admire ma’am for her unblemished record of fairness in dealing with students. While handling the advocacy activities of the college, she struck me as the most dispassionate teacher the college ever had.
She did not have a favourite student, a quality for which we immensely respect her. In spite of not having a ‘favourite student’, she being the favourite teacher of the majority is definitely one of her greatest achievements.
She is unimaginably calm even when in the most tedious of the situations. And that is why when she remarked one of the quarrels she had with an officer, the idea of one of the most peaceful persons we knew having involved in a dispute came improbable to us.
She insists on perfection, on whatever we did. In one of the instances where we worked with her for a seminar, I remember her ensuring the correctness of all footnotes of the research papers by finding and reading each of the source cited. “The only thing that matters in the end is being a good lawyer” is how she used to console those students who had studied well, but scored little.
She gave us wonderful class sessions enlightening us with her knowledge and serenity.
Law of Evidence, according to her is also about understanding human behaviour. She made us appreciate the fact that men behave ordinarily with his fellow men until a dispute arises between them.
Her session on ‘Burden of Proof’ started like this, “I would say that Burden of Proof is also about who should begin (the trial). The right to begin lies on whom the burden lies. Although it is difficult to begin, I do not know why they call it a right to begin” !
Robert Frost said that there are two kinds of teachers: the kind that fill you with so much quail shot that you can’t move, and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies.
Dr. Bhadbhade definitely belongs to the latter kind and ma’am, somewhere down the line, we would really, really want to be someone like you.
Thank you ma’am. You are truly amazing.
We are celebrating the Teacher’s Day by giving two Rs. 2500 prizes to the best write-ups. Anyone can participate except NEEATI NARAYAN. Details are here.