Saturday, October 4, 2014

Down The Memory Lane - Ninth Standard of School - Fourth Year of Law School

One can say that it's both my habit as well as nature to recollect the good old memories and deeds of the past and somehow give them a re-birth to them in the present. There was once a time when it used to take me days and months together just to gather my thoughts and to decide what exactly to write about. I am glad that things are getting better. Over all these months, I find myself in a position that now there are so many things, so much happening all around that there is no scarcity of endless thoughts and it's just the right time to soar high and keep on writing forever.

My university organized the first edition of a national level parliamentary debate from 7th-9th September 2013. As evident, I was happy that I was a significant part of it, and more specially in the things post completion of the competition, like compiling reports, feedbacks, experiences etc. I had spent a fair amount of time in writing a press note, something which was a part of my duty and more than that an activity I relish like anything, which is writing.

As expected, there were numerous responses to it in the form of likes, comments and shares, for it being decent and nice. But bells of nostalgia struck me like anything when I saw that the first like coming onto it, being that of my english teacher from Secondary School, Mrs. Mamta Jain. For a minute, things got rewound back into the year 2005, when the most enjoyable subject to study used to be English Literature and Grammar, more than Maths, more than Science and more than anything else in the world. It meant not just something but everything. That class of roughly forty minutes meant the world to me, and to many others I am sure. I used to take great pride in the fact that we were the only section in the entire batch to be taught by her, her main priority being the batch of our immediate seniors.

It's been years now, since I last met her but I feel that a blog post could certainly be a small tribute to her from our side, if not a perfect tribute. This is for all that she did for us. All that we are today, me and my school friends across the country, owe a lot to her. I get reminded of her everytime I have to write a SoP, a job application, an apology mail for a delayed submission and so on. The kind of command and hold over the language and more specially vocabulary, is due to the wonderful interactive sessions we had in every single English period, to which the colourful portals of 9th B, St. Anselm's Pink City School were a witness.

All the workbook exercises, the extended discussions over every single stanza of the poem in the literature book, the framing of notices, writing of letters, report-writing etc. as a part of Diwali holidays used to prick us like anything. But the seeds of hardwork and toiling done then are boring significant fruits now.

The Road Not Taken, still very much finds place on the soft board just above my study table. The cutting is the original one from the Ninth Standard CBSE English Textbook. The poem has been an inspiration, not just because it was written very well by Robert Frost, but was explained in an equally beautiful manner by our beloved English teacher. Thank you so much ma'am. 

The author can be reached herehere and here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Being in Love is Not So Easy

Love is a charm they told me
Love they promised would be like a holiday on a farm
Love would bring serenity I thought
Love they said would create solace, calm and new energies would be bought

Love brings responsibility I tell them
Love creates complications they didn't know
Love might give birth to you and make you glow
Love will give re-birth to melodrama, unexpected serial arguments, impatience and immaturity
Love will bring along impatience, anger, unwanted emotions and asperity
The saga mysteriously unfolds and is very difficult to handle
People tend to get dizzy
Being in love is a lovable thing
But the thing is not that easy

Being in love I thought would be complementing each other
Being in love I thought would be living your life through someone else's mirror
Rejoicing at the reflection is a rare thing
Being in love is in fact accommodating two in the same mirror
All human beings are different, so are lovers

Love gets difficult when there is doubt
Love gets difficult when there is distrust and things are said in flout
Love gets difficult when expectations overleap donations
When in love, never ever calculate, never ever estimate, never seek victory
For victory lies in just keep giving
Forgive and forget, do not crib and regret
It's only in movies only that things are always breezy and cheesy
For in real life, love is not that easy

Being in love requires patience and communication
It is equally knotty as the friendship between two nations
Easy are the tasks of running away, hating and ignoring
Love needs to ace the difficulty of talking and discussing
Never in love get sleazy
For being in love is not easy

Love needs time
It's not just merry making or just a wind chime
The world is a silly messed up thorny place to live in
The world is not made for just him to be her's and her to be his
At all such times give your lover a break, give some time, be sublime
Ask for time when not given back
Time heals everything, time builds up love and bring things back on track
Love is not a midnight dream
Love is a bridge built over the best understandings of each other's differences
Don't let act them as hindrances, don't allow the bridge to seam
Differences will continue forever, so should the bridge and its beam
Understanding them will put strength in it
Communicating will increase the length of it
Not doing so will leave it like the Colosseum
Doing so will help you see and feel the limitless sky, and vanish the corrosion
But the endless sky is not so easy
For being in love is not that easy

Life is complicated, its essence lies in simplifying it
Let love be the the means to the latter
Let not love be the cause of the former
Do fall in love, the apple 'tastes' and 'feels' sweet
If you can't withstand the desire of falling in love, blame Adam and Eve
Making castles in the air is no crime
But walk together to jointly collect the wreckage when it falls at an unexpected time
The cooperation and eagerness to collect and re-make it will define your love
Not the magnitude of the collection
For making love castles in the air is easy
But being in love is not that easy

Love poems are like paeans they say, and they say it right
For in love, when things once go wrong, hardly go right
They go wrong as being in love is not easy
They go right when love is just love
When deservance falls before desire
When there is equal focus on both your love and your work
When you start realizing and prioritising the importance of both at the same time
When contribution and help precedes individualism and selfishness
When cooperation and coordination pave way for each other's problems in profession and life
When solution to each and everything is taken out by cautiously utilising each other's precious time
Into that heaven of pleasure, let me and our love take refuge and re-awake, and be the sweetest wind chime
All this sounds cheesy and is not so easy
But then, being in love is not that easy

The author can be reached herehere and here. In an essay on Emily Dickinson, the poet Adrienne Rich once wrote, “It is always what is under pressure in us, especially under pressure of concealment—that explodes in poetry.” We live in a time in which little is concealed, and that pressure valve—the one that every writer is intimate with—rarely has a chance to fill and fill to the point of explosion. Literary memoir is born of this explosion. It is born of the powerful need to craft a story out of the chaos of one’s own history. One of literary memoir’s greatest satisfactions—both for writer and reader—is the slow, deliberate making of a story, of making sense, out of randomness and pain. In the inimitable words of Annie Dillard, “You may not let it rip.”

Image from here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Old Bedsheet, The Rumble, A New Day

The weather is humid
The body is itchy and sticky
The food fumes out the human being inside me
There is so much of hustle and bustle all around
The surroundings are gloomy, stuck and discouraging
Amidst all this I fail to find peace and have lost my own self

I am surrendering to situations and problems
They say I am not good enough
They say it's to be done this way
They always do it better than me
I fail to understand what is wrong with me
I just lie down in nothingness
I am anxious about the past, I am worried about the future
I fail to understand what actually present means to me
The smell of pot from the room beside me is captivating
The world is taking refuge in the arms of alcohol and smoke
The spirit is dying
The body is seeking excuses not to work
The disciples of joblessness are so very eager to kill me down further
I stretch my body and legs further, trying to get lost and asleep continually ever
Only to realize that my bedsheet and my pillow have degraded more than me further
I have stopped caring about myself anymore
Then how would have I cared about things and people around me all the more
The limit of continuous sleeping has reached the brim now
Postponement of chores is becoming my flair
Attitude and perception is being rigid and unclear

Reality hits me really hard
Enough of postponement
Tonnes of laziness
Nothing else but just naughts of gains
No one but myself has to come to my rescue
No one but myself only has to help myself
Loved ones do not make things happen for you
The arrival of a loved one is further excusing myself
They are your partners in celebrations, your empathizers in pain
Celebrations and pains come only when you are not mundane
When the body is at work, the mind is thinking, the spirit lives up to your name
When you start living your life for something to continuously work for, achieve and gain

Oh I left my old bedsheet and pillow for another day
I removed the curtains
The sun shone and I started making hay
I was missing my own world for so long now
Thinking that I have been in a wrong world forever and now

The creation of my world lied in my own hands
The world is defined by our own deeds and actions
A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step
Our world would travel distances and cover journeys with every such single step
Oh I left the negativity for another day
What was wrong with me was my hazy focus on myself per se
I focussed too much on what other had their focus on
I started forgetting the Almighty's creation which was myself
I neither looked left, nor looked right
Held the head up, firm and tight
The sole focus on myself brought a high tide and new light

The wind was refreshing, the vibrancy came from within
External simulators were nothing but just a running away from myself game
A hero lied inside me
I was born to feed it till I was called back
I was not born to allow it to die by getting overwhelmed by the heroics of others
Everyone had their own hero, everyone had their in themselves, so did I

I decreased the inclination, I straightened my back up
I pulled up my socks, had a deep long look into my eyes
The spirit and the energy all lied buried inside
It was time to lit up the lost flame
For ships are safe in harbour, but that is not what ships are for
The voyage began, my ship started cutting across the waves back and forth
Their rumbling was a deep pleasing sound
It was a sound never heard before, it was a sound so magnificent
It was a sound of my confidence, sound of my vigour and courage
I could see and hear them rumble
In the rumble, I could see the reflection of my hidden self
It was just a spur of self created moment which took me to change
I promised to always be a life partner to it and never to avoid such a positive change
Oh I left the old bedsheet and pillow for another day
I met myself, it made me, my life, my day.

The picture is of the campus of Gujarat National Law University clicked in August 2013. Simple in depiction, the picture speaks for itself. The first three paragraphs refer to the lower half of the picture, where the problem starts. The last four to the upper half where one should head on. A very Happy Sixty Ninth Independence Day to all the fellow Indians across the globe. The author can be reached herehere and here.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mumbai in May 2014

After a few self-written posts, we finally have the first guest post for this blog by Ishani Dave. Law School Diaries is thankful to the author for sparing her valuable time and penning down her straight-from-the-heart wonderful experiences and thoughts, with of course some beautifully clicked pictures mesmerizing us along the way. 

THIS is about all that I did, I learnt and how I goofed up my first law firm internship. Summer breaks are a huge deal for every law school student. The panic starts right from the second month of a new semester. You hear your batchmates casually talking in the corridors of hostel dorms, about how they are going to take up an easy going internship at their uncles firm, how they are going abroad bag-packing with a bunch of ‘fun friends', how some senior is mothering him/her and fixing up their internship just like it’s some cakewalk. It triggers when you are ropped in one of these conversations, and they cheekily ask you, ‘Hey, so what are you doing this summer?’.. This was one of those moments for me when I got absolutely numb. I had no clue,what I was going to do, what I was doing then at a law-school at all. So, after a few seconds of awkward silence, a friend sees and rescues me from the situation asking others for going to grab some food. My saviour-angel she is. I sheepishly moved into my room and instead of thinking about my plans, I turned on music at the maximum volume and danced my stress away. Although, I slept with random thoughts in my head after that. 

The very next day, I got a call from one of the partners of a firm which was amongst the twenty odd law firms, where I applied for an internship after short-listing them according to my area of interest almost a week back. I had applied for an internship at their office in Pune thinking that my CV was not that great to make it to the main office. An on the spot telephonic interview happened.  They called me to their Mumbai branch, for the month of May. I accepted the offer, but before I could sink in that and thank them, they ended the call. I was happy, it was more than what I had thought about. It is one of the biggest real-estate law firms and still not that famous with NLU students, due to their methods of recruitment. But, making it on your own to any firm, was more than satisfactory for me. That evening itself, I got another call from a lifestyle travel network channel, where I applied some four months back for an internship, saying they loved my work (photographs) and they needed me to work with them for three months starting May. It was a tough call, So I decided to play it very smart. A little filmy it sounds, but I closed my eyes and blindly picked up a chit from the two I had made, one read Career (indicating law firm) other read Passion (indicating the travel network). I chose the one which read career and without waiting for any second thoughts to clog my well-thought of judgment, I went ahead to refuse the super-tempting latter option. 

My symbiotic relationship with Mumbai can be so perfectly described by a one line from, "The Fault in Our Stars",

"I fell in love the way you fall asleep: Slowly, then all at once."

Mumbai, as a city was not new to me, or so I thought. My parents have a house there, and both of them spent more than half of their lives here. But South-Bombay was totally a new world. Yes, South-Bombay is different from Mumbai (which generally refers includes suburbs), even Mumbaikars agree. Marine-drive, Churchgate, yellow lights, old lamp-shades, sea-side, people walking non-stop at a particular pace on road. Age and gender being no bar, they all have this rhythm of walking, which takes you a day or two to really get in the groove And once you catch up with the crowd, it feels like you are also with them and not an outsider. 

I decided to take a day or two for settling down in the city and figuring out where to stay and all. Ultimately, after hunting for places for quite sometime, it didn’t work for me. I bunked in with one of my classmates from college who was interning at one of the biggest firms in India. We stayed at one of my relative’s unoccupied apartment near Charni Road station, which was hardly two stations away from our work-places. Commuting is very easy in a metro city but it consumes a lot of time and energy. It was not a fancy residence. But after looking at various PG's/apartments on rent etc, we concluded that even though not very spacious and just like a dream-come-true-barbie-house (like my other friend describes it), with tiny doors, tiny kitchen, tiny rooms, tiny fridge, tiny everything, where we stayed worked just fine for ‘2 girls’. Even though the area where we resided was very crowded but was an extremely decent neighbourhood to walk-in at any hour. It was an insight into living on our own as a grown-up kind of situation. You know managing a house with work by ourselves. 

Figuring out bus-routes and trains is not at all difficult in Bombay. Contrary to the popular misbelief, Mumbaikars in my personal opinion are for real very helpful and hospitable people. Ask them and they won't make faces while answering, but one should be lil aware and smart that you are not disturbing a person who is in hurry. Getting a monthly local pass, figuring out the bus-timings etc. were a part of introduction to the city. Once you get used to it, you don’t even realise when you become a pro at it and people start asking you questions about directions and all. It feels amazing to help them out and let them know you are new too, but they can manage just as fine as you did in a day or two.  

I walked up to the firm one my first day, in complete formals (with tie) but all certainly drenched in sweat (courtesy, the humid weather). The receptionist gave me a warm welcome smile and guided me to restrooms to freshen up and sometime after, the legal HR introduced me to all the associates of the team I was to work under. She then took me to the partner who had interviewed me over the phone. She was very close to what I had expected her. Confident, poised, no-nonsense, hard-working and sweet, a perfect mix of all good. And in no-time she became my role-model. The associates treated me like a human at par with them (hearsay stories of seniors and their experiences were not true for me atleast). 

On the very first day, I got a desk, next to an associate from my team. Unlike, other firms, MY office had a different setting. Interns sat with their respective teams. I was with the corporate team. I was given a separate desktop, my own extension number and stationary too. Till lunch time I got to know people, and they invited me to share food. Later after a day or two, me and another intern (a very good friend of mine) decided to go food hunting. I would love to mention the food at coffee house on Homi Modi street here and the desserts at Piccolo and tea-pot café at homi-modi street near flora fountain. Must visit for foodies and people who would love to try parsi authentic food. Jam tarts were exceptionally good too, the best I have had ever, equally nice as the café owner. In the morning, I had breakfast at this low-profile kitchen. Poornima, again near flora-fountain amazing south-indian food, hygienic, reasonable, filling and warm people smiling at you wishing you good morning and good day.

Eventually during the day, I got a lot of research work from my partner and associates of my team. Clerical work too got super fun and great distraction when I was asked to read 26+ cases with similar facts and mark out relevant portions if the case was important according to the facts of our case, I had to stay back till 8-8.30 PM. And the best part being, I didn’t even realise how time passed, when I was constantly given some or the other work. My Partner, entrusted me with work, she gave me responsibility and that made me deliver better. Because, what I did, mattered, her words gave me a moral boost to perform my best. With of course addition/omission/formatting, my work was still recognized/scrutinized and used by the firm. There were times, when I got to scan/print/cross-refer/proof-read but with all that, I had to be thorough with all the documents I merely touch also. She didn’t want me to report to her towards the end of the day, just informing her what work I am doing when she asked, was more than sufficient for her. Then, I heard stories in the evening time about my other friends at different firms (mostly tier-one) how they got no work and how they had a separate floor for interns and were never considered a part of the firm and all. That is when I realised that it is very essential for a person to take up a small-firm internship first, if they really want to learn and are not just looking for decorating their CV’s. Three associates from  my team dumped their tasks constantly on me thinking I would be able to manage them all. It took me time to achieve a good speed, but, the tasks were done. The satisfaction with which I stepped out of the office, gave me another level of happiness all together. 

Though tired, and exhausted, I regained energy and travelled back home with a smile. Next day again the same routine and it started getting  monotonous for me within a week. Luckily, other interns joined by then, but the amount of work and nature of work we were allocated was totally different. One intern simply got clerical work the other one was just pulling out judgments and marking relevant portions, the third one was researching on bare provisions. That’s when I realised, it was all dependent on the partners under whom we all were working. Their partners did not involve them in the firm as a part of the firm. They got less work, they left early, but didn’t even learn as much probably. 

Towards the end of second week, when my other friends interning at different firms, were making weekend-plans, I was still at office, reading the discussions about plans on whatsapp. And suddenly, an associate walked over, and asked me to join them for Friday evening along with other interns and associates from our firm. Outside office, it was even better with this new-office people. Warm/well mannered/sophisticated people at work, cracking all dull-jokes at office, were wild and full of life at the informal gathering. Contrary to what I thought, it was not awkward with any associate, rather it strengthened the bonds. It was a post-ragging deja-vu for me. 

Later after that, I went ahead to join my friends and explored the nightlife of the city. Mumbai, NEVER sleeps, literally true. Sitting near marine-drive was religiously essential for me after work no matter how late I got, even for a few minutes, I had to visit the seaside. It was refreshing beyond words. Bliss. 

Work-culture differs from city to city, mumbai, I found the best. Everything revolves around work. If you are a workaholic, it's a relishing drug. I always thought, my career and passion had to be separate, towards the end, I realised, that your career can really be your passion too.

The last weekend I decided to go beyond my comfort zone and spent it with a long-lost cousin whom I met for the first-time in twenty years of my life to realise, how much I had missed already. I mention him here to let him know that I agree that yes, I am his young replica and I love him as much as he does.  At the end, it is not a decision I regret that I took-up a law-firm internship. Life is all about taking risks, going with your gut feeling.

Live your life on your terms, but most importantly, have terms. Do not do something which you may regret later. Live in the moment..

On a parting note, things I learnt through my personal and other co-intern’s goof-up experiences: 
  • Never cross the line, even outside office, know your limits. Even when they ask you to chuck/have shots, know your limit, after all you are an intern and still under scrutiny all the time. 
  • Never get wasted on weekdays, the hangover kills the productivity next day.
  • Never say no to any work, from anyone. It always helps learn something, and when you do it, you don’t feel jobless at least, contribution to firm in any manner is essential.
  • Never take-up more work than you can deliver. Always give priority to the work given by your team mates/partners. Doesn’t mean you refuse to work for others.
  • Pick-up a place which is near your office/work.

The author is a fourth year student of Gujarat National Law University and can be reached here, here

Friday, April 11, 2014

Law School Seniors - Farewell Time

The heart is pained
It seeks love
The pain of parting is just so unbearable
Only in the agony of parting, we understand the importance of love
Today is a great day
And there are many more great days to come
But then for all these days you have been with us
The heart has always been so cared and protected
Goodbyes happen so that we can meet again
But this is one goodbye, I don't know when will we meet again
I crave that the bonding and the affection persists forever
May the drops of formalities and professional hierarchies not make it mundane
All I have in my heart and mind is the wish to hold back time and keep seeing you again and again
Those days had their own charm, when your support and guidance used to be an omnipresent reality
Carrying myself on my own from here is indeed an adventurous idea and compelling fidelity
But being carried and pushed by you was a feeling unmatchable in itself
There was no fear, as a guide assured to be there if at all we fell back
The assurance was such that the falling never happened
This might sound to be childish again
But life without you would certainly be a bit mundane
You worked hard, you toiled and you persisted
As much as you didn't gain out of it
An ocean of it shall be gained by us ever and forever
From teachers to recruiters, from ragging to pampering
The heart is grateful and shall be for years to come, for all those testing times you have been there for us
The essence lies in your humility and benevolence
But these are just mere small words to define your selfless nature
The eversmiling nature and indomitable spirit to fight back with unity and enthusiasm
Are rare qualities in this fast forward world which we learnt only from you
Words can and will never suffice the thankfulness we have for you
All we pray for you is that, may you keep soaring great heights like this in your chosen spheres
May sky be the limit for you and you touch the stars with your feet on the ground
Howsoever we move ahead in life, we shall always fall back and look upto you
For it's just only once in many years, that one gets touched by seniors like you
We take this moment and make an attempt to bid you the best good bye ever
May God bless you and be with you forever
Farewell! Do remember us, as we shall always remember you
We will so dearly miss you. Adieu.

The poem is dedicated to the batch of 2009-2014 of Gujarat National Law University. GNLU shall so dearly miss them. The author can be reached here, here and here.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

To My Love, With Lots of Love

Oh, you my beautiful love,
Beautiful is a very small word to define you.
You lit up the energy inside me,
You ignite the lost desire in me,
I once again want to live, ever and forever,
So far so good.

I waited for years and years together,
You don't know how much you made me wait,
I often used to sulk in the darkest and deepest hours of my loneliness,
Thinking and getting lost in the sadness of your delayed arrival.

I thought God was being cruel to me,
I often fought with him and kept complaining,
He kept overlooking, over and over and all over again.

But then in the wee hours of a chilly winter night,
Something strange happened,
My tired and sleep filled eyes,
Suddenly brightened up with the glow and glitter of a heavenly light,
I could barely manage to keep them open.

Looks of an angel, calmness of a fairy, and beauty of divine,
Were some of her traits,
I asked God is she the one,
Is this a dream,
He didn't answer.
I said I can't bear anymore heartbreaks,
I neither want to be loved nor I can love,
Tell me, is she the one, I didn't want to feel left alone anymore.

He didn't answer.
There was so much pain already,
Her leaving me, would have been the final nail in the coffin,
I understood that time had come to depart, the call came from within,
Everything was there, the final nail, the coffin, and she seemed ready.

I had a one last thankful and disappointed look at Him,
For everything good and bad he had given to me,
In the wee hours as I was allowing myself to rest in peace,
Something suddenly touched me.

It was gentle, it was serene, it was humble, and the tranquility moved my emotions,
It wasn't the coffin, my head rested on her laps,
It wasn't the nail, it was the cushioning of her palms,
It was her delicate fingers which were caressing my hair,
The lid of the coffin disappeared, the velvet of her love spread all over my body.

My eyes smiles, my heart smiled, my soul cried out of happiness,
Those were moments of transformation,
For all those moments when I waited, waited and waited,
When I was being that usual complainant to God,
It was then, He was being the busiest just for me,
Working in those wee hours of silence,
He overlooked and overheard everything,
So that he didn't miss out on creating the perfect being He wanted you to be.

He gave birth to you, my love,
He gave a re-birth to me, by giving birth to you.

And now I don't want to rest anymore,
I want to be a worshipper of the beauty of your soul,
My eyes stop blinking,
They have become captive to every moment of your charm and splendor,
All your worries and sorrows are no more yours,
They are all mine.
You were born to be loved,
The world was cruel I know, but you fought your way out to perfection and glory,
Allow me to empty my unbounded love on love,
Allow this love to be your treat as you march on your way to acme,
Allow yourself to rest in my arms, as they lie wide open, for you my love.

There is a life changing magic when you touch me with your fingers,
Your rosy cheeks, I can imagine my world, my entire life, in their flawlessness,
The shadow of your dark eyelashes, add grace to your cautiously carved out face,
It adds to my breathlessness,
It does not allow evil eyes to surround your beautiful soul,
It is invitation to beautiful souls to come closer to you, to attain perfection, purity and peace.

You my love, be there for me ever and forever,
You my love, might feel that I am just playing around with words,
But I'll always be there, whenever you'll reach out to me,
In times of difficulties your empathizer,
In times of joy your partner in celebrations,
Would never walk behind you, would never walk ahead of you,
Will always walk with you.
In the wee hours of despair and debacles, shall always be there for you.

I don't complain to God anymore,
Even he asks me to simply turn around, and just look at my love,
To My Love, With Lots of Love.

P.S.: The author can be reached here, here and here. This is for the first time that the author has tried his hand at poetry. He would love to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions over it. This was officially scheduled for publication on the 14th, but that just did not work out.

Image from here