PATIALA HOUSE DAIRIES – PART II

My internship comes to an end tomorrow. I noticed quite a lot of this things not only about courts but also about Delhi. There are many things that you notice in a courthouse, if you have to go there every day after an exhausting journey of 1 and a half hour – yes, I take the metro- no, I do not get down at earlier stations so I don’t have to change at the junctions – yes, even then it is ONE and a HALF HOUR away. So quite a lot of interesting work but not that will interest all of you all… But the point is, many of you might wonder, real courts are very different from the courts we see in movies at least in India especially Patiala House Court. Disclaimer: The following post is just based on the court houses in and around Delhi.

Firstly, space. The last bollywood court room I saw was in Oh My God! starring Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar. The courtroom was so huge… I guess an actual courtroom of that size is something that I have only seen in the court of the Chief Justice of India i.e. in the Supreme Court of India. That one is actually quite big which huge arches, beautiful chandeliers and intricate work on the ceiling and the walls. The actual courtrooms are not any bigger than a matchbox, the witnesses are brought in the court by holding their hands like a kid, sometimes they are tried using ropes, but that is kinda it.

Second, the court rooms are not really that noisy and “Tareekh pe tareekh style”. This is not to say that that does not happen, it does but not always. Mostly lawyers just come in and ask for further dates for their cases. Interestingly, the judges do oblige them every time. Once I remember, when asking for another date the advocate told the judge, this actually happened believe you me, gave the judge a time slot in which he could give time to the matter at hand and thus wanted a date only in that period. If I remember correctly it was late August to early September. Also now that I think he did say that the client was going out of India and would in the country only during that period but still, the common people do not and should not dictate how the court works.

Third, nobody really picks up the Gita, Quran or Bible before giving their evidence in the courtroom. They actually just swear by their religion and state that they will say the truth and frankly nobody actually takes the oath seriously. It is administered by the nearest court official. This time I actually understood the meaning of ‘dasti’. The thing is that there is a Kashmiri word spelled and pronounced in the exact same way which means fast. So I used to guess the meaning as providing some document quickly. But turns out it means service by hand, things like notices, summons etc are not posted by the court to the person rather, the other party states that we will give it to them by hand.

Another very interesting thing I noticed, not related to the court but the DTC bus. Recently, I have started taking a bus from Khan Market to Patiala House which leaves me right outside the court. Takes me 5 bucks and 5 minutes, so kinda convenient. You can actually see this that the men take the seats that are reserved for women very seriously. If a woman is standing and a man is sitting on the reserved seat, they will immediately get up and offer the seat. This is not something that you see in the normal metro coaches because I guess, men have become so used to understanding the fact that women’s coach is the place where women should be.

Another interesting thing was…. God the newer buses run by the Delhi Government are so much cooler. Today I took the older DTC buses. I don’t understand why was it allowed to be a bus. all the lights were hanging out of their sockets. All you could hold to maintain your balance were straight iron circular bars running across the length of the bus. Every time the bus started after stopping at say the red light or the stop, the entire bus shook. You were so high above the ground and given the condition of the bus, I was kinda sure the bus will trip and not be able to maintain its balance.

 I will add more to the list as and when I remember, but I hope you like about this much. (the post’s idea came about thanks to The Horseman Hits Again)

PATIALA HOUSE DAIRIES – PART I

My first day at my new month long internship, at the Patiala House Court, was quite enlightening frankly. So the Patiala House Court was the residence of the Maharaja of Patiala and hence the name, eventually sold off to the Delhi Government when Privy purses were abolished in India. The Delhi government used it as their secretariat and eventually converted it to a court which is the Patiala House Court now. This conversion has caused various interesting variations in the designs of the courtrooms.

The first thing you could notice was that the acoustics were very bad, obviously because the rooms were not made to hear orators trying to save people’s lives or lands or families every day. I actually went around thinking that the rooms are very small for a royal house. Then I saw that some of the walls were false which made me realise that the actual rooms must have been split into twos or threes to accommodate so many courtrooms. But what I loved best was some rooms had fireplaces. Every time I saw a fireplace I could only think of lighting that fireplace in winters while matter are being heard. Man that would be cool!

The next thing I noticed is that this court house had signage that was even poorer than the Indian roads. I went around looking for courtroom 21 on someone’s advice, because my boss was in another district court and I had to wait till he would come, till then I was going around observing courts, I literally trudged on from room to room carrying my laptop on my back, I could not find that courtroom on my own. Everywhere the corridor split into two and I had to guess where to go. It made me feel like reading those Goosebumps novels where they give you a choice at the end of every page to choose your own ending. But when  I did find court room number 21, something happened that sent my brain into overdrive. So I went to that room at about 1:10 ish, so the judge was hearing the last matter before lunch. The attorneys presenting last left and then it was only I who was left in the courtroom in the audience. The judge asked me, which matter was I presenting… I just gave a very ambiguous response… she reiterated her question. I stated that I was an intern. If she could see into my brain, she would not actually see anything, just an all pervasive darkness and a loud howling and screeching and screaming.

You know when I first went to the Supreme Court, standing on those steps, I thought, this is where it all boils down to, the final word of law, where everyone gets justice, there is nothing beyond this. But when you come to a district court you realise wait, “The buck stops here”. These courts are a world in themselves. I remember seeing a courtroom where the lawyers and the clerk were talking among themselves, loudly, and the judge was dictating something to the stenographer. But what I really liked about this court is the fact that it seemed to be aware of an Indian’s inherent nature. They had a A4 sheet that clearly said that don’t enquire from the stenographer, because, an Indian will invariably ask the stenographer who seems the most approachable person around,the rest are either cloaked with judicial or police authorities.

Why I also feel that they are a world apart, is that the lawyers interjected the judge while he was speaking, I feared that the person would go in for Contempt of Court, but the judge just kinda…. you know…, unfazed. In one courtroom, the judge was dictating something to the stenographer and while doing so, he asked the lawyers whether the English was correct or not, in case you are interested, it was not. Though what irritated me the most was the fact that they had written everywhere that the first two rows were reserved for advocates. They reminded this to us around every corner.

Then I went on a tour of the new building, the Family court, it was nice but kinda reminded me of the Metro station in its design. On its second floor was a fast track court, it wasn’t fast at all. what I did not understand is that the lawyers, it appeared to me, were standing inside the witness box like structure. But the cherry the cake today was a centuries old question that a lawyer asked me today. So while sitting in my boss’ chamber, another lawyer came in to consult with him. He noticed me sitting there and asked if I was an intern. I answered in the affirmative. They both actually then started inquiring about my subjects. I told them. So mainly my law subjects were Contracts, Criminal Law restricted to IPC and Torts. The other lawyer asked me which one was my favourite. I told him Criminal.

Then came the question….. What is the difference between Section 299 and Section 300 of the IPC? I broke off into this explanation, pouring in all that could remember… how the awareness of the danger of your act is higher in murder and the emphasis on the act causing the death is more in Section 300 which is murder. And other stuff. But this other lawyer just said but you did not mention ‘intention’ in your explanation.When you have the intention to cause death then it is murder, if not then culpable homicide. Though I did not agree with the explanation, I did not contradict, after all he was a practicing lawyer I just wanted to explode. I talked about awareness… don’t you remember because if I restrict it to intention then what is the difference between 299 (Culpable Homicide) and Section 304 (Negligent death)… Ok wait, all of you all might not get it, sorry got carried away. But the icing was that my boss took my side and stated that my explanation was quite correct, as well… as well.

 Though all in all as I said it was quite enlightening and actually fun. :)

LOVE AT SECOND SIGHT: CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 3

Seven Years Ago

Imperial Law College, one of the most coveted law colleges in the country. Every law student wanting to make a comfortable living wanted to get here. People could kill for a seat here. When the results came out, Janaki declared “I will not give the IIT JEE exam”. She couldn’t anyway. She hadn’t taken her admit card. She had a feeling that she would get a seat here and thus she never bothered with the damned engineering exam. The first merit list came out and she saw her name bold and clear, Janaki Desai and she even decided to drop her Delhi University seats. She was so ready to take the college on that she just started looking up the Constitution of India on the internet. The next thing was to make it her Facebook status. It was going to be a piece of cake and five years later she will be working in Amarchand Mangaldas making a killing in a year.

On the first day of college, the things the college threw at her, she was doubting her piece of cake theory. 5 project reports, one in each subject, citation systems for the projects and that is separate from the normal studies. The normal studies was also filled with readings that for some reason were always prescribed from outside the book. She always thought, why do they even give us this book, when they don’t teach from it. But these weren’t the biggest problems of her life. The most difficult thing in college was the library. They had access only to two floors and those two were so difficult to handle, the thought of having to deal with three more floors later was well dreadful. There was a lot of work to be done here.

But she liked her roommates. Every room had three, in her case it was Andrea and Sasha. Andrea was a Kerala Christian and Sasha like Janaki herself was born and brought up in Delhi. They got along well. They did not have a lot of petty roommate fights in the beginning. It was still the first year, things were simple, uncomplicated and innocent. They slowly learnt the ways of life in a law college. Moots, Alternate Dispute Resolution Competitions or better known as ADRs, how to deal with projects which meant getting good scores on your projects with minimum effort. Handling subjects that were tough, sharing notes and most importantly internships. Lots of things came along the way, being freshers and hence getting ragged, the college fest, freshers parties that were thrown for her batch and the ones her batch threw for their juniors. Slowly, if law school and Janaki did not become friends but they decided to have a passive agreement on letting the other live.

There could have been a breach of this agreement in the third year when life did get hell. All law subjects and that all of tough. She wanted to literally hang herself from her own hostel’s room’s ceiling fan. It was crazy. What she considered to be unholy grounds, the library, she found herself sitting there everyday and not for the air conditioning but actually for studying. It was a downhill road and it was getting steeper by the day. She could never understand why they couldn’t shift the subjects around a bit so that it becomes a bit easier on students. Then she realised wait, I was in ILC. She always remembered this one line the VC had said when they had gone to ask him for holidays in between the exams “This is the standard of ILC, our students are such that they can write 5 exams in 5 days and even then be ready to win an international moot the next day”, yes why not? She had thought.

It was another gruelling day, when she heard of the play that was being made in the college. It was a yearly thing, one play was made by the students of the entire college and the writer with other esteemed guests was invited to the college to see the theatrical presentation of the book or play that had been chosen by the students. She loved theatre but never as a performer but always as an appreciator. She preferred being in the audience and never showed a lot of interest in the auditions that were always a big deal. But this time, how could she refuse, they were picking up one of her favourite books, The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan, the beautiful retelling of the lovestory of Jehangir and Mehrunnisa. She deliberated on it over a long time. She was in the third year… times were tough… did she have time to spare… that too for a play,.. could she balance both… would it affect her studies… All of this plus she wanted to try mooting this year. But it was her favourite book- and the most wonderfully written characters were calling her to themselves.

She got up, with a start, in full vie of everyone sitting in the library and decided, she had never treated herself to something like that. She should at least give it a shot, not that she was the best of the actors, that she will say a dialogue and they will be waiting for her with open arms to be their Mehrunnisa. Then Andrea pulled her top, Janaki looked at her, she realised, she was in the library and sat down and told Andrea the epiphany she had just had. She read the invitation mail carefully, noted the time and place for the audition.

It was after two days. She finished all her work by 5 that evening and by 5:15, she stood outside the door of the audition room. She knocked and was surprised to see that she was the first one. She waited, slowly, people started coming, it was already 5:45 and still no sign of the organisers, which were the fourth years. Then she saw Sasha come in, Janaki motioned towards the seat next to her and she sat down and finally at 5:50 the fourth years came in. They were least bothered about the fact that they were late. Ahh.. the fourth years, they think that now that they are done with the third year, they are the kings of the world, no respect for others’ time. Never mind, she thought, its for the book. They began explaining the story and laid out the roles for which auditions would be conducted. They started taking down names for each role. Janaki raised her hand for Meherunnisa.

They distributed the lines. She read her lines again and again to herself. Sasha told her to shush. That is when he walked in, “Sorry guys. Hi I am Raghunath Diwan. I will be directing the play and well have written the script. I hope you guys like it.  I got caught up in something. Thanks for taking out your time for us. We really really appreciate this and I think they have told you about the book and the adaptation we are doing, it is a great book, I advice you all to read, irrespective of whether you play a role in the play or not. I have a copy, you guys can borrow i whenever you want to” and gave a beaming smile. She wanted to shout “I have read the book, even I have a copy”.

He was so polite and nice. She couldn’t place him, but actually she never really knew most of her seniors, but she guessed he was another fourth year. But he was so handsome, he couldn’t be one of them. He wore a U S Polo T shirt and khaki pants, but he wore them with an almost royal elan. His face exuded warmth and confidence. It was as if, she was destined to be his Mehrunissa and he her Jehangir.

I AM 2/10th OF A LAWYER

Huh! Another semester got over and 20% of my law school education is over. Two semesters done or my entire first year is over, I am not a fresher anymore :(. But I will have juniors now hehehehehahaha…… No I vow to be the best senior ever, one to which juniors can look up to and ask whatever questions they have without having any fear. But that is all in the future, let’s talk about the semester that just went by. My results aren’t out yet but I think I will pass. You never know in our college, you can sweat your ass off but it all depends on how the teacher feels when they look at your paper, believe me I have seen that through my mid semesters. So I had had 5 subjects Contracts-I, English-II, Political Science-II, Criminal Law-I and Law of Torts-II.

Contracts was about the Indian Contract Act, 1872 and 2 sections of Specific Relief Act, 1963; Section 10 and Section 14 to be precise. English-II, I never really understood the point of it, business communication….. I know I am studying in the college to be a lawyer and communication plays an important role but I really don’t understand how understanding differences in communication due to culture is going to help me plead my case better unless I am trying someone under Section 499 of the IPC which is about defamation but I guess I can work around that. Criminal Law was the one class that I really enjoyed, it wasn’t spectacular but it wasn’t drop dead boring either. Torts……. TORTS, I think I lost a part of my soul because of this subject, I will explain that as we go. Political Science, we all love our Pol Sci teacher, I think we will actually miss his classes, but this year the syllabus was too much that I think I had a breakdown while learning the whole of it for my end sems.

Now lets dissect each one of them. Contracts, I can swear on all my gods that I never paid attention in his class, barring may be a few days when say I forgot my phone in my room or battery was running low or maybe I had had a divine intervention and I thought, no, I should pay attention in Contracts. I am sorry, but it is physically impossible to do that and emotionally painful. I am not kidding. We had two teachers. The male teacher has this odd habit of saying wakey-wakey when he enters the class. Are we in freaking II grade that we need to be told that. The other one was all the more fantastic, she came in and just started, as if, if she doesn’t do that she will not remember what she has to teach. And she can talk without a break. I don’t know how she does that. This was a deadly combo because basically I have given my exams on my understanding if my textbooks. Because even if you pay attention, I don’t really know what they talk about probably because it is connected to the previous class or whatever, but I really don’t think I can help anyone with their contracts problems.

English is supposed to be my bitch but this semester, I literally cried for half an hour before I actually started learning because I just didn’t know why I was doing whatever I was doing. Business communication lessons is something that are taken up as , you know, by speakers to help motivate kids. You can’t mark people on their knowledge of that. I mean we were supposed to learn stuff like what are the ways to resolve conflict and what are the steps for same for an English exam. Why Why ???? But I had fun with the plays this time, if you remember what I wrote about directing Pygmalion this semester, the only time when I felt I was doing something related to English, you know, the whole concept of expressing yourself. I really did not like this semester’s syllabus for English, last time was fun. This time the syllabus was just plain simple weird.

Criminal, again, I did no have a lot of qualms about. Nice teachers cleared my concepts and the classes were fun to attend. The Criminal law class was one of those you wanted to attend. But there is one thing that happened in the Criminal Law class that I think we all will remember for eternity. So you know how attendances are to be taken everyday. It was another day when our attendance was to be taken. We had two teachers this semester. One was a Masters and the other was a PhD. Our main teacher, lets call him TA was obviously the one with the PhD and the Masters one was the ancillary teacher, lets call him TB. Now TB was going to take the attendance that day and he thought that he will be ingenious and started going to every seat and asked the students for their roll numbers and marked them on his sheet. Our main teacher, TA came running, snatched, I repeat, snatched the sheet from his hand, went to the mike in the class and started taking the attendance roll number wise, but before he did remark that TB was wasting the class of the time. We all looked at each other dumb founded…..

Political Science was damning this time. We studied International relations this semester. Man realism, Neo-Realism, Liberalism, Neo-Liberalism , Feminism, Marxist Approach and what not. these are the major schools that I am talking about, there were many minor ones that came along the way. The syllabus was too much. I think I cried a bit while trying to learn all of it. It was physically impossible to learn all of it. Oh wait I don’t think I have told you but we sit for all our exams at one go, as in, one in a day. So basically for one exam we have 21 hrs to learn everything. We obviously start learning a few weeks in advance but you still have to revise whole of it in one go. And the best thing (sarcasm) our exam department did this time was change our exam slot from 9 to 12 to 2 to 5 in the afternoon, for crying out loud, it is scientifically proven to be the least productive time of the day. We tried our level best to get it changed. But it was the exam department and that to of a government college, we knew it was a lost battle when we started out but it felt good that we did not let go without a fight.

Talking about the exam department reminded of another beautiful blunder they committed. So we have to sit for a 50 marker for our end semesters, we get our question papers and they are for drumroll please…………….. 70 marks yes 70 and we were going to get the same time for it that is 3 hours because our precious teachers could not stay after their payday got over at 5. Our invigilators told us to read our papers after we pointed this error out and thus for 15 minutes we were just reading the papers waiting for further directive from the concerned teacher or department. The teacher came, he saw and he said “There will be no changes”… We just laughed for a few minutes actually waiting for him to tell us the truth. But when he did not budge, we inquired about extra time and he said that no extra time will be given and when we said that we have been waiting for the past 15 minutes, he plain and simple said that we shouldn’t have done that. Height of indifference.

Last and definitely the least TORTS, I never thought I could hate a person that much, my Torts teacher. I have contemplated killing her…… literally, going to her office in the tea-break with an over sweet cup of coffee mixed with rat poison and watch her drink it and the slowly choke. I know morbid but please just sit in her class and then decide. She is a pigeon, you know how you always consider them to be dumb and they have the annoying habit of shaking their neck front and back and they make that sound ‘hoo’. Just imagine the human form of a pigeon, that is our torts teacher. It was maddeningly irritating to ask her a question. She had standard responses- “I have taught this already”, “You were not paying attention, I have taught this already”, “I have taught this, now the class will give the answer” and after saying any one of these, she would shake her neck like a pigeon and make the sound “hmm” again and again and again and again and again and then when we thought she was done, she would yet again make the sound. Now if she would have genuinely taught it what was the big deal, no she didn’t teach…… she had this notion that she has taught and imagined us to understand everything. The thing is she will mention a word somewhere in a sentence and will expect us to know what it meant and the whole of history, geography and demographics. She has some serious communication issues. She forms a certain impression of where she wants the conversation to go and then when you try to talk to her, she will just hear the words that will take her idea of the conversation forward, even if what you are trying to say is exactly the opposite. She did not give us the freaking syllabus for the exam  because she did not want us take her classes lightly. We asked her for the syllabus on the second last day… when were her classes going to held after that and not this tactic will make us pay attention. Not that we were totally irreverent of her or anything but I don’t know what enmity does she have with us.  The worst part, she made us study Consumer Protection for the entire semester and then suddenly started stuffing in other torts topics like nervous shock, false imprisonment etc etc. We did all of these topics in 3 weeks where she gave us pages and pages of readings. As I said I think I did lose a part of my soul.

These were my subjects, there were a lot of things as well like our college fest, we had Abish Matthew and Advaita. And then sports fest which was inter batch. I played volleyball after such a long time, it was so much fun . But when the seniors saw me serve the ball, one of them literally went, “you know we are not letting you take up any other thing nest year, don’t you?”, I felt elated. That feeling that you still have it in yourself. Because it has been close to 3 years since I played a proper game but still when I get to the ground that adrenaline rush is still the same and the single point focus on the ball… wish I could do that in contracts haha.

Nahan and Me

My exams ended on the 19th of June and 20th I ran off to this little town nestled between mountains called Nahan in Himachal Pradesh. The first thing you notice about this place is its deafening silence, disturbingly deafening. A person who is used to the sounds of a city like Delhi, the quiet the city offers is so surreal that for me it was ironically rather disquieting. There were other things too but we will come to them later. One thing though, this time I went with a group so the places we visited were by consensus.

But first things first, as my usual suggestion for Indian roads is keeping Google Maps at hand, cause you kind find your way for nuts on these roads. The trip was right after the exams so my excitement levels were through the roof, I literally looked up the history, geography, demographics of the place. I literally could tell you the route by heart- Faridabad-Karnal-Kurukshetra-Shahbad Markanda-Barara-Sidhaura-Kala Amb-Nahan. So the route till Shahbad Markanda was basically NH1 and we know that the road on NH1 is fantastic. But after you take the turn under the flyover, it will take you a few minutes to understand what happened. Where did the road go???? And interestingly the road till Nahan is the same, motorable for the most part with patches of what passes as a road for the State Highways department.The uphill drive starts from Kala Amb, some 24 kms of driving that will take you above the sea level. Our resort was 11 kms further above Nahan so we had to drive further on. The resort afforded us the view of the entire city of Nahan from our rooms. It was beautiful.

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Nahan, in and of itself really doesn’t have a lot apart from your standard lake and Mall Road. But one can use Nahan as a base for other places. Again not a lot of places for going but I guess the magic of the place is the fact that you don’t want to do anything else. You just want to sit in your room on the balcony and just see, take in the beauty of the mountains and the tranquil of the place. The best part was that all along that we were there , it rained everyday and the mountains and even our rooms used to get engulfed in clouds and the temperatures used to drop and then you would just want a hot cup of coffee and something to cover you, a chair, maybe a book and then just see the clouds coming and touching your balcony and before you could get them they would scuttle away.

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That was another reason our trip got restricted. It would get all foggy and then you can’t drive on a hill road with such fog clouding your way. We always used to study that it takes longer to cook on the mountains than the plains because of the decreased atmospheric pressure and all but how do you explain placing an order at 2 pm and getting it exactly an hour later. This was the story of our breakfast, lunch and dinner. But this was not the worst part. The worst is yet to come, flying eight-freakin’-legged creatures of all-freakin’-kinds. A huge cross of a cockroach and beetle flew right next to me, I jumped and spilled water on the floor :(. Not that I am scared of these things but come on something flies straight for your guts you are bound to jump. The service was so slow that we used to ask for things like cups or tea bags about 45mins in advance because we knew that it would take them about this much time to get it. But the hotel was good in other respect. Nice spacious rooms and great view, friendly people who would help you with anything.

The first two days of the trip were marked by rains and clouds hence we had to stay in. The third day was clear so went out to the Renuka lake about 28 kms from the hotel. It is supposed to be the birthplace of Parshuram, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The parents of Parshuram had mediated here to get Lord Vishnu as their son. The place has two lakes, a smaller one The Parshuram Tal (Lake) and the bigger one at a short distance called the Renukaji Lake, named after Parshuram’s mother. The Parshuram Lake is actually not that big, it is enclosed by cemented embankments. And nearby is the Renukaji temple. Again it is a small one with three temples inside it. People milling around from the one in the centre to the other on the upper left corner, the former of the son and the latter of the mother. The third one is dedicated to the 10 incarnations of Vishnu.

imagesYou can go for boat ride in the larger lake or as they put it ‘botting’ ride. You get those paddle boats for half an hour and you go around the lake. It is a huge lake and you see lots of fishes and we even saw a tortoise in the water. But I have a simple policy of no gadgets on boats so I couldn’t click the tortoise. But the lake has pretty lotuses on one side.

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Then we had lunch at the Renukaji hotel run by HPTDC right next to the lake. Even that one was a decent resort, nice food and lots of space. The next day we left for home. This is where I actually lost it. You ask why?? Hahahahaahhahaha. Kala Amb, that place where the ascent starts had a small attraction called a fossil park. Fossils had been unearthed in this region and the government had created fibre reinforced plastic models of these fossils. It was supposed to have 6 sets of animals including sabertooth, Indian mammoths and what not. But when we actually go there. First that we learn is it is closed on tuesdays. But the next thing we learn is that the place got burned down in a fire and what remained of the place I was so excited to go to was —DSCN0570[1] DSCN0576[1]

I either wanted to kill someone or cry.I so wanted this place to be fantastic and no one, no one on the internet mentioned that this is what has become of this place. The museum has simple rocks and some random sculptures. And we spent about 25 mins getting to the stupid place because of the road. even the road was a fossilized one -sarcasm- the whole road had just potholes. I literally felt bad for the tyres of our car. All we got there was a coke. :(

But the place was very peaceful and close to nature.

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While on our way back we stopped a lot deciding where to have lunch eventually we had it at this place called Zamindara Dhaba. I was so happy after I had the food, it was literally fulfilling. The whole time all we ate was so similar to our college mess menu that I had given up on life. They literally made the same things. But the roadside dhaba, I just fell in love with it. Then slowly but steadily we came back home and I realised that I will never love a place more than Delhi.

DIRECTING PYGMALION

My-Fair-Lady---_2877510bWell today we had our ‘big event’. This is what our English teacher calls the day when we perform the plays that we have in our syllabus as a part of the course and on which we will actually be marked in the exam. You know I find it extremely surprising that given how much I hate him, he probably is the one person that I would have talked about the most. Not that I want to talk about him in this post as this post is solely dedicated to me creating our own version of Pygmalion, which we better know as My Fair Lady, starring Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn and Jeremy Brett (;)).

But first who don’t know about either-Pygmalion 101. Pygmalion is a Greek tale of this, I want to say, king who did not find earthly women good enough for him so he created a statue of the woman, he felt would be a perfect one and when he was done he realised that he had fallen in love with this woman. He prayed to the gods and they granted his wish by bringing Galactea, i.e. the statue to life. Now in Pygmalion, the play, written by George Bernard Shaw, we see Professor Higgins, an almost misogynist decides to take on a bet to make a Duchess out of a flower girl, or at least make people believe that she is a Duchess, as he was a linguistics professor who would turn her cockney accent into that of the genteel class. Thus we see them embarking on a tiresome journey which eventually brings Prof. Higgins success as Eliza, the heroine manages to befool everyone that she is a Duchess.

In the play, she ends up with a guy called Freddy because she does not like the way Higgins treated her as if she were a doll which he could throw away when he would get tired it. She was just another challenge to him and not a human being. We also see this character of Eliza’s father who realises that her daughter is being used by some like Higgins for an experiment and hence decides to extract money out of the situation, thus highlighting the clash of the moralities. But in the movie she ends up with Prof. Higgins, I guess to sort of give it a happy ending. Besides, there exists this extra character called Carpathy in the movie who is another distinguished linguist, a student of Higgins himself and the real test for Eliza thus becomes to fool him.

Now apparently, it was written to be performed as a musical. Hence even when we see the movie, we see quite a lot of songs, a lot actually. Now we did not have such terrific singers hence we decided to ‘bollywoodenize’ the situation. So, firstly, because everyone wanted a ball scene complete with a queen and everything, so I decided to keep Mr. Carpathy from the movie but so that the essence of he play remains, we sent Eliza with Freddy. Now these ideas literally just came up randomly in the periods that our English teacher used to give us for ‘Play Practice’, we used to go to the ‘allotted rooms’, one for each play and then ‘practice’. We really did not have a script till the last day. Our last scene was created minutes before our actual performance. Oh My God, I was laughing so hard upstairs in the sound box from where I was controlling the lights on stage thinking of what we had been doing throughout. I think I finished fat book while passing time in this free time he had given to us for efficiently using them to put up a show on the day of the ‘big event’.

Then we added a bit of humour by putting in Indian songs wherever, they seemed fit. So when Freddy and Eliza first collide, we added the epic tune of DDLJ (it is a very famous Shahrukh Khan movie that has been running for years and years because the fans love it so much you can hear it here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDeNqC2R5-E ). Now towards the end Eliza runs away from Higgins’ house in the night, so here we played Gumshuda, another Shahrukh Khan song which basically means someone who has gone missing (hear it here-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N29spcYPBc ) I actually also hate the guy who played Higgins, he is such a kiss ass, but because I was directing, I got to boss him as much as I wanted. Most importantly, he took upon himself to cut the script short on the condition that no changes will be made to it. I agreed because it reduced my work. So when the script actually came, I never really paid attention, so when I tried doing what I do best,directing, he kept coming in between saying don’t do it like this, my way is better blah blah blah….Argh. Then I simply gave up and said you want to direct, go ahead because, I cannot tolerate insubordination. I know what you are thinking, I should be in the military, some day my friend, some day. But eventually people got fed up him because of his extremely stupid ideas. He wanted to switch the genders of the protagonists and create a whole new story. Great idea, but no way in hell would anyone want to put in that much effort for the English Teacher’s play, believe me, our teacher has a knack for pissing anyone off. Moreover because my friend who was playing the cockney Eliza (we had two Eliza’s one cockney and the other who spoke proper English) is a huge Audrey Hepburn fan, so she was extremely excited about the play, so much so that she wanted to direct and let me be Eliza and not half but with the entire set of dialogues. But I convinced her to change her mind, more so because I was not willing to put in the effort of learning the dialogues again (oh yes we have to go through this torture twice in the first year of the college, last time I was in Antigone by Sophocles, playing Antigone herself) and the gender swapping ideas had made her mind go numb with rage. This is when I decided to intervene and take my charge back again, actually because now the script had been once explained to the cast so I knew what I had to direct. Thus finally we put up Pygmalion.

HIMYM v F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

I do not understand why people actually even compare these two because obviously, Friends is way better, still, on my cousin’s advice, I decided to watch How I Met Your Mother, to finally come to the conclusion that Friends rocks and here is why. First let me make this clear that this analysis comes from a viewing of 3 seasons of HYMIM and well all seasons over Friends, maybe 10 times over. But but I assure you that I will try to write as objectively I can.

Now firstly, why did I say that there is no competition because I saw so much of Friends in HYMIM. Theodore Vivian Mosby, the lead- I want to fall in love and get married, now haven’t we seen this before? Haan haan, first episode of Friends…….

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Then another one which I saw was Ted has a habit of correcting people incessantly….Again does it ring any bells?

Then please nobody can disagree that Barney is the slightly cheaper version of Joey- complete with their own catchphrases, I hope this needs no explanation.

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Lily is again a I’d say less prettier version of Monica. Why? Both are the mother hen of the group and also the ones who take care of everyone an are compassionate.

Now this is something that I just saw in the last episode of season 3, Barney suddenly starts liking Robin-Oh wait- Did I say at how many levels, Robin and Ted are like Ross and Rachel. Ok Ok lets first talk about that. So, everyone knows how the girl is out of the league of the hero and the girl cannot handle a serious relationship right now. I agree that is not quite the case for Ross and Rachel but what makes them similar for me is the fact that they both date for a year and after breaking up they have this lingering tension between them and keep going on and off and even end up sleeping with each other. The hero and heroine want to get together but don’t.

Coming back to Barney and Robin, Joey also fell in love with Rachel, the ex of the hero, whom he still has feelings for. Then one last thing, this one is actually lame but still all are in New York. So how much ever anybody tries to convince me that HYMIM’s better, it is just something that is another thing which is like friends except newer and with a fresh story twist but it does goes around friends who are each others family and look for comfort within this small group of people.

This is something that I recently noticed which was that they have a Thanksgiving tradition to.

But again I would chose Friends over HYMIM any day. So, you know………..