DOES KNOWING ENGLISH MAKE US INHERENTLY ELITIST
Well first I know how hypocritical this is because I am writing the post in English, but I seriously don’t know how to write in Hindi on a laptop, besides this is meant to provoke the thoughts of those who are well endowed with the English language skills. Now we were studying the various schools of history and there they taught us what is the Elitist school of history. For those who, like me, don’t know what it is, well this is what I understood, means when the history is told only from the perspective of the elite that this the ones who were influential enough to get their names etched in history. But now a days, as I came to know, elitist is also used for those people who consider themselves, maybe unconsciously, a notch higher than others maybe for the simple reason that they can speak better English or have see more English movies or are into the English music legends like John Lennon, Eric Clapton etc and for some reason have an accent which you can neither trace to the British nor to the Americans and it is definitely not Indian. I might refer to people as ‘they’ which might feel like I am talking about my batch mates, but I mean it in a general sense.
Now, why did I get to thinking this? The thing is that I may watch a English movies and listen to a few English songs here and there but still my preferred style of music is Indian folk, Indian folk fusion, Indian Classical and well if the lyrics and music are good enough maybe even Bollywood songs. My room mates play their Led Zeppelin songs at full blast of their speakers and I am supposed to, well no offence meant, bear the monstrosity. But the other day I came in with my laptop, with a soft Hindi Bollywood melody playing on it and voila! I was to either shut the song or sit outside the room, MY VERY OWN ROOM!!! You can’t sit with people you call your friends because eventually when the conversation turns towards music, you are sitting with an expression on your face that gives it away very nicely, that you have no idea what is going on. When you talk about what you listen to, as in if they are polite enough to ask, they will just nod and then somebody will bring in Dream Theater and the whole point is just lost. Sometimes I feel that are such people even capable of appreciating the beauty of India’s indigenous music that does not actually come from Coke Studio, which again to me is an elitist version of folk songs. Though I agree some are really beautiful, but I can bet that those ones have deviated only slightly from their original form, because the music comes from the narrow roads that take you to the very heart of the country, etched deep into the traditions and the culture.
Talking about English movies, I do enjoy James Bond, no wait, I am helplessly in love with James Bond (especially Pierce Brosnan) and also like watching Harrison Ford movies and the others. But not having watched Dead Poet’s society was a sin that I had committed that probably could not be absolved in this life, at least this is the reaction I got. When I asked people have you seen Swades, Chak De! India or to put in perspective, 3 Idiots, everyone looked down on me because I actually enjoyed these movies. Not only this, our college has this thing of finding excellent and meaningful movies from all over the globe and then showing it to us. So, they day they showed Dead Poet’s society, the entire hall was jam-packed. The next week they showed us this Kannada movie about caste-ism in India from an example in Karnataka, the story being penned by an internationally acclaimed author who wrote in Kannada. Any guesses as to what happened, the hall had a few people, half of them probably had nothing to do. It is many of these movies that go to the Cannes Festival and the other fashionable screening of movies, yet do we know anything about them.
Slumdog Millionaire won 8 Oscars hence every Indian talks about the movie with pride, but how many of us have seen Paheli (translated to English: the puzzle) that was nominated to the Oscars, was shortlisted but just couldn’t make the final cut. When the Oscars are to be awarded, in India the program airs at 6:30 in the morning, you will find people actually getting up to see them even though they actually happen around the time school student are writing their exams. I agree such fervor is also raised for Filmfare, but probably because it awards the populist cinema. Have we ever seen this excitement for The National Awards, which are actually given away by the President of India. People usually give the argument that we don’t watch Indian award functions because they are rigged and have a lot of unnecessary dance and song performances, at least this is what I feel. But the national awards cannot be rigged, even in the dreams of a madman and there is a total of what 2 or 3 performances. But no, we don’t even know when they are given away.
In my family, I was supposed to be the elitist because I don’t enjoy Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar movies and only deigned to go to the theater if a Shahrukh Khan movie had released. But now coming to college I want to tell them that the deal they got with me was much better. 😀
Well 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.
THE MARKERS OF A LAW STUDENT
I have always been skeptical as to how law school will change me because come on, one needs a serious commitment to become a fully functioning adult which I am sure I don’t have. But the thing with law school like any other educational institutes is that it creeps into you very sutlely. But what is different about the way the law school brings about this change is highly visible. When you want to be an engineer or an architect or a musician or a doctor or fashion designer, you tend to show interest in activities related to the field before hand. Like for architecture or for fashion designing you need a basic skill set of being able to draw with a steady hand, which I can’t do for life.
Or maybe I am being stereotypical but I guess in India, law is the probably the last resort in India, STILL…. I don’t feel that one requires any extra special skills except for maybe a bit of logical reasoning. So I guess the changes are rather noticeable. I decided to list the changes. I felt that we start using fancier words in daily conversations. Especially words like ‘legitimately’, ‘legally’, ‘technically’, ‘well according to the law’ etc, etc. The thing with using these fancy words is that they make you slightly irritating because you start correcting people and sometimes one doesn’t realise that the other person does not really give a shit about what you say after the ‘aforesaid’ words. And the best part is you do is unconsciously, you don’t notice it one bit.
Then of course, this habit is something that you can even see in my posts now, my posts are in the justified alignment. Our research papers are to be written in Times New Roman, 12 font, 1.2, justified alignment of the text. So now every time I write, I ensure that at least it has justified alignment if not the other things cause I have realised how infinitely cooler it looks and more neater.
Then, there is one thing that I really am not proud of. Finding humor in judgments. It makes me feel sad that we find stuff that judges say funny, it is ironical. So there was this judgment called Suresh and Anr. v State of Uttar Pradesh and it was delivered by Judge Thomas and the judgment was written so fantastically that I read it twice, the second time just for the fun. It is basically an awesome judgment. We just keep mentioning it when we talk about great pieces of literature. Or funny laws, it is just weird that our source of humor has come to this.
Thinking that Saturdays will be a holiday makes you feel that your weekend is suddenly longer, maybe that is college specific because we have classes on saturday quite often, and I have made a rule that if saturday is working then I don’t go home for that weekend hence my weekend become much better if Saturdays are a holiday. Though we have the incentive of having to stay back is that Saturdays are Chinese for dinner and I just realised that I missed the mango shake that is there for today. Shit!
You become experts in faffing or basically discussing stuff that you have no idea about or you can use big words and put the same point again and again differently each time. There are whole activities are dedicated to it also called- Parliamentary Debating. Even to some extent mooting.
Then of course, again unconsciously, you become argumentative and in daily conversations r especially when you are publically speaking, you tend to use words like “what we are trying to tell you” or “we come here and tell you” and stuff like that, that one bugs the hell out of me. So this time, while giving the farewell to the outgoing batch, one of the passing out students gave a speech, while doing that he pointed out a few faults with other speeches given. I wanted to shout that please don’t do that, don’t ruin farewell by giving such an argumentative speech, but first years can’t do that can they :(.
Then there is simple stuff like noticing details and pointing out faults with people’s s statement, especially while watching ‘Newshour’ with Arnab Goswami, I love it when he makes mistakes with law cause I hate watching the show but for some reason my dad seems to enjoy watching people shout at each other incessantly but then this helps me get back at the show. It is precious.
These are things that I have just noticed, well, if you feel there are more why don’t you post it in the comment 🙂
THE LESS-KNOWING TEACHER’S COMPLEX
With about a month to go to me finishing my first year in law school, I have come up with this theory, The Less Knowing Teacher’s Complex, not in any way related to law. But first things first, sorry for such a long delay. You know when I see a few of my teachers, I realise, when one really doesn’t know enough about one’s topic that they are supposed to teach us, a class of 78 students, what goes on in their minds?? Now I am not being mean, OK, nor am I badmouthing my college. Today we gave a farewell to the batch of 2015 and though this is completely unrelated to them passing out of college but it still made me think, what am I doing with my life? And that is when it got me thinking about my teachers and how some of them annoy the crap out of me, because of well, you guessed it right, the less-knowing teacher’s syndrome.
Now, the first sign of such a teacher is their heavy reliance on powerpoint slides, even if it was the subject of their PhD. If they do not have their slides, they tend to stutter while teaching or if there is no choice, make a move to a topic for which they have the slides. Then they will practically read out stuff from the slides and assume that you are listening to them and hence there is no need for you to note down the stuff in the slides. These slides, as they like to think, are their secret weapons. They will never give you these slides even if you beg. They know that if they give away the slides, no one will pay attention to what they are saying because even they themselves know that no one pays attention to what they utter in class.
Another thing I have noticed, that works both ways, is that these teachers , flowing from the fact that no one actually pays attention to them, either feel that the one moment that they need to be in the eyes of everyone in the class is when they come in. They will ensure that everyone is standing and only then greet the class. They will be willing to spend a full 5 minutes to ensure that everyone acknowledges their presence by standing up in their honour. They will provide randomest of the reasons to do it but they want people to just do it to maybe get that 15 seconds of fame. Or these teachers might just come and start speaking without noticing whether people have actually settled down or not. Maybe they feel, if they don’t break into that rut of their speech, they will forget what they are here to talk about.
Also these teachers are the ones that feel that they can do anything in the college including mandating attendance for something like an utterly unnecessary and pointless class that was not supposed to be there in the first place -wait for it- by the academic rules as in legitimately the teacher cannot ask you to show up. Because they cannot exert their influence anywhere else, they try to do it through any other means that are in their control like your project/research paper topics. They try to threaten you through these two things, namely attendance and projects, because hallelujah, marks for both count.
These teachers have ego issues- and they have them big time. So if they allege that you were talking or doing any other ‘unparliamentary’ (sorry law school effect) and you merely say that you weren’t, they will feel that you are calling them a liar or talking back to them . Hence if anything goes wrong in class, they will without knowing who actually did it will hold you responsible and thus you will end up being subjected to a long series of not being given attendance (when you valiantly, or not so valiantly, tried to fight sleep through his/her class), less marks for papers or projects etc etc.
They also have other ways of asserting their importance- mentioning exams. They feel if they point out stuff like, today’s discussion will come in the paper, they think people will have this sudden urge to actually leave Facebook, 9GAG, ScoopWhoop, Tumblr or in my case Stumble Upon and pay attention, sometimes I feel such pity for them. And, they will definitely avoid taking questions from people who are prone to asking smart questions. Because, obviously, if they will not be able to answer them, it will become a huge prestige issue for them. They will also refuse to give you free periods because their supremely important subject might suddenly lag behind in syllabus because of a free periods here and there. These teachers will also have problems with you leaving class because that again for them is an affront, even if you have a hand that is bursting with puss and requires a change of bandage or if you actually genuinely want to go to the washroom.
These teachers also have a tendency to suddenly take discussions away from the topic that is actually being discussed in class to something completely unrelated and preferably something related to their own experiences, especially, if they are self-glorifying experiences. These teachers also love taking the first class of the day because they feel that their subject needs the maximum amount of attention, because it is oh-so-technical that we will understand only in the morning when we are actually still waiting for the caffeine to kick in. I think Nescafe has stopped working on me. They will repeat what they have said at least five times, I guess more for themselves than for us, probably, want to be sure what they are saying is correct :P. They also have this annoying, not that all of it before this was not annoying, habit of suddenly asking questions on some homework that they had supposedly given us. This also gives them another chance of pointing out how incompetent the class is and how great our luck is to have such a teacher, who knows all about this supposed homework that we had to do and will hence be enlightening us about it.
I don’t know whether it is law school or just me that my tendency of committing murder,mind you- not CULPABLE HOMICIDE, is increasing everyday. It feels like a pointless day sometimes but then I guess this is what is called paying your dues.
PERKS OF INTERNING: COURT VISITS
Well now that I have become 1/10th of a lawyer, I thought why not give, what these people call courts, a visit. But first things first, my results came about a few days ago and guess what I passed, even that sucky subject called History of Legal and Constitutional Development. Even though I got the highest grade in all others and the lowest in HLCD but whatever I passed. But before our college broke for winter break of one and a half month, after exams, I started applying to NGOs to intern there and got in one of the fancier places called HRLN, Human Resources Law Network. This place, as the name suggests, is a place for fighting against any injustices done to those who cannot defend themselves in a legal suit. Now this place has a selection process and that is what makes it fancy, we have to fill forms and send write ups and all the other shizz. Now, I got in, that is not the part that matters but the fact that during my internship, I got to go to court, both, the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For two really important cases, believe me. Wait; first let me tell you the hierarchy. If you have a criminal suit or for that matter civil matters, you first file in a court that will be at the district level, then appeal to the court at the state level called the High Court and then from there after obtaining a certificate for appeal you appeal to the Supreme Court. But if fundamental rights are violated, one can appeal directly to the High Court or the Supreme Court invoking what is called writ jurisdiction of these courts.
I first went to the High Court, in a matter regarding pricing of medicines and an order that was given by a national level body dealing with pricing of drugs and medicines. This was a sudden decision, I wasn’t even dressed to go to the court, interns and lawyers are supposed to wear black and white formals and I was dressed in a hoodie and jeans, imagine! But I actually went because I thought that now that I had done some research one the case, I’ll actually understand what was going on. So I went with my supervisor to the Delhi High Court. I first had to stand in this 1 km long Ladies’ Line for getting my interns entry pass made. For that you have to have a slip from your supervisor and college ID. When my turn finally came, the women gasped, seriously, “What have you given me??” and I was like, “This is what they gave me, I don’t know” and she sent me off to this important looking lady asking me show the slip to her but then I thought what could be the problem, turns out I had attached a receipt from previous day for ‘A donation of ₹1000’, I quickly ran back with the correct slip and got my pass made. In my defence the receipt and the slip were of the same size.
Then I entered this huge complex called Building A and as I entered I saw this swarm of lawyers wearing the black cloaks that one has to wear while arguing in court and I practically was flustered. I had to go to court room 7 which took me like a million years to find. We were item 16 and as I entered, item 10 was going on. And that is when all my notions of the court, that one forms by watching movies and TV shows were neatly beaten to bits. Item 10 took 20mins, Item 11 took merely 3, Item 12 took 5, Item 13 took 6, Item 14 took 19 and Item 15 took 16mins. In most cases they just made a motion for adjournment, hence the short timings. Item 13 had this guy with that short Shah Rukh Khan pony and he stood with his juniors who for some reason looked exactly similar to me. All of them were hunching because, well the judge did speak as if speaking to himself In Item 15, there was a bald lawyer who kept laughing at what the judge was saying. Then Came our turn, I moved towards the front chairs and the other side came, it was as if the entire room was standing on both sides, the room felt charged and one could feel that the case was going to be awesome. The opposing lawyer spoke “Your Excellency………………………………………………..Please grant us an adjournment”. What the heck! I just got out of the room and started a tour of the court as if I was on a school trip to a museum. I also did one silly thing; I went to an ATM and got a mini statement because it said Branch: Delhi High Court.
Talking about the Supreme Court, frankly it took me some time to get over the fact that I was standing in the premises of the highest judicial authority in the country. There we just kept going here and there because our matter was at 4 in the evening at we came at 10 in the morning. We saw quite a few great and known lawyers like Prashant Bhushan, P. Chidambaram, Salman Khurshid, Pinky Anand and others and attended cases ranging from Article 66-A of the Information Technology Act to killing of a Civil Servant in Manipur. And frankly when our matter actually came, we were so tired that we slept through it. You see the Supreme Court is a huge ass complex, so you have to walk a lot to go from one court room to another and this time we were even dressed properly so you know, I couldn’t help dozing off. OK OK Sorry! It was fun because well I had never been to these places and the cases were to some extent interesting.
I AM 1/10th OF A LAWYER
It feels awesome to be back, I know its been quite some time and as I replied to a kind commenter that college has been sucking the life out of me, well I now realise that that was bit of an overstatement. Now that I sit to reflect on the past four and a half months that I spent as my first semester, I realise that life wasn’t all that bad. We have a course of 5 years spanning over 10 semesters, and just, yesterday, well it is past 12 so technically day before yesterday, I gave my last exam for this sem. We have five subjects every semester and there is always a change every six months. This time we had Legal Methods, which is kind of an introductory course, History of Legal and Constitutional Development of India (HLCD), Political Science (Pol), Law of Torts and English. Legal Methods was easy to understand but I don’t know if that teacher has something against students, she just isn’t ready to give marks. But it was fun, we learnt lots of interesting stuff and especially, how our language makes a huge difference in expression. God, HLCD, I will seriously cry thinking about it. The teacher is well educated and from this really big ass college, but boy, is she condescending, you feel so worthless in her class. Now that I think of it, I might top the class in other subjects but HLCD doesn’t give me really high hopes, even for passing. Ah I don’t want to talk about it.
Pol Science, was awesome, I did not get a word of it, well ok no I did, but the point is that sometimes our teacher used to come to class excessively happy and then we never understood what he was teaching that day, which I believe has affected one of my teachers of Torts, they have the same office. As in the same space is divided into two and the happiness emanating from Pol teacher’s side creates a certain mental imbalance in our Torts teacher’s brain. Also for my Pol teacher I have a theory. He is well read, I agree but then he has this habit of putting words like ‘normative’, ‘conceptual’, ‘meta-physical’ (and here I thought that I left physics) wherever possible. Now the theory is based on constant empirical observations, that he chooses a word out of his chest of ‘highly fancy sounding words that blow the living daylights out of the kids’ and that becomes his word for the day and he repeats that word in every line he speaks, I don’t know is that some legitimacy seeking trick?? We have two torts teacher, the previous one is a guy and the other is lady, who has become somewhat of a mystery to me. I take in pride in being able to recognise people’s accents and tell them from which place they are, but her accent has just perplexed me, because she talks as if she is from Kerala and as it turns out she is from Punjab, for those who don’t know they are in opposite directions on the map and separated by a huge distance. And her sense of humour, we were doing this case in which the doctors did not administer the right dose of anesthesia and thus while fixing the patient’s leg, he couldn’t bear the pain and died. She kept laughing about the case as if it was a joke and not something in which a person actually died. I was just speechless.
English taught by that God forsaken teacher, I could dedicate an entire post to his narcissism. Oh no wait we came up with this word that reflects that level of self obsession required to reach that of our English teacher, had I not decided not to reveal names, I would have told you the word, but I suppose you get the drift. He thinks he is some god sent angel to revive moral characters in students and people in general. He tells college children to walk in a line WALK IN A LINE????!!!!!! Are we in nursery and oh and he says that he doesn’t know why nursery schools have stopped teaching manners to children and he thinks that he will have to teach us guys some. The level of frustration my entire nervous system shoots up to when he opens his mouth is beyond cloud nine. He thinks he is too cool for himself, tries to to access our online attendance on his phone because the e-station may have viruses and then when he takes it, he will always remind us that he remembered the entire batch’s roll call list last year and then because he is too busy talking to us about how great he is, he will mess up the attendance and thus we end up repeating the entire roll call. And the way he walks,it is practically like this, he takes out the right foot and drags the left foot too it and no there is no damage to his leg. I will have to stop myself from writing something that is an anti-my english teacher propaganda, but I shall tell you a one liner that he said in the class, see he thinks he is really smart, witty and funny, “I just saw an assassination attempt………..an assassination attempt of a mosquito” while someone was trying to kill a mosquito.
Apart from this there were a lot of talks that happened, which were on particularly interesting topics but it was a very few times that the speakers made sense hmmm…. no quite a few made sense may be I was dumb , not to get it. We also ran a Anti Sexual Harassment movement, supported the Kiss of Love movement and the Gay Pride day parade and then we also did a play, actually four of them but I was in one: Antigone, by Sophocles and guess my role, yes I was Antigone. Well this was another thing our Eng teacher organised, followed by a pointless poem recitation, those who stayed told me the stories of their horrors from that night, they still haunt them, no no stop.
I realised the shift from science to law pretty clearly, it is a bit vague but that vagueness is quite fun to dabble with and well please pray that I pass in history and the next sem will if not worse be better than this.
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 next 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.
I AM 3/10th OF A LAWYER
Well, another semester zoomed pass by me and not just metaphorically. This semester had too many holidays at least way too much for our college. Thanks to our student welfare committee we got ample time on this semester to laze around and basically do nothing except for staring at ceilings and walls. Don’t worry I am not going crazy. But I think, this semester was like one of those where you get an existential crisis and you want to ask yourself, what am I doing with my life. You especially have them during exams when you look at the books and feel like tearing them apart because and as God as my witness, those books were not really helping me with anything in life.
I had three new subjects this semester, Family Law, Economics and Law and Sociology and Law. The two subjects that carried on from the previous semester were Contracts and Criminal Law but with a slight twist.
Contracts, this time, was more focused on Sale of Goods and Partnership Acts. Yes instead of studying one act properly, we read three Acts and let me tell I don’t think I know jack. I gave the exams in which I will hopefully pass, but the question is, do I know anything. *flashbacks of existential crisis*. The running joke of the semester was the term our Contracts teacher used for our Partnership teacher. He couldn;t remember her name so he called her ‘Partnership madam’ and since then that is what is her name for generations to come… “Partnership Madam”. Contracts was very boring, it literally lacked life in any form whatsoever. Not that Contracts 1 was any better, but I knew what was going on. If, in the middle of deep slumber, my teacher would ask me a question in class, I could answer it but this time, I either wanted to strangle myself. The subject was excruciatingly painful. Partnership was a whole other story in itself. I don’t know if there one single partnership class in which I have paid attention. Or my research paper in partnership. It was so damn funny and yet I was lauded for it. See that was it, there was nothing inspiring me to excel and better myself and my efforts.
Nest was Family Law or as my teacher puts it – FAMILY is Father And Mother I Love You. When she said this, I gave on this subject and my life. At that point, I wanted to run somewhere and laugh my guts out. I mean just how can such things be conceived and then believed by people who have actually done Ph.D in their lives and it is their livelihood. I realised we almost spent 3/4 of the semester on Hindu Law and then 1/4 on Muslim Law and the others were not there in the picture at all but I guess, again the semester was quite short so maybe she couldn’t fit it in. Of course, how can I forget her impeccable pronunciation. I think if I would be speaking something like “This section should be interpreted like…” I would end up saying “This section should be interpretated”. As my spell check goes berserk telling me this is the wrong spell, I wish someone would tell my Fam teacher as well. She says it so many times in a class that it has crept into our subconscious and we end up saying it unconsciously, we need a break to take it out of our brains slowly using housebreaking implements and tools.
Then was Criminal Law. Last time Criminal Law was focussed on the IPC or the Indian Penal Code which is the substantive law and, this time, we learnt the CrPC or the procedural law. We had three, yes three, teachers. And everyone has their own teaching styles. One of our previous teachers continued hence that was a teensy bit of relief. The other two were running their own one-man shows. First the younger one who has this weird walking stance. You can imagine two springs, the ones which you wind using a key, attached to his shoulders. Those springs would release very few minutes and he would jerk his arms which would wind up the springs again and the cycle repeated itself every few minutes. This one believed in giving cases by the score. I was reading cases over Diwali imagine, Diwali! Eventually, I and my friends decided to split it up as it was simply too much. The second older one is an enigma. I think that he thinks that he knows too much and is nothing short of demigod but frankly he is nothing better than Alice in the Wonderland (my apologies if you love that story). He would come, rant about the state and then go, come next day and taunt us on our lack of knowledge of the previous class and then continue with his routine. Now who would tell him that if he would actually teach something worthwhile we would pay attention.
We also had Economics and Law.I don’t really know what the teacher taught because the entire semester either she was on a holiday or she wold assign portions to students who would have to teach it in class. We literally just read the book and went to give our exams.
Sociology! After and a half months of ‘discussing’ sociology I can tell you that I am very grateful to my first year Political science teacher. You ask why? Well had he not taught us so genuinely well last year I would have had a breakdown while trying to learn what our Socio teacher was teaching us and the joke is that the alma mater of both of them is the same. We had to learn the slides and just go and vomit it out. That is about it.
But the highlight of this semester was Virudhka 2015, the sports fest organised by NLIU Bhopal. Oh have I told you that I play volleyball. I had represented my school at various levels but this time was my college. That place has such a huge camps that my college would just fit in one corner of its grounds. But they did not give us food. very annoyed We were dehydrated to our very cores. But that place was quite fun to play mainly because they had proper facilities, not like us where we have to play 9 on 9 volleyball matches on a badminton court. Oh and yes, we won a gold in volleyball and the best contingent overall. Three cheers for NLU Delhi!!!
I can’t really remember anything else that happened which was exciting and fun because well I was generally at home because of the holidays. So yeah marks will be out in a few weeks and I would become 3/10 of a lawyer.