Law School Life

Newbie, to NUALS: NUALS, Kochi

This post is written by Anand Nandakumar, a student of the 2020 Batch at NUALS, Kochi.

If you are someone who took to the Law out of passion, attended months of CLAT coaching to crack it in style, got into NLU Kochi and can’t wait to take your legal papers head-on, your first year might just disappoint you. I might have destroyed all your expectations in a sentence. If I did, this is certainly for you to read. Read through, as I will tell you all that you have to expect in your first year in NUALS.

First and foremost, you barely see any Law papers in your first year. This is the same for any NLU in India. Let’s start off light and set your basics right before moving into serious business. First semester is more of a test of character. How you cope up with the sudden influx of freedom after school and your survival tactics through boring B.A. lectures hold the key. You are making a big mistake if your start bunking classes right away because this is where you can add valuable points that will add up to your final CGPA. Go for the 10-point score!

Even before you start getting to know your whole class, here comes election time. After probably a week of political gameplay and in a pure democratic process, each batch elects five representatives to the NUALS Student Council. One of the representatives from the first year also gets to become the Secretary of the Economic Forum. If you manage to get elected, well and good because the whole college gets to know you. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter, because no one really cares.

Moving into August, come the first fun event. It’s time for the pre-freshers and the freshers event. Get your vocal chords right and put on your dancing shoes on as there is no escape here. Better get practising now. One month long “healthy interaction”, the pre-fresher’s events and the fresher’s day is the best time to get close and interactive with your seniors. You miss this chance, you will soon regret.

Being new to the college, it gives you the opportunity to attend every function that happens in here. Not because you are given the privilege to do so but you are asked to. The NUALS first years are generally the ‘junior actors’ usually in there just to fill up the seats. It’s fun in the beginning until it becomes annoying later. The part I enjoyed was setting up the auditorium/ seminar hall, the night before any event. This is another chance to be around the likes of ‘famous’ seniors and get to see the lighter side of your professors.

After a roller coaster first semester, it’s time to get to business. The first semester exam. Seems like a big deal. But not really. It’s always funny to see the first years running in and out of the library, even the ones who haven’t seen the library before. It’s partly the excitement of attempting a university exam for the first time and partly the fear of having a bad start to college. Either ways, NUALSians or any NLU student for that matter, isn’t in the habit of studying weeks in advance. Two days of full on studies with a late-night session with your friends would gather you pretty good scores.

Entering the second semester and the new year, you get the first chance to experience the lawyer life. The Fresher’s internal moot. This was probably the most exciting event for me in my first year. The one chance you get to apply all that you learned in the first semester and all that you collected with extra reading, into practice. Though it is discretionary to take up the moot, I would strongly advise you to take it up. After all, you are in a law school. The moot preparation also gets you to know how resourceful your seniors are. The fresher’s internal moot is the best opportunity to start off your mooting career.

As you get into the latter half of the second semester, the first years are given their first challenge. The Economic Forum, which is constituted by the first years, have the duty to host Altus Disputatio. Altus is our very own debate competition which has a unique format called the “Devil’s Cross” designed by alumni of NUALS. In a first show of batch integrity, the first years take up duties from inviting teams to gathering funds from sponsors.

As Altus is over and you feel that you get time to gather some breathe, NAALAM is on its way. The most awaited event of NUALS, NAALAM is our inter-collegiate Arts and Literary fest. Though the organisers are the second years, the first years play a huge role in the run up to the three-day extravaganza. This is the only event for which one can see the whole college contributing.

From the nervous entries in July to NAALAM in Feb/March, the very first year in NUALS is sure to be filled with excitement and fun. Pull up your socks, gather all the law books you can get but do not forget to enjoy your time in here. It’s all how you take it. Have fun!

First Things First: Gujarat National Law University

This article was submitted to Ergo by Simran Patel, presently a first-year at the Gujarat National Law University. Born in Bhopal, lived in Gurgaon, completed high school from Indore, but on her first visit to Gujarat in July 2016, even she didn’t know she’d be tied to the State for the next 5 years.

Before we move into the core of this article, a short preface. I never actually could sit with the intent of completing or adding to this article. I instead typed it on my cellphone’s memo on random occassions, at random locations (within GNLU) and at random times of the day.

To begin with, my first visit to GNLU was for admission formalities. This was also when i got to pick my hostel room and roommate. To my relief, a friend from Indore had also managed to make it to GNLU. I don’t know to what extent but that was somewhat a relief. Cut to my room. Never could i ever in the wildest of my imaginations picture myself there. It just seemed so alien. Those concrete unpainted buildings, those roads. All of them, so unfamiliar. I returned back home. College was to start about a week from then.
Depression had set in and I’m using the big word because the severity was such. Soon, it was 2 days to the start and then came the fourth allotment list by virtue of which the same friend magically got upgraded to NLIU Bhopal. That doubled the ‘depression’. Fueling equally to the stress, was the confusion between GNLU and another law school. And no matter how many pros and cons you weigh, the two options always look the same. So I resorted to “The jury room method” which essentially requires one to toss a coin but to never see the outcome. It’s because, when the coin is in the air for that half second, your heart shouts out, begging for either heads or tails. The jury room method, seeks to hear that voice from the heart and then come to a decision.
Even I don’t know how I gathered enough courage to be able to move myself to college. But I did. It was the first day in campus, I was arranging clothes in the new cupboard, when she walked in, wearing a denim shirt, tresses open, with a mixed expression, partly of excitement, partly of anxiety. I’m making it sound like a fairytale because this person indeed deserves the title of a fairy for her role in my stay at GNLU. It was none other than my incumbent roommate who eventually became one of my two constants here. College meant some major lifestyle changes. Breakfast stopped coming straight to me. Instead, I had to set alarms, wake myself up, take myself to breakfast to have it. Missing classes was no longer fun because it cost me attendance. Not to miss the huge impact it has on one’s pocket. The pain of paying for cab each time you travel, the destitute ‘end of the month’ conditions. There was no ‘family time’ but only ‘college time and lone time’.
Then ofcourse there were ground rules for the room. “You want to sleep, you make your bed”, “You throw it, you pick it up”, “You dirty it, you wash it”. Then there are other people who have been surrounded by the same circumstances, some have been through this for one year, some for two. Respectively, they are known as 2nd years, 3rd years and so on. All in all, seniors are good stuff. Looking at them, talking to them gives you a fair idea of what college will do to you in the course of time. Indeed, the biggest motivation to go on are the others who have chosen to live in the same sphere, so whenever there are low moments, you see the 100 others who can empathize, and dont feel low anymore.
Lastly, How could I miss the constant grind that law school subjects one to. The procrastinated burden of course completion before exams, the running on roads with laptop, getting that final draft memorial printed, submitting it on the last minute of the deadline. It’s mad how law school entails; besides every other kind of peer pressure; the peer pressure to perform and do better. I no longer give the law school feeling the status of a new thing to happen to me. It’s something I have accepted, fit myself into, also something I look forward to after this semester break. The hostel is my new home, the college friends are my new family, that atmosphere, those roads and unpainted buildings are my new neighbourhood… So far, so good.
DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Back To School?: School of Law, Christ University

This post was sent in to Ergo by an anonymous student of the second year B.A.,LL.B. programme at the School of Law, Christ University.

I decided that I wanted to do law about a month before CLAT. I picked this stream on a whim as I didn’t want to do any of the commerce-related courses. I had no person guiding me as to which college to choose. Being a Bangalorean, a sensible option was going to Christ.

Christ is referred to by most students in the city as a school jail or a prison and sometimes a torture chamber.

It’s not as bad as a torture chamber or jail but I assure you, it is going back to school. Our timings are from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm (previously it was 9:00 to 4:00. A lot of begging by the students to the management got a one hour reduction). You’d think you’d be done with college by 1 pm or so and would have ample time to do what you like. Sorry to break your bubble, but by the time you’re done with college, you lack the enthusiasm to do anything or for that matter to read or study (a very important aspect of law school).

But if you do find the will to study, Christ has one of the best libraries which are extremely well-stocked. An entire floor is dedicated for law. You’ll find a number of books on any agenda you name. Christ also has an expansive collection on online databases. The well-stocked libraries and databases are a great aid to your learning and your researches (an integral part of learning law).

The best thing about SLCU is the infrastructure it provides its students with. The campus, buildings, classrooms, training tools and methods, libraries, IT services are state of the art.

The crowd here is great. But one thing I’ve observed is that this is not the typical college atmosphere you’d expect. The students merely come to college with the intention of passing out as quickly as they can. Everyone is merely counting their days here and the entire experience of having a “college life” is lacking here. The tedious college timings, the expansive portions and the management as are all detrimental to an enjoyable and memorable college life. The management will do everything in its power to help you achieve academic excellence but that’s where it stops. They couldn’t care less about the students and discipline and excellence are the only things that matter and discipline always comes first.

Apart from this, my time here is improving with every passing semester and Christ being one of the best private colleges provides you with a plethora of opportunities. Having learnt to adapt, Christ doesn’t seem that bad a decision as it did seem in my first few weeks here.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

The ‘O’ in Outstanding: Decoding the O Grade: JGLS

This article was submitted to Ergo by Kaavya Ramesh, a third-year student of the Jindal Global Law School.

At the beginning of every semester, our professors tell us about the grading pattern that will be followed for that term. In Law school, if we score above 80 in a particular subject we are awarded an ‘O’ grade. This stands for ‘Outstanding Performance’ in that course. So if someone were to tell you that they got an O, you would be pretty impressed, right? Well, let me tell you a few things about how this system really works.

Our marking system is as follows- 50% of the weightage is given to our final exam and 50% accounts for internal assessments. These could include tests, assignments, presentations, class participation, and so on. So, if one were to get an O it would mean that they scored a minimum of 40 in both their external as well as internal assessment. This is a herculean task and I really respect those who can accomplish it but there are a lot of other things that play a role in getting that grade too.

An O grade requires you to not only be well read and informed about your course but also to be in the good books of your professor. Now this really matters when it comes to your internal marking. If a professor doesn’t like you, they will find every possible way to reduce your internal score. One of the easiest ways to reduce the grade of a student is to just give them a really low score for class participation. So in order to earn those marks, you could either try and make a good impression in class by actually participating in discussions, or just suck up to the professor outside class (no offence to anyone).

Another difficulty we face when it comes to an O is the Law school bell curve. According to this concept, only 15% of students in a class can score an O. So, what happens to the rest of the students? Well, they end up with a lower score even if they equally deserved that grade. In my opinion, this is one of the most arbitrary systems of grading as it doesn’t really separate those with a higher understanding of the subject from those with just an average understanding. It puts people into separate brackets simply because of a policy.

The point that I’m trying to make here is that not getting an O grade isn’t really the end of the world. Yes it does involve a lot of hard work but at the end of day luck is a major factor which enables you to be in that top 15% of your class. O is just a grade and it doesn’t really show how much one has taken away from the course. So to all the freshers out there who only have their minds on an O grade, let me give you some friendly advice. Stop chasing the Os when you can be chasing Baes.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Lasting Impressions: ILS, Pune

This article was submitted to Ergo by Sumedha Kuraparthy, who presently studies in her second year at the ILS, Pune

Nearly a year ago, I first stepped into ILS, past its worn-out gates, with the decades’ old edifice looming large at the very entrance, very conscious of the voice in my head telling me that “this is a place I can feel completely at home”. My gut feeling was that I would end up here, despite having been awaiting the word on a host of other college applications.

That, I did. And I couldn’t be more pleased with how things panned out.

The campus is lush green (and for once, that is an understatement). The administrative block which also houses the two storied library, the building where lectures are held and the boys’, as well as the girls’ hostels, are dispersed over a small area bordered at the back by a small hillock, the ILS Hill. Irrespective of where one is within the campus, you would be situated right in the lap of nature.

My impression on walking about the campus for the first time was amazement at how wildly beautiful it was. That amazement has not diminished since.

Contrary to what I was expecting, seniors at ILS are extremely affectionate and vastly helpful. From our silly doubts about the college to the much-needed help in our first moot, they will never let you feel helpless if they can help it.

We get to meet diverse people from all over the country, from all walks of life which expands our hitherto narrow worldview considerably. We learn to cope with people espousing different views from our own for having lived with each other at such close quarters (if one lives in a hostel, that is).

Coming to the hostel, I personally think it is not as bad as some claim. In fact, it is quite good. We are provided with decent food and all the required amenities. If, however, one does not like the food then the alternatives are numerous as the college is situated right in the centre of the city.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the boys’ hostel. The boys do not have it as good as us girls.

Most importantly, the education provided, the opportunities available and the manner in which the institution keeps its students occupied for half a decade of their lives constitute its essence.

Lectures at ILS are minimal. They start off at three hours per day with a steady increase over the years, but in all circumstances, they end before noon. While this may sound like a perfect opportunity to be dormant, it is not. There are myriad other activities to keep us occupied, conditional to one being self-motivated.

To survive and thrive in ILS, one has to be self-driven. If you are not, then you have to learn to be.

That is one of the things that makes me very partial to this college. The ample opportunities that it gives us to develop, grow and improve as a person, not just as a law student. This is where your passion truly shines.

I understand that this way of life may not entice everyone but it definitely is perfect for those like me. I longed to delve deeper into law and simultaneously grow as an individual, at my own pace, in my own way, not by being pushed in one direction but by being nudged towards finding my own path.

As one of our alumni once put, “if you study in ILS and still turn out to be a lawyer, then you really wanted to become one”. Despite its many shortcomings and a few disgruntled seniors, I cannot help but love my college.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

I’m Being Harrassed At Home: NLU-O

This article was submitted to Ergo by an anonymous author from the National Law University, Odisha.

A part of me with better judgement dictates that I don’t get this piece published. But, taking a cue from the hostel authorities in my college I’ll let my whims and fancies drive me.

Any sensible adult may at this point question why I have a problem with room checking in the girls’ hostel; after all we are under the guardianship of these authorities! Well, to be really clear, we here are not a bunch of rebels who want to radically change conventional college rules and regulations, but the law student in us demands an end to arbitrary actions.

As one of us say- “Get accused of smoking even if it’s just a Mortein coil and you’re an established smoker.”

Labelling any sort of smoke as cigarette smoke, be it a mosquito coil, fast card or even agarbatti smoke is beyond our ideas of right and wrong. Guards sneaking around the campus to put their smartphones to use and click pictures of persons of opposite gender talking to each other are beyond our ideas of morality and immorality. Trying to talk to authorities and being met with allegations of unlawful assembly is beyond our ideas of the Indian Penal Code. A room check in the girls’ hostel, but never in the boys’ hostel is beyond our ideas of gender equality.

Do I sound seditious now? Well, then maybe the relevant authorities may take some lessons from the IPC “know-all” and realise that the charge of sedition really does need a newer interpretation.

We are all “nobodies here, living off our parents’ money” and that gives these established educationists the right to bash our dignity, disturb our mental tranquillity and treat us like scum. You know something is definitely wrong with a university when the university itself calls you unemployable. The question of competency is on whom, us or you, as a university? You know something is wrong with the system when there are innumerable anti-ragging laws, despite which a first year comes crying to you because she was woken up in the middle of the night by the wardens and accused of smoking, all because she possessed a lighter.

Policing the dress code of women students on the pretext of women safety is put on a high pedestal. But oh, forcibly shifting the girls to the boys’ hostel, sealing them off from natural air and light in dingy corridors, jailed within plywood is so in sync with our rights of natural justice. Extracting forced testimonies, or guaranteeing that our “parents will cry” is definitely not coercion. IPC much? Being summoned to the Chief Wardens office to “voice our grievances” and then every question being met with a robust “no”. Healthy discussion much?

Hardened criminals in our country aren’t checked without following the criminal procedure code, but here we are, law students being harassed and followed around by sniffer dogs in our “homes”. Our rooms are being barged into, our wardrobes being stripped without permission, our juniors being told to stay away from us to “preserve their goodness”, our parents (who live in different states, mostly) being called to inform how their child is supporting the use of intoxicants. We are living under the glare of constant suspicion, looks of disgust being thrown on our way, defamed, our individual dignity being made a joke of.

So much for the sake of digging out the “evil” at the end of a cigarette.

So this place is supposedly my home? Well, I’m being harassed at home.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

About Sickness & Sore Throats: JGLS

 This article was sent in to us by Akansha Rukhaiyar, a second-year at Jindal Global Law School (JGLS).

It has been a rough week. By rough, I wish I meant because of a grueling internship. But no, a weekend of weddings and engagement ceremonies followed by multiple Pokemon Go expeditions have taken a toll on me (especially my feet, thank you so much six inch heels and remote Pokestops)

Add to that the weird bipolar Delhi weather, sickness was imminent.

A couple of days of embracing the constant care and attention while I feel like a freezing shriveled wreck has made me realize something that I often thought about in passing in my first year in law school, but it hadn’t dawned on me up until now, as I write my article, bundled up like a warm potato on my cozy bed. I wonder how I would be managing in college right now, on my rickety bunk bed with one stray bottle of Nutella.

This might sound very selfish, but all of us have thought it at least once since we started living in a hostel – You miss home the most when you are unwell. Whether it is the special meal that you always get made when you are sick, or the warm hugs you get from your dogs who wouldn’t mind cuddling with a germ bag like you; these are the tiny things that just speed the recovery process and you just miss it so much in college.

In JGU, I have fallen sick a significant number of times, along with many others, because of an actual epidemic that prompted hundreds of students to flock to the health center, which trust me, is the last place you want to be in, with its depressing décor, uncomfortable beds and pillows with questionably clean covers. The mess food easily passes off as drab hospital food and the nurses suspiciously push the same medicines for a variety of health problems, right from a fever to a sprain and a sore throat.

Having said that, from the first time I got sick in college when I fled home in pajamas and a tissue box in hand to now, when I happily call JGU my home, sick days have become better, and my ever-panicky mother lives peacefully with the knowledge that I have enough people around to look after me, who will make sure I cannot get my hands on a chilled can of coke and that I won’t binge on spicy biryani when I am supposed to be eating bland food, but they will still bring me a pizza slice if I play my puppy dog eyes right.

Honestly, the funniest (in a sad way) thing is when you and your roommate get sick together and give company to each other wearing sweatshirts while binge watching some old show while everyone is outside, taking their functional nose for granted.  It has happened way too many times, and you suddenly feel the reality of bioterrorism as you single handedly make 10 people in your class unwell, who in turn dutifully spread it around, along with their class notes.

College starts in two weeks, and I know soon I will find myself writing yet another article, this time huddled in my tiny bed in hostel and holding onto a bowl of unidentifiable yellow blob (read: khichdi), what with my subpar immunity system and general inclination to all things unhealthy.

Till then, I will just indulge my sore throat with delicious homemade soup, thank you mom.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Know, Learn, Experience: GNLU

This article was submitted to Ergo by Naman Lohiya, who will be starting his second-year at the Gujarat National Law University in June 2016. 

Note: This piece of literature (as I would like to call it) might not be the most artistic narration/display of events/emotions, however the content is true and has been entirely based on my experience, and my credibility is something that is subject to question, similar to everything that you are expected to dogmatically follow and are informed about, in a law school.

I entered the university gates holding the same ambitions and expectations as the other hundred and seventy-nine did. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to learn everything. I wanted to experience everything. In no time, I saw myself standing at the hostel gate and hours after I entered the place I’d call home for the upcoming five year, I saw myself trying to untangle and sequentially place the various opinions/ suggestions given (imposed) on us by the ones who have possibly experienced or at least claimed to experience similar dilemmas.

When given audience, they did not hold back and limit their suggestions to survival in the concrete jungle, but they bequeathed their unwanted opinion about people who stayed four rooms down the corridor. They did not only mention the customs but also prophesied the various ‘types’ of people who’d be joining the college with us. Their mere expressions were efficacious to shape our sentiments towards a person.

This was problematic on two fronts.

Firstly, it clouds your opinion and your judgment skills. You have a pre-conceived notion about a person which would probably be with you for the years to come. You decide the amount of importance a person deserves, not entirely depending upon your own thought process, but depending upon a person who delivers it out of his/her experience, while not letting you experience and decide for yourself. In the process, we’d not realize that these imprudent and mindless judgments would probably make us less experienced and informed, which would make us know and learn less. The elements we wanted to gain in the first place.

Secondly, it created groups even before any of us got to know each other. We were categorized, bifurcated in groups and were almost instructed to stay with the people who belonged to the same ‘type’. Even after coming from a boarding school, this is one of the last things I expected to come across in a residential university. Some quickly got over the baseless categorization, some hung on to it and some are stuck right in the middle of it, wanting to break free.

Manmohan Singh once snapped at his media advisor, Sanjay Baru, asking him to tell Mr. Singh what he needs to know, and not what he needs to do. There’s a very thin line which is often blurred, between what needs to be known and what needs to be considered. We can’t attribute this solely to those who shape our opinion; we are also to be blamed for our fragility, allowing their words to easily shape our opinion.

The first year refurbished my belief in knowing people, knowing as many of them as you can. I was briefly influenced by those clouded and narrow-minded judgments, however, that is precisely what strongly reinstated my belief in the notion of breaking these barriers, getting acquainted with the people you’d go on to call friends.

This has been one of the most important takeaways for me from the first year. Don’t let these glibly created fragmentations hamper your process of knowing, learning and experiencing.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Baruah: GNLU

This article was submitted to us by Swagat Baruah, a first-year at the Gujarat National Law University. A most immature adult and an ordained dudeist, the man thinks in scenes. 

There are things you don’t want to get over, like your home and there are things that you can’t get over, like your home. Home, is what a religious man would call heaven, and a non-religious mentally unstable man because that’s what we are supposed to be right, would define as an area that you are entitled to, with people whom you love and not pretend that you do, toilets that are well placed and are flushed, the only thing the British couldn’t impose on us – hygiene, and above all, food that would not force you on bathroom odysseys and food that would make your face not look like a pretty Zombie, if I may use my writer’s prerogative of using cold oxymorons.

Now it is innate in every man that he finds solace in his home, among his people, in his time, and I quote Goethe here, “He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.” For, he is not a man who does not acknowledge his home, his family. Home is a feeling which even beneath the stains of time, won’t disappear.

I think college students ought to remember the “two rides”, the one that takes them away from home and the other that takes them away from college, I have time for the latter, not that I don’t contemplate about it now. The former is still clear in my head, waving goodbye to that place, that smile on my mother’s face which would greet me once I got back from school, my dad’s hand which would tend my feelings gently, my sister and the pillows which would never see another war, the streets which carried memories of the many walks, the sky that was mean, leaves that were green, people who were supposed to stay. It is all installed in my brain, and it serves the nucleus in me for I am what I am because of the home I grew up in.

Leaving home for college was like leaving an old me behind, all my feelings, all my thoughts now had to adjust to this new weird place called college. With home, I left my identity behind but I still could create one, in college, which I did, and which I strive to do every day.  It is a feeling every student goes through and this is what every senior ought to understand, for I believe that their memories of their homes can’t be that faint.

There are things you believe in before entering a law school. You believe in equality, freedom and justice. Law students or your seniors believe otherwise, at least for the first few months. Once I was “into” the ragging scene which was not really a justified version of the word as my 5th year seniors tell me now, all I could think of was how perfectly I could fit in Aldous Huxley’s words into this, “That all men are equal is a proposition which at ordinary times no sane individual has ever given his assent.” I’m not saying that I hate ragging, I’m just saying that I have an intense dislike for it and the people who made me go through it. I’ve always been a pampered kid if my sister were to say, a juvenile as two of my very close people in college say, but I don’t bear within me a strong dislike for this obnoxious act of ragging because I’ve been  a spoilt kid but because there are values which everyone ought to acknowledge, equality to start with.

Goddamn it! You’re in a law school for God’s sake, how do you not see yourself as a hypocrite there?

To make things worse, I had an intimidating face as my seniors put it now, which put them off in the first place. I can’t help that now can I? But as time went by, these very seniors went on to become my very good friends or in the parlance of our times, they have become my brothers, they constitute the brethren.

The first semester was a bummer. I was quite the anti-social, not that I have changed now, but people see me differently now, I pray, I hope. People in college still haven’t been able to put the image of me being a pothead out of their minds, though, for which my friend or in the parlance of our times, brother, Rahul “Iceman” Dave listed nine reasons why I’m a pothead which I won’t bore you with now.

The second semester was amazing, came across many people, pissed off a few, still confused about one, found myself tangled comfortably in various experiences the college had to give. It was in this semester that I felt I was finally actualising my true potential, of course keeping the cool things going on in the background. I bonded really well with a lot of people whom I’ll miss a terrible lot since they’ll be gone by May, people I don’t know if I should miss and obviously the people I won’t miss.

What law school does to you, apart from sucking out your life and giving you a few diseases, is that it frees your mind, frees the rigid you, churns you into a man of extreme reasoning power and intellect(doesn’t apply to all). If you’re in a law school, you ought to question everything and if you question everything you ought to be in law school. Just don’t take up the Communism lectures too seriously.

Taking up your college life seriously is important because believe it or not, like it or not, this will shape your future, this will make the future you. Being passionate about life is of the upmost importance, passion will take you places, a stable mind, unlike mine, will take you to the sky, now it’s up to you if you want to be in heaven after that, for the climate, maybe yes. I feel what one ought to do is let the positive vibes into your work and studies, interact with everyone and not engage in groupism because you will always learn more from a differently opinionated person than a similar one. Engaging in groupism is fatal for your college life, not saying that you be God’s lonely man or read Sartre all the time or set Django Reinhardt as your alarm tone, or take long walks with yourself all night, but one ought to understand what the differences in people and their similarities. It’s a wonderful spectacle, it’s a wonderful thought, knowing that everyone is so “differently abled”. College is wonderful if done right. Make the right notes, make the right notes, listen to the right music, watch the right movies, go to the right restaurants, make the right friends, pay heed to the right teachers, smoke the right stuff and above all , don’t fall for the wrong woman.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

One Year On: NALSAR

This article was submitted to us from the City of Pearls by Namratha Murugeshan, a first-year at NALSAR, an avid reader & a lover of art. 

So there is only one month left for what would be the completion of one year at NALSAR. Perhaps nothing sums up this feeling like a cliché on how quickly time passes by.

This has been quite a busy one (not that I have much to compare it against), with a lot of events and fests happening that always manages to keep you occupied. As opposed to popular belief, law school is not all about debates, moots and writing papers, it is about doing all this and still managing to have a life. I guess it all lies in enjoying the process. And when you are not doing any of the above, you can sit back and relax for however a short period that is.

This semester has been quite eventful. We had most of our cultural fests that took quite an effort to put up and was extremely fun to be a part of too. We had sports events going on, quizzes, debates and everything else that you expect to be a part. The fun things. While all this was going on we also had our mid-semester exams which considerably sucked the joy out of things for a week. Apart from the having to stare at your laptop and books for almost 8 hours every day, when you learn to manage your time better law school can be a great place. Given how you get to spend time with your peers for the whole day, there is a lot you can do.

As the time I spend here increases, the more I realize how much as a person I have been able to grow in not only being able to do things but rather exploring facets of myself which I had not particularly known about earlier. I guess it is all about getting out of your comfort zone and getting it out there. I guess that’s what this whole year has been about, a lot of changes and a lot of new things that haven’t been experienced before. The same time last year was filled with anticipation and trepidation over choices that were being made. Over the year, I have perhaps embraced the same in a more accommodating after realizing how exciting yet stirring change can be and what it can do to you. I suppose it is more about keeping an open mind about how things work and also perceiving them in a more accepting manner helps to not only get used to them but also enjoy the same.

Half a decade in a college is a pretty long time but when you are doing so many things, learning so many things, exploring new aspects about a lot of objects, it doesn’t seem so long, in fact, it almost feels like it may all be over in the blink of an eye. It is hard to put into words the weight of human experiences and even harder to explain one’s own perception of these experiences to others. I wouldn’t want to elaborate on how the year went by mostly because it is one of “should have been” events which lose their essence when put into words.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Rookie Season: NLU, Jodhpur

This article was submitted to Ergo by Kartikeya Sharma, who is currently in his first-year at the National Law University, Jodhpur, and whose passion for, and talent in, basketball is incredible. 

Beta abhi padh lo, college mein khelne ko bahut time milega. I’m sure many of us have heard this line countless times from our parents and other family members. I don’t know about others, but I for one vehemently disagreed with this as I thought that college would be more hectic than school. I can now admit (being the humble person I am) that I was wrong.  Law school gives you plenty of opportunities to engage in various sporting activities. For those who think law school is intense and hectic, it is, but it is upto you to strike out the right balance between the various activities you want to engage in.

From what I have learnt over the last 9 months is that playing sports in college is a commitment. Once you are part of the team you have to make sacrifices for the betterment of the team. It may include missing classes for tournaments, cutting out siesta time and even missing outings with your friends. If you can come to terms with this only then can you hope to have a successful relationship with the game you play. When you start playing college sports, you will come across a plethora of sports people. Some who play for the love of the game, some who play to keep themselves fit, some who play for the lack of better things to do. Within those who love the game too, there will be people who are not interested in playing tournaments outside as they have other priorities. Oh I forgot to mention, playing outstation tournaments also includes the possibility of missing tests. At least at NLUJ, where there are tests all the bloody time, the probability of you missing a test during a tournament is pretty high.

Let me clear out any queries regarding support from the college for sports. There is no support. Either financial or academic. You miss a test, too bad. Your attendance drops, not our problem. Yes, I know it does not sound very nice but it is the harsh reality and the decision is upto you. In fact, there are many people who are satisfied with playing Yuvardha every alternate year and not missing out anything. I am not one of those who is content with playing a tournament once in two years and therefore am willing to travel to play more. People often like to make wise-cracks like what is the point of travelling all the way and losing in the first round and returning empty handed. Frankly it serves no purpose in responding to these quips as these people would never understand the feeling of playing with a team. The team being united by only one thing, that is, true love for the game. Quite honestly, we play for ourselves and not for anyone else. It’s not about playing for the crowd or the people watching. Frankly, not many people give a damn whether you win or lose. This is a fact that has to be accepted. You take a look at your teammates and realize that everyone is counting on each other. Being part of a team means respecting the others playing with you.

If someone asks me what does all this teach me, I say discipline. Showing up for practice on time shows a respect for the game and shows how seriously you take the game. When you step on the field/court everything else takes a back seat. Personal problems, academic pressure etc. For the duration of the match, all your focus is on your target. It’s about zoning everything and everybody out. Not allowing the other team to get into your head. Not allowing the opposing fans get under your skin. I think that is the most important distinction between a real player who takes the effort to travel and one who sticks to playing the home fest. In my 1st semester, we had Yuvardha, NLUJ’s sports fest (yes, I am a bit obsessed with it). The environment is electrifying with some really good home support for us. So, yes it is amazing playing at home once in two years. But, when you get on the road is when you are really tested. Travelling by train/ bus to other universities to play in hostile environments with almost zero support on unknown fields/ courts is very nerve racking.

As a 1st year I had a lot to learn from my more experienced teammates. First thing that I had to learn was that I was at the bottom of the food chain so I would have to swallow all my ego and accept the fact that nobody had the time or patience to deal with a 1st year’s attitude and ego. Most importantly, not to let your emotions get the better of you. More often than not, it has an adverse impact on your game. Once you let the crowd get into your head, either in a good way or a bad way, you are letting your team down. Scoring and celebrating with the crowd looks good on TV but in real it can distract you and lead you into a situation where you are playing to impress the crowd and the entire game can go downhill from there. On the other hand, getting into verbal confrontations with the other team or the crowd can lead you into getting into a personal battle with them and isolate yourself from the rest of the team. Lastly, constructive criticism is an essential part of being part of a team and I think feedback is an important aspect of communication between players.

This is a summation of what I have learnt in the 9 months at law school. I would like to thank my teammates and friends for helping me through the tough times. It hasn’t been an easy ride, and I’ve gotten a lot of criticism for my game, but like Lebron James said,”I like criticism, it makes you strong.”

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

A Reality Check: NALSAR, Hyderabad

This article was submitted to Ergo by Srija Kumar, a first-year student at the NALSAR, Hyderabad. Share your law school experience with us at lawyergomag@gmail.com 

20th May, 2015 somewhere around 6 a.m. in the morning, my eyes open to the numerous messages on my phone which said that the CLAT results were out. Many of my friends had seen the result already and were eager to know mine. I was like, “Wait. Weren’t the results supposed to be out at around 5 in the evening?” At least that’s what the official website said. Brushing all these thoughts aside, I stumbled out of my bed to get my laptop. And despite my frequent attempts I was unable to see my results due to some technical reasons. At the back of my mind I was like, “Maybe the results are that awful that even my laptop refuses to display it”. But after struggling for a while, finally the moment came. The website opened and my fate revealed itself in front of my eyes. NALSAR University of Law it was for the next five years. It was a surreal moment, a moment that certainly can’t be put into words, a moment which rolled down my cheeks as tears, the moment when my dream to study in the premier law school of the country turned into a reality. And this is how NALSAR happened to me.

Almost a year at this place and so much has changed from the day I stepped into this University. If I ever have to define any moment as the life changing moment of my life, then getting through NALSAR is definitely that one moment. Reflecting on the time I’ve spent here, the growing realization dawned on me that I’ve learnt so much from this place in this short span of time. When I entered this university I was a naïve, a nonchalant teenager who knew nothing of the real world. I remember that when I came here, I didn’t even know how to do my laundry on my own and was dependent on my mother for every little thing but now law school has made me tough enough to manage all my own chores easily.

Surely like many others the initial phase of joining the college marks the crumbling of the whiff of over confidence that most of us unknowingly tend to carry because of having made it to the top law school of the country. Gradually you understand that there are better and more talented people than you here. Merely clearing CLAT with a decent rank doesn’t mark the end of your struggle. In fact, if anything, it marks the beginning of it. It is an irrefutable fact that like any other law school you have to really slog your heart out to get noticed here amidst a crowd of some incredibly talented people( for good reasons of course :P)  And the popular misconception that once you get into the best law school, life becomes just a bed of roses is a farce.  Along with the prestige of studying in such a reputed college, comes the haunting pressure to maintain the college’s reputation .This pressure at times can be demoralizing but I believe there is a silver lining to this too. This pressure helps to bring out the best in you. When you see people around you toiling all day and night long, you naturally tend to challenge yourself and push your limits. This is a remarkable change I think almost everyone who comes here witnesses, you constantly strive to become better. This pressure, if taken constructively can help you become better.

There are some other innovative skills too that you learn here along with handling pressure. Starting from the most innovative skills, I learnt how to attend a lecture at 9 am even after getting up at 8.50 a.m. I learnt how to start typing a 2000 word project just a few hours before the deadline and still manage to finish it on time. I learnt how to sleep in a monotonous class with your eyes open. It’s a real achievement, I tell you. And above all, I learnt how to live life on my own terms and conditions. Learning not to give a damn and believing in oneself is the quick recipe to happiness at this place that can turn out to be gloomy at times owing to the fierce competition here.

Apart from the monstrous pressure here, you do have recreational recourses like the various regional fests like the Awadh Magadh, South Indian , Telugu, Lohri and the Rajasthani fest where you get a taste of different cultures. You revel in the food and culture of diverse regions. The zeal and the zest of the people are to be seen during these fests. One of the most adorable things about this place is that  it celebrates diversity to the core, you learn to appreciate diverse cultures. Not to miss out in the list is our very own inter-batch college fest, Carpe Diem. Those three days of Carpe Diem on campus are truly the days to die for. It’s like a true carnival where everyone is in a celebratory mood. You gel with people more than ever and it’s the batch spirit which induces you to give your best in whatever event you participate during the fest to get your batch the maximum points.

So apart from its share of pressure and pleasure, this place has a sort of enigma that would make you fall in love with it. The strolls on the flag road in the evening beneath the dim light and breezy weather turn out to be an instant rejuvenator. The alluring beauty of the nature around you is such that it would take your breath away. Indeed NALSAR to me has been an ethereal enriching experience so far. I’m looking forward to the further semesters with greater alacrity.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Knowledge is Supreme: Symbiosis Law School, Pune

This article was submitted to Ergo by Harsh Gupta, a first-year at the Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

College is nothing we ever expect it to be. It will never be. For two reasons: Number one: We watch Bollywood; Number two: Every single person takes away something different from college. Being one of the few colleges I wanted to study in, I am personally quite satisfied with the fact that I am in Symbiosis Law School, Pune. My father will only smile and tell me if you worked hard enough, you would have cracked CLAT. But I am not here to tell you what could have happened, but what did end up happening in the end, and the consequences thereof.

Personally speaking, life at Symbiosis Law School, Pune at least according to me is quite different from all other colleges. While it may also be considered to be a shortcoming by most parents, I believe otherwise. The fact that boys do not have a hostel, means that we need to look for flats or take up a Paying Guest Accommodation and it is for this very reason parents are scared to send their sons to Symbiosis because they are not sure how their son will be able to deal with day to day problems of living in a house and handling one. Fair enough. But is that reason enough to not send your children to Symbiosis? No.

It is a very different yet unique phase in your life. I am not going to deny that one will take time to adjust to this change, though I can ensure that in the long run it is a very enjoyable experience in the long run. Firstly, since everyone wants to live close to college it is very likely that the society you end up staying is like a student community where tons of people from your college live. You end up interacting with not just your own batch-mates but your seniors as well as a result of which, one thing Symbiosis can boast of is a truly well-knit student body. Apart from this, there are the occasional advantages of not having to take your friends out on your birthday, and just invite them over instead and save a ton of money. You also realise that the ‘mehengai’ your mom talks about is real. To run a house, you essentially need three things- a mobile phone with an internet connection, a competent roommate and the most important, your best friend  aka the watchman. With the three of these sorted, you shall overcome all difficulties without much worry.

Having taken care of accommodation, it’s about time we proceed to the college life itself.

Flashback to July 2015, the beginning of Semester 1. I was a typical arrogant, youngster who was proud of being from Bangalore and even more proud about the school he studied in.

Right at the beginning of Semester 1, we are introduced to the world of mooting, where only the Top 30 in the entire batch are allotted moots during the course of the First Year. . It takes only one month for you to realize that competition is intense and everyone wants to be the best in their batch. Coupled with this, people are festing, interviewing for various cells from Legal Aid, to the Pune Chapter of the International Law Students Association (ILSA), to tons of other cells like the Human Rights Cell, or the Parliamentary Debate and Mock Parliament Association. There is enough for one to suit his need; all that is needed on your part is initiative.

Another big advantage of SLS, is the diverse crowd that studies along with you. You will have people from all over India in your batch. While, it may be a culture shock for most people, it is something that worked in my favour by virtue of the fact that I was a North Indian living in South India.

The course is well framed. Two important subjects in the first semester are Torts and Jurisprudence and in the second are torts and Contracts. The other subjects may vary depending upon whether you are a B.A.L.L.B student or a B.B.A.L.L.B student. The faculty, for the law subjects are good and attending classes regularly ensures that you have a good grasp of the subjects.

Easily one of the nicest things about Symbiosis is the seniors. I personally, have benefitted a lot because of them. They are always willing to help you and are good company as well. They know what comes in your papers, and teach you methods of scamming attendance from Professors. And give you notes, and books.

All in all, I feel it has been a good first year for me. What it has taught me is that we need to make our college life ourselves. What we are in college, what we achieve, whatever we want to learn and experience, the initiative should come from within because college is something where everyone is focused on improving their CV so that they land that Amarchand or Trilegal job. And most importantly, one year in law school teaches you that each and every shortcut that you take, is only increasing your chances of failing in the long run. Knowledge is supreme, the faster you get rid of the MUN mentality of faffing your way through, the better it is.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Musings of an over-caffeinated law student: GNLU

This article was submitted to us by Meghana Rao, a second year student at Gujarat National Law University. 

As my mid-semester exams draw to a close, I’m sitting up on my bed curled up with my steaming hot cup of tea and reminiscing about my time at Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar. GNLU has morphed itself into something I cherish because it taught me so many things, things far beyond those I can learn in the textbook.

As a fourth semester law student, I look back at my time at this place and I can’t help but smile. I remember my first day here, I was terrified of being flung into this hyper-competitive environment away from home (My family is in Ahmedabad, about 30 kilometers from Gandhinagar but you get the drift, right?), that being said I went home nearly every weekend. I cherished the comfort of my old bed and the hot food my mom served. The mess food made me miss my mom’s cooking. Although, Sunday breakfast of Masala Dosa and Sambhar were and continue to be absolute gold.

But soon, my room at the hostel began to feel more like home than my home right here. It became my safe haven. I’ve spent hours cramming before a paper, DIY projects that pretty much make me laugh loud, even today (Vedi, I’m looking at you here) and above all, getting to know people who, I would later find out, are some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. I’m not going to feed you cheesy and super bright texted Facebook posts about how “the girl you just called fat is starving herself”, but I will tell you this – everyone you meet will have a personality, one that you might not necessarily like but you will learn to admire. Each student in my batch of 190 odd people is inspiring and so motivated to achieve their goals. You will meet people who want to edit films to those who someday wish to stand for the elections and those crazy ones, are actually those who really make it here. Hard-work aside, everyone puts in the hours here at GNLU, but the people who actually make it are those with passion and passion so consuming, you can’t help but admire.

It is an extremely stressful environment but chilling with your friends in the night mess or Hoggers Den is one that I won’t trade for the world. Over steaming hot cups of chai and Parathas, I’ve discussed my view on the death penalty to which Kardashian sister is most annoying. It’s a place designed to make sure that you’re tested at every given moment. Classes start at 9am and end at 2pm which gives you pretty much the entire day to do whatever you wish. Some people (unlike me) join centers and research on issues of their liking, others join committees, which I assure you, GNLU has a plethora of and then there are people like me, who usually dream away or spend hours reading on issues of their choice.

This college has a place for everyone and honestly, made me feel like it’s okay to be a little weird because everyone is a little weird. It made me sharpen my skills and made me more tolerant to more kinds of people. It opened my eyes to an array of possibilities on the horizon, within my reach and made me realize my flaws. It taught me to be a better individual and for that, I’m grateful.

GNLU made me laugh at my mistakes, I was at my worst and I was at my best and I’m sure there are experiences I still haven’t had yet. I can tell you this for sure though; I’m immensely excited for what’s yet to come.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Life at Law School: NALSAR

This article was submitted to us by Siddharth Sunil, a first year student at NALSAR University of Law.

We do not remember days; we remember moments
– Cesare Pavese

I feel that as my first semester at NALSAR draws to a close, I should chronicle the brief (4 months) time that I have spent here so far. I am going to emerge, a fortnight later, proudly proclaiming myself as 10% a lawyer. Amidst all the legal and humanity jargon that is thrown around campus (and the omnipresent and pressing projects, deadlines, and examinations, that more than happily help us stay on our toes), I can safely and conclusively declare that I have found another home.

It would be unfair to say I miss my first home, my parents’ place (albeit I do), considering the fact that I live just about half an hour from the campus, and make it a point to go home for most weekends. However, the NALSAR Campus has more than compensated for the luxuries back home, a notable one being sleep (though the mandatory 75% attendance rule acts as a constant cause of complaint for hypersomniacs).

Life at NALSAR stands in stark contrast to life at other colleges. It is, perhaps, the first place in my memory where a person is, quite literally, judged more for the person he is from within, and less for the person he looks like. The student body’s views and representations are given immense importance. The 1st Years’ Hostel is a party zone, 12 hours of the evening, 7 days a week. Loud, booming and peppy music from numerous portable speakers ensure that there is never scope for boredom.

Innumerable memories have been made, within a mere four months. I can only revel in anticipation and eagerness at what the next four and a half years could possibly hold in store for us. Countless moments. Countless memories.

“Live your life while you still can”: while the NALSAR academic schedule compels us to do something completely different, the same also gives us enough pluck to breakthrough and set our own standards, rules, and live life. Not just King Size. But Our Size.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Keeping it simple: RMLNLU

This article was submitted to us by Kriti Sharma, a second year student at RMLNLU, Lucknow. 

RMLNLU is the place of binaries. In the midst of bustling, hyper activity and periods of deceptive calm, it gives you the freedom to choose what you want to do with your time. With not very demanding academic commitments which include classes from 10 am to 3 pm at an average, 6 project submissions per semester and end term examinations, there is room for investment in co-curricular activities like regular debating sessions, bi-annual University Moot Court Selections for allotment of moot court competitions, sports and availability of a well-equipped library that’s functional till 10 pm, providing ample room and access to online and offline sources for extensive legal research.

We have just successfully finished organizing the RML Parliamentary Debate 2016 which saw immense participation from students across the country and was won by St Stephen’s.  Aavahan, the annual sports fest of our college witnessed enthusiastic participation in football, cricket, basketball, volleyball, badminton, table and lawn tennis, carrom, chess, counter strike and FIFA.  This weekend, we are eagerly awaiting the commencement of the 4th SCC Online Moot Court Competition 2016, which will be followed by the 2nd Edition of the RML National Mediation Competition, which when founded was the first of its kind to be hosted in Asia.

The seniors are as approachable as the administration is intolerable. The hostels have been built with care and staffed with conscientious, responsible personnel to ensure that none of our concerns go unnoticed and prompt remedies are provided. The only concerns are the conservative attitudes of our administration which often translates to moral policing, unnecessary interference in activities of the student body, patriarchal attitudes and a dire need for competent faculty to add to the couple of brilliant teachers we’re grateful to be students of.  All in all, with its awe-inducing infrastructure , and availability of options to choose from for recreation and fine tuning of legal skills, with the recent establishment of the Legal Services Clinic and student run societies for excellence in competition, constitutional, arbitration and intellectual property rights’ law, this is a place that will carve its place in one’s life and heart.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Wake Me Up When September Ends: NLU-O

This post was submitted to Ergo by Ritwika Pati, a first-year at the NLU-Orissa. 

“Shedding the mask of fear and doubt
Revealing our tragedies all around
Only in a state of unusual peace…..Crawling out of bed at 12 o’clock
Screaming at their bitter thoughts
Where’s my pen when i need it the most?”

This is about the drastic change that your whole existence undergoes in less than a year; the impossible things that you realize you are capable of doing; finding out that all you had planned for your life and future make you feel like a dimwit and many other such happy realisations.

So having spent a year studying English Literature in a not-so-popular college back in Kolkata, and then deciding to opt for law because legal reasoning seemed more interesting than trying to analyse the reason behind Edmund Spenser being a hopeless romantic, the transition hit hard like a crashing wave (without the build up obviously). Not that it was harrowing, but it was like entering a different world abruptly. A world with as much pressure as the number of judgmental people in the campus… prying eyes…sneaky eyes….criticising eyes…creepy eyes…bewitching eyes…tricky eyes…and still discovering new ones. There have been times when I have felt like huddling in a ball and pretend that I don’t exist; then again, other times have kicked me in my head to do something recognisable and be acknowledged. As appropriately pointed out in another article here, the concept of the ‘ideal student’ does not paint a picture of a nerd sitting in library all day, with oversized glasses and nose buried into a book we vowed to stay away from, the first time we checked out the library. Rather, the guy or the girl actively participating in everything possible for a sane person to participate in, still passing exams with good marks (alluring enough for top law firms), acing moots, debates etc is labelled as THE STUD. So it gives a sense that this scene is pretty common in law schools.

There was a lack of good friends in my life when I was in school. Everybody was quite distant, and coated with fabrication when it came to proving their friendship. The first day after moving into the hostel, there was a lot of bonding with the ones I had around me. A tad too surprising for the first day. (Pretence alert!) But took me not even a day to get how genuine some people are actually. And this is probably the best thing that NLUO has given me so far. Understanding how important they are in my life was the realization of the first month.

Good many memories were made in the first semester itself, though it still appears weird how quickly the time flew by. Late night birthday parties, self proclaimed DJs in the house, 4 am life advice in times of intense crisis, riverside sunrise at 5 am, dressing up nicely for the DJ nights and looking like you just had a shower when it ends (humidity goals- Orissa), waking up at 3 am and deciding to watch horror movies…wait. Our whole life seems nocturnal.The exciting things during daytime are classes and lectures. The nocturnal life is more exciting. I still can’t believe we made such uncountable memories in 6 months!

Along with that came six subjects, strict class hours, strict attendance, decent dress code, curfew timings, projects, viva…kind of like a…School? But with a lot more fun, chilling scenes, freedom, sensibility and a sprawling campus! The realisation had dawned, that an NLU not only teaches you law but also shapes and moulds you as a person. From pulling you out of your seats in the farthest corner of the classroom and forcing you to speak in front of everyone, making you realize the hidden potential that you had in yourself to finish three projects in two nights, having it in yourself to study till 6 in the morning without mom or dad pushing you, being able to comment like a middle aged man on where the politicians are taking the country to, starting to not care about the judgmental souls, surviving the hour long grilling in moots, securing internships, working in actual offices, to understanding the importance of career, life goals and relationships; I owe it all to the law school life. It’s something that broadens your mental horizon by so many levels. Once you step out of the tiny confinement of your own world, you learn the realities of life, the harsh truths, and the practicalities. And at this juncture, I believe the people in my college are better shaped as a person than the non-NLU counterparts, smarter and bolder than the lot.

But all this to say, wouldn’t pacify the entity inside that is still trying to huddle into a ball and pretend that it doesn’t exist. Talking about the times you feel so exposed, out in the open; you want to leave everything and run away, but can’t. You feel so confused about yourself, asking that million dollar question way too frequently now, “What am I doing with my life?” well that will only waste the precious time you have got. In the end, you do need a future, marks, attendance…it is that endless cycle again. And this is just the first year. It seems that most of the things done are too superficial to go unnoticed. The entity inside has gone into hibernation… till September ends. The next September, that is.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

I Lived: WBNUJS

This post was submitted to Ergo by Rohit Dhalaria, a first-year at the WBNUJS. Hailing from Delhi, he loves watching football and is a Manchester United fan. He also enjoys humming to jazz music.

My mother made me check my CLAT result via three different browsers (yes, Internet Explorer was one of them) before she could actually believe that I had made it to NUJS. I myself had not really absorbed the fact that I was going to a top tier National Law School, as I was asked to pack my bags. Here I was buckled into a 5 year-long roller coaster called “Law School”. For a guy who had never lived away from home, I could say that the roller coaster ride began with a big jolt. A small room with two strangers whom I had to live with, for almost 24 hours of the day, was initially a great struggle for me and the positive interaction sessions, which went on till 4 a.m., made it even more difficult.

The first month passed in the night long conversations with people from places that I hadn’t even heard of and in library for some of us who were crazy for this new bird called law. Gradually those strangers became friends and people on the other side of the positive interaction became people to whom I now look up to.

Soon the positive interaction was done with and the law school race had really begun, race for getting into university teams of mooting and debating, race for reading all the cases (nah, not really) and finally the race to be recognized in this college.

There were all-rounders who had won this race and then there were people who had not even started running and I was stuck somewhere near the start line. I realized that whatever activity I thought I was good at when I was in school, was one I sucked at in law school..

Days went by with cricket in the evening and ‘cha’ (I tried the Bengali accent) at the shack. Well, I had not even realized what had happened in the past 3 months and there were end-semester exams staring me right in the face. I could see the library flooded with people and tension on the faces of few. The exams got over and soon after them, came the “What’s your CGPA?” season.

AUTHOR’S TIP: Never ask someone’s GPA when you yourself have a low grade.

Well, as they say that time flies (In law school, it literally does) and I was in my second semester. By now I had settled in and given up on the race and also found a few other people who had done the same (I like to call them friends.) I had seen Kolkata around and by now I was also regular customer of mashii at the shack. And now that, the first year of my law school life is coming to an end, Mashi has become an integral part of it.

The year has been full of crazy after parties (that’s more or less what NUJS is about. Kidding.)

I saw a match at Salt Lake Stadium, played a match at Salt Lake Stadium (okay, I didn’t play because I was a substitute), made friends, picked up fights, ran for last minute submissions but the most important of all, I lived, despite all the pressure.

Lastly, I have written this article, because Shivangi Bajpai almost made it a point that I write. And, no, I don’t hate her for that. Thanks for making me write my first article on a public space.

I would also thank my friends who gave up on the race to be the best and sat with me in the midst of the track to make me live.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Dead or Alive: WBNUJS

Tanusmita Ghosal is currently a first year in WBNUJS. She likes watching football and is a Chelsea fan. Apart from that, she has generic mainstream interests, like music, reading and travelling.

I had spent a year in NLUO prior to CLAT 2015, so when I walked into NUJS on 29th of June last year, I was pretty sure, I knew how law school worked.

Or so I thought.

My image of law school was one where you get the whole year to relax, as long as you find a little while to do your thing and not get an abysmal GPA. But two weeks into NUJS, and I knew I had to start from scratch.

As soon as I started attending classes, I realized, this place meant business. By that, I don’t mean that we would have to pay attention in every class and write down every word a teacher says. We probably do not listen to even a word half the teachers say. What I mean is, in a batch of 125, you will definitely struggle to hold your ground. It is indeed refreshing how smart and dedicated most people in NUJS are, but it is also just as suffocating to know that one exam you mess up a tiny bit, and your batch rank can go from pretty awesome to pretty shit. Thanks to this, you soon have an identity in college which comprises completely of your GPA, mooting achievements, debating abilities and paper publications. And one after the other, we all fall prey to it. It is true that there are a bunch of people who tend to only enjoy themselves and not really put in an effort at all. But by the end of it, nobody wants to be them, not even they themselves.

Let’s be honest though, NUJS is also probably the most chilled out law school you will find. We function on a non-existent curfew and unlike most places, do not have a bar on what kind of clothing we wear to class. There is always something fun going on in college- be it Interbatch football, or dance, Lohri celebrations or the biggest, OUTLAWED. The ‘positive interaction’ is probably the most fun thing in the first few weeks of college, and seniors are mostly extremely fun and welcoming. You have free access to all sorts of intoxicants, not saying whether it is right or wrong, and if you want to experience a mini rave party, I am sure there is at least one room in each hostel that you can go to every night (Again, I reserve my right to gauge the appropriateness of the same) .

At first you think, why the dichotomy?

Why so lenient and yet so stressful? Soon you realize, that is the real test at NUJS. This place will put you through all the pressure in the world, but also give you the opportunity to exercise freedom like never before. It is you, who has to balance the two; for that is the only way you can excel here. You learn to respect the people who manage to party it up and yet win a huge moot. You learn to look up to people who dance like goddesses but still churn out the best GPAs. Your role models are no longer the nerds who study impossible hours, but the real all-rounders, who manage it all at once.

It has been almost a year now and as much as I hate this place, I am glad I am at NUJS and nowhere else. For all the nervous breakdowns and impossible deadlines I have had, I have made a bunch of great friends. As much as you want to go home every vacation, you start missing it the moment you leave. For the majority of the year, NUJS will kill you. But you will learn to love it for the few moments it helps you feel happy and alive.

The real question still, being: Dead or Alive?

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Life Goes On: NLU, Jodhpur

This article was submitted to Ergo by Rajat Sharma, a first-year at the NLU, Jodhpur. A keen MUNer, and an avid traveler, Rajat dares to Zlatan.

When I sat down to write this article for Ergo, all I thought about was how badly I write. But, thanks to this friend of mine who constantly motivated me and told me that I have to do nothing but narrate my experiences and feelings with regard to college and life at college, I’ve persisted through. This piece of writing might not be one of the better ones but this is all I could do.

When I cleared CLAT after diligently preparing for a year, I had a mistaken belief that life will be simpler after getting into college. I am not to be blamed here, most of us thought the same thing. I hail from Jaipur, Rajasthan and one of the main reasons for choosing NLUJ amongst other options was that I get to stay nearer to home. First thoughts about the college were amazing. I was one of those who watched the NH-65 AFTERMOVIE a hell lot of times before coming to college and thinking ”WOAH, college life is going to be amazing”. (NH-65 is our Cultural and Literary Fest). Further, the urge to live in a 55-acre campus that provides individual rooms in hostels (something we brag about) was too much an incentive. Soon after coming to college, we met our very helpful seniors who positively interacted with us and gave us an insight of what NLUJ and life at NLUJ is in the process. But, life at law school had just begun. Our Course Curriculum at NLU was the first thing that struck like a lightning on our heads. We have the pleasure of taking 4 continuous assessments in a semester, alongwith mid-terms, end-terms and other submissions. To add a cherry to this cake, we have our very own CRE’s (Court Room Exercises which are like mini moots, required to be done for all law subjects).

Call it settling down or experimenting with life at college, all I ended up doing in the initial few months was getting frustrated over rejection and failed expectations. I think the only reason why it took me more than a semester to finally settle in this college is my ability to keep thinking a lot over things that do not matter. Initially, I kept thinking over an irreversible decision, I myself took while choosing colleges. Then, I kept thinking over opportunities missed (Yes, I missed the chance to be an Aditya Birla Scholar). Moreover, that feeling when you think that you don’t have friends in college, coupled with you missing your old friends was been always with me during last semester. Because of all this drama, going on in my life, I ended up with what I think is a not-so-good CGPA.

The good thing is that I have been trying to adjust and not over-think, since then and I understood that keeping yourself positive about your life at law school is the mantra to a happy life here. The only decent thing that made me happy last semester was getting a moot that just got over and provided me with a good experience and an insight into mooting. (Just to mention here, MOOTING IS WHAT WE LOVE THE MOST HERE at NLUJ, and our MPL Rank suggests the same, thanks to some really great senior mooters who have set high standards).

Now, to provide the readers with a little insight about our campus life, we have two fests, NH-65, which I mentioned earlier and Yuvardha which is the sports fest. Further, we have a great Cultural Committee that never allows the campus to get dull by organizing a lot of events which keeps the campus buzzed with music and joy all the time. Also, OTR and SDL keep our pockets empty but they do help us in living a great college life. (OTR and SDL and the two party spots most loved by people in college). Be it any event, PCC is something that makes all of us respect good food, as it is our saviour when we are tired of eating multi-choice based mess food.

I realized it only after a semester, that Law School does not only teach us law, but it teaches us how to live,  love and be a better person. It was just a matter of time that THIS university became MY college. For the coming four and a half years, this place is home. After all the initial emotional backdrops,  I had after coming here, I can definitely say that this place has given me the courage to handle situations and has made me a better person. It has taught me to not get frustrated over hurdles, but to work till the hurdles die down. In this small journey in law school, I think I made some really good friends and lost some too but then, life goes on.

To conclude, I will just reiterate what my good friends Kartikeya & Krishnan have previously affirmed, ”This place has its quirks, just like any other place. But it’s a place we call home now. Who are we now? We’re NLUJ. We work hard, we party harder. To summarise- NL-who? NL-U”.

P.S.: I would like to thank Shivangi Bajpai for constantly motivating me to write this small piece of writing. Also, thanks KK & Kichu for the last few lines. 🙂

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Damage Beyond Repair: NLU-O

The author is currently a student at NLUO, Cuttack. He enjoys remaining anonymous. He’s a misanthrope, because it’s very fashionable. He revels in the incoherence of the universe.

He rages most of all at the thought that eternity might get it into its head to take his misery from him!“- Kierkegaard

Disclaimer: This piece is boring and inaccurate. Click on something more interesting. Move on. There’s no point reading this. Also, all characters and institutions appearing in this work are fictitious and any resemblance to any character or institution, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

After being asked to write about how my life at college has bee, I sit down to pour some of my hatred and resentment. Might sound like an ungrateful twat to some. And maybe I am. I can’t help feeling what I feel. Or can I?

“They lure us into taking up the jobs by showing a lot of money. And make us work like donkeys. And you know what they say when they come to talk to us at college? Work is life. Making the clients happy is our ultimate goal,” complained a wise friend at a ‘tier one’ law school.

The friend bets that the only thing different at a tier three law school is the ‘jobs’ part. Right.

But you question, “How do you hammer bourgeois sensibilities in a spirit so bohemian, so avant-garde?”

Not to deny that we, at our ‘tier three’ law school, have our share of mediocre wannabe corporate sellouts, like every other college. Hard to believe this place hasn’t produced as many professional standup comics [shout out to Rohan]. We’re a factory of cynics, of sceptics. But, whatever.

For eighteen years, you labour under the delusion that you are a reasonably well-adjusted, positively contributing, law-abiding and conformist of a person. Regular stuff, supremely comfortable, no glitches.

And then, you end up here.

After a while of questioning, of introspection, you conclude that life is pointless and give up on it and take on things as they come. You renounce the search for meaning because there is none, you give up on the Truth, you give up on the lies they taught you to believe in. It’s very liberating but very uncomfortable. Easier to believe in a lie than to not believe in anything.

There’s two types of growth I figured one can hope for at a university- Growing as a consequence of institutional support and growing despite it (a.k.a. old men and women’s multitudinous mindless mistakes that make the lives of 600+ people difficult).

I’ll talk about the good part.

This place encourages me to be empathetic. No kidding. People who’ve been abused often tend to become sensitive to abuse in general. Take it up politically, fight for the oppressed and the silenced. Not that I use empathy all the time. Not very sure about the economic fruitfulness of empathy either. In any case, the empathy-meters have been fine-tuned, oppression-detectors recalibrated.

Coming out here has been a fairly pleasant experience. You’re safe in the beginning because they presume your heterosexuality.

And then one night, she calls me, “Let’s go for a walk”

Alright. There’s stuff I need to tell her. Been planning on talking about this for a bit.

She says, “I’m really horny right now!”

“Erm, okay. What do you want me to do?”

“Let’s make out?”

“Hah!”, I laugh out loud.

“What’s the joke?”, she asks.

“Nothing”

“No, you’ve got to tell me.”

“Well, the joke is contingent upon us making out”

I grow incredibly hot in the face and then, “I’m coming out. I’m gold star gay, woman. The idea of making out with a woman doesn’t necessarily repulse me. It just doesn’t have the desired impact.”

Another day, another friend, another coming out. I would like to point out that ‘coming out’ is not a definitive event but a constant negotiation. I’m a wee bit surprised by his nonchalance until he says, “I’m not very sure if I’m okay with gay people. I mean, I can’t be sure if I’m okay since I have an obvious bias towards you. Now let me ask just one more question before we switch topics. Were you ever molested as child?”

Hahaha. No.

Or if I was, I don’t remember.

X discusses, hypothetically, LGBT activism on campus, “We’ll picket, we’ll shout slogans. You just need to name it and we’ll do it.” Alright. Much appreciated.

Having a gaydar helps, too. And there are at least four men in my batch alone who ping on it. You don’t have to come out right now. I haven’t. Not anytime soon, anyway. I understand how helpful it is being adept at hiding our fragile masculinities behind unmeaning sexist banter. Ah, the things a closet forces one to do. But here’s a request, people. I’ve handed you the razors. Time to shave off your beards.

The court or the penal code won’t make me any less a fag than I already am. And while I’ll let them ponder on and rule on the legality of anal sex, I’ll have to go about my life. Find a suitable boy and work at a place where I’m least likely to be killed or abused or discriminated against. Reassurance is such a good thing.

And if you’re one of those hoping to join the law school someday (RUN, DON’T DO IT), here’s a wise old saying that’ll help- “It’s not you, it’s me.” Figure stuff out for yourself. Find the silver lining. Hope is a comfortable ally. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find your people here. I’m in one of those moods right now where I’d acknowledge I value my relationships with them and appreciate their presence in my life. And were it not for their company, life would’ve sucked way worse than it does right now.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

The Simple, Common Things: NUSRL, Ranchi

This article was sent in to Ergo by Puja Jakhar, a student at the NUSRL, Ranchi.

And when you finally decide to join the most exciting and dynamic career option available to you, you are expected to work accordingly. From morning to morning (yeah, from 9 am to 4 am) you just forget the existing nature, your love of music, everything. You start preparing to compete against the humongous crowd of students working equally hard to crack CLAT. At first, the routine is tiring and frustrating but then, it’s exciting and you get so addicted to the “gaining knowledge” thing that you actually become the chatter box of information. You become desperate to know anything and everything and the phase is addictive!

Well, that happened with me. 40 days and more than 45,000 competitors! But I managed. And on the day of the result, with a fast beating/throbbing heart, I was looking at the loading bar…just a couple of seconds and the fog of doubts would be cleared. National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi! Okay! I cleared CLAT but I got a comparatively new university which was not so “established”. I hesitated to accept this college. But then an NLU is an NLU after all. The tag matters, right? I accepted what fate had presented me with, and as I moved to Ranchi, I fell in love with the weather the clouds, the “kabhi bhi ho sakti hai” rain, the clear sky shimmering with stars at night…this place was lovely!

But the real thing was the college. Was it worth it? Was all that pain and hard work worth it? Questions.

Unanswered, terrifying questions.

But it didn’t take much to give it a good try. I started my journey of “kaun hu mai kiski mujhe talaashhh…”.

But from the very first day this place mesmerised me. The subjects were fun (especially those tort cases). We started that “Don’t you dare..I’ll sue you for it” thing. And I got this wonderful family of five insanely insane people with their own short-temperedness, extreme calmness, charming childishness, sweet sophistication-“ness” and creative leadership-“ness”! It is impossible to survive in a law school with all these CATs and CREs and extremely fantastic fests and assignments and never ending projects, until and unless you have your “star parivaar ” with you. These people make your life no less than any Bollywood movie you can think of!

Talking about the college, well, the first question that we faced was “why law” which is yet to be honestly answered. The faculty here is another reason why a crazy girl like me is doing this mind-boggling course. But it’s really fun! To attend Sahoo Sir’s class and let your mind discover a new dimension and a brand new angle to look at things. To attend Subir Sir’s lectures and enjoy the cases and the “damnum sine injuria” “ubi jus ibi remedium” “novas actus intervene” etc strangely named cool theories and concepts. Contracts was good with Utkarsh Sir and his “clear it all, have no confusion” lectures. His MCQ-wale CATs were everyone’s nightmare at the beginning but the more we attended the lectures, the easier they become! Political Science was the “Rajdhani” lecture where you can’t let your mind wander here and there…you need to listen to Ekta Ma’am with full concentration or you have to just raise your hand and she’ll realise that again she was going too fast. But we loved her lectures. They were fast but not furious. The debates that we had when she started that feminist wale lectures. It was the best possible political theory class you could attend. And last but not the least, our favourite, Akshaya Ma’am. Those English lectures were too much fun. The last lecture of the day, but you would get so refreshed that you could have an evening session of studies without your 20 min nap!

The huge campus allows you to take a lot of fresh air and enjoy the wind that makes your mind wander into the infinities of thought and expression. Although here they don’t have the campus fully developed, but whatever we have is worth enjoying and devouring.

And the parties and fests! Any law school is incomplete without these two quintessential (much needed) parties and fests. Yuventas’15 was one such grand event where the 90’s era of Bollywood was back as the theme was “dasak 90”. The “dhak dhak ” and “chal chaiyan chaiyan” dance performance to the quawaali and the fashion show..it was incredible and amazing with a teaspoon of spicy sports events and a pinch of competitions like “antaakshari”, “sawaar lo”, “rangoli making”, “pot decoration” and what not! It was as if you have travelled back in time to enjoy a live performance of “uss zamaane k kalaakaar ”!

Overall, this life, this extremely busy, beautiful life is awesome! The law schools are no doubt, a different world. You get opportunities and you discover yourself and develop your personality and then you realize one day “Oh! I have changed! I look better, more confident, more independent!” and you know whom to give the credit!!

Places were and will always fascinate young minds

We the curious creatures are in search of a world that only we can define!

But I say that the world presently I’m in

Can’t be better or worse

For I have achieved and I have learned

To live life and not define it…”

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

A Happy Article: WBNUJS

Shreya Mishra is currently a first year in West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences and is fond of reading novels based on contemporary issues.

The first year is probably the most important year of law school life (Bear with me.  Not saying this from a career point of view, that can be true as well, but let’s not get there). A lot has already been written about how people have adjusted to their law school life, in the first semester and hence in this piece, I choose to write about the feeling when the first year is about to get over.  Some have adjusted themselves to this environment, some are still struggling and some are on crossroads!

Since I am from the same city as the college is situated in, I have never felt very anxious about college. I can go back home as and when I want. However, it also acts as an escape route for me (which actually is, detrimental) but it is chill for me. I can rush back to home if I feel there is anything I want to escape from. However, as the year first year progressed, things started falling in place and the escape route wasn’t required. Apart from the cultural shock and discovering yourself and your happiness, you meet a whole lot of new people, learn to shed your inhibitions and try things which you probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise. While this may not be true for a lot of other people, it was definitely true for me. Come Lohri, and you see the entire college coming together and dancing preceded by MUN after-party and the PD Party. While I didn’t attend any of these, those who might have, and are reading this or plan to come here, be assured that this college will give you a lot of opportunities to party. WBNUJS loves it. The best is yet to come though. Come February and you have Invicta and Outlawed. One of the biggest sports and cultural fest among the law schools (So much advertising), 3 days of crazy work and crazier nights. All those fancy colleges in dramas and movies (where they party all night long) would no longer be a dream. It is right there.

Come semesters and everyone would be sitting in the library all day long. Rushing to the photocopy dada and asking for notes and coffee. I absolutely love ‘dada’. The first exam would be Contracts (if you are here) and it would feel amazing once it is done. Life and the world seem happier once Law of Contracts is over. Kind of, been there, done that. Ten days of intensity and the semesters are over and you can party again.

So we have covered parties and semesters, next we have friends. One of the most important things I discovered is that the friends here will be your lifeline. They will listen to your endless rants and advice you to stop cracking lame jokes because clearly it isn’t helping your poor sense of humour.
Nothing I say can stress about how important these lifelines are.

This brings me to the last point- the little quarrels you might pick up with them. I have had fights and they have been terrible.

However, as preachy as I may sound, it is important to figure out the important lot and stick with them. About fights, you just might keep having them, for whatever reason but resolve them and talk it out. Though at this juncture, I should add that five years is a long time and you might not as well be friends with the same people (I swear I am in the first year, just wanted to shed some gyan a senior passed to me!)

In the end, the first year is almost about to get over, semesters are almost here and party mode is gone! However, some of the most important lessons have been learnt, a little more maturity gained, happiness is in the air, about becoming seniors after a few months but then everything is overpowered by the sadness of not being in the first year anymore! Not being able to do crazy stuff and get away with it and not getting to hear from seniors “abbey first year hai!”

And the author in me does not exactly want to thank Shivangi Bajpai for all the coaxing, to write this post. However, she is worth mentioning to have induced so much fear in the happy girl in me that I finally did write up my first piece of prose, as you may call it.

This was my happy article, a happy girl that I am.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Here, We Lose: NLSIU

This article was submitted to us by Abhiroop Saha, a first year at NLSIU. If you ask Abhiroop about things he is really fond of, he would probably put drumming and Lebanese food on top of the list.

It was on June 29th that I first entered National Law School of India (or Law School, as we elitists call it). The campus isn’t the biggest or the prettiest but I felt incredibly relieved about whatever it was since I had just visited NUJS the previous week. The orientation which happened soon after kept on revolving around how we were the best law school and how one had to prove himself worthy of the college. A distinguished professor emphasized on the need of a 5+ GPA in order to get a good job. Another highlighted the importance of research papers. The moot culture and the various Rhodes scholars of NLS were also spoken about extensively. The only thing I could gather that day was how driven and competitive one had to be in order to survive in NLS.

I still remember how our CLAT rank was a good part of our identity in the first few weeks. NLS has a pretty amazing system of mentorship where every first year is assigned loads of mentors. One such mentor is the rank mentor (the second year who got the same CLAT rank as you, the year before). In fact, there is this informal thing called a rank family (All the students who have secured the same rank over the years). Some rank families are actually pretty close.
Almost every senior who came to us for ‘positive interactions’ asked for our rank for whatever reason and many of my batch mates (me included) went through the rank list so many times that chances were that one knew a person by his/her rank before even meeting said person. I knew a guy as rank two for an incredibly long time before he went on to become one of my closest friends.

It was around a month into law school that I realized how stressful the place was. Projects or ‘Research papers’ (the fancier term) were the source of some serious trauma. Right out of CBSE class 12, where the hardest thing I had to do for a school project was collecting pictures of ten different shaving cream brands (Business studies, LOL), 5000 word research papers were incredibly difficult. After a couple of all-nighters when you do submit your projects (two days after date of submission), you realize that your mid-terms start in three days. And our written papers are pretty hard too since they are based on an extremely vast course outline. Marks are rare commodities and it sucks since the pass mark is now 50 instead of the convenient 33% we all had in school. Needless to say, several people fail. Oh and lest I forget, ten days after mid-terms, we have to submit the second set of projects. Another ten days and you have end terms. It’s a stressful cycle.

There are people who do exceedingly well even under these circumstances. These are mostly people who start from day 1 (hopefully, I’ll be one of them next trimester) but then one is hardly ever systematic in college. Not in NLS anyway.

The previous paragraph might have been suggestive but let me clarify it further. There are very, very few things to look forward to in NLS. The place is suffocating most of the time but thankfully, some good things do happen here occasionally. Our sports fest ‘Spiritus’ was probably the only time in first year when I felt a sense of belonging to the college. Despite the ‘mandatory volunteering’ all the first years had to do, it was a very engaging experience. Getting into the football team is among the three best things I have done since college started. The NLS football team comprises some of the most chilled out people in the college and some of my favourite seniors. We do not win a lot; in fact, we hardly win, but it’s always a lot of fun playing with the team.

NLS organizes a rock fest called Strawberry Fields with several bands coming from all over India. Being part of the organizing committee gave me some memorable moments as I was involved with the show very closely. The privileges included chilling backstage with the headlining bands which was really cool. However, what I will always remember the fest for is that it was the first time I performed in college. Getting into the law school band as the drummer comes second in the three best things I mentioned earlier. There is a dearth of music in law school despite there being several talented musicians. This is another reason why I find the place suffocating. It is probably due to the excessive academic stress that one doesn’t devote much time to music or football (which in turn explains why we lose so much. Yes, our messed up course is the reason for everything that goes wrong.)

Sadly, Strawberry Fields is over and music in law school is dead till the next SF.

The sad reality of Law School was perfectly captured by the words of a very illustrious 5thyear:| “Law School has defined what success should be in incredibly narrow terms.” I didn’t think about it much when he first told me this (it was the second month of law school) but a few months on, I realized how right he was. NLS cares about moots (we love Jessup and will rub it in every random person’s face that we have won it twice. Same goes for other international moots.), debates, the occasional ADR competition and maybe, just maybe, one or two MUNs.

Law School doesn’t care if you’re  Jimmy Page or an incredible actor or whatever. You hardly get any kind of attention or support. Going to other cultural fests and taking part in competitions is a once in a blue moon kind of thing for us. The ideal law school stud is the one who moots, debates and gets good grades. You’re really a nobody if you’re just the captain of the football team. This has the negative effect of discouraging one from art or other extra-curricular activities barring the ones mentioned above. This is terribly sad as most people plan on pursuing their hobbies or picking up new interests in college whereas in NLS, the only thing you’ll probably pick up is info on how to prepare a moot memo.

While I might have painted a highly critical picture of our college (which is downright accurate, at least to me), there are the aspects which aren’t that bad. Coming to NLS has opened up my mind to several new ideas. Some of our subjects actually make you think, and the conclusions you might arrive at are quite interesting. These are illuminating viewpoints one would probably never have had without the exposure facilitated by the college. One of the coolest things about NLS is that there are several incredibly smart people, interactions with whom further the ideological and practical exposure I mentioned. In addition to this I have also come across a few people whom I can actually call an inspiration- there have been very few inspirational people in my life before college.

The best NLS has given me (apart from the 100% placement assurance) however, would be a few really good friends. It’s just been six months and I am really thankful that there are a couple of people out there in the college who are worthy of the word ‘bro’. Coupled with my hostel terrace, they make life at NLS bearable.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

And Then, Law School Happened: NLSIU

This article was submitted to us by Harjas Singh, a first year student at the National Law School of India University. 

There was a certain chill in the air when I walked through the gates of National Law School of India University. A feeling of triumph came over me knowing that I had achieved what I had dreamt of. I had worked tirelessly, aced the CLAT, and now I was in NLSIU (or Law School, as I would soon call it). 82 of us had strived hard to reach this place and to begin our journey together. I was thrown into a room with 2 strangers, each of us occupying one cubicle. We were all different people, from different states of India, asked to share a room for a year, and maybe more. The “cube” was sombre, painted in a dull yellow, and quite small – a bed, a table and a chair were all that could fit into it. Ah, how I missed my old room, with the huge bed and the beautiful walls. It even had space to walk around. Alas, I told myself that this was what I dreamed of for the last one year, that NLSIU is where I belong. Seniors visited us that night, to have a “positive interaction” with us. They called a few of us and started “positively interacting” with us. It was weird initially, because we had we hadn’t even spoken to each other before, forget the seniors. But soon it became a lot more fun. Here we were, a bunch of strangers, laughing together, at and with each other. We shared jokes, we danced, we sang, we did some tasks. Who would’ve thought that it would be a positive interaction after all! The seniors gave us some tips to get through Law School, and we went back to our cubes. And somehow, the cubes didn’t feel so peculiar anymore. I went to sleep at 1 am that night, a time which would become ‘too early to go to bed’ as the trimester progressed. While I lay in my bed that night, I remembered what some seniors had told us: “When law school strikes, it strikes you hard. The trimester breezes away in a whisker.

And the next morning, Law School happened! We were told that we would have to submit 4 well-researched, well-cited (what was citation now?), non-plagiarised, original projects, each of which should be at least 4000 words (including one of at least 30 pages). In addition, we had to give four mid-terms and four end-terms – a total of 8 exams within a span of three months. Further, we had to read around 7-10 books completely for our History course. Off to the library I went, absolutely terrified! The next month became a series of classes-library-positive interaction-sleep. Two projects had to be submitted in a month, one of which was the History course which scared us all. A month passed by, so did another two and just like that a trimester was over. Time does fly by quite quickly. As I look at my first trimester in retrospect, I realise that a lot has happened in those three brief months. I have mooted, debated, volunteered for a number of fests, danced, sang, marched, ran, shouted, screamed, and done almost everything I could think of (except sleep of course! You don’t sleep in Law School!). But most importantly, I had made friends. The walls don’t feel dull any more. I knew so much (a little too much to be honest!) about those strangers that I had been asked to share a room with three months ago. 7-8 people now fit in a cube that had earlier felt so small. 3-4 people now sit on that small bed that made me miss the comfort of my home. We have come a long way in the three months. Law School isn’t this strange, peculiar place anymore, it is MY place. It is now where I belong, where I am supposed to be.

Now that I have successfully lived through another trimester, things don’t seem so hard anymore. Yes, we still have 4 projects and 8 exams every three months. Yes, we still have to read a lot. But it isn’t the uphill battle that it was before. Now, we don’t feel that stress anymore. I guess this is because we know that we are all in this together. We have decided to get through Law School with each other, making memories along the way. We play, we chill, we have fun, we enjoy life (we still don’t can’t sleep though). So more than law or those boring history or sociology courses, Law School teaches you how to handle an enormous (and yes it’s enormous) work load. It teaches you to live with each other, for each other, making friendships that (hopefully!) shall last forever. On June 29, 2015 I came to a college called National Law School of India University living in a strange cube with 2 other strangers. On March 9, 2016, when my vacations end, I will return to LAW SCHOOL to MY cube where I live with MY FRIENDS. I will come back home.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

 Ad-Interim Home: NUALS, Kochi

This article was submitted to us by Wafa Khatheeja Rahman, a first year at NUALS, Kochi.

As the car disappeared into the horizon, a part of me wanted to run behind it like a mad woman and beg my parents to take me back. Fortunately, that part of me was not so dominant. I wish I knew how I felt about my first day at University. It’s easy to just say ‘I am nervous’ or ‘I am excited!’ than say ‘I’m really not sure how I feel about this’. The only thing I was sure of was that I’d miss home and that I wouldn’t be going there very often, at least, not frequently for the next five years. So I looked for bricks to build my home here. I have had a reputation for having a terrible choice of bricks which have resulted in lots of unfinished and sometimes even toppled-down to-be-homes, so I was meticulous and suspicious of every brick I met. My only consolation was that I was fortunate enough to have been granted a good, trust-worthy foundation stone- an old friend.

My apprehensions waned. Not soon but soon enough. On some bricks I stumbled, while others I chose. And now, more than half a twelvemonth later, life at NUALS is happy. Happy, because no other word could do more justice to it. Having had listened to dozens of hostel horror situations from friends at other Colleges and Universities, NUALS Hostel was a sort of paradise. Sure, I missed hot water baths sometimes, but a neat, functional room with an attached bathroom was more than one could ask for. The first week witnessed many awkward introductions among batch-mates and friendly interactions with seniors. But as the days passed and leaves fell, the awkwardness became non-existent and the friendliness, well, got friendlier. Classes were mostly a blur. They demanded little attention and effort in the first semester, or so the wiser ones told us. We didn’t even have too many law subjects in the first semester. There was law of Torts and there was Legal Methods. Legal Methods was easily everybody’s favourite subject, over English even, and that was owing entirely to our Professor alone. Some of our professors are brilliant at keeping our interest and attention. And the few who weren’t, didn’t mind too much if we fell asleep. Or at least, they pretended not to and we loved them for it. And so, that’s what the first semester was all about- finding your niche, knowing your people and we were deliberately granted this time to do so.  There are some things about NUALS that I love terribly. NUALS is at least a good half hour from the hustle and bustle of town, and when you’re living on the fifth floor of your hostel in God’s own country, the view is really something. Especially in the mornings when it is just a little cold and the mist is dramatically disappearing to uncover all the green. It’s peaceful. Or the Ninja Spot! It’s a pretty-ish little space in the administrative block where the debating culture flourishes. Why and how it got its name is an unsolved mystery. Or the little malayali Dhaba next to the University. Or the Uthappams we get Friday mornings for breakfast. And on rare occasions when food fails to cheer me up, friends do. Weekends are generally spent in Lu-Lu, the biggest mall in the country, catching a movie or binging on food, or buying our junk food supplies to survive the week. Some days, when we are feeling more adventurous, we head to Fort Kochi and visit the art cafés, Jewish shops, museums and palaces.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if an assignment is to be submitted the following month, work is initiated on it the night before and it is a truth my friends and I followed that religiously. I barely got a whiff of law school in the first semester, life was too peaceful. Apparently, this was only the preparation for the battle ground that law school is. After days of having pulled all-nighters and faring reasonably well in the semester exams, we were to intern for three weeks and vacation for another three after returning from which, NUALS greeted us with a Freshers’ moot Court competition. Unfortunately, our universal truth didn’t work too well there. We had to work and we had to work hard. It was funny how just a month ago you had nothing to do and one fine morning, you’re a part of the reception committee for the Chief Justice of India who would be inaugurating the new administrative block, an involuntary volunteer for three events for our National Cultural Fest NAALAM and struggling to find time to research for your moot court competition which is just three days away. It’s like the whole universe suddenly conspired to make our lives as eventful as possible just to make up for one semester of uneventfulness. As all chapters do, these passed too, or at least some parts of them. NAALAM is still round the corner and so is Altus Disputatio, a debate in the format of Devil’s Cross, organized by the first years and the wheels have started turning weeks ago. Apart from this, we have a whole list of events lined up following NAALAM and Altus Disputatio. And that translates to us getting didley-squat sleep, a hell-lotta work and whole lot of fun.

There have been some bad days, but there have been more good ones. For as long you have had more good ones, you’re good. Actually, you’re great.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

MetroLife: MNLU, Mumbai

This article was submitted to Ergo by Saisha Singh, a first-year at the Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai.

Mumbai coming up with a national law university is the kind of news for which law school aspirants desperately wait for. An NLU in a metro city like Mumbai is definitely worth it. The city of seven islands, as it is fondly called, is home to various prestigious colleges, and the Bombay High Court.

After taking admission in NLU Odisha and attending for a month, the phone call from MNLU filed my mind with a lot of questions. After conversations with seniors and people in the legal field, I decided to give it a try. It was a tough decision to become a part of an institution which has not yet established itself in the legal arena. Nevertheless, I came to Mumbai to complete the admission process of Maharashtra National Law University.

The university operates through a temporary campus in TISS Mumbai. The campus we have works as an academic one and all other facilities (such as mess, recreation and the library) is shared with the main TISS campus. Our young batch of only 61 students live outside in accommodation provided to us by the university. Being the first batch allows the students to be involved in organizing as well as sending college representatives to many law schools across the country.

Our vice chancellor Professor Bhavani Prasad Panda and the faculty are making incredible attempts to impart education in the best possible manner. One feature which distinguishes MNLU from other institutions is that of guest lectures, which are supposed to take place every Saturday. Not only legal academicians, but professors from other fields are invited to deliver lectures on subjects such as sociology and legal history. Similarly, the students are made aware of the options available to them after completing the integrated programme. With the mentorship and guidance of senior professors and vice chancellors such as Prof NR Madhava Menon, Prof SV Joga Rao, Prof R Venkata Rao and others, the university strives to promote its motto: dharmay tatpartya.

But despite being in a super favourable location, the university has its drawbacks. The faculty is mostly new, so there is a certain level of starting trouble. But after some time, we have gotten quite well adjusted to their teaching, and above all, their last minute check-ups for preparation a night before the exam.

Students and faculty here exemplify unity in diversity, as we work and celebrate together as a family.

Another area I would like to address is that coming to law school has been my first brush with reality.

Since time immemorial, most of the students may have heard the statement, beta 12th achche se padh lo, college mein masti karna. But I have realised that life after the entrance is no cakewalk.

Everything looks amazing, but the first year of my entry into the college comes with subject lectures and a ton of projects. Projects for research form an integral part of the pedagogy at every law school, this being no exception. But it was quite strange to get all the allotments within the first week and a clash of various submissions. 45 days, 5 submissions, all these announcements fall like bombs, making us realize, law school is not an easy journey.

We get up at 7, leave by 8:45, eat breakfast, attend classes from 9:30 to 5 (with a 1.5 hour lunch break), sit in library till 11pm, come back to the hostel, work again, and with this, conclude the day.

All this went on for quite some time, till we finally got the most wonderful thing- WiFi in the hostel. This came as a respite for us, and still continues to save the day. And then came the final submissions- there was a certain element of humour seeing everyone running around for print outs and notes, dropping those at the office and laughing in exasperation.

But all the hard work has taught me a lot. It has taught me not to procrastinate and most importantly, try to enjoy life even among the workload. Taking time off to explore is important being in one of the most important cities in the country.

It is with all this vigour and energy that I am sitting in my hostel, writing to you. At the end of the day, that brings me happiness. So to all those reading this post, and appearing for CLAT in future, I wish you all the best, and I welcome any queries you wish to ask in the thread below.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

I Try: NLU-O

This article was submitted to Ergo by Shivangi Bajpai, a first-year at NLU-Odisha, originally hailing from Jodhpur. She is a voracious reader, and writing poetry is one of her guilty pleasures.

Yeah.

I wake up to my alarm.

And, no. It is not the same. It is not annoying anymore. I got my alarm ringtone fixed. Not whining anymore.

At least, I try.

Waking up has always been the tough part of life. I can’t help it. And especially, when the winds are cold, and when, all you need is a cup of coffee and a warm sheet to cover your body and stay in your natural state.

Okay. Stop blaming me for my lethargy. It is the weather. Blame it on the weather.

Falling off the bed when the corridor is full of girls, banging their doors and whining, because it is a class, has been the only inspiration to leave my bed.  Crawling to the mess needs so much effort, I tell you. Not that the food is bad. It’s pretty decent actually, except for a few days.

Come on, food has its bad days as well.

But then, it is really heart warming to see the mess people working so hard to give us the daily food for nutrition.

At least, they try.

It is time, we start appreciating the efforts every one of us is putting together to keep everyone including me, pretty much engaged. And after all, we are all here, for a purpose. As they say. And no, it is not the same for all of us.

Some of us want to shape our personalities in this small world of ours, to face the big cruel world outside while others want to engage themselves academically. Okay, let’s be honest. We all have to engage ourselves academically, if not in our initial years in the college, then later. But sooner or later, you got to do it because we all need to earn money for existence.  So, let’s face it.

Moving on to the present day, soon to be- ‘Back in my day’, where I am having my little sweet time. Walking to the barrage in the morning air or in the evening wind, sitting on the river bed of Kathajodi with a friend who considers you a friend, drinking and talking about things that matter, waiting for the Mahanadi to be flowing again and coming back to your little home with the sweet smell of the wind from the land and playing a game of Badminton, doesn’t sound that bad. I am trying to make my years memorable, bit by bit and I am storing these memories in a little box, kept in a corner of my heart, so that, years later when I unravel my past, I can still remember these days and smile.

At least, I am trying.

Coming back to your little red room, isn’t that bad when you have a steady internet connection.

Yes, we have a good internet connection. Be happy, already.

Ever wondered, how these little things make your life happier, bit by bit?

Not that everything is delightful. I have my disappointing moments. This university has its disappointing moments.

But, we try.

We try to be something in between.

I try, to be on the positive of my graph of happiness.

No. I am not an optimist. Not implying, I am a pessimist.

I am something in between, and there’s always this optimism, to achieve.

At least, I try.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

An Open Letter to 2016 Law Aspirants: JGLS

This article was submitted to us by Sriya Sridhar, whose love for traveling and music is exceeded only by her love for Tea. Look out for her contributions every weekend, right here on Ergo.

Hi there.

So it’s near the end of January, and at this point there are three and a half months or so left for you to attempt the CLAT, LSAT, AILET or any other law entrance exam that you have in mind. Some of you may already be attending coaching and preparing, some of you have just have these as a backup and some of you are probably binging on Netflix. (I not so secretly have a soft corner for those in the third group.)

The following months are going to be hectic, no doubt. You’ll have boards coming up, coaching classes will increase in frequency, and things like Jagran Josh and the Manorama yearbook will become your best friends. As you push through and prepare for all of it, you will be faced with many an existential crisis, as I did. You will wonder if law is the right choice for you. The legal reasoning answers will all seem right. Bringing yourself to do the mocks will be akin to waking up on a cold winter’s morning.

To this equation, add the parents watching over you, those friends who seem to know all the GK in the world, and for the numerically impaired like myself, the dreaded speed distance time sums. Add some salt and stir.

Sorry about that. I don’t mean to fluster you, but neither am I going to advise you. While I went through the entrance exam process, I was given a lot of advice from teachers, seniors, my parents, friends, my cat and the like. But I found that while this advice truly helped and eventually brought me to law school which I love, what I needed most at the time of the entrance was empathy and some blind cheerleading.

So that’s what I am going to do today.

Hey, you. Don’t panic, don’t let this get you down. It’s tough, there is a lot of competition, and there is pressure to get in somewhere good. But I promise you, you’re going to be okay. It seems like a never ending road right now, but there is an end and it is good. There have been many who went through this before you and you will get through it just fine.

And while I wish you the best and send you my stock of motivational memes, I must address the possibility that things may not go to plan. It’s scary, I know. But you know what? It’s still going to be alright. There are backup plans, opportunities to try again, and to put it crudely: It isn’t the end of the world. If things don’t go how you want, it is a reminder of your resilience, your courage and your ability to keep going, which is far more valuable than any number or ranking that comes your way.

Keep at the mocks, be systematic and remember that there is no substitute for hard work. But don’t forget to take deep breaths, party hard at graduation, and do all the things that can only be done at the end of 12th grade.

Do your best. I know you will. I am rooting for you, and please root for yourself. Come May, you’re going to be exhausted and relieved and excited all at once, and that’s all a part of growing up. Enjoy it, everything is a learning experience.

If you would like some endless procrastination and stupid fun, visit www.theuselessweb.com. You’ll thank me later.

You can do this, may the Force be with you.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Pajama Piece: GNLU

This article was submitted to Ergo by Varun Srinivasan, a second-semester student at the Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar. He’s an avid movie buff, violin & theater enthusiast, and takes great interest in life’s ironies and jokes, while observing in the safe comfort of his pajamas.

Years before college, we dream of it. Months before it, there are frustrations and days before it is just a tornado of confusion, chaos and the clutter of last minute packing; of empty shelves, halfhearted goodbyes and full-mouthed kisses.

Welcome. Your world is about to change.

Not really. Your world will go as far as to maybe adjust a bit towards the left and check itself in the mirror. It will come prepared for the social Armageddon, but face an itch instead. You will wake up with the sense of productivity only stationery can give you but after the sun soon glides over your head you will recede back into eternal safety of the thought of doing things tomorrow.  Let me stop right there, it’s already running into the mainstream idea of expectation versus reality posts. This isn’t that, this piece is to tip the scales and balance the abundance of reality checklists about college, with things that will change, for which you didn’t prepare, but find yourself in the middle anyway.

This is about the silent rebelling. This is about the small, small things that will take part in your everyday activities. You see, I basically grew up in a temple. I used to wake up to the dulcet tones of MS Subbalakshmi’s Suprabhatam as my alarm clock, I grew up learning Carnatic music with Linkin Park in my earphones; being told to go sleep at 10 and spent my pooja hours secretly watching Dragon Ball Z on my phone. So you can understand when I say that when I went to college, like every dumb boy ever, went on my quest to find a world of sex, drugs and women.

Yeah, this is about college rebelling. The vices are all around me, but where I’ve made my home is in the vices that will never make papers or stories, but only indescribable moments of happiness.

First best friend. Undoubtedly, its cholesterol. Of course I started off with a budget, of course I resolved to work out, but it wasn’t long before I was the reason franchisees could make a profit in Gujarat. My first vice is the food surging in my body, from the lusciously spread out channa puri of Havmor, pizza crafted like art at Sam’s, and rolls topped off with sentiment more than mayonnaise (Hogger’s is legendary). For those times when the wallet is light, an unnecessarily large congregation of chefs will gather in your room trying to make Maggi, but making jabs instead. Soul food for soulful times.

The second love. You know things have changed when you start eyeing books with more diligence than girls. Especially in a law school with 30% women reservation and 100% book sensation, it’s a problem. The Ratanlal & Dhirajlal’s are the hot ones and the out-of-league ones. The Bangia’s are the guilty crushes. You don’t want to be seen with them, but it’s much easier to handle when the exam is 6 hours away and you’ve spent the entire day just figuring out where to study from. You see, the problem isn’t how much to study or how to study, it’s where to study from. The hot ones give you street rep and the guilty ones help you pass. (in your papers, that is. At this point I’m employing analogies to evade the risk of sounding like a geek.)

The third world tragedy. Social life, of course. There are two problems. First, the vigour with which you entered university with Vans sneakers and leather jackets dissipates quickly when you don’t have hot water in the common bathrooms. Life’s biggest problems are laundry and showers, and the clubbing aspirations take a backseat as the shoes become sock holders and the leather jackets become comforters for the night. The second problem is that when you start to juggle three assignments in two hours worth one lifetime, the priorities change.  “Going out” becomes the wild act of making the trip to your friend’s room and sitting on your posterior all night, making no value addition to your legal education.

The fourth wall breaks. In the narration of life there are those random times when you slip into a conversation with your narrator. Too cryptic? God. At the risk of sounding like a missionary, I did end up finding faith, or more appropriately, the divine conversation. It isn’t that mystic as it sounds, it’s usually the frustrated silences that Taylor Swift (because you WILL need her during tough times of drafting and citing bulky memorandums) can’t fill in the darkest moments. When all else fails, the eye in the sky is just a constant reaffirming faith that I will find the right case law, that the mess food will taste fine and that I may hope to salvage hope out of a schedule designed to kill it. Who knew, all this time I sneaked DBZ episodes at home during poojas would come back for a reboot.

The five-angled brand. Pentagram, our national fest. A great break for the participants, and a brilliant way to lose weight for those organizing it. As tradition dictates, first years do the legwork. And this appears to be a pattern in most committees, which brings me to the idea of extra curriculars. “Because you need breaks from busy schedules.” What kind of a break makes you work more than you did before? You’d think that would act as a deterrent, but there is a attractive allure to watch politics work magic behind the veil of culturals, the Frank Underwood’s coming together with Eli Gold’s, the odd charm of malice and alcohol. People bond over it, people drink over it, and people build relationships over it.

As I move to the next semester, I also know all of this will change. The thing about college is, there is incentive both to not change the aforementioned, remain this way and continue in the safety of this knowledge, or with every new semester, take one of these apart and change it to your liking. The risk comes with great rewards, unexpected outcomes yet thoroughly fascinating memories. So when I say go ahead, rebel in college, Im not asking you to switch to alcohol. I’m asking you, daring you in fact, to mix up approaches, pick a different authoritative book, join a different committee, find a different faith, a different party to go to and a different formula in different semesters to finally reach that one perfect objective: self-actualization. (Just kidding, it’s placement. Find a job or you’ll end up writing for college magazines.)

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

NL-who? NL-U: NLU, Jodhpur

This article was submitted to Ergo by Kartikeya Sharma and Krishnan Sreekumar, who are both currently in their first-year at the National Law University, Jodhpur.

This post is meant to be an expression or a personal anecdote of our law school life at NLU-J, by no means an easy task. We’re two guys from Bangalore, now living in Jodhpur. So yeah, the transition wasn’t easy. However, after spending an entire semester in the Blue city, the one thing we can positively say is that it isn’t that bad after all. At first, we were reluctant to accept that Jodhpur was now our home. In fact, we were in denial for a long time; finding faults with everything, comparing it to home. But the thing is, there’s something about the charm and rustic feel of the Blue city that makes you fall in love with it.

FLASHBACK: Let us take you back to when we first reached college. It was towards the end of June when the temperature was pushing 40° C and this was when Mother Nature first tested us. The only thing we could think was, ‘Yeh kahan aa gaye?’ (Roughly translated to ‘Where on Earth have we come?’). Well, the only thing that kept our hopes up was the fact that classes had ACs (yes, they work). The hostels were also worth bragging about as we have single occupancy rooms with small balconies to dry clothes in. At the time of writing this piece of literary excellence (Jk), we’re under 3 layers of clothing and a thick quilt trying to keep warm. So yeah, it can go from 40° C to around 12° C in the space of a few months, or as clothes go, from shorts to Arsene Wenger’s jacket.

A little bragging about NLU-J. We’re champion mooters, smart students and excellent sportsmen. NLU-J, in its infrastructural essence, is a 55-acre campus that houses both the faculty, students and the support staff. But whenever the opportunity to head out into the city comes up, the entire college contingent grabs it by the neck. We love our campus and all, but we all need a getaway. And what better than to explore the city (Bhai, Ola book kiya?) and experience the rustic charm of the quaint little cafes and restaurants, visit the imposing Mehrangarh fort that overlooks the city and go mad shopping. You’ll never know where your money goes at the end of the month, and no matter how many times you promise yourself that you’ll spend less, there’ll come another Big Bazaar run that you’ll embark on.

Moving to the student life here at NLU-J, life in the hostels is in the very least ‘entertaining’. Never a dull moment. (If you catch my drift). Now here, we’re talking about life in the boys’ hostels; we can’t speculate on what goes on in the girls’ hostels, but it can’t be all too different, can it? You’re never in your own room, and you’re never paying for your own food. When one is finally done with eating in the mess, they turn to the Gods in charge of the restaurants that deliver food to the campus, freeing you from the monotony of the food served in college, belting Mallu food, Punjabi treats and even your humble pizza. Parties are an NLUJ essential, and we’re MAD partygoers; so much so that some of the guards imitate us in our drunk avatars. We’d like to tell you more interesting anecdotes about the student life here, but it’s a life one must experience rather than hear through word of mouth.

But the highlight of our first semester was Yuvardha, the university’s sports fest, which is arguably the most competitive sporting event in the law school circuit. The only thing we heard in our first 2 months in college was Yuvardha-related. Watching the players representing our college practice hard every day could not help but inculcate a feeling of unity amongst the different batches. Walls were decorated, the campus turned over a new leaf and everything seemed much brighter and energetic. Donning the college jerseys made us realise that we were part of something much bigger, a part of a culture. It was a chance for us first years to prove ourselves to the college crowd and for our seniors, it was one last shot at glory and going out on a high. Post Yuvardha, we returned to the routine schedule of deciding whether to go to class, which mess to eat in, and procrastinating before our tests. We got our first feel of what finals week felt like, and began to understand all those finals week memes on 9gag. Eventually, we had to pull some magic just to pass and kisi tarah khatam ho gaya semester.

In conclusion, a superb first semester. The first 4 months taught us a lot. (A lot of Hindi abuses) No, seriously, we learnt a lot; how to survive, how to adjust and live amicably with people from different backgrounds. Our experience was so good, that we were raring to go at our second semester. Yes, this place has its quirks, just like any other place. But it’s a place we call home now. Who are we now? We’re NLU-J. We work hard, we party harder. To summarise: NL-who? NL-U.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Indifferent: WBNUJS

This article was submitted to Ergo by Anjanesh Vatsa, a first-year student of the WBNUJS. A movie buff, he writes blogs and poems in both Hindi and English & has a sort of habit where I can go on for hours if it comes to defending my interests and opinions.

There were more than a few expectations from the much awaited college life. Labelled as one of the best phases of one`s journey towards self discovery, it was a lesson as to how to adapt and improvise in a diverse, self loathing, narcissistic environment. Well, this lesson came too late as the first few months of this phase passed with constant push to create a image for yourself, an image not true to yourself. An image which is superficial, a facade to hide the actual emotional turmoil you have been going through to adapt to this new life you have been exposed to. Emulating people whose way of living are against the true sense of your philosophies. A constant push to be social enough to not be sidelined in this place where to climb up the social ladder you need to portray yourself to be very different, which indeed conflicts with your ideologies.
It took me sometime to realize all this and understand what exactly happiness is and the source of it. The first few weeks were a emotional turmoil in the sense I experienced something I never had experienced in my life. It was a time where to overcome it I had to resort to the things I pretty much stood against for all my life. I was introduced to this new feeling of rejection. It was as bad as it sounds and I didn’t know how to face it. There came a time when I was apoplectic at the very idea of my being, I was  trying to hold on to the last shred of ambitions I had which became scarce in those few weeks. Reluctant to accept the fact my addictions took control of me and it still controls me to some extent even now.
I started getting back on the track, I started meeting new people making acquaintances which sort of introduced me to a bunch of people who were so self indulgent that they spent most of the time trying to be liked among people and survive by feeding on other people`s weakness. All this led to a lot of people becoming deviant trying to settle with these social philosophies which overshadowed their natural way of conduct. The feelings of attachment, community, support never existed in this environment, all that existed was a bunch of self serving people. While making acquaintance with new people I came to meet a few good people too and as I was used to doing, I became severely attached to them instantly not realizing that they might not value this as much as I do. This attachment comes from trust which I was used to do easily because of the way and place I was brought up in. I was like the frog who lived all his life in the well and thought that is how the whole world is but as soon as it came out of the well he didn’t have any idea as to how to adapt.
This was life`s way of showing me the ropes. Well, it succeeded in doing so and the last few weeks of the first semester were pretty good compared to the debacle, which the first few weeks of the semester were. Participation in various activities, project deadlines, outings and random late night conversations with friends kept me occupied and the semester passed in a flash. I have now learned not to give a shit about things which don`t concern me. I am still pretty rigid on the point of making good friends even after a lot of experiences asking me not to. There is one more semester coming to tell me if I was right in doing so or not. It was a good experience and all this has just started as there is still four and a half years left of this journey. A journey which might be better than the journey I have had till now. A journey with less of complaints, realizations and people and more of work, achievements and friends which was thoroughly lacking in the first semester.
Authors Note: The Author would like to thank Rohit Dhalaria and Arindum Nayak for the help they provided in writing this.
DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Something To Think About: NLU-O

This article was submitted to Ergo by Sivashrita Bhardwaj, a first-year at the NLU-Odisha.

It started out as a homely, not-so-serious discussion about my career. My grandmother wished out loud to see me as a doctor some day. My parents wanted me to pursue engineering.  All I did was sit and reflect on how little they know me. I will not say that they didn’t care about my aspirations; they most definitely did. What I am saying is, after 18 years of nurturing me and practically moulding all my emotions and thoughts, their knowledge about my inclinations was surprisingly shallow. I wanted to be a journalist. Or maybe study linguistics. Or kind of lose myself in the world of literature. Well, I hope you feel me. In short, I wanted to do something related to literature. They knew about my love for literature. They used to behave like all typical Indian parents when I used to read Khaled Hosseini or Paulo Coelho instead of H.C.Verma or Himanshu Pandey (yes, I was a science student). To cut the long story short, after a lot of ‘haggling’, both the parties settled on the law. Integrated law, to be precise.

I am not gonna tell you all about my journey from the last board exam to the CLAT exam to the CLAT results to NLUO. No. In a nutshell, I did crack CLAT in the first attempt (surely not a mammoth of a deal, many of us did). And then I came to NLUO. A promising university, with an equally promising scope for a bright future, and most importantly, located in my own state. Seemed like I had landed a jackpot. And to be honest, the glamour of law, the fame, the power, the monetary factor, and all the “good only on the surface” things swayed me away from literature. I literally stopped reading and writing. I don’t have any answer to why I felt that law and literature are two different worlds(now my perception has changed, though). In my first semester here, something happened. Maybe I couldn’t bear to live away from my parents, maybe the fact that I didn’t make friends here in the blink of an eye (like most others did), maybe the loneliness, maybe the guilt of forgetting literature- I still cannot pin down the exact reason for why I did, what I did. The act of giving in to a weak moment, the act of calling my mom one night and telling her that I wanted to leave the university, the act of telling anyone who would hear how unhappy I was here, the act of submission to my emotions. One act and my life changed.

I did go back home for a month. All I could see was hatred for me in the eyes of those people who used to be proud of me. Hatred because I traumatized my parents to the extent that they gave up on eating properly. The pleading eyes of my parents- pleading to change my decision and go back to college- haunted me.  And I was constantly reminded of that. To top it off, I was expected to be guilty of taking a decision for myself, of focusing on the long run of my life, of wanting to go back to linguistics. I was guilty- not because of my decision, but because I was getting weaker by each passing day at home. I realised, I was slipping into depression. I was afraid. The fact that a girl like me- so robust, the “lady don” of my school, so lively- was going into depression, scared me to death. I decided to fight it off. I decided to escape home and get back to NLUO. The reason- I realised that law didn’t terrify me, the overconfidence of some people here did. And then it hit me, I was actually the fool here. Anyways, I came back and re-commenced my classes. What did I see here? Mocking smiles on people’s faces, rolled eyes of girls when I answered something in the class, seclusion from all the “groups”. Well, from smoke to smother. Those people who considered me a headstrong girl in the first month of my first semester now considered me a weak-willed and an indecisive person. This was new to me. Even certain teachers chose to ignore me.  It was getting difficult to cope with everything here. But eventually, I warded off the negativity. I realised what my purpose here is- to study law and contribute my part to make the society a better place to live in. I began trusting myself again. I didn’t fail in any paper, much to most of the people’s surprise. And with that, I gained back the respect of my parents and relatives. Most importantly, I got back the peace of my mind- my solace.

Being different is not a sin. Deciding to battle for your individuality is not a crime. Deciding not to socialise with the “herd” is in no way ‘un-cool’. Whatever happened to me, must have happened to many others out there. One weak decision cannot change my personality. People considering me weak and inconsequential cannot change my perception about myself. I believe, being an 18-year-old, I have shown a lot of courage and taken a stand- a stand against the negativity. I do not think that the people who made fun of me are ‘bad people’. Everyone is good. I do wish, though, that before labelling me something that I am not, people should have at least tried to understand my mental condition. Had they been in my place, what would have they done?

I wrote about my experience to elucidate on a very sensitive issue. The issue of battling against your own demons. It is very important for us to understand and reflect on this issue because this can happen to anyone. I know, some of you reading this article must be going through a similar phase in your lives. I urge you people to be brave and fight the negativity off. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You will get there, trust me. And to those who know that your friends are having some troubles in coping with the stress- lend your hands to them. Don’t mock at them. A few moments of laughter for you can prove to be a lifetime of damage for someone, you never know.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

The Blinking Cursor: M.S. Ramaiah College of Law, Bangalore

The following piece was submitted to Ergo by a student of the MSRCL, Bangalore, who wished to remain anonymous.

Before you assume that the title would probably be inspired by some deep thought, don’t.

But before I delve Into my reflection of what my time at law school has been so far, kudos to Tejas for starting a page like ergo, I hope to see it go far and I’m glad to contribute in any way.  Tejas has also very graciously accommodated my requests with regards to publishing so, thank you for that as well!

Coming to law school, I’ve barely been here one semester and well, from the first few weeks to the last few of the semester, it’s been a juxtaposition.

I do not go to an NLU, and the only thing that made me get my ass off the bed was having low attendance.  But towards the end of it, I started liking it and I hope to elaborate about the same over the course of this short article, which Tejas did exhort me to write and I’m glad I did.

For almost all of y’all who go to a college that’s in the city you stay in, you would probably belong to the minority of ‘localities ‘, and that oddity is something that took me some time to settle into.  College is actually not half bad and my college, turns out, did its best to accommodate for students.  They had decent infrastructure, all the teachers could speak good English, the teaching was good and well, to make a long story short, it was the opposite of all the misconceptions that I had towards and about this college before I joined it.

Why would I join a college that I had, well, too many misconceptions about?

Let’s just say that I messed up!

For the first couple months of college, it was hell.  It was a stream of days when I worried myself sick about weather I made the right decision or weather I was going to be marginalized or weather I would not have half the opportunities that my (seemingly) superior peers at NLUs had or where I’d stand at the end of 5 years.  The fact that I could hear the unsaid words about the college I studied in (it not being an NLU) certainly didny help.

But honestly, apart from things like peers, people, friends, environment and all that jazz, it sorta hit me , like a truck no less, that they don’t.  So I write to tell y’all about what landed me here, what you shouldn’t do to land yourself here, and if you do land up where I am, why you shouldn’t worry

I landed up here simply because  I put all my eggs in one basket.

I decided on doing law really late and CLAT was the only exam that I took. That’s the biggest mistake anyone can make. Simply because, (and as many of you having had experienced the CLAT might concur) CLAT is a game of luck, for the most part.   So, please go ahead and write every exam that you can think of.  Nothing to lose.

For those of y’all who are prepping for the CLAT, irrespective of what rank you got in your mock, in your class or wherever, regardless of which senior or teacher told you what …how…when. None of that matters. You need to find your OWN unique way of study that works for you and therein lie the  mantras that are indispensable for you to perform your fullest, whatever the exam.
A) Be consistent. Nothing beats consistency
B) the only way to get yourself there is to tell yourself that you’re not doing enough, because honestly, trust me, you’re not.

In law school, I’ve learned. A lot of things, ranging from how to deal with people, time,  extracurriculars and much more. But of the greatest of them: my insecurities about my college,  and that naturally stems from weather my degree will be good enough.

Well for those of y’all out there who think that students in NLUs have opportunities handed to them on a silver platter and “getting through CLAT is the hardest thing in 5 years “, wake up, fruitcake, they have to bust ass as well, it’s just that they have more competition so they push themselves harder.
And this also taught me that I’ve no one else to blame but me because the moment you start blaming the world, luck,  education system, the moon, Rahul Gandhi and whatever else, is the moment you start doing it forever.  You messed up,  deal with it.

But.

That does NOT mean you can’t get up and start working, because, honestly, the Law doesn’t change irrespective of your college, and that’s why I found it best to work with whatever hand life deals you, and take it from there.

And that’s what I did.  I read more than I needed to, I wrote more than I had to, I asked too many questions and I used the library.
Because honestly, you never have anything more to offer than your own blood, toil, years and sweat.

And that’s what forms the crux of my story, at least, what inspired the title, simply cause that’s what the first 4 months of law school felt like.  A simple, empty, insignificant, blinking cursor.  But hey!! Its the same blinking cursor that could go on and write a most wonderful story that can change the future, write wonders never known to man, make history and much more that’s beyond the power of verbal expression and more than the mind can fathom.  Or can stay just that; a blinking cursor.  The choice is yours.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Legal Nirvana: NALSAR

This article was submitted to Ergo by Aditya Sarkar, a first-year student at the NALSAR, Hyderabad.

People always have a fascination for the after-life and what happens to a human being’s soul once that person is on the other side. Many of us have heard of near-death experiences, surely it’s a thing in fiction (cue Harry Potter references), but it still remains shrouded in mystery and conjecture. It’s somewhat similar to how life is before and after getting into law school. While we may have lofty dreams (or nightmares) and have heard of ‘near death’ experiences from seniors or friends in law school or lawyers, it’s time to clear the air about the constant, nagging question of what law school is all about. Hopefully, my account of before and after death (law school is not death, trust me!) helps.

The one question that the annoying aunt, the senior in law school, the concerned parent and the insidious voice in your head asks is why you want to choose law as a career. I have battled with this question myself. Every student in law school has to, at some point in their life. In the midst of thinking up filmy reasons such as fighting for the despaired or setting the right precedents in society, or practical dilemmas such as earning enough to support a comfortable lifestyle, I found that at least, for me, law is one subject that pervades every sphere of human knowledge and experience that makes life interesting. From all things under the earth, above it in space and even things beyond, the law is the one constant that regulates the framework of whatever we do. It sets out the framework within which each individual works in society and is the tool one may use to realize one’s fullest potential within that framework. Apart from that, having skills like communication, quick thinking, argumentation, analytical reasoning and the ability to do dry reading into the ungodly hours of the night makes one’s life in law school and the years beyond bearable. However, even answers like this do not fully summarize why I wanted to be a lawyer, and the beautiful thing is, there is no definite right or wrong answer when it comes to questions such as these.

I fatefully decided to take up law as a career right after my class X Board examinations. After trying to decide between being a doctor, a veterinarian, a pilot, a soldier, an astronaut, a Bollywood actor (I’m a big Shah Rukh Khan fan) and others in my rather limited time on earth, but an unlimited scope of imagination, law seemed to be the most plausible and lucrative thing to take up in college. I had hoped I’d develop a love for it soon enough because apparently that is a requirement for one to be successful at his/her career. Well, if not successful, at least not regret their life decisions for eternity. After a brief amount of research on the internet, it seemed interesting enough for me to immediately enroll in coaching classes for this rather alien examination called CLAT. And the rest, they say is history!

Almost two years on, after I decided to write my CLAT examination and after five months in law school at NALSAR, I must recount that history to you. It is a rude shock, of sorts to be in law school. Especially if you’re living away from home, alone in a foreign environment. Add to that a language barrier and you have a beautiful near-death experience to recount. However, it has been enlightening so far. I enrolled in those CLAT coaching classes hoping that I would come to love what I would be doing ten years on, and up until now, I feel like I have made the right decision. I’m more relieved than anything. Others might feel different though. For some, it has been their life’s dream to be doing law, for some, it was simply luck that they’ve made it to law school, and still others who are here by a bad turn of pitch and toss.

Whatever the sentiment may be, I can say one thing for anyone who is in law school. It has edified them as individuals. World views have expanded, exposure to a wide variety of subjects relating to social sciences, philosophy, commerce and others have given us all fresh perspective into life and as can be said from the experience of a college-goer, it has been a time of self-discovery. Personally, I am glad that I can walk into a hostel room and see even the back-benchers of our classes contributing to a heavy discussion about geo-politics, social dilemmas, Derrida’s deconstructionist theories and other Kafka-esque topics at three in the morning! Being in a competitive environment where you have people who are as motivated and focussed on what you yourself want to do makes it one where you keep pushing yourself and driving yourself to achieve the best possible results. It creates a profit-driven environment where you can truly challenge your boundaries and evaluate yourself as an individual in response to your external surroundings. Yes, I get a lot less sleep than I would have liked, assignments are difficult and tedious given our workload and the onerous deadlines. But it has been a gratifying experience so far. I have been exposed to so many diverse and interesting subjects, been able to hear from eminent personalities about what the power of law can do in a society, been able to find a niche for myself in a sea of talent, and survived nights with a total stranger who has become a reliable roommate!

Often we tend to think that once we are in law school, things automatically will start making sense as though cracking the CLAT exam is synonymous to attaining legal nirvana. But it never is that way. All of us have a vague idea, some clearer than others, about what they would like out of their career choice in law. Whether they have an inclination towards corporate law, environmental law, litigation, social welfare practice, it means not much more than Greek to us. And the sentiment is more or less the same before and after law school. It’s only that we’re in a better position to realize what we want to do ‘in the lion’s den’ than otherwise. So, one doesn’t have to have life figured out in order to be in law school. Law school is a tumultuous process that a lot of us will enjoy, given the correct attitude about it. One has to allow themselves to be undecided and take several leaps of faith when it comes to all things law.

It is, of course, easier said than done – this business of leaping and faith and self-discovery and nirvana. But one thing I can say about this entire process and my transformation from a CLAT aspirant to a law student – it is a true adventure. There will be ups and downs, we may not be able to see what is ahead of us beyond a sharp curve, and there will be precarious situations where one may feel like it’s not worth the risk or the effort. All these things are part-and-parcel of making life decisions such as this. I myself didn’t have a big picture to look forward to (and the idea about lawyers from shows like Suits and Boston Legal doesn’t help our cause, I assure you).

In retrospect, I’m glad I took the leap of faith. I was interested in law. I found the legal reasoning section of the CLAT paper challenging (I could literally keep solving them all day!). I hoped law school would introduce me to a lot of different subjects and world views. I wanted college to be fun. And slowly but surely, law school is providing some of the answers, if not re-evaluating some of my questions. I still am undecided about what I want to do after my five years in law school. I hope I can decide soon. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the journey, isn’t it?

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Thanks, For Not Being My “Teacher”: JGLS

This article was sent in to us by Akansha Rukhaiyar, a first-year at Jindal Global Law School (JGLS).

The Indian education system endows a great deal of respect on teachers. Do not question them. Do not defy them. Accept whatever they say as if it is the Holy Grail. They are given the status of God. They can do no wrong. After being subjected to such a mindset, which became especially difficult to handle in high school, joining a college that has professors who at least attempt to depart from such an attitude felt like a breath of fresh air.

One of my professors in my first semester always said “You are not supposed to behave like sponges anymore so don’t just absorb whatever I say” He told us not to blindly accept what is taught. Analyze it. Question it. He did not want us to ever agree or disagree to any concept or ideology unless we had sound logic to back up our stand. This is an antithesis to how my school teachers approached teaching. With them, any kind of discussion inevitably ended with “Stop disturbing me with frivolous questions” or “Stop arguing with me”. Creative questioning was seen as a threat rather than a sign of a sharp mind.

Naturally, it was a happy surprise attending the first few classes of the professors who advocated the more open kind of teaching. They forced us to actually think. By think I do not mean recall, but actually formulate an informed opinion of why a certain thing happened, as opposed to simply when and where it happened. When is the last time a teacher had us do that in order to arrive at an answer? “Read. Memorize. Reproduce. Repeat” was a mantra that most teachers in my school supported and suggested us to follow, if we wanted to make it to our dream colleges with sky-high cut offs.

In college, even though a particular topic might have been as interesting as a bowl of oatmeal (ugh!) and would make a good bed time story, you were expected to debate and maybe counter what the professor said and not merely jot it down, thus resulting in a logical argument that had been analyzed from all angles. It felt less mechanical and more (for the lack of a better word) freeing.

I was lucky in my college literature class too. “What did the author mean….?” is a common question but the difference between the ways in which they are dealt with in my school and college is glaring. For me, the best thing about reading a story or poem is coming up with my own interpretations of what the author/poet meant in a particular line or verse. There is no limit to it. In school, we were told that there is just one acceptable interpretation, which we have to stick to. Luckily, our college professor would leave it open to the depths of our imagination. She encouraged us to be creative and not worry about the “correct” answer.

I do understand other people might have had better teachers in school or maybe narrow-minded professors in college and would hence find this post irrelevant. But for me, to have been assigned certain professors who did not look down upon out-of-the-box thinking and felt the need to widen our parochial minds was a much-needed change.

Christopher Crawford apparently once said, “Knowledge without application is like a book that is never read.”

Our school teachers gave us that book, no doubt about that.

But I am sure our college professors will be the ones that make sure that the book is read.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Best Time of Your Life?: NLU, Jodhpur

This article was submitted to Ergo by Anahita Pathak, a first-year student at the NLU, Jodhpur. 

College will be the best time of your life, they said.

The first semester had me hunting this proverbial ‘they’ with the tenacity of a scorned telemarketer. I wondered which part of it came under the ambit of ‘best time of my life’- the rigorous schedule, peppered with a generous dollop of monthly exams, further garnished by an unending list of assignments. And all of this was what comprised of a laughably bare minimum of the workload. As though that wasn’t enough, the absolutely alien surroundings added to the merry pile I had mentally labelled ‘Do not think about unless willing to go into the abyss of depression’.

While people bonded over almost everything under the sun, I floundered, not finding any common grounds whatsoever. As cliched as it sounds, being from the ‘far flung distant corner’ of the nation seemed to be a factor which was making its presence felt in my life. Not that people would actively pick on me for my noticeably odd Hindi, or consciously make me feel out of place. But even the ridiculously optimistic delusional part of me could not ignore or deny the fact which regularly slapped me into shape- I did not fit into the mould that had become a cocoon of comfort and familiarity for most.

I spent most of my time, trying to drown out the chaotic din of my life in the numbing sensation brought about by work, multiple mindless T.V series and an obscene number of naps. Rather than me getting through the semester, the semester drilled a hole through me. By the end of the four months, I barely managed to crawl, claw, stagger my way to the finish line, but yes, I did make it. It was over, I was home.

Which was all hunky dory till I realised something felt wrong. Why was it that I woke up every morning and the lack of my shoe-box sized room left me reminiscing for the same? Why was it that the taste of wholesome home cooked meals left an after taste which made me yearn for the horribly unhealthy Aloo Bhujia sandwiches and sinfully sweet chai of the college mess (shout-outs to RK)? Why was it that the memories of the shared misery of invariable all-nighters the day before the exams left a ghost of a smile on my face?

That’s the thing about this place, it makes you cry rivers, bay for blood and scream bloody murder. But at the same time, it sneakily makes a place for itself, forcing a niche of its very own into your begrudging heart. Forget people, college is what has taught me the true essence of a passive-aggressive, love-hate relationship.

And here I am, a semester old, with nine more dauntingly staring me down, knowing I will probably not make it out of this in a single intact piece. But also knowing that I would have it no other way.

Editor’s Note: The Editor would like to put on record his thanks to Mayank Udhwani, a first-year at NLU, Jodhpur for his help in coordinating this article.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

One Down. Nine More.: ILS, Pune

This article was submitted to Ergo by Anshritha Rai, a first-year student at the ILS, Pune.

Eighteen and living far away from the familiar bubble of home. There’s a sense of profound accomplishment that the mere thought instils. I’ve always craved to embrace unrestrained freedom. And living in a new city gives you exactly that. It empowers you in a manner, much beyond what words could ever possibly connote.

ILS. A picturesque mammoth of a campus, spread over one ninety acres. Lush green trees rhythmically swaying as if gracefully dancing to the  tune of the wind. In the backdrop, lives a hill priding itself of a scintillating view. The sight of dogs fills in a feeling of pure warmth and endearment in all, dog lovers or not. Throughout the one ninety acres breathes irrefutable pulchritude.  The aesthetics are sure to bewitch its viewers. The environment abounds with tranquillity, precisely what my mind lacks. I’m reminded of the first day. A seven month younger version of me scourging for the route to my class. Funny how not much has changed.  I’m just as lost, in an abysmal attempt of finding my way.

Scores of people hurriedly scuttle away, off to do something worthwhile. Tasks that keep their mental faculties wholly occupied throughout a perfect circle completed by the delicate hands of the clock.  ACHIEVEMENT. GRATIFICATION. SATIATION. These words linger, stemming from immoral discontent, flaming a burning desire to attain more than that of the state of contentment. Every sheer minute of unproductivity stabs, manifesting an uneasy queasy sensation deep in the pit of my stomach. At my disposal, lies an abundance of time hungrily seeking to be devoured while the plain white “to do” sheet stares back at me blankly, clueless. There passionately thrives an unquenched thirst to massacre the overwhelming qualm. To brutally deconstruct the burning discontent.

Empty hours are savagely consumed by blaring music,

Lazy days roll by with the hardbound black book capsuling my fleeting thoughts,

Weeks pass while I stay cooped up in the dingy little hostel room. Sorry, home.

Crisp pages of the calendar are periodically turned gently as I fumble to reconcile with reality.

Perhaps, I’d chance upon something “to do.” To set the wheels of my intellectual toolkit into motion. To rekindle the withering spark. To feel alive. To delicately nourish the serene tranquillity of my mind.

But till then, encumbered by the burden of the gaunt monotony, here I am nowhere to go and nothing to do.

Signing off,

Anshritha Rai,

One Semester Old.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Practical Learning: Dept. of Law, University of Calcutta

This article was submitted to Ergo by Sristy Ghosh, a third-year student at the University of Calcutta’s Department of Law

One usually doesn’t elude an opportunity to boast about one’s University, and I am no exception. The  first three years of Department of Law, University of Calcutta’s  BA/LLB programme passes away with ease and enjoyment, but the final two years are full of practical days at the High Court of Kolkata. The frequent visits to the High Court, interacting with experienced Lawyers, watching cases, making notes on them, helps  us to comprehend the practicality of the Profession we have chosen. On the other hand, the advantage of the less pressure in the initial three years is that one gets a lot of time to participate in lot of co-curricular activities like Debates, Model United Nations and Moot Courts organized by the respective committees of our University and can also pursue relevant courses like Company Secretaryship and other Diplomas offered by various National Law Schools which will help to maintain a good Curriculum Vitae.

Attendance requirements are just 66.6% as per the Bar Council’s Rule, therefore we can indulge in a lot of internships and practical work from our initial Lawyer in the making days which also helps us to understand the practical aspect of the profession.

The senior-junior ratio in our University, certainly deserves appreciation for its amiability, and the University Union, though a Political one, has never forced anyone to join in or created any trouble, instead have always been beside the students. To conclude, if one wants to enjoy his or her college life to the fullest, this is the best place to be.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Introducing NLU-O: NLU-O

This article was submitted to Ergo by Anmol Gupta, a second-year student, pursuing her B.A.,LL.B. at NLU-O. She likes to write poetry, drink coffee and avoid social gatherings.

Let me be frank. Right from the outset, when informed of the task of introducing NLUO to the readers of this blog, I was reluctant, grasping for optimism and bright sunny things to say about my university (things that I have not been known to say). Looking at the other entries for other universities, the pressure to represent positively was even higher. So, I began by asking around for ideas from other misanthropes.

A particular fifth year friend, in his final year of juggling moots, internships and LL.M. applications, quipped, “Submit a blank three page document, and say this is it.”

I did not laugh, for my sake and his.

Looking for pearls of wisdom, I sought the fourth years, expected to be in the prime of their law school lives, expected to score jobs by the dozens. What I found were the fourth years, in the prime of their law school lives, and thus, much too busy to wax poetic about a place they just wanted to get out of. Each friend had their own burden, whether it was an international moot, organizing the first PD of the college, or taking charge of the mess to feed the masses. And those who didn’t, were scoring in some other sense of the word (if you catch my drift).

This investigative process has been ongoing for three weeks now, and while the editor of this blog patiently asks me for my article (Sorry!), I ended up using my last resort. I sought out my closest friends in college: my debate team.

“What is the best thing about NLUO?” I begged, hoping for a straight answer.

“Why, it’s us, of course,” said my friend, pointing at himself first and then, at our third member as an afterthought. The third member grinned, clueless and went back to preparing for his moot, as law students do.

While I did not admit it at the time, the thought stuck. What would the reader expect me to describe? A lush green campus, great faculty, a happening city life, reasons to study law? We have some of those things, and some we don’t, and some we will have some day, and some we never will (which is which, I won’t answer). Would the reader hope for some insight as to “Why NLUO?”, the much dreaded question that every NLU student has to hear for their dreary five years and beyond? As you can guess, there is no one answer to that and pitting law schools against one another asking that question (looking at you, CLAT coaching centres and swanky law firms) is inherently unfair. You will make your peace with whichever college you go to, for better or worse. It’s only the people who change, only the people who make it worth living there, irrespective of how the institution is.

The first few batches of NLUO watched our college arise and awake. The next few batches, including mine, watched it ask for five more minutes of sleep. However, as every youngling eventually does, NLUO did wake up and go about its proceedings, but it had its moments of truancy too. On some days, we witness the enthusiasm to suddenly construct an amphitheater (seriously) and on others, we see the same old college, going through the motions as National Law Universities do. Despite being cozily nested in Cuttack, we are changing, to keep pace with an ever-changing world.

So, what is the best thing about NLUO? Its self-awareness and quiet tenacity to improve over the years? Or maybe the strange willingness to still play along with the national law school culture? The brochures will probably tell you it should be the endless Best Memorial citations, but I will let you decide for yourself.

I, on the other hand, am satisfied with the answer I received from my team, and some day, I will be satisfied with the answer given by the fifth year friend. In between the current point, which I shared with loved ones, to the end point, which I’ll share with blank pages only, I will go through the doldrums, like the ones too busy to talk to me. But that is alright, because that is what this place provides you with in between- strange answers from strange people, and silence later to figure out what they meant.

So, if you ever receive an answer like this, when all you wanted to do was understand us better, do as I did. Laugh, for your sake and theirs. It will make more sense later.

Editor’s Note: You can check out her incredible blog, here – foreveranmol.wordpress.com, filled with some amazingly powerful poetry

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

New Year, New Semester: NALSAR

This article was submitted to us by Namratha Murugeshan, a first-year at NALSAR, an avid reader & a lover of art. Her contributions will be posted every alternate Wednesday – so do look out for updates from the City of Pearls.

It is already January and another year has just passed by silently. January signals the arrival of the new year and a new semester – the second semester for me. After a highly eventful first semester, I have been anticipating this one to begin right from the start of my vacations. Of course, it is hard to get used to being back in college after a long and lazy vacation.

So what does it mean to be back now? New subjects, new teachers and a whole new set of assignments. But along with this load of work, comes a whole bunch of fests and events that are very exciting and colourful. There are almost 5 fests lined up this semester, along with Interrobang, the NALSAR quiz and the NALSAR LitFest. The even semester are shorter here and definitely have more holidays in between.

At the start of the new semester, I was greeted to a less green campus. With it being winter-autumn in Hyderabad, it is quite cold and chilly and all the trees have shed their leaves. After the customary meeting of friends and colleagues, I had to move on with life as usual in college. One of the best parts about a new semester is the excitement that accompanies you while learning about what has changed in the college and what new lectures you’ll be taking for the next four months. So for the second semester, one of the most exciting subjects we have is Criminal Law. Usually it is taught in the second year but with the expectation of introducing more electives and to accommodate the newly formed two sections, it is being taught in the first year itself.

The two sections in the first year is something that has been introduced this academic year due to the increase in intake of students since 2015 and my batch is the guinea pig for all the experiments the college wants to conduct on the system of having more students in the batch. The elective system in NALSAR is one of the best amongst the law schools which gives you scope not only to increase your strength in legal subjects but also many others like humanities or accountancy or even film-making. Out of the 200 credits that are essential for procuring a degree (as per the BCI Rules), more than 60 come from electives that each individual is allowed to pick and this gives a lot of scope to identify one own interests and specialization. Also there are a lot of guest lecturers who take classes or sessions that gives a whole new perspective about that subject or topic. Just last week we had a session with the Dean of Cornell Law School who gave us information about the differences between studying here in India and abroad, the kind of differences in degrees and the difference in visions of what is expected from lawyers in different countries. We also had the eminent journalist P. Sainath who delivered a guest lecture arranged by the public policy group of NALSAR.

The essence of learning here is individuality and self-initiative. There are ample opportunities available for those who can take advantage of them.

More in a fortnight!

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

I Will Wake Up: NLU-O

This article was submitted to Ergo by Shivangi Bajpai, a first-year at NLU-Odisha, originally hailing from Jodhpur. She is a voracious reader, and writing poetry is one of her guilty pleasures.

As I wake up this morning, staunch sweaty, trying to beat the urge to keep on lying in my bed, cuddled in the quilt, which feels so smooth against my cheek, it becomes all the more difficult to leave the bed. With my eyes as dry as a drought stricken piece of land in a remote desert, lips parched and thirsty throat biting the inner lining of mucus, I begin to feel like a person, long lost, in the golden folds of an engulfing desert, which is way better than sitting in a cubicle that stinks of new bleach and reflects depressed clerks’ agitated sighs and groans. (No, I exaggerated). The old building still has the lumber bag computer systems which have their heat escaping out of the highly old fashioned air outlets on the rear of the monitor. The thought of going to the internship office fills the morning air with morbid irritation. The clock has struck 9:00 and I am still lying on my bed, refusing to get up.

I hear my mother chapping on the door.

I ignore the wooden noise made by the knuckles tapping on the door. My mother has stopped chapping. I hear her footsteps moving away. Now that, she is gone, I pull my covers closer as the gush of wind, carrying the odour of an early winter morning, enters my room through the open window. Did I keep the window open? I can’t recall keeping it open.

Anyway, that was a week ago.

Now that, I am again in college, I realise how unhappy, I can be. And oh, I very much mean it.

Okay, I did hate the work at internship office and the unwanted guests at home and all the noise their kids made.  And it couldn’t have got worse. No, It couldn’t have.

Back to college and I am still disgusted. Ugh. What did I ever do to the universe?

Monday morning, and I wake up to the alarm singing- “Wake UP.” Back home, my alarm used to play- “A Sky full of stars.”.

Who changed my alarm song?

Everything is a mystery. Why is the universe expanding? It will keep on expanding and finally one day, it will engulf everything in itself. Everything will be destroyed, even that internship Office.
Why am I here? The thought of going to the class and sitting hours after hours, listening to the lectures in their monotonous voices is so depressing. Yes THEIR lectures. (Don’t pretend that you don’t know THEM).

How happy I would be, If I were at home.  Eating nice food with my cosy family, Sleeping in my little bed and waking up to – “The Sky full of Stars”.
Oh wait. Let that imagination shatter away for a while because I am to eat the mess food, sleep in the stupid bed and wake up to- “Wake up, wake up. It’s a brand new day-a-‘yay’. Wake up.”

No. It is not ‘yay’.

Nooooooo. I don’t want to wake up. My “Nooooooo” gets lost in the air of Odisha.
Tomorrow is a Monday morning.

I will ‘wake up’.
‘They’ will lecture.

And I will be back to my ‘almost law school’ life. AGAIN.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

It Is Just The Beginning: JGLS

This article was sent in to us by Akansha Rukhaiyar, a first-year at Jindal Global Law School (JGLS).

As I soaked in the new environment and diversity during my first few weeks at law school and interacted with students from all walks of life, I discovered how so many students have rebelled and defied the age-old “Engineer or Doctor” career option to embrace the beauty and complexities of legal systems and immerse themselves in the world of law. They fought for a different career choice, and succeeded.  For them this would have led to higher expectations, since they do not want to hear “I told you so” if they fail to achieve what they want to as lawyers.

My story is a bit different, and in retrospect, makes me continuously question my decision of joining a law school (along with other decisions such as waking up at 8.50 am for a 9 am class) and has been messing with my head all semester. Through this article, I want to reach out to all those who have begun the long and arduous journey of standing out and carving a niche in a career path that is ingrained in their family.

I come from a family of lawyers. If I listed down the number of lawyers in my entire family, I am pretty sure I would reach half a century. Needless to say, expectations are sky high. Every conversation I have had with my father after I joined college-Jindal Global Law School- has been limited to law. The tsunami of law related facts and debates I am exposed to in familial settings, though enriching, has left me with a feeling that I’m drowning.

How did I end up choosing a career that so many experienced relatives would unhesitatingly critique and comment on? Can I do anything in this field that is not already being done in my family? Every move I make as a law student inadvertently gets discussed and analyzed by my parents and other relatives in the legal field. Don’t get me wrong, having a constant source of informed advice is a great thing, but it often results in a sea of opinions and instructions, with me on the verge of it, barely holding on.

In whatever few things I have achieved by the end of my first semester at law school, the feeling of doubt had always crept in, solely because I know my parents will receive it as lawyers first, and as parents second.  This is where my college has come to rescue in a way. Even though I did not shift far in a geographical sense (My college/hostel is about two hours away from home), it helped me grasp the sliver of metaphorical space I would have lost had I not gone to a hostel.

At the end of the first semester, I have realized that this sudden increased burden of expectations will never lighten. It is something that I will have to balance for as long as I pursue law. Navigating through my next five years, through the phases of sleep-deprivation and caffeine induced study sessions will be a journey that I can predict as being clouded with very high expectations that only rays of self-belief and individuality can brighten.

My parents would have provided me with a map to follow with road signs at every decision point, but the last four months have taught me that I can still forge my own way. It will be difficult doing that among a cluster of already established routes traced by the lawyers in my family, but as I am about three weeks away from starting my second semester, I can’t wait to give it another shot.

Just because there are 50 lawyers in my family does not mean there cannot be a 51st way of doing things.

I just need to find that way.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Homecoming: GNLU

This article was sent to us by Samira Mathias, a first-year student at the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), a budding writer, music aficionado, movie buff who has a long-standing love affair with all things Irish.

I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s the winter moons that could be a deep bloody red or a giant opaque orb. Maybe it’s the romanticism associated with unrestricted freedom of choice and the chance to forge your own path. Maybe it’s the wonderful, warm, wacky friends – the people you’ve come to have late day and late night discussions with, on matters ranging from the mundanity of college life to the intersection of music and morality, sci-fi and fan fic and religion and the law. Maybe it’s the symbolism of it all. Maybe it’s none of the above. But something, something about law school makes you hit earth shattering realizations and experience the most minuscule of shifts in your perspectives.

I went back dreamy after the first semester. I always thought recounts about university life and proclamations of it being the best years of your life were overrated. But I was wrong. It was better than anything I’d anticipated. Law students don’t like being wrong. But this was one concession I made all too willingly.

Yet two months down the line, I moaned the necessity to return. I fought the compulsion and dwelt in self pity. Did I have to go back to early mornings, hour long lectures, laundry woes and most of all, the constantly repressed but vaguely felt, undercurrent of homesickness?

Despite my most vehement protestations, I was unceremoniously shipped back to serve out the rest of my sentence. It took three days to fall in love with the law life all over again.

I’ve come to realise, it’s always going to be this way. A love-hate (though mostly love) relationship with a passion, a profession and a way of life. I’m going to resent the work only because I enjoy it so ardently. I’m going to complain about the difficulties of a hostel, only because I’m extraordinarily grateful to have an amazing network of supportive friends who commiserate more than berate. And at the end of each set of holidays, I’m going to come back from my home, moaning and moping, only because I know I’ll leave college doing the same.

Leaving home the second time round was tougher. However, coming back wasn’t as hard as I expected.

I have this oft appearing, intense aversion for clichés. But this time, as they all fell into place, I could only experience a sweet satisfaction. Half a year through – the friends became family, the hostel became home and the life was loved.

I hope the next four and a half years will bring a greater knowledge of the safeguards of our society, a stronger compassion and passion to help and deepen my desire to know and learn simply because someone out there will one day need my help and I will have a moral duty to do my best.

Till then, I’ll soldier on. Cause if it’s some thing I’ve learnt, good faith trumps non disclosure agreements, family will always bail you out, and if you can get through the CLAT, you can probably brave the rest of your life.

To me, that was an important moment.

In other words, I got lawyered.

Editor’s Note: I recommend reading Samira’s lovely blog, http://chasingutopia.me/

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

First Semester Reflections: JGLS

This article was submitted to us by Sriya Sridhar, whose love for traveling and music is exceeded only by her love for Tea. Look out for her contributions every weekend, right here on Ergo.

Moving from Bangalore to Haryana is no less than a transformation and although exciting, it scared me. But JGLS has met my expectations and in many ways, exceeded it. The facilities, extra curriculars, crowd, faculty and course- they’re all brilliant. The transition has been enjoyable, the student body diverse, and the atmosphere so stimulating and quite simply, fun!

But you can read about all this in much more detail from the JGLS website, student testimonials, and other law school related information hubs. What I want to convey through this article more than the pros and cons of my university, are my reflections on the beginning of my college experience as a whole and what I have taken away.

Semester 1 of law school has opened me up to experiences, areas of study and thoughts that leave me with anticipation for what the future holds. I’ve had successes and failures, and learned how to dust myself off after both. I’ve learned the importance of collaboration over conflict, of negotiating without losing my cool and through the highs and lows, have made friendships which I cherish more than anything.

However, one overriding sentiment I noticed through these 4 months (other than the dire need for sleep and home food) is the anxiety associated with the lack of a plan. I came to law school with a lot of expectations and upon finally getting here, there was an undercurrent of ‘now what?’

For all the planning I had done after entrances and boards about what I wanted to achieve from our 5 years, I was left a little bit clueless and quite frankly, continue to be so. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of you are as well.

And while being clueless can be quite frightening, the largest take away from the first semester is that this is a good thing. Sure, it’s cringeworthy when it’s a permanent state but it is not always detrimental. Sometimes, cluelessness must be celebrated, because ambiguity must be celebrated. Life ends when it’s stifled under the grid of pencilled-in calendars and cautious five-year plans with no room for flexible human lives.

We need to learn that we don’t make any one decision at any point of time that defines us completely. The question ‘What do I do with my life?’ is irrelevant, because we don’t just do one thing. We do a whole pantheon of things. And they may not all be everlasting, but they are significant nonetheless.

Just by coming to law school, navigating the territory of adulthood and making mistakes, we have learned the value of kindness, consciousness and reasoning. And all that came from being clueless at multiple points of time. Living the questions and embracing the unknown is the first step to originality, conviction and doing things you never thought you could. That, in my opinion, is what higher education should be about.

So I await my second semester and the rest of law school with a proverbial lump in my throat and something at the tip of my tongue. I’ve enjoyed the introduction to college and don’t have a clue what’s in store.

While that may be overwhelming to come to terms with, figuring it out is what the whole exercise is about.

And we will, one day at a time.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

I Am The Walrus: GNLU

This article was submitted to us by Prerana Keshav, a first-year student at the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU). She enjoys reading, music, trekking, and is currently on a hunt for the best coffee shop in Bangalore.

It is the morning before I am set to head back to college for my second semester. The clock reads 10:13 AM, and my mind absently notes that this time tomorrow, I’ll be back in Gujarat, headed back from the Mess after eating passably decent dosa and drinking unbelievably delicious cold chocolate. I am more than a little confused about how I feel. I am excited to be back in the hostel, eager to see all the people that became almost a second family in as little as four months, but I’m also sad to leave the comfortable familiarity of home.

My first semester in Law school has been eventful to say the least. It’s been a period of learning – an overload of new data to process, both academically and otherwise. More than the bits of knowledge that have somehow (thankfully) sunk into my brain from the lectures, I remember in stark clarity the things that seem trivial: lunch should be avoided on the day they serve Rajma-Chaval; leaving clothes to soak in detergent for a while totally counts as washing them; you can function on an hour of sleep; if you leave your room door open, people will walk in casually, and this is acceptable behaviour.

I did not know what to expect of this transition from school to college, and honestly, after finishing a semester, I still can’t say that I’m prepared. The first big change that I felt was – predictably – the sudden freedom. The novelty of the idea that for the most part, the only person I was accountable to was myself was startling. The schedule of classes, the assignments that suddenly turn up (which, obviously, must be left unattended until the night they’re due), the extra-curricular activities – all of these were undeniably different from anything I’d previously experienced. And the people! For the most part of the semester, I just watched (more than a little overwhelmed) as people flung around their strong opinions left-right-and-centre. That’s the thing: everyone has an opinion on everything – from music to movies to classes to politics to the similarities between YoYo Ma and Yo Yo Honey Singh.

Of course, I would be amiss to not talk about the exams. When the mid-sems were done, you could tell everyone was thinking the same thing: all bets were off. When the results came out, there were just a lot of people smiling in shock, the looks on their faces saying “Does not compute.” All previous notions of my own academic capabilities were violently flung out the window as I came to the Earth shattering revelation that English was by far my worst subject. As if that were not bad enough, I also was forced to accept that Economics was one of my best. If you knew me in the 12th Grade, you would be Googling ways to identify an alien-impersonator, and you would not be alone. Then, finals roll around. You consider moving in to the Library permanently, you walk around like a zombie, you plead with whoever is listening to just please help you pass. And then you’re done, the only coherent thought you have being “Eh?”.  Over those last three weeks, I felt like I lived through the events of a particularly fast-paced mess-with-your-head, intense-beyond-belief dystopian novels. Only, instead of the protagonist, I felt more like that character whose only purpose was comic relief, clinging on hopelessly, clueless from start to finish.

That’s what college has been like, for me. It has forced me out of my comfort zone, has ripped the proverbial carpet right out from under my two left feet, and has left me stumbling gracelessly, but in the best of ways. 0ver the last few months, it feels like my world has shifted, has expanded, and more times than I care to admit, I have felt thrown off my axis. There have been times when I have wanted to crawl under my sheets and never leave, times when I look up at my friend and declare (entirely seriously) “I can’t Law.” That being said, looking back on this first semester, I am so grateful to realize that I have had a great time. The course is challenging and engaging, and (despite all my whining), something I actually enjoy. I’ve met new people, tried new things, explored a new place, and made amazing friends.

And so, as I head back, I have nothing but hope for a great semester, or at least more stories to tell people over awkward family functions.

Editor’s Note: Do take time out to read Prerana’s wonderful work on her blog, http://maplestreettwirler.blogspot.in/

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Introduction: CMR Law School, Bangalore

This article was submitted to us by Darshana Karian, a first-year student at CMR Law School, Bangalore.

A quick introduction about myself. I am Darshana Karian. I’m a typical Bangalore girl having been born and bred in the city. My interests span from theatre and music to athletics and swimming. One could call me a “History freak” relating to my ardent love for the subject.

Why Law?
Courtroom dramas have always fascinated me. Reading well known cases and researching them has become a hobby of mine. Law was always the first career option.

Having not gotten into a desired NLU. I opted to learn the skills of the profession at CMR Law School, Bangalore. The first obvious thoughts that ran through my mind was “Whether the college being a private one would be on par with the standards of other colleges?”
“What are the placements like?”
“What extra and co-curricular activities the college has to offer?”

All my questions were answered when I met the faculty and the alumni whose lives are “success stories” today.

A law school should be one that houses a number of extra curriculars apart from the prescribed learning of the law that groom an individual into a successful lawyer. CMRLS is nothing short of this. One could pamper himself/ herself and experience the quintessential law school life by taking an active part in the Debating Club, MUN and Model Parliament Club and Moot Court.

One of the main things that I wanted to do was join the MUN society which I did. In an academic year we take part in a couple of MUNs across the country.
Though I did not join the Moot Court Society this year, it was a learning experience helping out my peers with their respective memorials. I look forward to joining the society in the next academic year.
The college has a very good mooting track record, having won 4 top national level moots this year. The college has a knack for churning out highly respected mooters in the country. Something which gives me great joy!

The crowd has been nothing short of amazing. I can openly say that I’ve made some dear friends that stay very close to my heart. Since there are many students from all parts of the country and from abroad. Learning about each ones culture has been an interesting experience. I have a wonderful set of seniors. Smart, extremely helpful and encouraging. I am truly blessed!

The classes are such that some might interest you, some might bore you to death (it’s up to you to decide which class fits which category). But the faculty is extremely dedicated and their hard work pays when the university results come out with the first 3 ranks bagged by students from my college.

As I write the end of semester exams, it’s hard to believe that 6 months of law School life is already over. I look forward to the coming semesters and the opportunities it holds for me.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Epiphanies of an Explorer: GNLU

This article was sent to us by Aamer Shah, a first-year student at the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU). He has a cool personality, charming demeanour and an infectious smile. He loves to read, but hasn’t bought a kindle yet.

It’s 12:30 AM, 29th December 2015. As I relax on my favourite couch, I see myself aching to reflect at my time at Law School. I want to look back and relive those early memories. The first 6 months of joining university have been nothing short of incredible. But my attention is slightly corrupted by the screen in front of me.

Manchester United is playing Chelsea at Old Trafford. The competition is fierce. The score, equally balanced. Its 28 minutes on the clock. I see figures in blue and red trying to make a mark on the game. The game is punishing, harsh and fiery. Yet, I see players on both side passionately engaged to ensure that their team wins. That the tug-of-war ends in their favour.

What is a moot? The professor asks the class. Some smart-ass student answers.

This was when I first realized that Law School is going to be competitive. Of course, CLAT results had come out and I knew that there were tons of people who had fared better; the gravity of the situation only dawned on me when the question was asked. Maybe this was because I assumed that people knew much more than I did.

And as I look back, Law school has been competitive, but it’s never been about just the grades. Most students I find here are extremely opinionated. However, they are not the Arnab Goswami Types. There is a lot more logic in their argument. Ever so often, I find myself having a spirited conservation with one of my peers. The tone is never confrontational. Having a better argument provides a thrill to a lot of people. It surely is competitive in that sense.

It’s Half-time. The players are visibly distraught. Some are slightly disappointed that they couldn’t make anything of the 45 minutes that have passed. They limp away inside the tunnel for a much needed strategic time-out with their managers, who hold a poker face as the camera zooms in. They rush to the tunnel to make the most of the time they have exclusively with the players. Will either team make any substitutions? Will their tactics change as the game resumes? These are questions on everybody’s mind, including mine.

Half-time is much like the time after the mid-semester examinations. It feels like a huge burden has been lifted. We need not worry about passing percentages for a while. The dust settles down. I know that every friend I have at Law school, made several mental judgments in the week following the ‘mid-sems’. They judged everything, the university, the faculty, even the food served in the mess. Some were vocal about their judgements, others not so much.

And I made judgements too. Mostly about whether I had managed to fulfil goals I had set for myself. Whether I had learnt what I wanted to. Whether I had talked properly to the girl I liked. But mostly whether I was going wake up an hour early in the next few months to grab a decent bite. Or not.

The commercial advert break is over. The match resumes. Before long it reads 72 minutes on the clock. It is evident that neither team has made any substitutions but there is a visible change in tactics on both sides. The cheering has increased. The crowd becomes wilder. The commentary rambles on. The pressure to score and defend well, is noticeable on some faces on the pitch. I feel like changing the channel as things are still stuck at 0-0. I decide otherwise and let myself slip back.

It’s the time just before the end-sems and much after the mid-sems. Everyone is settled with the new life. Including myself. Friendships have been cemented that I believe would last the test of time. Course work had increased, what felt like ten-fold. There seemed no structure and passing days merged into one another. Studying took center stage. The thought of failing occurred much more than usual. Naturally, the library was crowded.

The only thing that seemed to be on my side were my friends. Everyone was passing through a similar phase and it felt like we were all united in the quest to master Law School. I also felt like my love for the Law increased as I came to know more about it. Instead of telling people I had an interest for what I was doing at Law school, it become more about passion for what I was doing.

Before I know it the game ends. The score still a dull, Nil-Nil. The players aren’t overjoyed yet look somewhat relieved that the game has come to an end. The managers shake hands like they know each other since years. The crowds start to head for the stairs.

It’s time to go home for a 2 month hiatus. A much deserved break after a grueling ‘end-sem’. While leaving the hostel to go back home I see a particular kind of expression on most people’s faces. They seem happy and relieved to go back home, yet hesitant to leave their friends.

Looking back during the winter break I miss my hostel life (even though I have just finished 1st semester and there are 9 semesters more). I miss all the people I haven’t been able to meet since what seems like eternity. I can’t wait to be back at college.

The greatest takeaway is what I feel.  I feel mature having stepped up to various demands of college. I can clearly see who I am and what I need to do in the future. I believe this epiphany took place because college was difficult. I lost some, I won some during my first 6 months.

The teams have quite a few games left in the competition to make amends and improve their performance. The Premier League is a marathon, not a sprint.

Likewise, we all have the time to know more, explore more and be more. Keep coming back to ‘Queries of the Explorer’.

Manchester United vs. Chelsea ended 0-0. It was worth watching.

Editor’s Note: There’s more of this on Aamer’s blog, theveiledwhale.wordpress.com

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Introduction: NALSAR

This article was submitted to us by Namratha Murugeshan, a first year at NALSAR. Her contributions will be posted every alternate Wednesday – so do look out for updates from the City of Pearls

Hello! My name’s Namratha,

A little about myself- I am an avid reader who does not like to be restricted by genres and I read everything that I pick up from everywhere. I grew up in Bangalore and moved to Hyderabad in June 2015 to study law at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. I love anything associated with art that makes us humans reflect upon ourselves and I see understanding law as one of the extensions of that kind of art. I have never been good at introductions and I don’t think I am getting any better with this one but I tried.

One question I am repeatedly asked is why I chose to pursue law. To be honest I don’t have an answer to that. For me learning and continually expanding my intellectual horizon have always been the most important priorities and I see law and being at NALSAR as one of those things that help me work towards the same.

CLAT, often associated with arbitrariness, in 2015 went beyond that. Having faced it, I was glad with the results which placed me at NALSAR. I looked forward to being there with a sense of anxious excitement. Anxiety because everything would change once I entered the legions of a university and excited mostly for the same reason; along with multiple other reasons that I discovered in the first semester which now have me looking forward to spending half a decade there.

The first semester has been a joyride. Despite the numerous assignments we get and the countless hours we spend on academics there is still time for you to do the things that you like. Of course, since it was a new city, the first thing on the list was for me to discover the place. And that was pretty much what I did on most weekends when I didn’t oversleep (there weren’t many weekends like that, to be honest). Yes, both Saturday and Sundays are an off which is pretty much essential because we have classes from almost 9 to 4 on most days with a two-hour break for lunch. Which reminds me that you ought to know that hostel food is never going to be as good as what you get at home. All those jokes about hostel food are actually true. There is always BigBasket to save you from your misery along with a couple of shops within campus that make palatable food but you will still crave for homemade food and begin to appreciate all the good food that your parents made for you over the years.

The biggest change that hits you in college is the number of different people. You not only get used to understanding all the differences and living with it, you also start picking up nuances of everybody’s behaviour because of the amount of time you spend with them. Speaking about living together, the hostels at NALSAR are humble and provide you with all the basic amenities that you require to live comfortably but then again you wouldn’t be spending as much time in your room as you do in the library. The library, for me is one of the best things about NALSAR. Apart from the superfast Wi-Fi that brings everyone there, it has books on almost every topic you could ask for.

The academic block is the most impressive part of NALSAR with the classrooms that surround a beautiful garden that has a tiny pond in it. The classrooms are big and extremely comfortable but the sweltering heat of Hyderabad makes it stuffy during summers. The academic block is extremely spacious and hence after each hour it is usually swarming with students who want to walk off their sleepiness.

Being cut off from the city, the campus is completely green and full of trees. The fresh air and its scenic nature is almost intoxicating especially when you are used to being surrounded by buildings and constantly stuck in traffic. If you are into stargazing like I am then there is no need to go elsewhere. I saw almost 6 shooting stars in my first four months here and that’s 6 more than my entire lifetime. The best thing about the campus being isolated is that there is no one to disturb you from the trance that takes over once you are in campus. It feels like a solitary universe that you shape for yourself. It is only for time to tell whether this universe is what I expect of it or whether it will be the one changing my perception of those expectations.

DISCLAIMER: The views represented above are that of the author alone and do not reflect the views of the magazine, Ergo. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Ergo for any errors, omissions, or statements on this site, or any site to which these pages connect.  We accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of reliance on such information.

Introduction: JGLS

This article was submitted to us by Sriya Sridhar. Look out for her contributions every Friday, right here on Ergo.

Hi, I’m Sriya Sridhar.

I’ve grown up in Bangalore, but along with my attachment to the city comes a strong case of wanderlust. Maybe this is why I ended up going across the country to Jindal Global Law School in Haryana, where I am currently in the first year.

Travel, food and music feature prominently in my sphere of interests. Most importantly, I have and will always have a deep love for anything related to reading, stories and words. From here comes my passion for writing about my experiences, and finding the large and small experiences and moments that quite simply, make us human.

I hope that through my articles, I can use my perceptions to delve deeper into this concept and that together, we can try and figure out the crazy world of law school and the crazy world in general- one word at a time.

Advertisements