This article has been submitted by Rongeet Poddar for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.
It all happened in a jiffy: separation from my lifelines in a school where I spent thirteen years, the struggle to feel at home in the starkly different environment of my senior secondary school, a girl to die for and satisfying board results. CLAT was the next thing waiting to happen in my rapidly changing life. And when it did happen, I was in an abyss. I didn’t make it to the desired law school in my hometown. I remember that I broke down in tears, once. Just once, because I didn’t have anything left in me. I made it a point to not even think about the famed corridors of Ambedkar Bhavan because I couldn’t make it there. My parents were devastated, not because I had failed, but because I would possibly have to leave them to pursue law, somewhere else. I had to leave my hometown as a failure; I had to leave everything that I held dear- my parents, my friends, my girlfriend. I was struggling to come to terms with it and to make matters worse, I was struck by a bout of chicken pox. Where was I going? Nowhere. What was I good at? Apparently nothing, I thought. Why don’t I give it all up and try something which I am marginally good at? I considered being a professional footballer, not once, but twice. I can take more failures at that. I had no control over myself.I hated every patronizing person who came to me and told me that there is light at the end of the tunnel. If at all there was anything, there was a train coming from the other end of the tunnel to run me over. And I was letting it run over me. I was killing my aspirations.
I remained in Kolkata and life dragged on. The future seemed bleak while I continued to fight with the chicken pox. And probably some day, about a year go, I had one conversation with my mother who called me a fighter and told me encouragingly I was going to get back on track. I was half-dead. I didn’t know what she meant. I just smiled and went back to my room, contemplating what a fighter is. It was certainly not me. I was not strong. What was I lacking? I gradually realized that I was lacking myself. I was letting my failure determine me and change me into something that I wasn’t. I had to choose an avenue. Thus, CLAT came back into the reckoning. I instilled the desire in me to give it a shot one more time and make it again. The desire was unflinching and there was no looking back.
Today, I rush past the corridors of Ambedkar Bhavan, late for class, every weekday morning. There is a strange ecstasy in that, a joy no one will possibly understand. I know very well that neither can I be punctual nor can I be organized. I only have that same desire in me to be who I am and cherish every day as it comes in my dream law school. And I am sure that my desire will take me past the finishing line, in style.
West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences.