By: Shreedhar Kale (Rank 37 – CLAT 2013)
It all started after my Std.10 mathematics board examination. I walked out of the hall and there were two things playing in my head over and over again: 1) I hope I pass and 2) I can’t take another two years of this. I had already decided that there was no way I was going to do science after my 10th. The idea of physics chemistry AND maths all ganging up on me had me waking up in a cold sweat. While going through the courses that Fergusson College was offering for their arts stream, I saw subjects like sociology and philosophy, and suddenly, I knew where I would be spending the next two years of my life. My mother is an economist so my opting for Arts went down pretty well at home. My parents were adamant on me taking maths though. Something or the other about getting over my fears! I did have to listen to a host of relatives reassure me (rather themselves) that there great career opportunities these days in the arts stream as well and my life was not ruined (just yet).
Now, while I knew I didn’t want to do engineering or medicine, the problem was that I didn’t know what I did want to do either. At the beginning of my 11th, I started researching career options. I found law pretty early on. I had seen a bunch of legal dramas, I loved my political science and philosophy classes in college and after I had read about what law had to offer, I was hooked. And, of course, stud lawyers make a ton of money! ILS Law College is just down the road from my house, so I never really thought about other places I could go. Till I found out about the CLAT. And then CLATGyan! It was actually the time I spent on CLATGyan reading about life in those fascinating places called NLUs that made me absolutely set on getting into one.
Skip to about a year later. I had narrowly avoided failing my 11th Std (Maths thank you very much) and the time seemed about right to start preparing for the CLAT. So I took all the tips from CG, subscribed to the Hindu, bought those wonderful books by Pandey and Aggarwal, subscribed to the CG test series and got down to work. I started reading newspapers, taking GK notes and spending endless hours on the net reading about current events. Life in college, with my friends and my volleyball matches went on as normal, everything was going great. All my prep was in full swing. There was no way I was stopping now.
Then I failed my maths prelims. And all the wonderful preparations came to a grinding halt. Calculus, trigo and vectors replaced logic and GK, and Mr. Pandey was relegated to a bottom drawer. The next two months, all I did was maths. Day in and day out. Forever haunted by the one subject that refused to let me be. Those two months were filled with bawling sessions and sleepless nights. About 20 tantrums and innumerable iced teas later, I walked out of the examination hall again. Two things going through my mind 1) “Phew, that went well!” and 2) “Never again!”
With the boards done and dusted, I turned my attention back to the CLAT. I worked hard, harder than I have ever worked for anything before. It was the first schedule I had ever made that I actually stuck to. I never studied for more than 8-9 hours a day, but those 9 hours were the hardest I ever studied. I knew I wanted to crack the CLAT. And I knew this was the only way I could do it.
On the day of the examination, I stopped thinking about it. Instead I watched Race 2 with my 11 year old cousins. The exam went off much better than I thought it would. I finished the paper with about 5 minutes to go and spent the remaining 5 minutes trying to stop myself from shaking. When the bell rang, I was the first person out of the door. For the next 15 days, I shut my brain off and tried not to think about the most important result of my life.
D-Day dawned bright and sunny. As HNLU gave no fixed time for the result, I spent half of the day refreshing the website. Just as I was about to give up and go hang out with my friends my mom called: “They’re out! They’re out! You are 37th!! You’ve done it!!”
And I suppose, I had. I have never felt that happy about coming 37th ever before. All that work finally paid off. I was going to Bangalore!! Of course none of this would have been possible without the stud-ly souls at CG. Every single thing I knew, thought and did during my CLAT prep was because of CG. So a big thank you to everyone at CLATGyan for being such amazing people. I couldn’t have done it without you! (:
P.S I cracked my board maths too!