This article has been submitted by Ananya Gopal for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think this article is a good read, ‘Like’ this article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘comments’ section below.
Do you know that the most painful experiences in life are not those that are born out of other’s mistakes, but your own? I had heard of this concept in one of Oscar Wilde’s plays, but never imagined that I’d have to go through it myself. It all started one fine Sunday afternoon, when the Bangalore birds were chirping, the sun was brightly shining on Cubbon Park and I unfortunately had a mock test for CLAT. However I was pretty upbeat about it. At the outset of the test, while I was filling out my name, email id, Facebook activity and more meaningless details LST needs you to fill (in an OMR sheet, no less), my friend interrupted to ask why my name hadn’t appeared in the name list of CLAT applicants whose applications had been received.
“What list?” I asked recklessly. As my friend patiently explained, it dawned on me that I didn’t even know that a list of that sort had been published. Pushing back thin threads of uneasiness that had begun to wrap around my mind, I forged ahead completing the test. Later that evening when I checked that very list and my name didn’t appear, the threads thickened into two inch Manila Gym Ropes threatening to strangle my life’s essence. After several frantic, anguished phone calls to the CLAT convener 2013, Hidayatullah National Law University, the much abused truth was found out: my application was not in their keeping. It had not reached them at all.
But why hadn’t it reached them despite my having sent it on the fourteenth of February (supposedly a good day) nearly a month and a half before the deadline? Ah, good question Amigo! The answer is that Yours Truly sent the application via courier service despite the Prospectus expressly advising candidates not to do so. I hoped against hope that the courier services of India had actually fulfilled their promise of, “Anywhere in phorty eight avvurs Madum! Phull delivery, no tension!” I prayed earnestly that the CLAT representative on the phone was wrong and that my application was indeed present in the University’s offices; not in some dingy courier back office. But he was correct: my application hadn’t reached and nothing whatsoever could be done.
Flood gates burst open; favors called upon; friends in various universities consulted; a tearful rendition of a very famous song by the Swedish House Mafia ft. John Martin sung- all to no avail. There was nothing, absolutely nothing that could be done. All the dreams, hopes and desires of studying in NLSIU or NALSAR that I had harbored had to be dismissed as they had no chance of seeing the light of day.
However that didn’t stop us: I may have sent the application by the wrong method but what on earth had the courier service done with it? That was also discovered: due to Abhanpur (the location of the University) being quite remote, no courier service delivered parcels there. My application had not even touched Chhattisgarh soil. It was lying, quite ironically in some dingy courier back office in Bangalore.
My family did not give up: still believing that something could be done, we took a little trip to Hidayatullah National Law University, Abhanpur, Chhattisgarh to plead our case as a special exception due to a most unfortunate turn of events. Grandiose dreams of me fighting my case in a compelling, decidedly theatrical fashion floated in front of me in the confined aircraft on the way to Chhattisgarh. However when we reached the University it became crystal clear that nothing could be done. The staff and Vice-Chancellor were as kind as they could be to us, considering the situation. If they gave me a chance they’d have to give thousands like me a chance too- an idea that was simply not feasible.
Disappointed and duly chastened, I had no choice but to accept my lot in life. It is unfortunate that I combined with outside forces, ruined an opportunity so glorious. However I could not dwell on my burnt desires and barbecued dreams: I still had the AILET 2013, and the SET 2013- examinations for National Law University Delhi, and Symbiosis Law School respectively. I attended both those examinations and am currently waiting for them (please, please, PLEASE) to give me a seat in their institutions.
I learnt from this experience (because that is all it is isn’t it?) that there exists a parallel side to life- one where dreams don’t come true, where wishes are suppressed and where the only magic is the indomitable human spirit that is fed by the grace and support of the Almighty. My dreams give me a goal, and a goal cannot be erased because of a few flies in the windshield.
I refuse to let chance dictate my life , because as William Ernest Henley very wisely wrote:
It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.