Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Finally I have gathered the courage to write this piece and I apologize in advance for the pathetic usage of English which you will witness. This is no post or article about how to crack ‘CLAT’, it’s just an experience. Yeah I have this urge to share what happened to me with everyone. Not that I was some “Stud” or anything, I was a simple boy who faced the the twists and turns of life. This is an account of what happened to me in the past months and what I learned from it.
I wished I had never gone to NDA. I had to return just after 7 months of training and not with the two stars on my shoulders (rather, two on my back). Yes I was in the National Defence Academy until life showed its true colours. God had a bad sense of humor, I must say. Life was at its pinnacle and it seemed to me that it would not stir. I had the best girlfriend a guy could ever wish for, was training at one of the best military institutions of the world. What more could a guy ask for? But then as God willed, it all came crashing down. No wonder some call life a roller coaster ride you see, not much of fun. I had a nasty break up. (You may think of me as a lover boy, but believe me I could not care less).Yes it hurt and still does but lets not go deep into it. What followed next was even more despairing. I returned to NDA after my winter break and everything was smooth and then bam!, The roller coaster takes a plunge. .While practising for cross country I tripped over and fell . Taken to the hospital, they declared me a flat footed person, and that renders me all but incapable of service in the defence forces. I could see the whole canvas of my life being destroyed in front of me; a canvas which I had so happily made in the deep reaches of my mind, the girl had gone; now the man in uniform was disappearing too. I knew I would get withdrawn sooner or later. Sickening deliberations clouded my mind until I happened to talk to Archit, my friend who was studying in NALSAR and with whom I had given my Army Interviews. After hearing my plight, he suggested I take CLAT. After searching through the net and being introduced to CG I realized it was not a bad option, in fact it was a brilliant one .Not in my wildest dreams had I thought of taking a law admission test. I had always seen myself in an army uniform, (As Lieutenant Chitwan Deep Singh). But times change and they change the circumstances and we change along the circumstances. Surprsingly I found law interesting and thought to give it a try.
The proceedings at NDA sickened me, I was being “marched up” to every official possible and this did not help me one bit to get over the two wounds which life had inflicted on me. I returned home in the middle of February this year. Often the recent times flashed in front of me, just a few days back I had NDA and now I had nothing. No more “glory” to cling on. It was all over and I thought my time had come too. I simply could not get anything out of my mind. I tried to study, my mind would drift to my life at NDA and this was taking over me. I couldn’t eat nor sleep. My parents were equally worried, but then I heard my inner self, I simply could not continue like this. Whatever little chance I have of cracking CLAT is just attenuating. I knew this must end, I had no one to fight against but myself, but believe me it is one of the toughest battle you will ever fight. The following lines of Tolkien taken from the Fellowship of the Ring say a lot.
Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us I wished the same, I wished she had never come in my life, that I had never been in NDA, but then it was not for me to decide. What I was supposed to do was make full use of the time given to me, initially my inner demons prevented me from doing so but I knew I must fight them. I decided to give life another chance. Another opportunity to rise again. NDA had taught me to go on, long after you think you can’t. As Grame Fife says,”The greatest battle is not physical but psychological , the demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quite the steady dignity that refuses to give in. Courage, We all Suffer, Keep Going.”
With this I started my CLAT preparation from March and since then I have only loved my life. It has been such an awesome learning experience for me. Having made so many friends, I saw my life rejuvenate, I started laughing again. Each day was amazing, each one taught me something and I knew how wrong I was to have thought of quitting. I joined the LST group on facebook, got to interact with amazing people and made so many friends. As Coelho says, ” The journey is more important that the destination”.The prepration was indeed more important than the exam itself for I enjoyed every bit of it. It was not that I got this “made for law” feeling, but the time I was having which mattered.
After having a gala of a time and enjoying my ride ,CLAT happened and we all cursed NUJS for the paper they had made , even I felt sick but then I knew I had given it all I had, and that was what mattered to me the most. I got an AIR of 178, not the one I had hoped for, but then I realized, “it’s OK to be content with what you have but not with what you are.”CLAT wasn’t the end of the world, I could always improve and stride to be a better being than I am.
From experiencing the highs of life, to seeing the most desolate forms of it and again seeing some those highs I have realized that HOPE is always there. We must not give up. Just do your bit, give it all you have and remember you have much more in you than you think.
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
~ Albert Einstein
These results won’t matter. What will matter more is YOUR hard work, YOUR determination and YOUR never- give-up attitude. To your family, to everyone who loves you, it won’t matter whether you studied from NLS or NALSAR or any Harvard Law School, what will matter to them is what you do with that knowledge, that learning experience, it’s about what you “choose” to be, it’s about “you”. It never matters where you come from, as long as you believe in yourself. As stated in Kung fu panda “For something to be special, you have to believe that it is special”. So just believe in yourself, know that you are special and give it all you have. At the end of the day, you need to tell yourself just one thing, ‘I BELIEVE IN ME!’
May the force be with you.
Chitwan Deep Singh