This article has been submitted by Ajay Ramanathan 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.
My eyes opened to a warm Chennai morning. The sun shone brightly on my face, denoting a sense of arrival. As I picked up my luggage and got off the ‘Chennai Mail’, I was greeted with an ever so familiar sound, ‘Capi Capi Capi’. I yawned in disinterest. The overnight journey had taken its toll on me. I rubbed my eyes and looked around to get a sense of the ‘Chennai Central’. It was an arena of chaos. An elderly woman with a hunched back was trying to pick up a suitcase. A man who seemed to be in his late sixties was selling toys. I made my way outside and called for a taxi. I was greeted with a boyish smile and ‘Enga?’ I murmured ’Kodambakam’ and got in to the taxi. The driver turned on the engine and I was on my way. As I looked out through the window, I experienced a whole new heat. The sun was at his terrific best and I had to bear the wrath.
A PG had been arranged prior to my arrival. I sat in the taxi, thinking about what awaited me. I was here for a good reason. I was to attend classes at the ‘Sriram Law Academy’, which was (supposedly) one of the best in the country. I was overwhelmed by the (claimed) 85% success rate. Unlike many of my peers, I hadn’t even thought of law as a potential career option at first. I still remember the day I told my dad that I wished to be an engineer like him. I sensed the pride in his eyes and the sight of his chest puffing up. Well, then I was ten and now I’m eighteen. My interest in law was fuelled by a presentation by one of my seniors at school. He spoke about the opportunities available to law grads today, the various areas of specialization etc. I must say that I was intrigued by the role of law in society and the idea of truth and justice (well not so much in our country). Anyway, to be honest, the moolah played its role in my renewed career decision. I WANTED TO BE A LAWYER. My desire was fuelled further by the likes of Ram Jethmalani, Kapil Sibal and Arnab Goswami (who amazingly isn’t a lawyer) and before I knew it, I was in Chennai.
A dingy apartment awaited my arrival. I quickly put myself together and got into the scheme of things. My first day at Sriram was a bore. Our books were handed over to us and we were briefed with what lay ahead of us. We were each given a file to put our mock sheets in. As the days passed, my file began to fill up. Like everyone else, I too got sucked into the monotony of preparation. Two weeks had passed since my arrival, and the temperature showed no signs of dropping. The work doubled and so did my laundry (which I had to do myself). I was surprised at how much I could do. I boarded the train at ‘Kodambakam’ and got down at ‘T Nagar’ Railway Station. From here, I walked down to Ankur Plaza (where my classes were held). This continued on a daily basis (Sriram Scheduling), except for a compulsory one day power cut. Seemed like ‘Amma’ herself was amazed at our ordeal, and wanted to reward us with a day off.
Usually, I keep to myself and don’t bother socializing. But I was amazed at how easily I was able to make friends. Before I knew it, the whole class knew me. I was left floating in my little paradise, until… ONE WEEK TO GO! It was the 6th of May, 2012. At a time when my classmates were busy formulating strategies, I was here in my little fairytale, completely oblivious to everything around me. I shook myself up and began to go through the revered file. It contained all the mocks sheets and was probably my key to CLAT 2012. My scores went from bad to worse and I decided to put it all behind me and focus on the ultimate goal. As the IPL was nearing its playoff stage, I was at the business end of my CLAT journey. I worked on each subject and analysed my mistakes. Just when I had gotten into the scheme of things, my classes were done and I was back in Home Sweet Home. Like a storm on a sunny day, the 13th of may hit me. The day of reckoning was here. Hours before kickoff, I sat in my room, reflecting on my days in ‘Tamil Land’. Those days which I will cherish all my life. CLAT or no CLAT, I will never leave them behind.