This article was originally published on 25th of October, 2011.
[Arka Saha reveals all about what it is like to drop a year for the sake of the CLAT and what actually goes on in that one year despite all intentions to study. Making the choice between a lower rung NLU and dropping a year is a very tough decision for anyone to make and Arka has made the decision that he feels is best for him. He is not the only one who takes this path. In fact it is a predominant trend for people to drop a year and re-take the CLAT. We wish Arka all the best for CLAT 2012. – Saachi Kapoor, CG]
It all began on the 22nd of March, 2011. While walking out of the CBSE board exam centre I was allotted, I realized I had a major decision to make. Not only had I written the day’s math paper horribly, but the copious amount of expectations riding on me had already started to crack. It made way for the convoluted, invidious disappointment that always seemed to befall my scientist parents, after every one of my science exams. It was then that I decided to look for an alternate career.Anything. Not science. Not medicine. Not engineering. In the next few days, an aunt of an aunt (or someone to that effect) suggested law,which got me thinking. Being the HUGE Boston Legal fan I am, it seemed to be an incredibly easy choice. I too could be the contumacious,egregious, flamboyant lawyer Alan Shore is. I too could trot around in a fancy suit with all the important briefcases in hand,disseminating every other guy who would get in my way. Someone mentioned CLAT. Whatever.
The very next week, I was off to Chennai. Apparently, they had this super awesome coaching institute there. Masters at alchemy, they could turn every other lead-headed person who attended into a golden CLAT topper. Twenty-eight days of preparation. Now this was awesome with a capital ‘A’. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Though it was intimidating to see droppers, double droppers, triple droppers and third year law students who knew everything there was to know about the CLAT, I managed to fare pretty well in the mocks. The pattern this year was revolutionary, I was told. It had leveled the playing field. No longer would the new-comers have to cram static GK and legal knowledge. CLAT was an aptitude test this time.
The paper was a total freak show.I had a choice to make. Again. Join a lower rung NLU, whose allotment list I had barely managed to creep into, courtesy of being a domicile,or to take the year off and rebuild to fight, come 2012. I opted for the latter. I was spanked thoroughly for it.
‘A lot can change in a year! Being the desultory fellow you are, you’d be out with that no good band of yours in a week, shaking your dreaded hair around at those pot smoking hippie friends of yours!’ said dadi.
Everything I said in order to justify my decision was struck down on grounds of being deleterious to my future and our family name. Quite forcefully at that. But I had made up my mind. ‘Next year pucca one of the top five law schools …mother promise’.
Slowly, their anger was replaced by a cursory equanimity, much to my delight. ‘I’ll camp at the LST centre here, study for ten hours daily,buy all the books I can and pray fifteen times a day. What could possibly go wrong?’ And with that, I was all set.
Four months in, I have already been in and out of about four major bouts of depression, eaten two hundred kilos of fried chicken, made about thirty timetables and watched around a hundred movies. Also, I have managed to lose five kilos and develop acne. Let me tell you, sitting at home all day can take its toll on anybody. Eighteen hours a day, your mind is bound to excoriate you for your mistakes, past and future. Four months in, the insecurities have also started to kick in. Big time. I barely get an hour or two of work done a day, one day a week. Rarely, motivation hits me and I draw up afresh, new, super-potent timetable. ‘CLAT 2012 SUPER ACTION PLAN’ read the timetable that is stuck to my wardrobe at the time of writing.
Oh well. I guess I still have a shot. ’CLAT 2012 SUPER ACTION PLAN’ is bound to work. Even if it does not, I am still way better off than I was last year …I know who Arun Jaitley and Fathima Bhutto are this time around. I have also added a bunch of new words to my everyday vocab and learnt by heart the multiplication tables up to 17! And that is bound to make a difference!