RMLNLU, Lucknow – Of Kebabs and Great Expectations

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Young people dressed in black and white across the administrative block. All in groups of three, with each one glued to a laptop screen, staring at lengthy documents. Documents loaded with information that would put business channels to shame. My first evening at the RMLNLU campus after a two week stint at RGNUL was rather scary.

Post a few ice breakers, someone informed me that the country’s largest one-off Intra Selection Moot (The Grand Intras, in the RML lingo) was underway, which saw almost 200 students competing for representing the university across various Moot Court Competitions throughout the year. All of this made little sense to me on my first day, but there was almost nip in the air with a lethal mixture of anxiety and euphoria. It later turned out that I had been the lucky charm for my room-mate, as he and his rather young team had conquered the Grand-Intras after a grueling final round which lasted for around 1.5 hours, presided over by the Judges of the Allahabad High Court.

For the rest of the year, I could not make out what was a bigger challenge – surviving the mess food or surviving with a Bengali room-mate. But law school seemed fun nonetheless.

Bare beginnings and life At RMLNLU

I remember (and so would all my peers) being intrigued for the first time during Prof. K.A Pandey’s classes. He knew Criminal Law like the back of his hand and his classes made sure everyone’s intellectual meters were running high.

Classes would culminate into conversations over evening tea. You learn to pick sides quickly as a lawyer. ManUtd or Chelsea? Delhi or Mumbai? Naturalist or Realist? Def Leppard or Aerosmith? Litigation or Cushy Corporate? Rum or Whisky? We would often find ourselves defending what we didn’t stand for. And that was why it was fun.

The most crowded places on the RMLNLU campus post evening are either the library or the girl’s hostel entrance. Ok, a tad bit inclined towards the latter. You’ll see couples kissing their last goodbyes of the day at around 9:30 PM, the girls’ curfew time. The curfew is a little relaxed for guys, and late evening trips to Tunday Kababi and Saharaganj amidst heavenly Lucknow Non-Veg cuisine is a quintessential RML exercise. Coming from a Delhi Punjabi, you’d have to believe me when I say that Lucknow has some of the cheapest and the most lip-smacking delicacies you’ll ever taste.

Where would you fit in?

Come September, and the RMLNLU campus comes alive with the Annual Intra-Varsity Literary festival, called EOS, which is organized by the Journal Committee. You can paint/write/debate across various formats/tell us a story/solve crosswords/go on a treasure hunt across the campus. Past editions of EOS have witnessed IIM Lucknow students coming and adjudicating various events. We have a similar Annual Intra-Varsity fest by the Sports Committee called Fenja. There is a debate every fortnight as a part of the debating league called ‘Tarka’ run by the Debate and Discussion Committee, and the top debaters are rewarded with cash at the end of every semester. All the committees collectively host the Annual Inter-College Law Fest called SPOCULIT, which has seen participation from various NLUs in the past and has seen the likes of Underground Authority, Indigo Children and Five8 perform in the earlier editions of the fest.

The skepticism about a young NLU?

We had walked in with a similar trepidation which a lot of you, future RMLNLUites are experiencing right now. Whether it would be worth spending 5 years away from home for a nascent law school which is yet to face the tide of time. We were the 8th NLU to be established in 2006 and we’ve dared to lock horns with those established way before us. Some of the finest Environment Law, International Law, Criminal Law, Taxation and Property Law faculty in the country are currently engaging with the students. We’ve made our presence felt at national and international moots – Manfred Lachs, Leiden Sarin, Stetson et al. One of our seniors recently made it to the top 4 people interviewed for the Prestigious Oxford Rhodes Scholarship this year by Mr. Ratan Tata himself. Institutions the likes of only Top NLUs/IITs/SRCC can boast of such an achievement. The first couple of batches have been placed with leading firms (Amarchand/Desai & Diwanji/PXV/PwC) and corporate houses. We agree that the numbers aren’t huge, but we’re only 2 batches old as of now.  Placements will only get better with the first CLAT batch graduating in 2013.

RMLNLU – Tagged for life.

You will have your own memories at the law school. You will remember drinking like a fish and puking. You’ll remember emptying a pack of smokes before the memorial/project submissions.  You’ll remember falling in love. You will remember staying up and debating all night long on the most trivial, as also at times the most burning issues, and then going for a customary Chai-Bun Makhan trip. You’ll remember the big fat treats on every small/big achievement. If you have the courage and the skill, this place will give you opportunities to rise and shine.

I’ll be honest here. In the one year that I spent in abeyance while preparing for law entrances, a day wouldn’t pass without me thinking about that law school in Nagarbhavi. I’d dream about rambling on the NLS football fields and head-banging at Strawberry Fields. But in retrospect, being a part of the RMLNLU student community which set things in motion from the very scratch and watching them shape up beautifully is the most satisfying of feelings. That’s the kind of character this place will impart to you. To think and create on your own. No wonder, head-banging at SPOCULIT in the 3500 seater RMLNLU Auditorium seems more fun, and much closer to my heart now!

Vipul Kumar
Dr. RML National Law University, Lucknow

12 COMMENTS

  1. This is pure awesome-ness. The last paragraph, the HONESTY that you’ve put in there, that is something I’ve been able to comprehend only because I’ve also spent the past one year dreaming about that law school in Nagarbhavi, every single day. I’ve had the same craving for banging my head to the songs of strawberry fields, of being a part of that powerhouse of intellect. And yeah, it’d probably take me a LOT OF TIME to get over the fact that I didn’t get to be a part of that society. Unfortunately, ours is a case of bad luck too, as we had an ‘out-of-syllabus’ paper this year. Those who’d prepared for such shocks, got through, much to their good fortune. Anyway, I’m convinced now that NLS runs parallel to you, but it is very illusive. I will probably be joining RMLNLU. This is the best of all the research I’ve done so far to know more and more about this college. Thankfully, it has even come from someone who’s intellectual as hell, writes terrific, and has been through the same phase that I have to prepare myself for (The NLS thing i.e.). You’ve a long way to go Vipul. All the best.

    • Deja Vu, brother. By the time CLAT results came out, i could almost recite the NLS calender. And CLAT had its share of goof-ups that year as well. What with the paper getting leaked and the new exam being nowhere close to a standard test. Sour grapes, some might argue.
      But then its encouraging to see the new crop of people making their way to RMLNLU. Just what the place needs. People like you. We’ve just begun to happen, and it seems like an exciting road ahead. Of course, i dare say that we are in the same league as NLS, but sure as hell we’ve been putting up a decent fight.

      • Thank You so much. I am sooo excited to be going to RMLNLU now. Mostly because I know that the place has had awesome people like you. Its surely going to be a great time there 😀

  2. You have put everything so correctly in words! Everything that one would want to learn about RMNLU, everything that is so not given in it’s prospectus !! :p This is a sort of prologue to those who begin their tenure this year..five long years in Lucknow..best piece of research for some too! I loved reading it! Rightly said, this is awesomeness!!!
    🙂

  3. Vipul, I haven’t read such a beautiful piece for long. Especially to someone like me, who yearns that re-live the RML days again, this is really heart-warming. You portrayed all that we felt in those days- the shock of disgusting mess food, the multilingualism, the excitement of the fests and the moots, the late night parties, the skepticism, the insecurity and the surprise when one day you suddenly realise that you have fallen in love with the place.

  4. I read your article and loved it!
    I have got it into RMLNLU this year and I wanted to ask you a question-
    – The CLAT website says that the last date for withdrawal of candidature for admission is 27th June. But what if on 30th June I wish to withdraw my candidature ? Do you think I can get the refund of the 50,000 I deposited with the CLAT office on the 30th?

  5. bengali room mate bit aside……..i have no clue how you manage to keep pulling these off……this is an older piece……time you wrote another one

  6. Just a word on RGNUL VS RMNLU please.
    I seriously wanna know the diffrence.
    No1 can be better than you to answer this ..

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