This article has been submitted by Archis Choudhary 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.
It was about time and with just a few seconds to go, I was busy darkening the very last OMR bubbles on the sheet that would decide my future course of life; and suddenly the bell rings, the sound reverberating through the halls of HNLU Raipur. It was like a journey which had come to an end, a journey full of experiences I would never forget, a journey that led to immense self-introspection. A journey that changed all my perceptions about myself, and the path my life was meant to take.
It was May 2013 when I found out about CLAT, and to be honest, it was not something I knew much about. I learnt about it from a friend and I decided to look it up on the internet. After days of research about CLAT and the law in general, I decided that the courtroom could never be my arena. I was never the so called “lawyer material”, I rarely read books or novels and when I did it was either the Chetan Bhagat ‘masala’ or my English course book which was, obviously, mandatory reading. I had never ever debated in my life. I had no clue about things like the Bharat Ratna awardees or the person who currently held the post of the General Secretary of the UN. I was also quite unsure about whether or not public speaking was my forte.
I am an avid movie junkie and I also love watching English TV series. One such TV show, dealing with lawyers and their lives was sort of my favorite, after I started fixating on CLAT. I spent much of my holidays watching every episode of that show and fantasizing about the lifestyle of an attorney. It might sound ridiculous but after finishing with the first season, I made a split-second decision to become a lawyer. I gave it no reflection whatsoever, just made an impromptu decision. In the coming days, Dad helped me meet some lawyers and law students who gave me a tour, of sorts, of their daily work. They told me what lawyers do, what they studied at college, etc., and after listening to them I said to myself, “This life isn’t that great, I guess”.
And then I proceeded to do what any reasonable, thinking man wouldn’t! Even after giving it so much consideration and coming to the conclusion that law couldn’t possibly be my forte, I signed up for CLAT coaching. I was sure of one thing then. I was doing it just for the big money, the lifestyle, cool suits and that Harvey Specter swagger. It was just how I was, how I’d always been. All I wanted from life was money; all things that yielded profits were my favorite topics of interest; I loved reading the biographies of Richard Branson and Ratan Tata.
But, surprisingly enough, after I started attending my CLAT classes, trying to study for this exam and after months of coaching I realized that I had actually begun to love the subject.
I was an entirely altered person after a year long preparation for this exam. I accept I wasn’t as passionate about it in the beginning but as I headed towards the end, I realized, a lot had changed.
For one, I knew stuff! I became more aware of things that were happening in my country and things above and beyond what a normal citizen is expected to know. My English had improved and I could now speak with confidence in public or a group discussion or any other rhetoric activity. Most importantly, I had started to read a lot more and I have now worked my way through acclaimed writers like Dan Brown, Paulo Coelho, Mario Puzo and Ramchandra Guha.
There is a lot more that has improved, but the one I want to talk about in specific is my attitude.
At that juncture when I had just two weeks left for CLAT; I started asking myself whether all the work I was putting in was really about the Mercedes S Class or the big penthouse or the large number of other things that I thought I wanted from life. And then I received my answer. My heart actually spoke to me, “No it isn’t, the work you’re doing is for what you have started to love, your love of the law.”
It was true. I had started to love reading the law, going beyond the very little amount of it that I had in my course of study and the tidbits of information on the web or the news paper. I am now very keen to learn how to be a good lawyer rather than how to be a rich one. I had been focusing on having an office on the top most floor. Now instead, I focus on becoming a respected, acclaimed and knowledgeable lawyer. Earlier I used to worry about how I should look when I become a lawyer, what suit would I wear, which watch, etc. (sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?). I am now concerned about how good I am while speaking, writing, communicating and reading.
My course of life and my perception about success has changed. What I was a year ago and what I am now are two personalities that are poles apart. I don’t know whether I’ll make it through CLAT or not. Now, being the best lawyer this country will ever see is my only true goal. My focus is no longer distorted by cars, houses, money or any other materialistic incentives. Studying law and practicing it is the only incentive to me. Whether or not CLAT turns out to be good for me, I am fully grateful to have encountered this paradigm shift in my perceptions that helped me realize, what I firmly believe to be, my true calling.
My myopic ideas of life have changed. I will no longer sit and dream about the Mercedes, I will aspire to be much more than just another person with a big car.
ALL THE BEST FOR THE RESULTS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! CHEERS.
Raipur’s Archit Choudhary has appeared for CLAT this year. He loves photography, making music and making short films. Reading is a new entrant to this list. He aspires to be a good lawyer, and getting into a good law school would prove a dream come true.