Making it to Law School is fairly easy, I guess. Wish coming up with an answer to WHY you chose to join Law School in the first place were just as easy, too. For many people, it is either corporate law pay packages or civil services. For others it could be litigation or research. As for me, well…I actually spend a lot of my time wondering precisely what business I have here.

Although I’m at Law School, writing was always my first love. I guess it started when I was 12. That’s when I consciously realized that writing is a great way of letting emotions out. It was basically a final stamp of approval on something I had known all through. I just started writing random musings about my day in a diary, and discovered what a feeling of accomplishment writing gave me.

Cut to the year 2009-my class XII exams had just got over and I declared that I wanted to pursue English honors from the DU. I had passed my ISC with a decent 94.25%, and was reasonably sure of getting a good enough DU college. What I hadn’t imagined was how heavy a burden this would become for me. Everyone was like, “94.25% in the science stream, and you still won’t do engineering? Come on, you can. You must be really good at it, or you would never have done this well…blah blah blah. What they didn’t realize was; the question was never whether I could or couldn’t, it was always whether I wanted to or not. No one gave a damn about that.

This had been the last of my innumerable attempts against being made to take up engineering; but like my earlier remonstrances, this one had also been quelled through a series of arguments ranging from maturity, practicality, sensibility, comparisons with batch mates who had qualified- to downright emotional blackmail. I remember crying over this incessantly for three weeks, but to no avail. I was sent to engineering preparation institutes anyway.

I never really focused on my work at the coaching: my scores were always deplorable, the pile of undone assignments was getting thicker with every passing week…I felt suffocated, helpless, hollow, numb. There were times when I was overwhelmed with guilt, because I was not being fair to science. I had always appreciated the ruthless austerity, precision and cold purity of science, but it was never my passion. Writing was what I had always loved, and for me, nothing came even close to the thrill I experience on imagining my name on the spine of a book that had my words in print: my thoughts, my plots, my characters and my dialogues.

While studying, I always thought of what I could do in half the time, with half the effort and double the enjoyment…and it brought to me a stab of unendurable agony, of wistfulness and desperate longing…I had never run away from hard work. Only, I couldn’t see where I was headed-where this hard work would lead me. I did not want to slave away for something that wasn’t even remotely consistent with what I actually wanted to do in life. It didn’t make sense to spend the prime years of my life doing something I didn’t give a damn about, just because that was what everyone believed to be worthwhile. I always wondered precisely who this “everyone” was, and why it was so important to pursue what had conventionally been THE most coveted. But I never found satisfactory answers to these questions. In trying to figure out what was expected of me and living up to what people wanted me to be, I was losing sight of the person I wanted to be.

Then came December 2010. It took 3 idiots and one movie to convince my parents about what I had been trying to tell them all along. When we came home after watching that movie, they asked me, very seriously, whether I would like to give up engineering. Disbelief and shock shot through me. I don’t even remember saying yes; I only remember running to my room and sobbing uncontrollably. I had never felt so relieved in my entire life. Unfettered…eventually. Or so I had thought.

Nothing could have prepared me for the apprehension that that initial euphoria gave way to. For almost the entire January, February and March, I had to grapple with people telling me I was crazy, and with my own uncertainty. Venturing into the unexplored, the unfamiliar…it can never be easy. I knew I didn’t want to do engineering, but was Law the right thing for me? Will it be challenging and stimulating enough? Further, was I so sure that I wouldn’t miss science at all? Science, that unlike Law, was so unbiased, so pure, so rational, so concrete? Had I chosen wisely? Every moment, every day was replete with its own set of doubts, trepidations, fears…there were times when I used to second-guess every single rationale of mine; wishing that I were anyone but who I was, and anywhere but where I was.

Gradually these pangs of confusion did subside, but they still haven’t gone away completely. Everything in life involves risk. It is our task to decide which risks are worth taking. Amidst all this confusion and hysteria, something never fails to give me peace: reading and writing.

At the end of the day, I think it won’t be so much about the choices I made as it would be about what I made of those choices. Probably I’ll never be sure that this decision of mine was absolutely right. In fact even now that I’m here at Law School, there are times when I wonder whether I would have been better off doing English honors…particularly when things here don’t look all that promising. Then I remind myself that Law may not be directly relevant to what I want to do; but the skills that I acquire while I’m about it will be indispensable. I’m so grateful for these moments- when I feel that I’m doing what I was born to do. These rare moments of ecstasy are well worth the intermittent phases of boredom and inactivity. I’ve done away with what was superfluous. I’m doing what’s consistent with my passion.

I believe Law will be of help because most of my writing will deal with ethical conundrums, morality and legality of issues. Also,it will be an excellent background to have when I take up Journalism, seeing as we do a substantial amount of Political Science, Economics, and Sociology too.I don’t know what other genres of writing I’ll explore, but I know I’ll definitely write such stuff; even if simply to justify my legal education. I know that when I finally do make financial success of my writing, the thrill is going to be unrivalled. The value of that money will be far greater than what any corporate firm can pay me in return for draining the life out of me. My achievements won’t be discoveries, inventions, theorems or complex scientific formulae. They won’t be something as concrete as buildings or machines. But they will be very much there.

This could be a reminder to all those facing a similar dilemma as I did (and possibly do) that your degree can only take you so far. What you choose to do with it is entirely up to you.

Apoorva Yadav,
Batch of 2015,
NALSAR University of Law.

22 COMMENTS

  1. This is a great write-up; makes me feel a lot better about what I’m going to be doing after school, and that is saying a lot! I’m taking CLAT ’11, and I’m telling myself Eco/English honours at DU is a very tentative Plan B, but its still there. I’m hoping everything falls into place in good time.

    Good work on the website, it looks very systematic!

  2. Thank you! That is precisely why i posted this write-up on the website…as an assurance to people in the same situation as i was…that they aren’t the only ones faced with such a difficult choice…
    “Footprints, that perhaps another,
    Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
    A forlorn, and shipwrecked brother,
    Seeing, shall take heart again.”
    Wish you all the best, keep preparing, keep reading and keep giving CLATgyan a vist now and then…hope to see you as my junior!
    Apoorva.

  3. I passed My Boardz this year with the science stream scoring 93.8% . I got selected in one of the Top NIt’s In India through AIEEE but I decided Not to go there as my passion always has been to do a Job which required my Mind to work 24*7 365 days in an analytical way ! I gave CLAT this year but unfortunately or Rather Fortunate(I culd get a better College now :D) I culdn’t get through !!

    All my relatives are taunting my parents that ur SOn is wating his life prep for CLAT but my parents only tell them that they wuld talk abt it in the Month of June when I enter NLSIU or NALSAR !!

  4. Apoorva mam..this is one of the most inspiring articles i have ever read….th saga of my life is somehow very well related with this article….I was forced to take Science in plus 2 even though i have never liked it…passed ISC 2010 with 91% although i expected above 95%…english has been my passion for last two years and since then probably i have dejected the idea of going for medical or engineering inspite of having PCMB background…I m now studying law here at UPES,Dehradun…I would be taking up CLAT next year…hope t perform well….people just come up with surprising questions that why i have chosen LAW…BUT now i m very proud of my decision and people like you are taking law…may my passion of writing like you prove beneficial for my career in law!! Thank you very much mam for providing us with such a wonderful article!!

  5. Seeing that just made me feel a lot better. I’ve wanted to write a book since I was 8 and taking up English seemed to be the right thing to do. But my dad who was disappointed when I ditched science, determined that I would do at least a professional course even if I wasn’t going to become a doctor. So now I’m preparing for clat. It’s fun, but there are moments of doubt…good to know there were others ! 🙂

  6. I had also went through the same dilemma like of yours. I like science very much but due to my performance in 12th i have to abandon the idea.But now i know the road on which i am travelling will lead me success.I want to meet u guys, u people should be example for all student of india who get caught in web of dilemma after +2.

  7. A very beautiful article. thanks for posting. i am in 11th and a PCM student too but engineering is not what i have in mind neither is there any parent pressure. The moment i entered 11th i made it clear i don’t want to do eng.( of course, in a science class those stares follow…:p) but at least i want to do what i love!! desperately hope i’ll be able to do it..thanks once again

  8. I can relate to that. Every bit of it. The whole “Take up science if you get marks’ tangent is just so illogical and yet so prevalent in India.
    But hey, while you study law, who knows, you’ll study about the one case that’ll inspire you to write your masterpiece. That will make everything worthwhile. Right?

  9. wow! i’m lucky i did’nt have to go thru the torture… my parents gave me the choice, i opted out of science! should not misuse my liberty!!!!!! thnxxxxxxxx for d mindblowing article! 😀

  10. Similar story, just different angles. Forced to take up science in 11th. Struggled throughout the year, but seriously. At the same time the other struggle was to convince my parents. Then came 3 idiots, the movie. Helped to a large extent. Not every engineer carries a fat wallet and not everyone can be an engineer. Then one day, after several eye-wetting arguments and conversations and hours being spent into thinking of new tactics to convince my parents, I took charge of my life. Realized, if there is one person that can be held responsible for the decisions made in my life, it’s me. Got my stream changed to commerce before year 12 started. Headmaster helped me out. Arguing and winning had always been my forte, and law seemed to amaze me to a large extent. Commerce was/is ok, but compare it to the clat subjects and there’s no comparison. Accounts Vs Legal Reasoning. I recall finishing the first LST LR module sitting in my school classroom, way before it was finished at LST. And that, out of the interest it held me itself with to. I’m not sure what my cbse marks will be like. Practically speaking seeing as how I’ve barely devoted time to cbse, the marks won’t be boast-worthy. But if there’s one thing I know, it is that to get into a law school, where I can study law and come to terms with my love for it, i’ll do what it takes. Yes of course, the fancy ”national university student” tag and the ”NLUs have Ac classrooms” discussions affect me to a large extent, but the stronger desire I have, is to learn and apply ”law”.

    Nice article btw 🙂

  11. I’m so glad to have stumbled upon the most amazing website! Apoorva, you are THE person I can relate to, in all the world! How uncanny! I went through the same thing! And the obsessiveness and compulsiveness drove me crazy. There was more commotion in my head than on the outside.
    Probably a reason for not making it in clat ’10. Nevrtheless, it’s never a bad thing to try more than once.
    And this website is undoubtedly laudable!!

  12. This article ,truly speaking, came as a breath of fresh air n thoughts, after answering a plethora of questions regarding my choice 4 taking up law as a career.I find myself  in a situation akin to urs 2 yrs back , specially when u took science ,managed wid flying colours n though u had no interest in it. who is “everyone” is a question tht will remain unanswered 4 all the upcoming generations … but really ppl must notch inspiration fm ppl lyk u

  13. That very confusing moment when I read the name of the writer and spend very hard 40 seconds wondering if my sister wrote this thing. Even when I am pretty sure she works as a Manager and has never been within a 2 km radius of a LAW school. 😐
    Things that CLAT does to a poor kid.

  14. Beautiful article, expressed more beautifully. Its extremely strange. The articles posted here are so much, similar to my life. -Being science student-passion for writing-engineering or law-what next?-to take risk or no-dilemma. I was in a state of shock after reading it, wondering how can somebody’s life be so similar to mine. Anyway, you helped me, in trying to choose what I really want. Thanks, a lot.

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