The 2 PM Bell of our 37th Exam across 5 years sounded like a Champions League Final Whistle. Though I wasn’t Ronaldo enough to sling my tee in the air and roar to glory because neither was it a moment of reckoning nor did I cast a beastly six pack figure. Our Fates Sealed, Bags packed with baggage of memories, hearts filled up with tears, embarking on our respective journeys, bidding adieu one last time with hope to see one another someday in life. On the eve of Batch party I kept a low presence observing every face I could, maybe one last time. The memories of past flooded in and I got lost with myself-
I came to ILS & Pune for the first time on 20th July 2013 as a meek shy 17 year old thrown into the pool to swim his way to the shores of Intellectual stimulation and success. I was welcomed by the misty romantic drizzle making the ILS Hill even more picturesque. My parents were out right jealous of me as they had to return back to the urban jungle of Mumbai. My First friend in ILS was Shreyas Vaghe (Bhandu Bhai) who introduced me to a group of guys having visibly vibrant personalities. That group included a Mumbai Tam Brahm- Kunal, an Accentuated South Indie- Vivek Hegde, Spartan ‘Parsi’ Warrior – Xerxes, Sons of Marathi Soil – Sanket & Rohan and Pappa ka Ladka- Yash Parihar. The bond of friendship was strengthened by countless hours spent playing Table Tennis. I and Bhandu were a deadly doubles team in TT, we went unbeaten together for almost whole of 1st year, I was a novice while Bhandu was the best Table Tennis player among us. Matruchaya my Home for the past 5 years became our Adobe/Adda, graced by the spirited sleepovers and life talks on my terrace. Everything was perfect until Kunal & Bhandu left for new challenges at NLUs. The remaining group of 5 One Directioners weathered all storm for the next 4 years tight & together. We celebrated our professional exploits and shouldered each other’s heartbreaks. While bidding farewell to Vivek, a part of him was left behind in Pune. That Part which dared to uproot flags of a secular party during 2014 elections on Streets of Pune, that part which went on Thali Excursions day in and out, that part which led by example & inspired others to Moot-debate, that part which drove me unconditionally free of cost, that part which did not discriminate between his brothers, that part which was selfless and forgiving I could go on and on….. We know each other better than our wives would ever know us joked Sanket. With Xerxes, I share a competitive bond the same sorts shared by Messi and Ronaldo. We challenge each other to do better, having said so Xerxes has the intellect & talent like Messi while I have been all about hardwork & pushing limits like Ronaldo. LOL it will be an overstatement to compare ourselves to Messi & CR7 but I am pretty sure both of us will do good for ourselves in the profession. My Google Drive boasts of videos dating back to celebrating our 18th Birthday to 2015 Holi Celebrations to our Class Farewell speeches in 2018 and all it does is make me trip.
The Last year of college life was full of Highs & lows. I first came to terms with death and irreplaceable void it leaves in one’s life. The unfolding of events on 19th & 20th August 2017 left an ever lasting impact on me. My Friend Sanket lost his Dad. The Emotional stability & maturity shown by him at the hospital and cremation & thereafter sensitised me towards law of nature. The Idea of death shook me from within and I drew inspiration from the way Sanket shouldered his family responsibility and stood by his family like a rock despite being most affected from within. Here I learnt another Life Lesson – We cannot defeat death but what we can accept is the idea of living each day as if it is our last. In pursuit of living life each day, I braved myself to go on a Solo Backpack trip from Kashmir to Kanyakumari (K2K). The career oriented self in past 5 years had somewhere suppressed my passion for travelling and I am thankful to my parents for providing me the motivation & financial and mental support.
After undergoing 11 excruciating Internships in the summers and winter breaks over 4 years, I can recall that maybe sincerity & hardwork-smart work aren’t just the quintessential to bag a Pre Placement Offer. Law & Advocacy is a human profession, a social & outgoing approach with your colleagues at workplace can land one into good books of the prospective recruiter. My failure to land a highly expectant PPO could be attributed to lack of people skills and as on date its work in progress. The desire of working at the biggest law firm in India remains unfulfilled as of now but maybe I’ll also have my Jamie Vardy (Late Bloomer) moment.
The regret of being unable to express myself in five years also made me confess my feelings for someone bogged deep inside me for 3 years. The events that followed hit my self esteem at the cost of being someone’s option. For a person who has had 100 Internship rejections & another 200 unanswered applications in his Mail Box it couldnt have gone worse. I picked myself up and promised myself to keep running like Forrest Gump towards achieving professional glory. I failed in my only attempt at love at 22 but like there is saying in Gujarati- “Jagya Tyaar thi Savaar” meaning the day you realise it Rise & Shine.
Seeing our Zayn Malik in anguish as he found new pastures, I learnt a life lesson- “Nothing in Life is constant and we must adapt to change and raise a toast to good old times.” College Groups are mere assembly of like minded individuals and once you lose that like-mindedness, its Adios Amigos time. Last Night after meeting Rohan I realised though friendships do go through turbulence, we reserve the same respect and affection as we did back in our days. Despite our differences in past, both of us are assured that we merely call away. I would always wish the best for him; I will miss our quarrels and bouts of extreme brotherhood and affection. In my opinion true love isn’t that which distances one from his kith and keen. Choosing between any of my bros would be like choosing between your two eyes & anyways my parents spent a fortune on my Laser Surgery (Lasik) *All Insured Peeps* so I can’t afford to lose either of my eyes LOL.
A few gem of friends who graced my life at ILS with their presence *Code names* – My UR Netaji; Most Genuine Guy; NUS Singapur; My Nirma Teammates; My Beloved Sister; Someone who taught me how to Smile; Aae Dee Na; Tuhich CS; Ladke; Das & Co., Raju Misra, Kadak Na Boss/ HT Bhau Gang. You Guys have been instrumental in my development as an individual, law student,mooter, intern, foodie, horror movie buff etc. You guys should know you have always got my back and I will always be a mere call away. It was privilege interacting with you guys and knowing you personally. The memories preserved in my heart during the class trips to Rajmachi, Baneshwar & Diveagar cannot be justified by innumerable photographs/videos locked in my Google Drive. The Traditional day Luncheon, the Impromptu Night Out & brunches during Legal Ease Fest shall be treasured for years. I take immense pride in contending that my class V BSL-C has been the most non-controversial and peaceful class in our Batch of 2018. I say this because at the end of 5 years we all reserve mutual respect and there is no bad blood among any of individuals or groups.In the end I am leaving ILS with my head high. I’ve hopefully earned no haters or enemies, only a few frenemies and critics who adore my presence in their lives.
Over the years I have seen students cursing ILS Law College for lack of interest shown by the administration in college, poor infrastructure, bad placements etc. I concur with them on most of contentions but at the same time also believe the positives at ILS far outweigh the negatives. The fact that our college functions primarily on active student participation has made us independent and self sufficient (e.g.- right from knowing editing of moot memorials to Advance research on West Law everything is quite self ingrained). At the end of 5 years at ILS I consider myself lucky to be a part of ILS where I could moot, debate, intern without compromising on college life. Students here at ILS have succeeded in Company Secretary’s Course, Civil Services, SSB etc and major contributing factor for this has been liberty and ample of time to pursue an alternate career. Unlike few institutions, ILS has always set the correct precedent by upholding the 75% attendance rule. Without the 75% Attendance rule I would not be in a position to write this blog and thank so many of people who influenced & inspired me.
I stood there like Niall Horan & asked God “Is it too much to ask for” ?
God reminded me of what Namit told when I was weeping
Namit’s Profound Words shall always ring in my Ears – Thank God & “Be Happy that it happened” in the very place.