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19 June 2010

Dear would-be law student,

(Ermm‘Teenie weenie’ died of over-use)

A few days back, I got a call from a would-be law student’s dad. When he was done with queries regarding the college, the things his son would need, placements etc. he handed the phone over to his son who I could make out, reluctantly, only reluctantly, took it.

The conversation

‘Hi’, he said. A reluctant Hi, mind you. ‘How are you’, he said. A reluctant greeting again. The chap was nervous. I was amused. But then a very sure question from his mouth, surprisingly:

"How is ragging"?

"You don’t need to worry about it at all", I answered smiling.

"5 Point Someone"?, he asked.

"Sorry"?, (I didn’t get him).

"Ermm...Have you read Chetan Bhagat"?, he clarified.

"A bit".

"Do the things mentioned there happen during ragging"? he asked. The kid was keeping me in good mood. I was amused first, I had smiled before and now I laughed.

Five point someone

The thing is this: if you are going to make ‘The Five Point Someone’ a Bible for deciding what constitutes ragging, you better be an atheist. Read five point someone for a perspective on ragging and you are a ten point loser. I don’t care if you adore Bhagat or think he is trash. I am not concerned. I am concerned about ragging. Why so serious, son?

Now, I am going into a little pedantic mood. Excuse me for that.

What is not ragging?

If a senior asks you to sing a song, dance, do a pole dance etc. and you consider this to be ragging; you’ll be ragged.

Now, this is not ragging. This is interaction. Positive or not; I don’t know. Some would say it demeans the junior. Not really. If it does, then you and I are being demeaned day in and day out by various stakeholders. Being demeaned then should be a habit by now.

So here is the verdict: interaction (read singing, cat-walking, pole-dancing) happens and a ‘reasonable’ person ought to take this in his stride. How and why? Read on.


Understand the psyche of such seniors. I did psychology till grade twelve. Even if you haven’t should have heard of ‘peer pressure’. These seniors want to be cool and a part of the ‘in-group’.

Secondly they are playing ‘tit-for-tat’. They were made to do to such things and thus they make you do it. They are playing with you. Just like your boss will play with you. Just like he’ll make you do menial tasks because he was made to do menial tasks when he was not the boss. But that is it. Most of them don’t want to harm you.


Now, be reasonable. If you are asked to sing; sing. If you are asked to dance; dance. They aren’t judging you for a competition. So don’t be conscious or shy. If you feel uncomfortable, do it still. Life makes you to do a lot many uncomfortable things, anyway. These are little, innocuous things. Just do it. Get over with it.

Another thing: feign sycophancy. Pretend that you can boot lick till the boot is shiny (just kidding). But still, be humble. I mean pretend that you are a humble guy. Do this with your seniors as you will have to do this with your boss. Don’t be cocky. Cut the red, upright cock’s plume for a while. Cut down the volume of the cock-a-doodle-doos. You will be fine.

Taking a stand

Do I support this sort of interaction? No. I am all for having fun for a while, getting to know each other and then helping the junior out. But yes, some people will demean you, through words. Let them go on and on. You don’t listen.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones

But words can never hurt me".

Sticks and stones? No.

And yes, no one can dare use sticks. I know gory stories that happen. These are sad, and very unfortunate. Its great that a great many voices were raised and action taken. But please don’t take these incidents to be the norm. Nobody will get physical. They won’t even touch you. You can take me on my word.

What if they do or try to do so? Most probably they’ll be stopped at the ‘trying’ stage. And even this is a one in hundred cases or less. If they do hit, don’t hit back. You’ll be sacked as will be your senior. It is a lose-lose situation. Instead complain to a senior or the warden. And complain it as loud as possible. Like a wounded cock. Fear no one.

The senior who did hit you (took you by the collar?) or tried to do so will be punished real bad. Some 20 thousand rupees fine will be slashed, letters sent to his mom and dad or even an expulsion. He might even be put in a correctional home. I mean ‘Jail’. And people hate jails. All thanks to the rules on ragging have really hardened in the last couple of years.

Its fun. Really.

Someone may ask you to ‘moot’ on some problem. That happened to us. It is a law school, after all. I also did recite some Hindi poem when I told them that by hobbies included poetry. And yes, we were made to do some Indian army style marching, some Western pole dancing. All this was fun.

Some of those ‘raggers’ are now very good friends. And regarding sticks and stones and ragging, I’ll leave it to Chetan Bhagat. That happens in his books. Not here. You know, he needs some masala for his books. Just kidding.

Yours reassuringly,


PS 1-  The recent definition of ragging is very wide and includes causing mental and psychological harm etc. Someone in IITD tells me how their seniors ran away from the first years fearing that they might accidentally rag their juniors. Ha! Food for thought for Bhagat.

PS 2- I think that is about it for this series? Or do you have any topic in mind? Please do suggest.

Some related posts

17 things that hit you in an NLU. How to prepare.

ABCs of an NLU. A is for Adjusting.

10 June 2010

Dear tennie weenie Law Student,

Welcome to a National Law University. Whichever NLU it is; some things will apply; things which are perennial and all embracing. Things like laws(?) And you’ll have to adjust to these things. I call it puppy training. What I say here is not the gospel truth. I don’t say that you necessarily follow it. But it will help you some bit. It will give you a perspective. It will give you time to ruminate; ruminate slowly, digest and grow stronger.

Another thing: The five years will change you, for good. Why I am writing this is to help you gain a head-start, to warn you of the pit falls so that the good becomes better (hopefully).

Let me start with 'adjustment'. You are nearing adulthood. You have arrived at a college. You are in a new city. You will meet people from all parts of the country. You will have no parents around. A different room. A roommate. Law. Law books. Research papers. Roommate. Food. Air. Water. Friends. Roommate. Enemies. Teachers. Seniors. Roommate. Hostel. Drinks. Money. Roommate.

So you’ll have to adjust. Especially with your roommate.  J

OK. Now, let me begin. I’ll sound preachy. Excuse me for that.

Firstly, this is not your home. Your cosy home is gone. Your flavoured, tailor-made milk which your mom brought to the bedside is gone. The home made food is gone. Even the water will taste different. You will wash your own plates. The TV viewing will be democratic. You might miss a Chelsea match. You might miss the India-Australia cricket match; depending on the way the vote sways. This is not your home.

It will soon become, though. Give it a year. With time you will love it more than your home. Give that another four years. Till then, be strong. Don’t cry. Don’t cry on the phone especially.

Lower your expectations. Expect less. The size of your room will surprise you. Expect it to be small. The habits of your roommate will surprise you. Expect less from him. Among the five teachers you’ll get; two will be trolls, two will be average. Expect less from them.

But that one teacher is why you are here in an NLU. He’ll be brilliant. You’ll also come in contact with some friend, brilliant chaps. You’ll also take some forks in the road which require hard work to tread upon them successfully till the destination. And then, your dreams will know no bounds. Expect a lot.

Learn yogic penance. It aids slogging. If you want to do well here and get that Amarchand offer; prepare to slog. Sitting for five lectures in a day will require great yogic penance. Doing the readings for the next day, again yogic penance. Yogic penance for researching for the upcoming moot; an essay etc. Learn yoga. Learn how superman works. Combine that. Practice that.

Don’t worry. You’ll have a lots of time to chill. When you are a master, yoga assists in that too.

Opportunities will fly like birds. Be vigilant like a hunter. Keep the bow strings attached, taut and ready to hit. Aim for the target. Hit. Aim. Hit. Keep doing that. The birds will make a good meal.

Well this is what generally happens. When you’ll enter the law school you’ll be flooded with opportunities. You’ll be awed. Mesmerised. You’ll close your eyes trying to imbibe it all and by the time you’ll open your eyes, it is gone. Be on your toes. Aim and hit. Don’t wait.

Don’t worry. You will have a lots of time to chill. Soon hunting becomes an art and the hunter becomes a Zen expert. That will happen too. But till then, keep hitting.

The principle of pain and pleasure. Bunking a class will give you pleasure. It is fun. Bunking classes will be a bigger pleasure. But it will soon turn to pain. You’ll be debarred from a paper. Learnt to differentiate between the two; pain and pleasure. It will hold you in good stead.

Finally, let me tell you: first year is the toughest year. Because you have to adjust to myriad things. On days when the clouds are heavy and dark you might also consider leaving the law school. But wait. Wait for the lightning to strike your brain and return you to your sane self. By being a reasonable chap you will do well. By the time you start your second year; you’ll realise why this was the best thing that happened to you.

Yours preachingly,

Legal Poet

ps- please tell me what topic should I write on in the next part of this series

20 May 2010

Law Schools can be stifling, stultifying and discouraging at times. People look down upon the ‘other’; sometimes very disparagingly. A mooter thinks mooting is ‘the’ thing. The cool guy thinks that ‘mooting’ is for nerds etc etc.

I believe we should respect choices. Here is a simple piece on that belief.


The many DREAMS In A Law School: Nothing BIG Or SMALL About It


In law school many people live,

People of many colours.

Colourful dreams they do have,

Dreams of many flavours.


Look! There is the GPA chap!

His wish is to be the class’s cream.

Don’t look down upon him. Clap.

Because he does have a dream.


There is the big mooter, supreme:

Vienna, Jessup and places alike,

In his dreams do they chime.

You’ll go places, I know....

But I hope, you won’t chide,

These places he wants to go.


This is the sportsman, all pumped

With all skills his body does,

Look at the sweat and the pumping blood...

Berating him ‘an unserious student’ would be lame

Because he too is a student of the game.

There is the portly rotund guy:

He eats, drinks and gets high

And plays video games all night.

Ah! He is happy in his eye....

Then why do you have this in your mind

That he is a loser in his life?


We all have dreams, dreams big,

Have your dream; a thing to achieve.

Never think that your dream is bigger...

Bigger than, others conceive.

Because dreams like love, like ethics

Cannot be ever relative;

They can only be; dreams,

Keeping the man up from his deathly sleep;

Nothing big or small about it.

12 May 2010


The fifth years are leaving:

The mooters are leaving, the debaters are leaving,

Their trophies, proudly in the library sit,

Smiling at the newer faces.


The researchers are leaving, the writers are leaving.

Their books and papers in the glass cupboard

Tell us of the words they wrote...

Their words tell us of the lives they lived.


The cricketers are leaving, the footballers are leaving.

That hundred is remembered, that goal is remembered.

That ovation is remembered...

An ovation they will always receive.


An LPO owner will get cracking at his work,

Associates at Amarchand will descend to various cities,

Clerks in the Supreme Court will all start anew...

They all did their jobs brilliantly.


Boyfriends are leaving, girlfriends are leaving.

Some together (would-be husband and wives),

Some broken! Ah! An exile...

Their kisses are leaving; the affection still has after effects.


Trying to capture five years

In a measly, mawkish, FB statuses...

Boys are crying, coz they are leaving

Five years of memories, in a building, six storied.


A flight is cancelled,

“I’ll go a day later”

Girls are leaving; days are fleeting...

Fifth years are leaving.


                                                                           -Legal Poet

08 May 2010

This is a long poem and has no rhyming scheme but if you read it in a rhythm and read it for fun, things will rhyme.

What the associate of the firm says is in ‘CAPS’.

Note (further) - Something on Trademarks. Trademarks are divided into various classes. For example ‘class 1’ might deal with ‘furniture’; ‘class 2’ with ‘toys’; ‘class 3’ with ‘hotels’ etc.



It was the intern’s first day at work.

Clean shaved; he arrived at eight

And waited with a bated breath

To see what life ‘as an intern’ held.


Meanwhile he checked his formal shirt,

Formal pants and formal shoes.

‘Formal’ was an informed choice,

‘Be prepared...’ (A lawyer’s ploy).


Back when 1000 mails he did send

Querying about ‘work’, ‘stipend’, ‘dress’ and ‘time’,

Alas! No replies had come to 999,

One said ‘research’, ‘no’, ‘9-6’ and ‘formal is fine’.


[It was a new place for the intern,

In a new city he was encapsulated in.

He looked around- big buildings, dusty squalls,

And then he realised; his capsule was small].


He bade goodbye to such philosophical thoughts

And moved inside the office; “So Posh”!

And said “Good morning ma’am! I am Rohan”,

“Oh! The intern”, she replied (We are expecting your lot).


“Please come. This work station is yours”

“Be seated Rohan, till work comes”, she called.

He remained seated, and no work came

During lunch...behold! Somebody did take his name!

(Or something which sounded similar...same?)


He jumped, excited, he jumped, did not walk.

He jumped to that man, he jumped to his voice,

The voice he heard, had just called his name,

Ah! The intern (Under sun, this, his place).



“WELCOME” (welcome, a little late for cohesion)

“YOU WILL WORK UNDER ME” (under my weight you’ll die)

“MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE” (here! Have some chai)


Two biscuits and three pleasantries later

He was given a bundle of documents and a letter

Containing 1,2...150 trademarks to be filed

“THE WORK IS RESEARCH” (hope you won’t mind).


The intern was happy...his purpose of life

He attacked the work like: Dogs and bones, Jaggery and flies

He learnt the work through the pre loaded files

Training for puppies (coz puppies can’t fly).


Every class had a different mark...

Trademark...he noted it religiously in a copy.

“Every religion is just the same

A bundle of thoughts, a different name...”

Ah! The musings! Were troubling him again.


He concentrated on his work! The trademark work,

Working fast, concentrated and with flair (feigned)

His clean shaven (ignore dirty pimples) face

Had now bristles of black hair...”SO FINE



“All right sir. Thank you. I have filled fif...”


“It is Rohan Sir...” (smiling)

“OH! SORRY”! (smiling, snarling).


The next day he came at nine,

A new shirt and new shoes that shone.

Clean shaven again (from the Gillette’s store),

He started on Trademarks (razor blades, class five).


‘Toys’, ‘underwear’, ‘furniture’ and ‘perfumes’

And such daily items of daily use

Formed a part of his ‘research’

A research which did contusions produce.

(Life paralysing, brain tumour causing contusions).


‘Food’, ‘milk’, ‘clothes’ and ‘toys’,

More research... (A lawyer’s ploy)

To make the intern get rid off

All that he cares, all that he enjoys.


The internship was completed, the research was done.


(The associate remarked).

“It is Rohan, Sir”. “OH! SORRY” (the second time)

(Two times, they had talked).


But he had learnt, and so he hoped

And researched ‘on various areas of law’

And so they wrote; on his certificate which said

“MOHAN SUCCESSFULLY INTERNED...”(And returned dead).


Disclaimer: Any resemblance to anyone living, dead or in between is delusionary.

PS- To people with money: If I made you smile with this poem, you might consider giving some cash; so that we writers survive and make you smile more. Contact blogging[at]legallyindia.com

28 March 2010

HIGH (in) COURT: A Drunk Mooter Prays For A Flowing Stream of Fun


If it may please the honourable court

I would like to proclaim:

The counsel is not ‘feelin' well,

He swears in God's name.


The night before was a trail too long,

Singing li’l life's crazy song

While each and every bit of me

Went 'round Kolkata feeling so Bong.

Your Lordship, hic! I may be wrong

But what is wrong with a first year

Who has hit the gong?


Looking at the memo, a night passes through my mind,

Of all the scenes in Kolkata, in my soul, in my life.

That night was surely the truest bliss,

Like my life giving me a midnight kiss

A kiss that drove me high

And left the judges with a wry,

Smugly, smile on their faces.


But now here is the point, where I plead, for the court

To give a heed, as the counsel gradually proceeds

To the prayer, of all those things, he humanly needs:


A flowing stream of fun; a sky shining with life;

A life without any reasons, and letting destiny to decide;

For till the day comes, I would continue to stress,

Upon this point until your Lordship agrees to be your 'HIGH' ness.


PS- This is not by me. This is by Pipo...my friend.