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An estimated 2-minute read

Bhel-come to Law School Academy University

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Years ago, I very nearly quit law school. This was on my first day.


I was looking at all the people crowded there for the interview. Slyly of course, with my best playing-cool poker face on just in case anyone thought I was an insecure loser.  Some made me feel dowdly with their styled hair, accessories and foreign-looking clothes. Others made me feel yuppie thanks to their jholas and kurtas. But of course that wasn’t why I wanted to run away.


As I was eyeing them wondering which of these exotic people would be the best friend, the mortal enemy, the bad boy, the hot girl, the class topper, the cut-throat, the snobbish gang, the pseudos, the outcastes and so on, a scary ape-like man clambered towards me. “Bhel-come to Law School Academy University”, he said. Definitely an out-caste, I thought. How on earth did he get into this place! Then he mumbled something in Hindi with such a thick accent that I couldn’t understand a thing. I smiled vaguely and nodded. He leered and went away.


‘That one and I are definitely not going to be friends’, I muttered to myself.

“Think again”, laughed an eavesdropper. “Didn’t you listen to what he said to you?”, she said.

“Couldn’t understand a word”, I admitted sheepishly.

“Ah, a rebellious Hindi-hating South Indian eh?”, she said.

I looked around. “Well, I don’t hate Hindi”, I said cautiously, “I just can’t speak like a native.”

“Or listen like one either?” she shot back.

“I can understand NDTV”, I said defensively.

“Well, Queen Victoria”, said Indrani (for that was this strange outspoken girl’s name and she was soon to become a lifelong friend), “you and Hindi-man there are going to have to get along. He just told you that he is your teacher”.

And that was it. The moment that I nearly quit law school.

Law School Illusion 1 -  You will be taught by posh clever lawyerly people, who will examine every word you utter and skewer it. Shattered

Lesson learned: Indian law schools look nothing like what you see in Legal Blonde, the Paper Chase and the hundred other Hollywood movies you watched before you said to yourself ‘I want to be a lawyer’.  There are no Harvards in India just like there are no Obamas in India. If Laloo can be Chief Minister, there is no reason why Laloo’s clone can’t be law professor.

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