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An estimated 4-minute read

Mooting as the Professionals Do It :- Part I

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Note:- All of the following people, locations, activities and incidents are purely fictional with absolutely no basis in reality, so if you see a resemblance to anything existent, I compliment your imagination :)


“They’re girls. They’re all girls! And they’re ALL  good looking…I mean, what are the chances?! God hates us.”


Raghu’s face is twisted in pain. He stares at the group of three girls in the distance with a comically morose expression for a few more minutes, his features twitching in silent yet poignant despair. He gets up with a dramatic sigh and turns to me. “Boss, I’m going to get a sutta. Or a hundred.”


I wave goodbye and watch as he walks away. Then I look back at the girls and sigh myself.  Here we were, two skinny, bespectacled, male members of a three member all-male team representing our college at the national rounds of the Perished C. Jurist International Moot Court Competition. We had sweated, lied and bluffed our way to the finals. I took stock of our strengths. We had a compendium of cases with a hundred colourful Post-Its poking out of it like the feathers of an exotic tropical bird. We had shiny shoes. All of us knew how to tie our ties in impressive looking Windsor knots. We had a fairly decent memorial.


However, amongst the things we did not have, was shiny hair. And glowing skin. Also luscious lips, ditto dulcet tones of voice. We had bad voices, worse legs and singularly terrible hair. My hairstyle was a severe crew cut suggestive of a history in prison, and Raghu, God bless him, would have assaulted anyone who so much as suggested he run a comb through what he called his ‘rockstar’ hair. As for voices, I had what I called a pleasant baritone and what Raghu called a bark, and Raghu’s voice was what may only be described as squeaky. Further, none of us was in the habit of wearing lip gloss that made our mouths pink and pouty. I doubted we smelled like candy either.


The bench judging us was composed of three ancient male judges, two of whom had a definite eye for the ladies. To make it worse, against all my hopes, the girls even had a good memo. I sighed again. It's one thing to fight a memo, it's quite another to fight a libido.


I watched my teammates return from their cigarette smoke-laden self-pity ceremony at the teashop. I eyed them critically. “Look”, I said. “We have made it to the finals of a prestigious moot purely through merit. We are good, it is undeniable. But it is also undeniable that we are ugly and male. So we need to practice the hell out of this memo, or we have no chance of beating Charlie’s Angels there.” I inclined my head towards the girls, one of whom was tossing her annoyingly shiny hair and no doubt making sparkling conversation with her equally beautiful companion. I looked back at my team as it nodded unhappily.


That night we began reading the memo with the best of intentions. Three hours, two bottles of Old Monk and one rather excellent local alcoholic concoction later, Raghu was kissing the top of my head, tears streaming down his face. “I hated you throughout the prep period but you’re a great guy, Folly! I love you, Folly! I love you man! It’s okay if we lose tomorrow! This moot may be the best in the world and winning it may have been my biggest dream but so what! A moot is for one day, a friendship is for ever!” I smiled beatifically through a haze of blue smoke at him. To be sure, I couldn’t remember his name, but he looked familiar, and he seemed like a nice guy. I felt fabulous. I looked around the room and saw my researcher curled up peacefully in a corner hugging an empty bottle. I smiled affectionately.


Fast forward by three hours. Bright sunlight filled the room. I opened one sticky eye and cursed as the light hit me square in the face. My mouth felt like sandpaper and my head felt like it belonged to someone else. I couldn’t really remember where I was. Somewhere near me, my phone was ringing. It had never sounded so abominably loud, like a power drill, before. My head was already throbbing in pain, and this sound kicked it up by a few thousand notches. I groped for the phone, picked it up and grunted. A bright voice informed me that I was to be ready within an hour and a half to give the final rounds of the competition. I sat up in shock; in one sickening second, everything came back.


And then someone giggled softly.


Raghu was sitting up against the wall, wide awake. And he was giggling. He was surrounded by four empty potato chips packets, a half empty cigarette packet, small rolls of paper and one copy of our memorial. The memorial was missing its first three pages. As my head started clearing, I identified the suspicious smell hovering about him. 


My heart sank as I put two and two together. Our team now consisted of a hungover speaker, a herb-happy co-speaker and a snoring researcher. We also had two and a half copies of our memorials, where we once had three. We had one hour to salvage this. I looked around the room, hoping desperately for a solution to walk in through the walls.


To be continued [if interest is exhibited ;) ]

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