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An estimated 5-minute read

Of Vuvuzelas and Jabulanis: The World Cup and the Law Experience

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On June 11th, the world witnessed a mind-blowing extravaganza kick-off! The FIFA World Cup 2010!

As Fans thronged the air-ports and streets of the host nation, there was an air of excitement that had never been witnessed at a World Cup before. This was because the World Cup was being hosted in a continent that is home to all human kind. No matter where you hail from, you are, in fact, children of Africa. But what has all this got to do with Law, you may wonder. Well, just like this World Cup brings forth a completely different experience, so too does your life as a law student! Here, I shall acquaint you with some of the queer experiences on display at the World Cup and try to bring out the quaint similarities they may hold with your experiences in  and around Law School!


1. The Vuvuzela:

A 1 metre long plastic trumpet that has become the hallmark of this WC. In the news for the blaring noise it creates that can reach 130 decibels (30 decibels more than a chain-saw). While this instrument gives great glee to the fans who play it, it is absolutely irritating for listeners.

Similarly, your uninitiated Neighbours and Family Friends sound just as irritating as vuvuzelas, when they adopt a deeply irritating and sympathetic tone on hearing of your success in a Law Entrance Exam. These people, who have grown up on fodder that "Engineers and Doctors are the only professionals worth anything', genuinely believe that they are serving a useful cause and passing on wisdom; they are in fact merely causing stress to those who are trying to enjoy their success.

(For Example, I was sympathetically told 'Law is also a viable option, but why didn't you try out for Engineering?' by most of my neighbours.  A good friend of mine was asked if he couldn't clear the PU Exam when he was all set to join one of the Top National Law Schools)

2. The Jabulani:

The Jabulani is the official World Cup Football manufactured by Adidas. It has come in for much criticism with respect to its unpredictable swerve and extremely light weight. Adidas still maintain that the ball is the roundest football ever made and that the fault lies with the players as they have not practiced enough with the football at high altitudes.

Some of your professors in law school do sound very much like Jabulanis don't they? When one enters law school, there is much talk of how qualified a particular law school's professors are or which law school has which reputed professor teaching. Well, reputations count for zilch, just like the Jabulani's. The Jabulani was decorated and brought out as the 'roundest football'. Professors in law schools are decked up similarly, with a huge number of degrees, scholarships and publications. While most of them turn out to be decent if not great; one can not deny the presence of the ocassional Jabulani, who will try to shift the blame of his/her own incompetence onto the students.

(You can come up with examples yourself.)


3. The Calabash:

The Calabash is an African Pot, which is a symbol of hospitality in the continent. The design of the 94,700 capacity 'Soccer City' stadium in Johannesburg has been inspired by this pot.

Just as the Soccer City stadium was a welcome sight to all football enthusiasts on June 11th, the first glimpse of your college is a welcome one. Your results may have come in weeks in advance, but that first glimpse of the hospitable environs of 'your' university is necessary for the news to sink in!

(For Example, My own experience of viewing the NUJS building for the very first time will always remain close to my heart. However, to be fair, it's not the building but the people who make it hospitable. WARNING: There are some who may find their respective buildings too old for their liking (NUJS Students take special note). This correlation doesn't apply to them

4. The French:

In all fairness, the French National Team wasn't expected to do exceptionally well at this World Cup, given the fragile team structure and an eccentric coach. However, crashing out at the group stage after a huge player revolt (Players refused to train and shouted at the Fitness Coach after a player was sent home following a half-time bust up with the manager) is something even the most experienced pundit couldn't have predicted. From now on everyone would do well to take tall French claims with a pinch of salt.

You guessed it! The much-talked-about Law School Rankings published in various newspapers and magazines have turned heads everywhere. Going by previous years' experiences, one should not have expected much in the first place; but now that they are out, the researchers behind them do look a lot like the stubborn and ignorant France Coach Raymond Domenech and the protesting law students resemble the French National Team that boycotted training (This is meant in the best possible way)! My advice to everyone is, please take these rankings with a pinch of salt!

(For Example: Read Legal Poet's Blog on Nitish Saxena. He clearly took these Rankings with a pinch of Salt)

5. The World Cup Trophy:

This is a 36 cm high trophy weighing in at 6.175 kg, and made of solid 18 karat gold. This, to every footballer, is the most glorious prize he could ever get hold of. The biggest stars in the world spend years training with one, single dream: To lift the World Cup. Only World Cup winners and Heads of States of various nations are entitled to lift this trophy (Though an Indian minister, oblivious to this fact, got his taste of glory rather cheaply).

To each his own World Cup! Each of us have our own dreams while entering law school. This is our World Cup Trophy.

Some dream of the lucrative foreign job placement,

some a more homely firm.

some dream of earning enough to pay their rent,

Some look to Litigation to cleanse society's germs.

Some may dream of working from home,

While Legal Poet still dreams of his next poem!

Hence, just as your favourite footballers dedicate their life to that one moment where they can proudly lift thefamed World Cup Trophy, so too must you urge yourselves to lift your own World Cup!

(If you are expecting an example for this one, well... look in the mirror!)



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