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An estimated 7-minute read

Train to Trivandrum

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We were in the Legislative House at Bangalore. We were on a journey to Trivandrum, to participate in the Moot Court Competition organized by Government Law College, Trivandrum. The train was at around nine in the night, and hence we had to halt for almost 6 hours at the House. Since we were still in the first year, and our parents had never before 'sent' us outside Karnataka, they were very much apprehensive about sending us to participate in the Competition. My father had outrightly turned me away, when I had announced at my home that I had been selected to represent our Law School at Trivandrum. I started crying. My father then had phoned up the father of my co-mooter, and had decided (fortunately!) to let us go, as we had to be let, someday. All had gone perfectly well. Both, my co-mooter and I had slogged it out hard, burning the midnight's oil, in drafting the memorials and preparing the arguments. The case at hand was impeccably interesting. We had loved preparing for it!
Then, the day before we had to leave Hubli, my co-mooter started crying, complaining that she did not want to go for the moot! Tickets had been booked, memorials had been drafted, all was set. But she did not want to go. Almost all my class mates asked her for the reason. She did not tell the reason. Then some how, she seemed convinced (apparently though). The researcher of our team rightly remained apprehensive about whether she was really ready to moot. The next morning, we boarded a train to Bangalore, wherein we had planned to halt at the Legislative House till the arrival of the train to Trivandrum. We were accompanied by a senior of ours, to compensate for the apprehensions and anxiety of our parents. He was charged with taking care of all the three of us, the first year students going to moot for the first time, without being accompanied by a faculty member.
We were in the Legislative House...My co-mooter started crying again! She wanted all of us to go back to Hubli! She did not want to moot. We asked for the reason again. She did not answer. Though I was feeling so very helpless at the moment, I was fretting and fuming from inside! 'How the hell could she be so unreasonable and immature?!' was the histrionic rage my mind was raging with! Our senior convinced her that we had come half way to Trivandrum and it would be a foolishness on all our parts to head back. All of us, literally ALL of us, right from the Director of our Law School, the Moot Court Coordinator, the Moot Court Convener, to the faculty members, who had high hopes on our team because we were the best in the Moot Court Panel. They wanted us to make a mark in the Competition, if not by winning a prize, then by at least giving it our best shot. And I, personally, had worked so damn passionately and sincerely for the Moot, that when she started throwing those tantrums, I burst out into tears as well!
Well, readers, I can fairly have a guess at this point in time that, as you are reading this interesting piece of story of my life, you are wondering what kind of a mooting team were we, who had selected us, why were we behaving in such an immature way, and what the hell was wrong! In fact, at this point in time, after more than a year, I feel the same, looking back at the incident. But at that time, all hell had broken loose for both of us. I did not know why was she crying (I still do not what was wrong with her!) and I was crying because I just did not know what had to be done, and I feared going back to Hubli!
But, dear friends, as the saying goes, time and tide wait for none. The clock hurriedly ticked by, and no sooner was all this melodrama over, we boarded the train to Trivandrum (our senior again setting things right for us, Touch Wood!). The tempest in us had calmed down, when we were assured that one of the former faculty members of our Law School, who had been shifted to some place near Trivandrum, would be there to receive us at the Railway Station. This former faculty member was a very good lady, and the fact that she had traveled more than 60 kms., just to meet us and make us feel comfortable, speaks for itself as to how much she loved and cared for students. We were escorted by the students of the Government Law College; and along with several other teams from different colleges, who had arrived almost at the same time, we were lead to the accommodation centre, in a mini cab. It was not even a modicum of a match for that provided by NLU, Delhi, wherein we, as first year students, had mooted for the first time in our lives, juggling through all the jargons of Corporate Law! We were more than happy for having won one of the two quarter final rounds. Here, at Trivandrum, the accommodation centre, had 8 members per room, and I guess, this turned her off even more! (I had convinced myself that I was there to moot and not to enjoy a holiday in a 5-Star Hotel!) She cried again, again asking all of us to go back to Hubli! We were supposed to be attending the Inauguration Ceremony in a while, and she utters these golden words! The faculty member who had come with us till our room, stayed with her, while she let me, our researcher and our senior to attend the Ceremony. That whole night, she lay in bed crying. I pleaded onto her to at least tell the reason. She would not say. I somehow gathered courage to overcome my helplessness and irritation, and began preparing for the Competition, due to start the next day.
The next day, rounds flew swiftly by, and the thrill increased as we moved forward and forward. How fascinated we used to feel when the judges used to announce that team 'E' (which was our team code) had won the round! We ended up being the semi-finalists! We were on top of the world! It was a very 'big' thing for having been the semi-finalists, being in the first year! How I thanked God for having made us stay there! How immensely I was grateful to my co-mooter, for having put up with whatever that was she was facing! I remain grateful to her even now. We had kept the trust and faith which the whole of our Law School had reposed in us. The night before the semi-final and the final rounds, we were awake till late in the morning, adding up extra stuff to my arguments. The round which we enjoyed the most was the semi-finals. The judges were incredible! But, we could not stand before our seniors. We did not enter the finals. But who cared! We were happy for making our Law School proud! We were happy receiving the mementos. After the Competition came to an end, we visited the Kovalam Beach and Kanyakumari. It felt great to be actually standing at the 'southernmost tip of the Indian sub-continent', which I had always dreamt of, as I used to locate the place with a pencil, in my Geography text book, during my primary schooling!
We returned home with a precious feather in our caps. As I write this post, I do not want to be pursued as a cynic. The experience has taught me a lot of priceless lessons, which I would not at all have learnt, had I been sitting at the Law School, gaining 'knowledge'. The journey to Trivandrum, and its aftermath, has remained, and will remain forever etched in my mind because, it symbolizes to me, how at times, we make little things matter much and crib over them relentlessly, serving none. It neither solves the problem, nor helps alleviate it. In turn, it aggravates it. It also stands testimony to my belief that, whatever the personal glitches be, professionalism should know no hurdles, whatsoever. If there comes a time so grave, that you will have to be working with the worst ever enemy of your life for a cause greater than your ego (almost all causes are!), then you should not step back on the task. You should not be a coward, when you could be a brave warrior battling the battles of life gloriously and graciously! And last but not at all the least, the experience, time again, stands by me, reiterating the age old wisdom that says, it does not matter whether you win or lose the life's battle; what matters is how you fight it!
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