I was always asked what made me become a lawyer, once when asking back why was I asked this question by everyone I was told because I am a first generation lawyer and had entered a profession dominated by the families and was passed on in inheritance. I had thought about the answer initially and didn’t really get an answer to it. So I always replied I became a lawyer because I liked wearing the black and white. Though the fact was that I did miserably bad in my class 12th boards and sat for the entrance test of a famous Law School and somehow got through it. Now after 5 years of being in the profession I realised how much I hate black and white. All the while I was in the law school I didn’t really want to be a lawyer, had always thought of using my new found legal acumen in the family tradition of business. Was always told and believed that being a Marwadi, business ran in the blood and that’s why a course in Business Management was not required. All my beliefs were defeated, I did an internship in the wee end of my Legal Education, only when I realised that I never actually got any education, that’s when I actually wanted to be a lawyer. Yes yes that’s me the confused mind, trying to discover something new all the time, and living in my false beliefs. Finally passed the law School and the world was colourful for a moment when I sent a sms to dad signing it as Advocate Kaushik Poddar. Was a proud feeling and felt like the king of the world, the feeling of being above the law, yes above the law cause they said I was now legally allowed to interpret the insane Indian Laws as I wanted. Insane cause we were told that if a man was raped then he had no legal remedy under the laws. Yes I was expecting that to happen with me and was further expecting that I would be looking for a legal remedy. So that was me after retiring from the law school.
Reached Delhi, was told it was from where the power flows. If Bombay was the financial capital, Delhi was where the power was. Power because this was where the laws were made by the Legislature and interpreted by the Judiciary. We witness it often how our so called rulers make the laws, I feel if it was left all on the parliament then most of us so called general class citizens would have not even been able to get quality education in this country. So this is where the Judiciary alias The Supreme Court of our country comes to our saving, playing a big role in efficient ruling of our country. In the time of Judicial activism practising in the Supreme Court was like being in the middle of the power play.
First day in the Supreme Court, wearing the black and white, felt good in the black suit, neck-band and the robe. Was always a fan of harry Potter and the robe did give the feeling of being in the fantasy land. The feeling stayed only till someone told me that the neck band depicted a snake’s fang. It was the symbol of a lawyer not being anyone’s friend and can bite you which could be fatal. Damnnn, it somehow shattered all the proud feeling. Back to the Supreme Court, it felt like being in Antarctica in the middle of herds of Penguins, sans the chill. I was requested by a senior if I can go to the Employees Provident Fund Appellate Tribunal to seek an adjournment on his behalf. He told me that I can mention before the court that the counsel appearing in the matter was on his legs in the Supreme Court (on his legs meant that he was standing and arguing before the court), so he could not be present before the Tribunal, as such the case maybe adjourned. Tarikh pe tarikh is what came in my mind, Sunny Deol was all I could think of, till I realised that I didn’t have a dhai kilo ka haath to break the table. So I reached the Tribunal and mine was the 2nd case in the list. The lawyer who was appearing in the case before me made exactly the same prayer what I was told to make, though his case was adjourned I could see the Judge was not too happy about it. My matter was called and I was speechless before the court. I was repeatedly asked to start my case, and after a moment of silence I spoke, “My lords, the counsel who has been appearing in the matter is suffering from viral fever, so he could not be present before the Hon’ble Court, therefore it is requested that the matter maybe adjourned for a short date”. It was only after I had said that I realised I did something wrong. The Judge spoke, “Viral fever?? Even I am suffering from Viral Fever and I am attending the court, if I can be here why can’t your lawyer be?” I honestly had no answer to it, was standing dumb, first appearance in a court and I was being royally screwed. The Judge then asked me to start the case as he would not adjourn it. All I could say quietly was ‘What the Fuck’. But after a lot of pleading the Judge told me that he would adjourn the matter but only if tell him what the case was about. So the bit of reading of the file that I had done helped me, told the court about the case in a cracking voice and the matter was finally adjourned. Was also given a nasiyat by the Judge that I should always be prepared for the case even if I was seeking an adjournment (follow this even today). Felt as if I had conquered something, but realised I was actually raped and I had no remedy. Told the lawyer proudly that even after all the ruckus I had managed an adjournment. He gave me 500 rupees, my first income from the profession. I wrote the date and his name on it and thought I would keep this forever, still have it with me.
From that day till now, after numerous cases the cracking voice has gone, the eyes now meets the eyes of the Judge, though the feeling of conquering still remains, the black and white had started feeling hot and heavy. After being a part of the profession day and night, I met the good and ugly side of it (I can say its more ugly than the good). Had clients who touched feet and thought me to be god and had clients who said that they had killed by mistake and would pay anything to escape punishment. They say it has become a money-making business and didn’t have the nobility attached to it. Tarikh pe tarikh does exist but there is no Sunny Deol screaming and breaking the furniture in the court room (I just realised I am getting obsessed with Sunny Deol by mentioning him in all my posts). It is way more professional and refined than those in the movies, and hindi doesn’t exist in the court. Thats another irony, we being primarily a hindi speaking nation, been ruled by the English, its English which is the official language for the working of the Apex Court. What I do is interesting and has a special respect and aura attached to it, but at the end it does gets monotonous and sick. Yes sick cause I know deep in my heart that what I do is always not good. Does feel like running away from it sometimes or to do something else, but the madness of this profession pulls me back. It is like impossible to get out of it. But the restless me would find a way out if needed, but right now the exits are closed. Had heard this joke in the college, ‘arguing with a lawyer is like mud wrestling with a pig, in the end you realise the pig actually enjoys it’. So now it has also got difficult to argue with myself, never get a conclusion yet I enjoy it. Woof Woof !! 🙂