Law School

“Dude, I Thought You Were a Friend of Mine!”

But before that, a couple of minor digressions:

Locked myself out of my apartment this morn. And The Hipster’s back in London! Good fun!

Currently clattering away at a cafe. Which probably has one of the cheesiest playlists I have heard. EVER. Sample this: Kelly Clarkson; Backstreet Boys, Leona Lewis. Well, to give credit where it is due, their hazelnut ice latte is pretty decent! And they did have a Don McLean thrown somewhere in that playlist mix!

Coming back, I was recently trawling through all the gunk I have saved away on my lappie. Given the rate at which the darned thing is crashing these days (and displaying a sense of foresight which I/you would have scarcely considered me capable of, woohoo!), thought it made sense to check if I had anything useful saved anywhere!

And I discovered what follows 🙂

Little background first. Mooting is huge in Noojie-land! Has always been; shall always be! Which is good, mooting is one of the cooler things you can do in law school. Well, apart from of course, not doing anything at all! The only thing I never really liked about mooting was preparing those blasted memorials. Just too much opportunity cost, man!

In any case, once I was asked to help out with a memo, for a moot, I wasn’t even part of. You can imagine how thrilled I must have been!! Well, it wasn’t much, just drafting a Statement of Facts and the Body refused to leave my room till I said yes. And in a temporary bout of insanity, I agreed!

It wasn’t fun! At all! So being the nice, good-natured chap I am, decided to spice things up a wee bit 🙂 You know, I thought to myself, poor Prats, slogging their guts out, why not bring a smile to their sorry, careworn faces! Exhibit 1 sets out the original facts, and Exhibit 2 is what I came up with.

Exhibit 1_Page 1

Exhibit 1_Page 2

Exhibit 2

Things of course got infinitely more interesting when these Prats submitted the bloody memorial with just a quick cut-paste job of my stuff! Imagine, not even looking at my handiwork, despite: (a) knowing me/the kind of stuff I was capable of; and (b) having bloody told them to check it because “I was sure they would find it enjoyable”.

Fortunately, the Skulker, privy as he was to these going-ons, discovered what these Prats had couriered across in the nick of time. And promptly fell off laughing whichever chair he was sitting on! I was away home that night but was given to understand that the Prats’ expressions at that moment were strongly suggestive of a collective coronary!

That, of course, was the moment when the Body gave me a call which began with these truly immortal lines: “Dude, I thought you were a friend of mine!” 🙂

P.S. The courier was intercepted in transit. (I think someone was deputed to do a sit-in at the courier office till the Prats got their courier back!). Otherwise, Noojies might have again created mooting history, albeit of a slightly iffier variety 🙂

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A worm, eaten as a delicacy

After much deliberation and heartburn, I have finally decided to activate the WordPress app for Facebook [Yeah, I know, ultra-cheap publicity gimmick] Turns out there are a surprising number of people, who want to stay in touch with a git like me and kinda remain in the loop as to the various antics I might be upto. Which might be a bit redundant actually, considering that my life, as I had cause to remark recently, “is nothing but work and laundry”. 

Ergo, or perhaps, yet, FB app it is.

Go, see The Blind Side if you haven’t caugh it yet. Highly, highly recommended. Great performances, brilliant background score and an OST which I plan on getting my hands on soon. And of course, Sandra Bullock in an Oscar-winning role. Also, I don’t know why, but Big Mike reminded me so much of Forest Whitaker. Mind you though, the Travolta-starring Phenomenon-wala Whitaker, and not that McAvoy-starring psychotic despot-wala version.

Can’t say so much about Shutter Island though. The one thing which I can say, is that this must be one of those ultra-rare instances, where a cinematic adaptation turns out to be so much better than the original product. Decidedly so; Lehane’s novel was err, umm, slightly iffy to put it mildly. And just by the way, either there was something wrong with the Cineworld I had gone to, or the editing was so bloody chopped off , that a sous-sushi-chef might very well have been at the helm of affairs.

Sous-sushi-chef, aah, always wanted to use that in a sentence somewhere. Well, always, as in, since the moment I thought it up, which was roughly 30 secs back. Much, much good 🙂   

Had been playing tennis with The Architect yesterday. Which was good. I busted my tennis strings though, which wasn’t all that good. Re-stringing probably costs a bomb here. Either that, or it might be time to go Lillywhites ahoy!

Had gone to Foyles recently. As should you. As should any one else. As should the whole world. For a bookshop with a wikipedia entry like this can be no ordinary bookshop. Also went generally rummaging around in the vicinity of Tottenham Court Road, and discovered quite a few places which ain’t too bad themselves either. Next stop, perhaps next week, is this cult bookshop opposite Old Vic off Waterloo.

I thought I always knew what would be the first book I’d get out of India. I didn’t get that book.  

Had possibly, what might pass for our first NUJS batch outing here in London a few days back. The Power Couple were hosting it. Snag and Ms. Steinbeck were fashionably late. The One with ‘Em Stevie Wonder jokes, spent something like two-and-a half hours trying to figure out the way to the Power Couple’s pad. She did arrive eventually though. I though, would have been dot on time. Well, would have been, if the Tea-Boy hadn’t kept me waiting for something like half an hour at the Bank DLR. I would have probably pummelled him in other circumstances, but thankfully (for him) had a Peter Carey for company, and was feeling generally charitable towards the world around me.

But, as usual, I digress. Coming back to the batch thingie. Good, good fun. Scintillating conversation, topics ranging from Govinda flicks to abstract art, from theorizing on why people get divorced in UK, to attempting to decode that cipher called Lady Gaga; some cheap digs, some more; thoda sa PC (woh doosra wala, and that too only towards the beginning, mind you); some decidedly foot-in-the-mouth moments; a phone call to you-know-who in re you-know-what (heh), and ofcourse, glasses upon glasses of absolutely stud mango lassi. And lest I forget, a honourable note of mention goes to Mr PC who makes these friggin awesome gobi ke parathe. I believe Ms. PC doesn’t cook 🙂

You should check this link out. Was sent across to me by the Mayan. The man, for all his faults, does do something useful once in a while.

A coberra is apparently, a worm, eaten as a delicacy. So saith the novel, I am currently reading. Reminds me of the time, when I had gone along with the Robot and the Skulker to the Chinese Breakfast place at Poddar Court, and where the Skulker, in a spirit of reassurance and calm, had told a nice, middled-aged lady harbouring suspicions about our abilities to imbibe certain non-tradtional meatforms, “Hum Sab Kucch Khata Hai” 🙂

FIP, Whither Art Thou??

Kinda miss the chap’s blog. The answer to that question though, is writing a book. Or rather, that statement should be in the past tense; the book’s already been written. The Gamechangers, if yer so interested. And which, in keeping with the abiding tradition of publication sleight of hand, has its release perfectly timed to cash in on all the IPL hoopla. And which should also mean a hefty bonus or two for the editors in question. Don’t think I’d want to read the book though. 

Ancient Hindu tradition has it that there are four phases to human life; Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and SanyasaI though, am of the sincere opinion that the sages and the powers-that-used-to-be missed out on enunciating a fifth, and possibly, the most important phase of ’em all; Laundry. There is a school of thought which posits that other religions like Jainism and Buddhism evolved primarily as a reaction to such lax identificatory paradigms as prevalent in Hinduism. The true trailblazers in this respect were/are ofcourse, the Digambar Jains.

Crawford’s sells this small pack of custard creams for 59p. Absolutely love ’em. For one particular reasons. Back at law school, we used to have this entire array of shacks outside our side gate. And they basically used to sell only two, no, make it three, things of note; Dim-wala Maggi (mentioned in passing here), Kismis Bars (which are bloody brilliant, and which I’ll probably blog about, along with Pudina Chips and Phantom Cigs sometime later), and finally Parle-G creams priced at some 5 bucks a packet.

These creams, if memory serves me correctly, used to come in flavours like orange, pineapple and elaichi. And used to be bloody awesome. Many must there have been days when I used to wake up a min or so before the classes begun and had to rush pell-mell into the acad block, or for that matter, those days when there used to be something shady for breakfast (which to be fair, happened only on those glorious occasions we used to be served uttapam. And a brief digression here: Imagine. Imagine, waking up, for the first time in weeks nay, months, in time for breakfast. And then Imagine, being served, but with what, Uttapam @#&%). ‘Twas then, that these Parle-G creams used to come into their own. And by God, they were a lifesaver. I might not get Parle-G in London. But, Crawford’s ain’t too bad either.

Was watching Two and a Half Men yesterday. To be honest, its a bit like Two and a Three-Quarters now. Ultra-weird.

And now a word about food. And related follies. Had fried squid yesterday. At this place called Tai Won Mein in Greenwich. Snag’s b’day celebrations. The Soccer-Man and Ms. Steinbeck were there as well. Bloody, bloody awesome. The rest of their fare was strictly middling though. That being said, for the monies paid, the portions were humongous. Which was much, much good 🙂 There is this pub off Shaftesbury Avenue called Freud, which the Soccer-Man considers possibly the last word on pubs with “Character”. It is this dark, dingy, sub-terranean hangout, you know, and to be fair to the man, the place probably has as much character as it is possible for anything embedded in the bowels of earth to have 🙂

The Pursuit of Happyness

Mark Twain aka Samuel Longhorne Clemens aka Josh aka, (and this is my personal favourite) Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, was in all possible respects, a Dude. You just need to read one of his novels, or travelogues, or short stories, or letters to find out why 🙂 What’s infinitely interesting though is to go through the man’s bibliography, and look at the manner in which his writing actually evolved through the years, and all the different layers it kept on acquiring.

I don’t think there have been too many other authors with a body of work, as distinct and truly varied as Mark Twain’s. I don’t think there have been too many writers, who started out penning flippant, outrageous prose and ended as a chronicler of their times; sombre, cynical, and faintly disillusioned. And defined happiness as, and I quote, “Happiness ain’t a thing in itself – it’s only a contrast with something that ain’t pleasant“. (Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven)

So, essentially, the greatest humourist of his generation would have us believe that happiness isn’t truly a tangible entity. Moreover, its so inconsequential that it can be defined only by taking recourse to an allied, and an entirely contradictory, concept. And so, the only way you can be happy, is if you ain’t sad. Bit sad, na. Its a little like defining light as the opposite of darkness, you know.

But then again, light isn’t merely the opposite of darkness. Light can also be the absence of darkness. For there to be light, darkness isn’t necessarily the logical precursor.

And neither do you need to be sad, to be in turn, happy. Happyness is a sturdy enough little thing, to be able to stand on its own feet 🙂

Happyness is when you read the likes of Pratchett and Wodehouse. And have a stupid grin plastered across the middle of your face.

Happyness is, and here’s another law school digression, spending some 40 odd straight hours on research paper submissions, and then going to a deserted library, reading Porterhouse Blue, and howling your head off.

Happyness is going to sites like this. And reading posts like this.

And at times, Happyness is about watching a certain guy score a double hundred in an ODI.

Astounding Alliterations for the Absolutely Unabashedly Asinine

Before that, this:

It has come to my notice that this git has been making one too many unwarranted, not to mention completely unsubstantiated allegations with reference to yours truly. Now, I’ve been long aware of this git’s git-like ways, so that really ought not to have come as a surprise. Be that as it may, spreading canards amongst friends is one thing, bad-mouthing in front of teachers another, but to smear and and tarnish someone’s fair name in this hallowed realm of cyberspace, is something I most certainly shall not stand for. No, Sirree, No.

Ergo, I propose an entire sequence of posts on THE Git. You’ll hear anecdotes; you’ll hear tales told. You’ll know why THE Git was also known as The Body (aka btw, as The Shark). You’ll hear the truly heart-wrenching tale of how the man lost his mush. You’ll be informed as to when THE git was on the verge of submitting the single most awesome memorial EVER, but being THE git he was, how he developed cold feet at the last moment. Or why he was once found crawling around in a law firm library. Or for that matter caught kicking a poor hapless female, who was unfortunately sitting in front of him. And perhaps, the greatest revelation of them all, what does THE git have against hygiene? What primal need drives him into abhorring all kinds of daily ablutions?? For all this and more, just tarry a bit, patient adept, cause my patience is running thin, and the appropriate hour for a GIT-post would appear to be nigh.

Now, that:

In my second year at law school, classes used to be pretty much joyless affairs. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I don’t think I’ve been ever as bored out of my friggin’ skin, as I was that summer. And as you know, zing is what makes the world go around. If there ain’t any zing, there ain’t anything. So, for the few classes I used to be present for in that semester, and in face of teachers who either went motha-fatha-motha-fatha at the lectern, or had hand-movements and speech inflexions, which would have done a flight stewardess proud, I had to do something. Anything. The following 🙂 I give you, The Astounding Alliterations for the Absolutely Unabashedly Asinine:

  • Amnesia : The ambrosia of the asinine.
  • Poetry : A parody of pantomimed polemics.
  • Man : A modicum of meandering mendacities.
  • Passion : Platitudes of platonic perversions.
  • Siesta : Soothing somnolence, served usually in shade.
  • Quarrel : A quorum for the overtly querulous.
  • Essay : An inscription of infantile inanities.
  • Short Story : A smashing smorgasbord of senile semantics.
  • Denouncement : Damnation of decidedly didactic dimensions.
  • Fastidious : Feisty finickyness foisted on the firmament of fallacious fisticuffs and foibles
  • Tantrum: Trenchant trials of tedium typified tangentially by temper

(1. My initial POA was to have an entry for each letter of the alphabet. Unfortunately, I attended far too few classes for that.

2. Further, in relation to the two luminaries I’ve alluded to above, I missed a better grade by .05 in both their papers. Anybody from NUJS would know what that means. As highly evolved a Karmic comeuppance scheme as I’ve ever seen.)

Some 12 years back, it used to be 2/2 Bakralwala, Nashville Road. Today it is B 10/17 Green Towers, Golf Green.

I had no words back then. And even now, I don’t really know what to say.

mnesia : The ambrosia of the asinine.

Poetry : A parody of pantomimed polemics.

Man : A modicum of meandering mendacities.

Passion : Platitudes of platonic perversions.

Siesta : Soothing somnolence, served usually in shade.

Quarrel : A quorum for the overtly querulous.

Essay : An inscription of infantile inanities.

Short Story : A smashing smorgasbord of senile semantics.

Denouncement : Damnation of decidedly didactic dimensions.

Fastidious : Feisty finickyness foisted on the firmament of fallacious fisticuffs and foibles

Tantrum : Trenchant trials of tedium typified tangentially by temper

Beezee Busy (And South City Psychedelia)

Life’s been a bit busy these last couple of days. Might get a lot busier in the days to come.

Met Ambrosius yesterday. For the first time in around six years. Chap hasn’t changed a whit. The man’s sporting a mush now, and is up to weird and wonderful things in the auditing world, but that apart, he’s still pretty much the same.

Met quite a few NUJS-wallahs yesterday. The usual gang, up to their usual antics, at the usual place. Also saw Larry’s stealth techniques in action. Which was kinda redundant considering the fact that the person he was trying to hide from, had already seen him!

Had gone to South City a couple of days back, and there was this guy there who was trying to flog me some free trip abroad. To lay my hands on which, in his words, “Sir, you just have to answer a very simple question”. My natural query was obviously, “Which is what??”. To which the man replied, “Sir are you above 24??”. That, presumably was the question. Bleedy weird demographically-inclined freebie scheme.

Reminded me of another time when I was browsing at Starmark. Again at South City. Then this chap comes up to me, thousand-watt grin on his face, and muttering something which sounded vaguely like same, same, same….I thought I probably had earwax or something, and started ‘eh’ing and ‘umm’ing around. Same difference; more of the same, same, same…. And this time followed by exaggerated hand gestures. Then, I got it. Both of us wearing the same type of jacket. Which probably was cause for celebration. So we shook hands, and thumped each other on our jacketed (blue-striped rectangular on black) backs. I think I even remember my exact words, “Aah! You mean our jackets. Ok, lets shake on that then”.

And lastly, in terms of South City psychedelia, an honourable note of mention goes to the South City Phantoms. There’s this Wodehouse yarn about a chap called Blister, who proceeds to pop up at the most inopportune of times and places, and scare the living heebie-jeebies out of a chap called Plimsoll. The South City Phantoms are a bit like that. Almost everytime I go there, I’m invariably bound to find them waving at me. As a matter of fact, I am surprised only when I don’t see them now 🙂 The only obvious difference from Blister being that they are two in number. And, that the antics of the Phantoms are rendered even all the more remarkable by the fact that Mr. Phantom is off studying in Singapore.

Two current ohrwurms: Waqt by E.P., and Ud Chalta by Nitish Pires. Hadn’t heard those two in ages, and suddenly they are in infinite replay mode.

‘Tis Puja Time (And Other Things)

‘Tis Puja time in Cal. Everyone seems happy and chirpy all of a sudden; Pandals have been erected overnight, every square inch of acreage’s been milked for all they’re worth; the dhakis are all set to do what they do best; the street food wallah’s are ready to make a killing again. Nothing’s changed. Nothing ever will.

Had gone back to NUJS a couple of days back. Didn’t go back to Room No. 217. The last time I’d been there, I’d found somebody else cooped up inside. Bit of a shock to the system, that. With the vacs on, there were hardly any peepul around. Met up with the Tea-boys, the LAN-man, Miskhan and the Poet Jr. They were probably the only few fellas still left. Also, ran into Rookie who is up to strange and wonderful things at the SC. And of course, had Dim-wala Maggi with onions and chillies 🙂 Friggin’ brilliant. Brought back lots of memories. Most of them though, from those unfortunate mornings we used to have uttapam for breakfast.

Speaking of food, Benjarong’s the new Mainland China. Most certainly so. And their Chicken Satays are bloody awesome. Sigree’s finally spruced up on its main course act. And that was the best Dum Biryani I’ve had in a long, long time. Who knows, people might actually start going there for a reason apart from them kebabs.

Henin’s apparently making a comeback. All’s well in the world again. There ought to be some sort of a law expressly forbidding anyone with a backhand like hers from being ever allowed to retire. Mein Gott, I could keep on watching replays of that single-handed backhand for hours on end!

The Post Office on Southern Avenue has got to be the cleanest, most well-ventilated, supra-spacious government facilitated message disbursal mechanism I’ve ever been to. ‘Tis speshul. The fellas behind the counters though are having none of this speshul-ness. There was this one lady in particular, simply refused to tell me which counter to go to. Thankfully, I’m of a calm, equable disposition. In fact, at times I’m positively Zen. Otherwise, (mutters darkly……)

Speaking of Zen, I present another Zen master.  ‘Tis truly a measure of the times we live in, that I get to see stuff I might not have even heard of otherwise. I hereby present, Zidane – A 21st Century Portrait. Real Madrid vs. Villareal. April 2005. From the first whistle to the last. 17 Synchronized cameras. All focussed on ONE man, his slightest actions, his every movement, his sudden sprints, his subtlest feints. On Zidane. (Cross-linked from here)

Conflict of Interest

Read today in a newspaper that the CNI (Church of North India) has decided to mark its foray into the realm of higher education by opening a law college in Rajarhat. Methinks, this ought to be a real humdinger. I just can’t wait to see how this works out. Law, supposedly, is the most secular of all vocations. Now, if my experience in Cal is anything to go by, (Dehradun was a wholly different one), its somewhat taxing to reconcile that element of secularity to institutions run by CNI. Damn, I can almost visualise how a typical morning in this law college would look like. First we would have the morning hymn, something like Amazing Grace or Showers of Blessing. Then there would be a scripture reading, and then finally the proceedings would be rounded off by the Lord’s Prayer . Man, that’d be something.

Some Courtroom Gems

You know, every profession has its pros and cons. There are so many things going for it and at the same time, so many flaws as well. The legal field is no different. However, if somebody likes reading books, novels and enjoys dealing with the English language you can bet your last penny, that he is going to have a jolly good time. Judgments are the most definitive interpretation of law by the individuals who are the most competent to do so, namely, the Judges. Now, most judges are people who have a yen for expounding on relevant issues and questions of law in unnecessarily arcane and complicated terminology. And more often than not, hilarious consequences follow.

Today, while I continuing with my six week long internship I was handed over a few cases to read which were cited as references in a matrimonial matter supposed to go up for hearing in a few days of time. And I managed to uncover two gems. In one judgment of the A.P. High Court, a Judge, in a mater dealing with the dissolution of marriage after the parties had lived apart for a decade or so, after having commisserated at length about the facade the marriage had been reduced to, marriage being the edifice of trust, affection, love and whatnot, also bringing in some 13th Century Telugu poet who had compared marriage to a piece of iron (amongst all other things), came what I consider to be the clincher. The learned Judge pronounced, “The wedlock has become a deadlock”. Wow!!!

Second case. Also a divorce petition, but a disputed one. Unfortunately, the allegations of the wife were of such an excessively graphic nature that the poor Judge in question was naturally scandalized. Even the husband wasn’t too be left far behind and amongst other things alleged incest as well. Now, while delivering the judgment, the learned Judge did not deem it fit to include these portions (thereby, depriving us of what would have undoubtedly been some very interesting readding). But then, in order to prove the acrimony existing between the parties so as to justify the order for divorce, he had to do something. So, our learned Judge devised a special term to allude to any situation where any such graphic allegations were being hurled back and forth. The term : “Pornographic Relations”. Now, tell me, where on earth could have that come from.

In yet another case, in a related matter of a bail petition of the accused, the learned judge said, “As investigations are still in the labour room”. I was just glancing through this case, you know. It was essentially about a company selling adulterated and spurious drugs. And all of a sudden I am staring at the term, ‘labour room’. And I swear, for one moment, I didn’t know what hit me.

Chill, I havent’t even got started about what goes on in law skl and the variegated ways in which English is subjected to abuse in there. Perhaps, some other time. TTFN

Karma Capers

Oh Boy!! I sometimes do wonder as to what exactly is Karma, you know. The old theory ’bout what goes around comes around, as you sow, so shall you reap and so on. Today I had my VIVAs. Yet again, I started yesterday. Yet again, my prepn. was woeful. Yet again, I got lucky. Thankfully, I got some topics about which I did have some vague ideas and manged to somehow speak, rather assertively for the assigned duration. Now, I dunno whether what I was asserting was correct or not, but I was pretty emphatic about it all the same. And going by the reaction of my panel, by and large, I did manage to get the grade.
Now what I am worried about is Karma. A situation where I would have exerted my utmost (no, really!) and ended up in the dumps. Really scary proposition. But for now, just cooling off at home, VIVAs well behind me, listening to Tim McGraw and thinking which flick to catch on the weekend. Ciao.