Don’t forget life while preparing for CLAT
By Samyak Sibasish
1900 words long. But worth its weight in gold. You might want to read it image by image.
Did you study all that shit for CLAT
The other day, my smart-fuck of a friend and fellow NUJS firstie, Aayush Rathi asked me, apparently quite shocked, “Dude, did you really study all that shit?” No sane person in this world would have been able to lap all that up.
There, I should have come up with a disclaimer, “This is just a super-idealistic way of preparation for CLAT, I certainly don’t recommend. Meant for only those who are prepared to slog hard day in and day out and won’t settle for anything less than AIR-1, next year. For all the others, you might just incorporate some of these things in your daily schedule.”
Because, seriously, though I mentioned a whole lot of books to cover and a plethora of things to do to perform well in CLAT, I never covered up all of that. Neither did many of my friends who have been placed at other prestigious law schools in the country.
The normal CLAT routine
So, now let me brief you up on what an average Joe’s key to cracking the CLAT is. Umm.. not exactly the key, but a journey which you can definitely enjoy and which will have a sweet result in the end, in all probability, if not the sweetest.
November is almost round the corner. So, that gives you around 180 days before you are gonna face the exam day grills. If you want, these 180 days can be the most productive but still enjoyable 180 days of your lives, till date.
Okay, I am not counting Boards and shit while talking about enjoyment. I didn’t prepare for CLAT while taking my Boards, so I really don’t know. Those who have their Boards as well as CLAT to worry about, may not like to proceed further with this article.
A dropper? Hi mate, read on
However, having been a “dropper”, I feel the so-called “droppers” will find a connect with this article.In fact, let me admit, this is meant just for them. Yes, the outcast group, “droppers”.
Ahoy, my dear friends, you can turn this otherwise dismal year into the most enjoyable, interesting, engaging as well as informative time of your life. So, here you go!
A dropper’s guide to cracking the CLAT, or at least enjoying the process of cracking it.
As of now, start reading some books and novels. This will do you a world of good.
For heavy readers, some strong philosophy is where you can start. Philosophy indeed, provides us with the tools we need to critically examine our lives as well as the world in which we live. And as aspiring lawyers, it won’t harm us much.
You can start with the Bhagavad Gita, our very own ancient Indian philosophy to get an idea on detachment, karma, maya, senses, body, mind, language, knowledge, purusha and prakriti.
Follow that up with works on Aristotle and Plato’s philosophy related to work, ethics, life, death and science.
If you want to be aware of the pros and cons of western philosophy, Bertrand Russel’s A History of Western Philosophy is a must-read.
Selected Philosophical Writings by Rene Descartes is a good way to start off with the nuances of western philosophy.
For modern philosophy dealing with religion, morality and culture, the way to question traditional notions on them from an existentialist point of view, Freidrich Neitzsche is the man you have to look forward to.
For the more adventurous willing to dabble in post-modern philosophy, Derrida will help you.
For those, who are not used to such profound philosophical notions, I can recommend you some books, mostly on fiction, which present thoroughly gripping reads.
A case of Exploding Mangoes – By Hanif Mohammed. A novel that deals with as engaging a topic as a political assassination and that too, in an internal strife-ravaged nation as Pakistan. Go back to the 1970s, the era of Zia ul Haq in Pakistan. Get to know of the various conspiracy theories surrounding his death.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. A tale of friendship, good and evil, betrayal and in war-torn Afghanistan.
A Tiger at Twilight and Cyclones by Manoj Das. Different in appearance, similar in articulation, two sides of the same name mutually reciprocating each other in exchange. It reeks of deep philosophy.
Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Sanghi. A racy and gripping account of the old, wily and cunning political guru of Chandragupta Maurya and his modern-day counterpart in the twentieth century.
Enough with the books, now.
Holding back your dreams for CLAT?
Now is the time to do things you have always dreamt of but had never got the chance to try them out, due to time constraint or whatever. You can now learn the guitar and actually know the difference between G string of the instrument and the other G-string.
You can now try and put on the swimming suit you had dreamt of since childhood and hit the waters. The adventurous you can go off on a trekking tour or else, rock-climbing and river-rafting.
You can hit the cricket pitch as much as you want and learn to make use of your height to bowl lethal bouncers.
You can learn the elegant and fine art of dribbling the football, slowly but steadily seducing your feet. You can go hammer and tongs at creating memes and troll photos, for they are certainly the toast of the day on the internet, now. You can give a vent to the photographic instinct in you and go on a wild clicking spree.
However, I would advise you to think twice before creating a Facebook page on your photography. Enough of that shit now. There may be better ways of promoting your genius.
You can also shrug off the heavy burden of maths, physics and chemistry of all those years and get to know more of the journalistic side in you by penning down articles on any topic you like and sending them to prominent newspapers or else scribbling down random notes on your own blog.
You can search the Web and make a grand collection of all the Beatles hits of the yesteryears. You can create a documentary on 23 years of Sachin’s stay in international cricket and his century of tons.
You can also lie down quietly on bed, look up to the ceiling fan and then wondering about the point and objectives of human existence and life until you hear your friend’s car honking outside asking you to come over for a drive.
In fact, you can also try and think of various ways of wooing that childhood crush of yours. As they say, an idle mind is a devil’s (or rather the forlorn lover’s ) workshop.
Chances are decent that before the end of the year, your Facebook status would read “Committed to Ms. Derpina”. In short, you can literally do anything that pleases you and makes you feel better about life. Literally. You can just cheeeel. It won’t do you any harm, at all, and not dent your chances of cracking the CLAT too.
Thirdly, what would life be like, without some good old charming movies? Virtually, there is no guy on the earth who doesn’t have a thing for war movies.
The likes of Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, The Platoon, The Pianist, Casablanca will get you hooked to your DVD system. For the ones who are interested in deep-rooted philosophy, Memento, Blade Runner, Waking Life, Seconds, Matrix, Seventh Seal and Being There should be your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Those who don’t mind a spine running down their backs, should swear by Psycho, The Exorcist, Alien, The Thing, Dawn of The Dead etc. For the more romantic of you all, who are prone to belching out “ Awwwws” everytime you see a guy and girl staring at each other onscreen, the likes of A Walk to Remember and The Notebook should be your cup of tea. The ones who are addicted to social drama may try out Bicycle Thieves and Human Resources.
If you are a hardcore Bollywood fan, then you have flicks like Ek Tha Tiger, Student of The Year, Zindagi Live and Maximum to look forward to.
For everyone else, there is of course, The Shawshank Redemption and Schindler’s List. Two must-watches on my list.
If you are tired of all this movie-watching, you can bank upon some awesome sitcoms. Boston Legal is a must for every aspiring modern-day law student. Same goes for Suits. Then there are The Big Bang Theory, South Park and many more.
The gaming geeks must try out stuff like DOTA, and Euro 2012 on their PS3s, apart from the regulars like CounterStrike.
You have so much time on your hands that you can afford to be socially active all day long. The Facebook tab remains open 24 x 7. And by this, I am not asking you to while away your time on it. You can utilise that time most productively. You will get to encounter many people who will be your batchmates one day or may be even roomies. They will be your best friends.
I can say that because most of my besties I made through online contacts, have been placed at NUJS, along with me and I feel closer to them than most of my friends out here. You will get to learn about law as a career, law school life. You will come across many of your seniors who will be your friends, philosophers and guides in the future.
There are a lot of informative websites and blogs , which I believe, you will be able to track down and find out. And yes , you will also stay updated with the Current Affairs, which will, of course, help you in your preparation for CLAT. You would enjoy each and every moment of it – the journey. Sometimes, the journey matters more than the destination.
Droppers, worth three generations
And lastly, learn to ignore and spew back venom at people who doubt your capability as a person, just because you dared to drop a year to get a better rank in CLAT or just because you chose to do something different, by opting for law. At the end of five years, you will probably be earning more than their three generations combined.
This period, my dear friends, can be a honeymoon for you, if you desire it to be so. You don’t have to get downright serious for CLAT as an impending danger, before October. That’s when most of the mocks start and you find yourself automatically adjusting your schedule in such a way that your preparation for the D-day goes on smoothly.
However, as of now, you can go and discover all the good things of life! This is not just fun, for it will help you build your personality as well, in the long run. It will let you learn many things about life.
Hence, my dear friends, it’s time to sit back and reflect on what went wrong the last time around and then enjoy your lives to the hilt. You can start working hard to rectify those mistakes a few months later. It’s not the time to start SERIOUSLY preparing for CLAT yet. Rather prepare yourself for the long battle of life, ahead.
Samyak Sibasish is a 1st year student at NUJS, Kolkata