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Category Archives: Reminiscing

Why I have a shitty law school career

It’s because I don’t study. And when I do, I am so unused to studying, my brain retains nothing. It can remember things such as “Laughter, like love, is stronger than death” – an obscure line from The Cardinal Sins (a book which made me realize that not all catholic priests are diekholders), but it cannot remember Section whatever of the Companies Act, or Section some-other-number of the Workmen’s Compensation Act. I am not trying to hide behind my brain, believe me. I don’t have an actual mental problem. I am just supremely lazy when it comes to things that are not fun for me. It’s a shitty way to live for four years, and I don’t recommend it for anyone.

For what remains of law school, I will most likely have to give only one exam before I get out of here forever. And hopefully I will be able to take what seminar I like so that shouldn’t be a problem. In the meantime, I am sharing my average to above average knowledge of and immeasurable enthusiasm for literature with packs of second year students as a Teacher’s Assistant for a course called Law and Literature.

In some ways you could predict that this will end in naught but endless grief. Naught but grief! But the way I see it, I could either help a little or totally ruin some poor second year’s life via law and literature grades. And either way I’d be having fun so I’m cool with both likelihoods. Haha. Ha. Just kidding. I really don’t think I could ruin a life with Law and Literature. Hehe. Seriously though, I only want to help mold the mind of the next Chetan Bhagat.

Getting back on point, I also have shitty grade because I really don’t try. I didn’t like law school much as an institution a few months into it and I didn’t try, at least subconsciously. To be really honest, I didn’t like the institution form the moment I sat in a classroom where a senior was introducing us to the concept of mooting and the first words out of his mouth was – “If you want to be anyone of significance in NALSAR, you have to moot.”

Don’t get me wrong. I know that’s not true. I knew even back then that the guy was talking out of his colon. But I hated the institution and the people in it for thinking that this was the right guy to introduce first years to any extra curricular activity. I didn’t like NALSAR as much as I had thought I would. Except for friends, I actively disliked it and that combined with a requirement of hard work did not do me good. No sir. Again, this was entirely on me. I had high expectations and when they got blown to smithereens, instead of taking it like an amazon warrior I just retreated into TV, movies and the personal lives of other people.

The thing I most regret about this stage of my law school pussyfooting is that I stopped reading. The one thing that kept me sane through a good three years of hellish adolescence and I just left it. It was as though I decided that if I wasn’t going to be good at reading required readings, I wouldn’t be good at any reading. For anyone who knows me or has seen me in the past year or two, it would be hard to think of me without a book. That was me for the first three years in law school. The horror!

Another reason for the shitty grades was of course, that I am very lazy.

I also got shitty grades – and this is the only place where I will concede some responsibility to “the system” – is that I’m not good at memorizing dates, numbers, names, etc. So you can imagine the hellscape that remembering more than seventy sections was to me. Add to that case names and the importance given to remembering sections and dates, and it was like struggling with my seven times tables again. I don’t often admit it, but it took me at least two to three years to memorize multiplication tables up to ten. Up to five was only marginally easier. Once I had memorized the tables, math wasn’t as big a problem as it used to be.

Also, the laziness was a huge impairment to the getting of good grades.

Another mistake was going off acceptable standards on unhealthy lifestyles. I ate a lot more than I ever did and I wasted a lot of time being fat (heheheheheh. Whats-her-name lip biting woman from Dabangg can eat my poo and fucking die), and I hardly ever slept enough at night. I normally got to classes on time but I did spend quite some time either sleeping or using all of my energy to not sleep. the fact that whatever was being said/ taught in class was boring as dead babies only added to the sleepiness. I always say that if ever you have to live an unhealthy lifestyle, it might as well be in college. But I could also add that when it starts to make concentrating on anything substantial hard, its a wee bit too far.

Of course, we shouldn’t forget that sloth is my middle name/

Then of course there was the really depressed stage of life which I have already talked about in the blog titled “Perspective…” – I forgot the rest of the title. I I have to write that shit again I will have to drink Sangria.

ME: And again, cue uncomfortable fake laughter…

I will add this much though. One of the saddest part of that whole situation was that I stopped talking to myself. I know most people consider talking to oneself as not very healthy, but let me assure you, if I didn’t talk to myself, I would go quite mad. If I didn’t talk to myself, all the things I imagine and all the weird thoughts popping into my head would have no release.

Of course, the lazy did as the lazy had to do too….

The I got better at dealing with myself. Nothing to take away from the damage done over the years, but I started writing and figuring out what to do. And people seem to like reading this crap especially when I talk about the nonsense of my life. So I may not live a life worth writing about but my depressingly comic take on myself sure may make it worth reading about.

And adieu!

– Billy

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Posted by on January 17, 2013 in Bakchodi, Random, Reminiscing

 

Rafik – the man who restored my faith in humanity; and Goa.

If there was anything I learnt from the movie Death Proof, it is that there are two kinds of good luck in the world. And yes, despite my lack of belief in abstract concepts, I have to face the fact that sometimes situations have magic or tragedy just instilled in the butterfly wings that change them. The first kind of luck is when you never, ever get into trouble.

Jean had that luck. She and I travelled to Old City in Hyderabad with nothing but a notebook full of instructions and transportation options I had taken from Google and her Android. If it were me in that situation with anyone else, or by myself, I would have lost my way, missed the local train that came once in 5 hours, gotten leched at in a discomforting way, or worse. With Jean, it was the simplest, easiest journey to a never before visited place, I had ever taken. I used to call it traveler’s luck. Absolutely nothing went wrong. We caught the train, went to char minar, went to the bazaar, had beautiful Lassi, had Fish Biryani at Shadab, caught the train back, got on a bus to JBS and at JBS, caught the last bus in a long time, to college. It was a beautifully uneventful day. We had some fifteen year olds being weird in the train but it was laughable.

Then there is my kind of luck, but I don’t know if I want to call it luck. It’s the luck that brings you to the very precipice of hell in the context of whatever you’re doing. If I have the whole day planned, I would forget my wallet; If I catch a bus with my friends other than Jean, it would turn out to be the wrong bus, leaving is in the middle of nowhere. If I go to Goa, we may get stranded in the rain with nothing but a broken down car and the garage we end up in. The good luck here is that my friend would agree to spot me; just before a bunch of horrible Gult men get out of their SUV, presumably not to help a group of girls stranded in the highway in Hyderabad, one of your batch mates passes by in an Auto and stops; and the garage on the side of the road would happen to be run by the nicest man I have ever encountered in my life.

The starter on the car was screwed and we got helped by a group of touring men in a mini bus to a garage. Which garage owner told us that his brother Rafik, would help if we could drive down the road to him. And we did.

 

This was it.

 

It was raining. All of us were in skirts and dresses. We were just girls, and it was a stretch of road where people don’t have any reason to stop. They happened to be working on a bike when we reached the place. Rafik spoke Marathi and in our insane luck, Nose Twitch spoke Marathi fluently. A rapport was established. He examined the car and told us that we should go see the city while he checked out what was wrong. We left to see the churches in heavy rain and all we ended up doing was go to Basilica Bom Jesus, see the dead guy therein and leave V in the hands of her boyfriend, who left soon after.

We decided to walk back to the garage, by which time, Rafik informed us that we had done nothing wrong with the vehicle and the starter was screwed. All that was left to do was talk to the lady who rented out the car. She told us to wait while she sent another car with a driver.

We spent two to three hours in that garage, in our car, with only Rafik, his colleague and the latter’s little brother working on their bike, because they hadn’t yet gotten instructions from the owner to fix up the car. The rain was as bad as it ever got during our time in Goa, and Me and S were soaked from going to the nearby shop to buy chips so we could eat something.

An hour and a half into sitting and gossiping, it occurred to us. Rafiq and Co. were working on their motorcycle in the light of a hand held bulb. There was no electricity supply but that. And he was called Rafik. In our worrying, we had missed the fact that during Ramzan, there were two Muslim men who had obviously not intended to work after dark, and had not yet broken their fast. They hadn’t looked up once while working on the bike. They made no suggestive remarks, and they didn’t look at us except to talk to us. To our faces.

 

This is them

 

We felt guilty beyond words. We ventured out in the rain again and this time, brought back a big packet of Kurkure and Oreos, gave it to them and told them to eat. They refused but we insisted. Thankfully, the kid brother had no reservations about eating the Oreos, and we left them to it. Rafik didn’t keep roza but his colleague broke his fast on Oreos.

Soon after, the driver came with a car, negotiated a price for the repair with Rafik, who adamantly insisted that we were not responsible for the starter fucking up. After thanking him and his colleague, we went back to our hotel for the night.

The next morning, we went back to the garage. He had bought a new starter and fixed the car, and took the money from the owner. We had told him we would be using the car again that day, so he had checked the engine, filled the coolant tank and generally made the car ready for use. He also refused to take any money for the extra service till we insisted that we would feel rotten if he didn’t. He took a hundred bucks. He also told us that if we needed help getting around the city while we were there, to call him, and he would send someone to help out.

We spent that day seeing Panji, Churches, collecting V back, and a little bit of shopping. We gave back the car to the lady who lent it to us, and checked out of South Goa Hotel to stay at Irish Pub Guest House in North Goa. We didn’t know how to get from there to the Station because the taxis cost a mother and her children, and JustDial would no doubt give us expensive and useless options.

We called Rafik again. He said he would pick us up at North Goa, go to Margao to pick up Nose Twitch who stayed with her aunt that night, and drop us at the Railway station for 1,300 bucks, less than half of what it cost us to go from South to North Goa the day before.

The next day he picked us up. This is the shameful part. He was talkative, and when he asked us where we were from, we gave the silent consensus answer we had been giving throughout the holiday – that we were from Bombay. I don’t know why we did it. Maybe it can be justified by saying that we as girls were entitled to be cautious. I think the likely answer is that being in NALSAR and the world in general, we are simply unused to someone being that nice, that friendly, and all without any ulterior motive. He played music for the most part during the journey.

We picked up NT and on the way to the Railway Station, he had to ask for directions. He told us that this was the first time he ever gave taxi services like he was doing with us. And as terrible as the people we are, I think all of us found that strange and mildly suspicious also. Once we were two minutes away from the Station, he stopped the car because we had passed a Kaju store. He remembered that S had wanted to pick up cashews for her Mum and went along with her to negotiate a good price for her.

Further down, he got a call, presumably from work. He told whoever was on the other end that he would be at work by noon, and he was dropping off a cousin at Margao station. Again, we couldn’t fathom why he was being that nice. But then we got to the Station, and we got off without incident, and I acknowledged that I may be a terrible, hypocritical person in many ways, but here was a man who in the nicest possible manner, had restored what little faith in humanity I had. We gave him 1,500 bucks and made him keep the extra 200.

I don’t want negative comments on this. I don’t want the cynical point of view. That he scammed us in some yet un-thought of way, or anything of the sort. Because here are the facts. If he and his friend hadn’t been the people they were, it would have been insanely easy for them to disappear us for good. We were four girls in short clothes, clearly tourists, clearly without anybody who would settle accounts if we turned up missing, clearly without any men within reach. In that situation, I never ever felt unsafe. I never for a second felt that this is a situation that I need to call my parents, my relatives, anybody, about. Rafik and co. told us we could wait, waited with us while working on a bike with a bulb, didn’t eat, and didn’t look at us or talk to us once in a manner that made us in any way uncomfortable. I have walked the roads in Hyderabad and Delhi in Salwar suits and felt more unwelcome glances on me.

Faith in humans – I haven’t seen you in ages. Hi again.

–          Billy

P.S. – On a lighter note, the trip to Goa was amazing. If Goa has an off-season, it’s not August as far as I’m concerned. Despite or maybe because of the above incident, it was a highly satisfying trip. There was alcohol, seafood, beaches, seafood, alcohol, swimming, Church ruins (you know I always like my churches ruined and silent), seafood and alcohol.

ME: Tell them about your crap songs.

Oh yeah, I discovered latent song writing skills. I’ma be the next Weird Al Yankovic.

ME: ROFL

Ok, maybe not, but I can amuse myself and my friends with my musical compositions about their daily lives. So that’s something.

ME: *eyes popping out for lack of air while laughing.

Anyway, there’s that.

 

Also, I have discovered that I’m considered a slut by some because of certain items I keep in my room, despite the fact that I have not yet had sex. Not that you have the right to call me or shame me as a slut if I sleep with 10 men a day, and not that it is anybody’s business, but you know what? I use stuff and it feels good; and when I have sex I’ll come and describe it in detail, since what I do with my body in the privacy of not-in-front-of-your-face seems to be of such importance to others.

 

Further, above incident with the car has made me appreciate, all over again, certain people that I still hate deeply. The ability of some people to stick around and make absolutely sure you’re ok, despite hating your guts, will always be appreciated. Be it in the form of coming as a group to save your hide, or in the form of melodramatically (and stupidly) handing over their watches to go off with a broken beer bottle, while drunk, into a fray outside a dhaba. So there’s also that.

ME: Weak.

me: True stuff is true.

 

Also, here are some things friends are for – getting high off unexpectedly strong and free Cosmos with. Waking up and going swimming with. Getting into trouble with. Keeping calm during the trouble with. Laughing off the trouble with. Getting drunk after long days with. Making drunk confessions with. Shutting up at beautiful sights with. Making you deal with your inner demons. Forcing you to look at yourself. Listening patiently when things are figured out. And most importantly, to rap and human beat-box with you near the toilets on trains. And this is not emo, it’s a very abridged diary of Goa travels.

 

Also, it’s my birthday, though my friends refuse to wish me due to past infractions of wishing that I may have continued over the years despite trying to be better every year. I find this highly amusing.

 

That’s all. I have to get back to washing my underoos and clothes worn in Goa.

 

Your own worst nightmare

SONG OF THE MOMENT

Stop and Stare,

I think I’m moving but I go nowhere

Yeah I know that everyone gets scared

But I’ve become what I can’t be.

Stop and Stare

You start to wonder why you’re here not there

And you’d give anything to get what’s fair

But fair ain’t what you really need.

Oh, can you see what I see?

– ONE REPUBLIC

*SIGH*

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2009 in Bakchodi, NALSAR, Random, Rant, Reminiscing

 

sis

Call me a sentimental fool, but I just finished reading “Summer Sisters” by Judy Blume, and yes, it made me cry. The fact is, between worries, and melodrama, and the impossibilities of relationships, I hardly ever think about friendships. For me, they have always been just… well, sorry to sound so brutal, but since I’m supposed to be telling the truth here- they’ve always been sort of like holiday romances, or affairs in foreign countries.

Simply put, my affection and love for my friends is, simply put, guided most of the time by those lines from “The Kite Runner”- “for you, a thousand times over”. It’s not something I’m proud of, trust me. Being loyal in friendships is very troublesome most of the time, especially for yourself. And sometimes, most of the times, sometimes.. you tend to be taken for granted. But it’s generally very easy to be loyal- all you have to do is give the friend the same place as you have in your priority list.

However, this tenacious loyalty only lasts till someone is around. To put it in other words, I care about my friends a lot till I lose touch with them, and since I’m not a phone person, nor an e-mail person, that happens a lot as and when I move around. But then again, if someone was very close to me, one thing is always a certainty. If ever, in a decade’s time even, they announce themselves unexpectedly in whatever shack I’m living in, they’ll be welcome. Or if I run into them somewhere, since I really don’t have the energy to find out who wins in the “who has done better since the last time we met” game, I’ll be the same as I was before. Although to be fair to my better side, this may be a tendency of the past, since I seem to be showing signs of attachment to many of my friend. I may be growing soft… besides the point.

Alright, if not a per current circumstances, then at least according to past ones, you can see the wisdom in the comparison to holiday romances- they’re great and brilliant as long a they last; but afterwards, they’re just names of people, and great memories in photographs.

But since I finished this book, I know that even for a commitment-phobe such a myself, some things last longer.

Some friendships will last, as I know mine with my friend will. And the only reason they last is because you absolutely refuse to let it go under any circumstances. Because sometimes, no matter what the world makes of you, and what you make of yourself, you know somewhere inside you – that friend alone knows the real you.

The friend that broke your heart too many times to count. The one who didn’t let you go even when you would have loved to be let go of. The one that saw you moon over characters in books and movies you may never admit to anyone else you liked. The one to whom you told the truth about that crush- that it was way longer than two weeks (my general record time) and you were a bit more into it than you let on to everybody else. The one you were slightly jealous of, and who may have been slightly jealous of you. With whom, the jealousy still exist very slightly – you both love each others life –  but you both know about it and love each other all the more for it.

You know you will hold on to this friend and will never let them get away, just like they never let you go. And all for one simple reason- sometimes, you just have to admit that inside, you are the person you were when you were seventeen. Silly, stupid, intelligent, superficial, pompous, sad, chirpy, depressed, lonely, whatever. And the friend becomes your link, maybe even your last link to the person you used to be, and still are. Reason being, that they love that person while most other don’t even know about it.

 

AHEM- AHEN -yes, the “N” is on purpose

This is hardly enough, but hey, whatever helps.

I generally pride myself on very few things- my excellent views on organized religion, a few of my art work, and most importantly my ability to be a rather good friend and I actually love the latter, a lot. Vanity may come before a fall, but since I manage to have so many friends, at least I’ll bring down a few others along with me if I do fall. And hey, I have to have a few negative points in my characters. “Nobody wants a saint. Saints are boring.” Trust me, you don’t wanna give a shit where I referred that from.

Anyway, there is one aim alone for me writing this blog right now. I wronged a friend. Well, not so much as wronged her. In the great scheme of things, what with undisposed nuclear waste and global warming this really doesn’t matter, but it feels wrong, and that’s as good a reason as any to apologize.

I forgot Neha’s birthday and realized it the next day. Then I decided that maybe I can try and avoid that fact by not even mentioning it. Don’t ask me the logic behind that, I’m very mindfucked, and my usually rational brain has lost quite a few of its cells lately.

And I owe a lot to this girl. For those who know me now, and know that I’m commitment-phobic, yall should know, you’re seeing the best version of me as of now. This chick, Neha, was the one who finally was able to make me say the word “love” between the words “I” And “you”- only platonically used mind you, but hey, that was an achievement in my personal history of extreme fear and dislike of affections. And yall should be thankful to her, or I wouldn’t have uttered the words that caused much amusement among my batchmates recently 😀

So Neha, I love ya, and I think you know that- again, I only love ya platonically, should clarify 😛 Really sorry about the goof -up. Repeat that a thousand times and you got how sorry I am.

*puppy-dog-face??

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2009 in Public statement, Reminiscing

 

CURTAIN

No, this is not my last post (please, I don’t give up that easy). My intention is merely to talk about theater. Since I came to NALSAR, theater, which used to be a significant part of my life had ceased to be even part of my life until recently.

It’s amazing, you would think that one would only have to start shriveling up inside (as far as I have seen, it seems to be a necessary qualification in order to be a responsible, mature adult) after you get a job. And by shriveling up I mean slowly and steadily giving up the things you loved, for more age-appropriate and career-appropriate hobbies and practices. You know what I’m talking about- giving up beer for wine perhaps is a good example. Well, as I was saying, you would think you only have to start this gut-wrenching ritual after getting a job. However, having been a law student for the last 9 months or so, I have discovered that it starts much sooner than that.

And so I don’t sketch often, I don’t really have anywhere (as in any occasion) to dance in, I basically don’t read books (at least not from an actual physical book as opposed to an e-book) for the four months I spend in NALSAR, I don’t clean my room every day (law school seems to make you get rid of your compulsive eccentricities as well), and I have only recently been affiliated to the small drama club that does exist in NALSAR.

What I used to love about theatre, and still love about it, is that it’s very simple. It’s not easy, but it’s simple. You don’t have cinematography, you don’t have editing, you don’t have zooming in and zooming out. Instead, you have a stage, lighting, costumes, props, and you. And with these you can hold the attention of an audience for as long as you want. Your face can never be in detail a it would be with a camera, and ypu definitely can’t airbrush thing out but every character will be in the limelight, at some time or the other.

Remembering lines is another adventure. You have to do that, and you have to do that so many times that at first, it becomes mundane, and then it becomes so mundane that they become part of you, so much so that you start unconsciously quoting them in real life. And then you gain interest again, the kind of interest that is temporary (till you have performed), but is very similar to the kind of interest you develop in a classic movie- the kind that allows you to remember lines verbatim from it, and say it with feeling every time you want to.

One of the things I selfishly love about theatre is that when you are on stage and you can see lights, the audience and your co-workers, you know that life stands still for once, at least for you. You know that no matter how insignificant your role or anyone’s role is, one glitch can make or break the day. Because there are no second chances, no retakes. It’s you, your co-workers (who you end up trusting more than you trust most of your close friends) and the audience. And for every second you are on stage, you hold the play in your hands. Call it megalomaniacal, but I do believe I should be allowed one such tendency.

But most importantly, drama gives me a release that nothing else does, and I mean that in a strictly non-junkie way. When I’m on stage, I don’t take on the role of someone else, I don’t become someone else, and I most definitely don’t act like the character I’m playing. I just let out the part of me that is the personality of whatever character it is. That part of me which will either never resurface simply because I don’t function that way, or because I don’t know how to let it out, or that which I let out every now and then, particularly at certain times of the month. Once that is done, everything else pretty much comes on its own.

And all of it combines to form magic. To become a part of you, you generally don’t bother with; to hold time in your hands for a few seconds, and to be part of something that is bigger than you, but needs you. In some ways, being on stage is sort of similar to what my perception of what an ideal life would be, but probably never will be.

On that happy note, goodnight love. 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2009 in Fluff, Reminiscing