My 3 Semesters in CNLU, Patna: Life And Times

This article is written by Priyanshi Srivastava of CNLU Patna. Feel free to share your law school stories by emailing [email protected]

“No dad, you got to be kidding me. Patna! No. Never. ” I screamed. One year of hard and religious preparation of the Common Law Admission Test and all I was left with was CNLU, Patna. Patna was not at all an appealing place to study at. I was not ready to accept this reality for I had only dreamt of studying in tier 1 elite national law universities. I sniveled for almost a week after the results were out and constantly bothered God by questioning him whether I was sulking and asking for too much. “Am I not brainy enough to get to NLSIU, NALSAR or NUJS?” was the only question that was dancing and boogying its way from one corner of my mind to the other. My dad, being the darling that he is, consoled me all the while and praised Patna continuously in order to perk me up. He incessantly reminded me how proud he was to have a daughter like me and that had he been me, he would have not been able to clear a national level examination in his first attempt. I told him that CNLU was not a problem as it was better than NLU-O and NUSRL but the main problem was PATNA. Patna isn’t the place that people have always thought it to be.

Two days after the list was out, we left for Patna. I was embarking on a new odyssey of my life. Needless to mention, I was skeptical, scornful and disparaging (and all the other adjectives that can be used in the same) about Bihar. From the moment I boarded the train till the time I got down, I recollected how I dreamt of my college life and wondered how it would be in CNLU. I reached the college and somehow liked the college campus. Dad and I went to the registrar’s office and I found him to be a humble and sweet person. We strolled through the college campus and I realized that I had formed notions about the college only because it was in Bihar. Dad left that very day and I geared up for my first day in college. I couldn’t sleep all night in anticipation of the next day. The day came and I put on my best clothes in order to leave a lasting impression on my batch mates and seniors. That very day, I bumped into a strikingly handsome man and I knew I had found my first college crush. Yes, I was totally disarmed by his arresting looks and wondered in which semester he would be.

My heart started pounding faster with every step I tread towards the classroom marked as ‘BBA, LLB 1st year’. As I entered the classroom, I saw the teacher already in the class which made me realize that I was late for my very first lecture. “Wow! He is on time.” Aren’t college teachers supposed to be late for the class as shown in those typical Bollywood movies? Aren’t they supposed to give the potential lovers in the class some time for romance?” I cut the soliloquy short and looked around the already settled class. I finally sat on the very first chair I stumbled upon. I survived two lectures. (Yes, I am pristine in using the word ‘survive’ because the lectures were so soporific; it was as if the teacher was shooting a sleeping pill at with every word he spoke.) After the break of half an hour came the bolt from the blue. I was flabbergasted and rendered speechless to see my very first college crush entering the class room. “What! Is he a lecturer here? No way. That’s not possible. I mean really!” another gush of monologues. Till date I have no idea as to what my Legal methodology class was about for I was knocked for a six by his looks. I thought he resembled Clark Kent, the nerdy alter-ego of superman.

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Days passed and I started liking my college irrespective of the “Patna, Bihar” tag because I realized that the city was no different from any other city in India. In fact, Patna has some of very exotic spots to visit. I liked the college more because I became friends with almost everyone in my class and the seniors liked me a lot for they got to know in the so called “intro-sessions” how well I could sing, dance and mimic(I don’t mean to brag!). I, being the only girl in my college who could mimic and ape almost anybody, got pretty much attention. I was enjoying the limelight and everything was going well from friendships to academics to hostel life to night outs but good times don’t last forever and in my case they ended a bit too soon than they should have been. Three months had passes and the seniors were all enthralled in planning our Freshers’ when on one forgetful day, one of my classmates hit a senior on his head with a fire extinguisher and lodged an FIR against him, accusing him of ragging. As an ugly consequence, Freshers’ 2013 was officially called off and the whole batch was boycotted by the college. ”Amazing! No freshers’, no intro-sessions, bad reputation among teachers and to top it all – embargos, boycotts and bans on our batch.” My college life was not treading the right path and had detracted from its avenue. Anyway, all these restrictions did not last long and we became as much the college members as the seniors within a month.

Everything was back to normal and college became even more happening for me. From getting ready for Dandiya and Diwali nights to pulling all-nighters for snaps and mid-sems, from late night boozing to classroom hangovers, from scary debating sessions to plummeting CGPA in exams, I was living every moment to the fullest with the CNLU clan. It was in these times that I came across Aman, Rythum and Shikha who became my closest friends. We used to hunt various hang-outs in Patna, spent hours sitting at the banks of Ganga and often dropped by Maurya Lok to have the famous Sudha cold coffee. Our whole batch used to regularly meet in the garden by dusk and played a lot of games till the curfew time for the girls, which was 9 p.m. Abhilasha and I used to conduct a bitching session for the girls at night (Girls need bitching as a vitamin, very necessary for their survival). Amidst so much of merriment, came the daunting end-semester exams. The exams which seemed to be never ending finally ended and all of us left for our homes for a long winter break. During the vacations I interned at an NGO in Dehradun with five of my other classmates who were mere acquaintances for me before the break. My first internship proved out to be a blessing for me as I made friends with those “mere acquaintances” and Sushant became my best friend. We both used to lurk and loiter together in every street of Dehradun and he even once took me to a restricted area near Missouri which was so mesmerizing. If I were to write about my days in Dehradun, I could go on writing forever as those were the best days of my life till date. As the college days were coming near and the internship days were waning, I felt a chill in my spine- I was afraid our friendship would lose colour in college as people might envy our bond and try to weaken it. Internship came to an end on the 20th of January and we left for college on the 21st of January. The six of us had only four confirmed reservations and two had to adjust with the other four. Sushant, Suvi and I shared the same berth in a 24 hours long journey. The three of were on each other, literally, Suvi slept after some time and Sushant and I talked the whole night about how things will get different in college and promised each other that we would stay best of friends forever and never indulge in any kind of college politics. Today, all my train journeys are reminiscent of my train journey from Dehradun with Sushant and Suyi. After reaching college, 2nd semester felt like a bed of roses for a few months until something happened which compelled me to change my personality completely. In the month of April, I had to leave for Banaras to present a paper at BHU, Faculty of Law. I had somehow become habitual of having Sushant with me where ever I went. I never used to go anywhere without him because somewhere down the line I had become addicted to him. I realized it the very moment I got a confirmation from BHU that I can’t spend 4 days without him. I convinced him to accompany me to Banaras but he was obstinate and in his decision of not coming along. Even my tears could no persuade him. I left for Banaras the next day and on reaching Banaras I was taken aback and bowled over when I saw Sushant standing on Lanka gate. He wanted to surprise me by coming along with me and spending those 4 days with me. That very moment I discovered that I was in love with him. With every passing day, he made me go even weaker in my knees for him, even more head over heels for him and even more topsy-turvy for him. I never dared to propose to him as he was already in a long distance relationship of 4 years. We were like a family to each other at college. He became my support system and I emotionally supported him for everything. I knew and the whole college knew that we were in love; I wonder how come he never discerned that. In the fall, I confessed my love to him and I was disheartened when he told me that he never had any feelings for me and that I was just a best friend to him. I was left shattered trying to pull myself together after the heartbreak. From the very inception of our friendship, I knew that he was as much into me as I was into him but things went against my conjecture. Heart break was not the end; there were some more tittle-tattle and humiliation yet to shatter me completely. The whole college started bad mouthing me and accused me of throwing myself on a committed boy and accused me of trying to break his relationship.

I was left in shambles and not even my friends came up to console me and pull me out of that cyclone of depression. I kept on twirling and descending in the web of melancholy and dejection with every new made up gossip about me and my character. It was then that I decided to tell my mom about the pathetic turmoil that I was going through in my life. I realized how correct people are when they say that if ever life betrays you, shatters you to the core and renders you hopeless, there are parents behind you to always show you that silver lining. My mom supported me and encouraged me to move on and get serious in life. She made me realize that this was not the age to fall for someone but to make yourself knowledgeable and worthy of being a distinguished personality. She helped me in getting over all the dramas in my life and giving my college life a fresh start. In order to live up to my mom’s expectations, I participated in the intra moot competition with Raina and Nisha. I tried to keep myself busy with the moot preparation so as to let no thought of Sushant traverse my mind. Nisha was the first speaker and I was the second speaker. On the day of the competition, I was keyed up and animated to present my case to the judges. As we were anticipating our turn, I envisaged the judges to be grumpy and corpulent enough to scare the nightmare out of us. The mooting fear is the biggest fear that I have ever had in my life. The word fear fails to give that essence; I would rather call it a superlative degree of phobia, if there is any. The three of us tried to remember all the Gods and Goddesses that we could in order to help us overcome that fear of being grilled and roasted with oodles of twisted questions inside.

“Holy Christ!” My eyes popped out at the sight inside. There were three really handsome young men waiting to judge us. That point in time I couldn’t help chortling and sniggering at my fortune for I realized how ugly I was looking that day. “Why on earth did I not condition my hair today and wear them loose. Only if someone would have told me about these three hunks!” I lamented and bemoaned over my plight. I mounted and precariously perched on the ledge of the podium to present my case. The Judge in the middle was so fair, pink and handsome that I couldn’t stop blushing and beaming even while presenting my case. There came a point when I got sweat beads tripping down my forehead and wrinkles out of what is called a grilling process. They grilled me so much that after 20 minutes I was left with no points to rebut and I started giggling, leaving everyone in the moot court hall aghast. After 10 seconds of my solo laughter, the whole hall and the Judges started laughing with me and I turned the whole intimidating ambience of the hall into a very sparkling and lively one. The entire hall reverberated with laughter. Contrary to my expectations, the moot went really well and my team ended up bagging the 6th position out of 30. After the moots, I realized that I managed to find another crush for myself and he was none other than one of the three judges. Life again seemed to bring a breath of fresh air and this time in my favor.

As life was slowly acquiring a semblance of normalcy, the college was pepped to give us a formal Freshers’ 2014. It was too late to throw a Freshers’ party as we were about to become seniors in the fall but nobody actually cares about the time before planning a party at CNLU. The college does not need any reason to party. The students here are such party freaks; they can throw a big bash for the pettiest of the thing. All of us were looking forward to attending the Freshers’ 2014. We were given various exciting tasks and challenges before the final day. The theme of the day was “PROM” in which the girls were to pull on red dresses and boys were to don a black suit. The whole batch looked amazing. Everyone was looking perfect. I was called on stage to ape different bollywood actors. I managed to make everybody laugh. My performance that day made me win one of the three titles of Miss Freshers’ which further buoyed up my previously dwindled morale and confidence. Freshers’ chased by end-semesters, brought an end to a much thwarted second semester.

After a break of one month all of us returned with a lot of gusto and zest as we all were keen on grilling the juniors. The college this time felt something different- may be because we had an attitude and outlook of a senior. I was more fastened and glued to the college this time as it felt like a home to me. I didn’t like the arrival of the juniors as they were like some intruders into my territory. With time and interaction with the juniors, I became callous towards their presence in the college which used to bother me in the beginning of the session. Till now, two positive things have happened to me in this semester. Firstly, I was selected to be a part of an NGO named IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access) which works towards training underprivileged students for the CLAT and once they get through an NLU, their college fees is sponsored by IDIA and secondly, I got an internship under senior advocate of Supreme Court for my 5th semester breaks. Semester three lacks luster and is very mundane as most of the students have become very competitive and serious about their careers. Even I have realized that every single day in a law school has to be utilized to its fullest in studying, writing papers and applying for internships. That is how a few days back I sat with a bowl of honey chilly potatoes in my room, beside my black dell laptop, to hog in while applying for internships in various firms and under various senior advocates when I came across I-PLEADERS and applied for it only in anticipation of a positive reply. I am hoping that the end of 3rd semester will bring some thrill and elation in my life.

I knew it from the very start that these 5 years in the college will be really arduous and grueling but somewhere I only had the knowledge of it and was not prepared for it. CNLU and its students have managed to teach me a lot in these 3 semesters. I have become a lot more mature, serious in life, competitive and most importantly this, college has taught me that true friends are really hard to find and there is no one behind us to shore us up and buttress us except our parents. How could I not mention the key mantra I learnt after coming to PATNA- “Break the stereotype: Never form judgments about the place you have never been to.” It was my fate to come to CNLU and my destiny will be what I will make out of it.

The chronicles of my rocking and swinging 3 semesters in CNLU, Patna foretold.





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