Guess I was predestined to be a mediocre lawyer...ever since I can remember I have wanted to do law. I remember long drawn out arguments and tantrums with my dad who did not want me to be a lawyer (he was betting on an engineer....whatever, I would've sucked at that too!!!)and I remember faking his signature on the Class XI form so I could do arts and not science.....anyway, I got my wish... (I'm leaving out the detective, pilot,train driver, journalist and aeronautical engineer bits as they were temporary phases...)and here I am!Thought I'd change the world, thought I'd at least sit for the civil service exams and THEN change the world...but then I got sucked up into this whirling vortex called life and here I am, slightly dazed, 15 years down the line. There's this song by Anjan Dutt "koto kichu hobar chilo je...koto kichu bolar chilo re..." (there's so much I had to do, so much that's been left unsaid) which I feel was actually written for me. I know these feelings are neither new nor original, and if you weigh my professional life with my family life, I feel I am blessed, but every now and then theres this voice in my head which is evil and noisy and clatters around like a bat in a closed room at night and it relelntlessly asks me what I am doing....and I often wake up wondering in the darkness... IS THIS IT?
Would so love to end this prattling with stories of blazing success but I'm too comfortable being who and what I am do actually DO anything about it...except maybe quietly rant about it once in a while. As Richard Bach or someone like him would say, obviously I choose to be this way. So am I being contradictory and contrarily confusing...or do these words just sound like mutterings from a mad house? Whatever. I'm here to share a poem...one I wrote when I left the profession in 1999 to have my first child...in my usual tragic style I thought I was leaving forever...
Calcutta High Court, Bar Library Club.
It wasn’t easy, I still recall
the first day within these walls
wide-eyed and a little afraid
to this old room I made my way,
courtroom to courtroom I would roam
thinking, jubilant, I am home!
It’s what I wanted, little did I know,
a few short years and I’d have to go.
I’ll miss this place, I’ll miss you
More, but deep down inside I too
Know: it’s for the best and while
I still can I’ll bow out with a smile…
Truth to say I just hid a tear
because everything here is so dear
to me now. Here’s where I learnt to love
more than I thought I was capable of.
Here too I have heard and seen
gloom and poverty and learnt to feel.
So many times I have wondered why
but then again just wandered by,
skipped, tripped down the stairs
( do you know there’s a hundred there?)
I care for this place, haunted by men
alive and dead converging again.
Time has no beginning nor an end
and I feel aeons ago it was just the same,
the same laments filled its walls,
the same jubilation lit the halls
and if there are thoughts its only this:
here’s where I lived. This is what I’ll miss.
I returned to the profession after two lovely daughters (they DO make everything else worthwhile!)late in 2001. There were the usual teething problems of leaving home with two small kids around but somehow we managed...as they grow up I'm getting used to knitting their homework and exams and extra-curricular activities into the fabric of my own preofessional work and filial duties...I'm learning a lot of patience (a continuous process, I wasn't born with much of that...) and I think we are getting along...so maybe I can one day dream myself back to exactly where I want to be....
ALL THE REST IS DARKNESS.