Old and New

I just found my old phone,
hidden in a corner of a drawer.
And it looked strange.

Strangely, few months ago,
it fitted perfectly in my hand,
and all its buttons seemed perfectly aligned.

But not now.
Now it seemed like an alien object,
with an unfamiliar colour and an odd screen.

Now my new phone is familiar and perfect.
In a way, my old phone feels new and my new phone feels old.

I have noticed similar trends with people too.
If people get hidden in a corner
and are not interacted with,
they seem strange after a while.
Even best friends are not an exception to this.

I have noticed similar trends with myself too.
Parts of my self, which got hidden, now seem strange.

My older selves, including my older emails, seem alien.

We form a habit, start loving the comfort, and then get bored.

We then jump to the new thing and it keeps playing in a loop.

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Rains

Rains have different meanings for different people and different meanings at difference places.

In my hometown in Himachal it meant these: that I couldn’t play cricket in the evening; that playing would mean slipping on chalaru (leaves of chir trees which had dried and turned brown); and that if it was a Friday, my white shoes would get upsettingly wet and dirty.

Rains also meant pakaudas and tea; pakaudas made with so much love, warmth and home (yes, home is a feeling) that all the bad cholesterol in them surely would turn to good cholesterol.

In Kolkata, rains meant heavy rains, an outpour. If you wanted to read a book in the library, you’d have to dash to the library, 100 meters away, feeling a bit of a sluggish Usain Bolt. It meant ankle deep water and an ill tempered, damp vibe.

Despite all this, it made Kolkata all the more beautiful. The greenery inside the campus glistened.

In Delhi, unfortunately, most often and not, I don’t realise whether it’s raining or not. The house is closed, the AC is on and the windows are shut.

Such a mood-dampening thing not to witness the rains.

I think rains are a message to stop things. Pause for a bit. And watch. And ponder.

Ponder and realise that those white shoes and pakaudas meant a lot. And for once, stop the frenetic search for sunshine.

Lawctopus Ideas

Ideas are worthless just on their own. Ideas need to be shared. Here are 10 ideas we are planning to work on at Lawctopus in the next 1 year.

Do let me know which ones do you like the best. If you’d like to help, email me at tanuj.kalia@lawctopus.com. Thank you for your time and help.

1. CLATapult: Develop www.clatapult.com into that sort of a website ‘for law aspirants’ like Lawctopus is ‘for law students’.

2. Job/internship site (modular internship plans): a platform likeinternshala.com where people can apply for internships and jobs.

3. Recruitment: a legal recruitment agency.

4. Online Law School: bridge the skill gap between top law school graduates and others. Not through legal knowledge (which can be gotten through reading books and internships) but through other skills.

5. Forum: a forum where law students and law aspirants and lawyers can interact with each other and among themselves.

6. Lawmato: just like your can search for restaurants as per your tastes and interests (Malviya Nagar, 1000-1500 Rs., Chinese, etc.) you’ll be able to search for internships (Law Firm, Mumbai, Stipend).

7. Mini Lawctopus: encourage law students to start mini Lawctopus magazines in their law schools. Encourage quality writing and discussion on issues that affect law schools and students.

8. Lawyer blogs: help lawyers start quality blogs.

9. Mentorship: encourage lawyers and senior law students to mentor young law students. Imagine getting mentored by a Jessup prize winner on mooting.

10. Event tickets: have a ticketing platform on Lawctopus. Want to register for a moot court? Do that on Lawctopus.

Thank you, Papa

Thank you Papa:

1. For not stopping me or Anuj from doing our version of WWE, because you believed in having fun.

1. A. For rushing me late in the night to a doctor for getting stitches around my eye-brow; a result of a misdirected Flying Kick.

2. For working long hours in remote locations.

3. For buying us 100s of NBT books that made me fall in love with words.

4. For introducing me to the world of dogs.

5. For introducing me to the world of cricket.

6. For playing long hours of cricket with me; bowling fast enough to challenge; but slow enough not to hurt.

7. For buying half a dozen cricket bats and a hundred balls.

8. Thank you for telling me to dream big.

9. Thank you for the occasional whacks on the backside.

10. Thank you for the yummy chicken and the big ice-cream bricks, watermelon juice and for every time you stepped into the kitchen.

11. Thank you for the bear hugs in which you lifted both of us AND mom in a true show of ‘My Daddy Strongest’!

12. Thank you for inculcating healthy eating habits.

13. Thank you for teaching yoga.

14. Thank you for teaching the value of hard work.

15. Thank you for never comparing the two of us, and for shutting up anyone who did.

16. Thank you for taking up BIG projects as an administrator. Those were mightily inspiring!

17. Thank you for the early morning walks, the trip to Rajasthan and the trip to Goa.

18. Thank you for saving my fingers, when as a 2 year old, I tried poking my finger into a revolving unit of a scooter engine.

19. Thank you for setting up an example.

20. Thank you for the ‘distant telephone coaching’ which lead to Anuj getting rank 1 and me getting rank 6 in an All India UN competition.

21. Thank you without a reason.

22. Thank you for shifting to Chandigarh because those were the crucial years for CLAT preparations.

23. Thank you for the gazillion other sacrifices which require a book.

24. Thank you for being a non-vegetarian. Shebaz’s Chilly Chicken is amazing.

25. Thank you for the 80 gazillion tonnes of 24 carat encouragement.

26. Thank you for taking care of us all.

27. Thank you for giving us an utterly butterly great education.

28. Thank you for the most awesome birthday parties in town.

29. Thank you for being the chef, the caretaker, magician, performer in chief and dancer in the said parties.

30. Thank you.

31. Thank you for the lessons in Freedom Struggle of India.

32. Thank you for the models of Heart and Brain and sorry that I didn’t become a doctor.

33. Thank you for the Maps of India and the Competition Success Review.

34. Thank you for being the world’s most enthusiastic photographer.

35. Thank you for sending my poem’s to The Tribune and to Mr. Khushwant Singh.

36. Thank you for teaching the value of family.

37. Thank you for Anuj

38. Thank you for Mom (Renu Kalia).

Happy Father’s Day!

What will you gain out of watching cricket?

To all the 10-16 year old kids, whose parents ask them “What will you gain out of watching cricket?”, here’s a script you can use:

I learn, from Ajinkya Rahane, humility. How you can be little and still play the big shots. Hint: Who’s stopping you?

From Shikhar Dhawan, the value of knowing your limits. He’s a limited batsman, who’s doing well. Also, the value of twirling your moustache up. Always up.

From Rohit Sharma, the value of hard work. With his talent, he should be bettering Kohli.

From Kohli, the value of hard work, again. He was not a born athlete. But if you call him that now, no one would raise an eye-brow. And yes, the value of passion. And the value of love and anti-love.

From Suresh Raina, the value of doing a little bit of extra, to excel. He’s in the team for his bowling. There are many better batsmen out there.

From Dhoni, the value of taking sports to not mean anything more than sports. He’s what the Buddha preached, in gloves and with a helmet. You win, you lose, in sports and in life. But thou shall not be depressed.

From Hardik Pandya, the value of knowing the difference between 99% and 100%. The value of being ‘nearly there’ and ‘being there’. If he improves his game, he’ll be among the best all-rounders. If he doesn’t he’ll have Joginder Sharma as his pal.

From Jadeja, the value of slogging it, day in and day out, and doing the same thing over and over again. His shoulder blades will rust, but consistency is important even if it’s boring.

From Ashwin, the value of innovation, of trying different things and sometimes, of sticking to the thing that’s working for you.

From Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the value of not loosing hope. The value of knowing when it’s your day and making the most of it. If it’s swinging, go bananas!

From Jasprit Bumrah, the value of you believing in the unique you. Of not giving in to the world’s demands of orthodoxy. If the world calls you crazy, thank them for the compliment.

From the good bowler that India never has, the value of knowing that that feeling incomplete all the time, is OK. But that shouldn’t stop you in your quest.

When are you getting unsettled?

The world gives too much importance to getting ‘settled’ in life.

It starts from very very young.

Study well, so that you can get ‘settled’.

Do well in class 10 boards so that you can get the stream of your choice in class 12 so that you can get ‘settled’.

Do well in college so that you can get the job you want so that you can get ‘settled’.

Now, choose a life partner (which god forbid, you can’t change) and choose a city (where you’ll have a house so that you remain fixed at one place) so that you can get settled.

Now, have kids, because family is important, important so that you can get settled.

Now, put your kids through that same processes. Help them get settled. Because unless they get settled, your settlement is not complete.

Then die. Die, feeling unsettled through and through.

You felt unsettled when you didn’t follow the Trigonometric equation or Tagore’s poem. You skipped one or both because it seemed unsettling and un-settlement seemed abnormal.

You felt unsettled when you had your first crush at fourteen. It was exorcised because according to their settled theories, being in love is worse than being possessed. Love unsettles you.

You felt unsettled in college, with adulthood. Growing up unsettles you.

You felt unsettled when you didn’t get that job, unsettled when you didn’t get the girl. Failure and rejection unsettled you.

You quietened all the noise being unsettled made. You quietened all the struggle. You quietened what you knew to be true. You quietened your self. You quietened a genius.

ALL BECAUSE BEING ‘UNSETTLED’ IS ABNORMAL.

And then, to fit in, you settled.

You settled for mediocrity. For the everyday life. You settled for Arnab Goswami.

You settled. You settled because it was force-fed into you that it’s so important.

But it’s not. Living is unsettling.

Major living is majorly unsettling.

If you ever get settled, get unsettled and make peace with it.

How to Celebrate the Valentine’s Day and the Days Before that Day

Instead of the ‘Rose day’, consider a ‘Rise day’; a day where you rise above the pettiness of daily life and dare to dream and do brave things, together.

Instead of the ‘Pro-pose day’, consider an ‘Anti-pose’ day; where you be your authentic self, and don’t go about posing for others.

Instead of the ‘Chocolate day’, consider a simpler ‘Food day’; where you feed the poor and watch them smile, instead of making a multi-billion dollar enterprise richer, and still watch both you and them, scowl.

Instead of the ‘Teddy day’, consider a more alive ‘Bear day’, where you express compassion to animals, because we’ve been needlessly cruel to them.

Instead of the ‘Promise day’, consider a ‘Commitment day’. Commitment is just a long term, kinder way viewing what you promised. Breaking a promise doesn’t mean that you broke the commitment.

Instead of the ‘Kiss day’, consider a ‘Miss day’, where you skip all physical contact with your partner. Watch your body go into turmoil. Watch, don’t react. And when you watch, you’ll realise how impermanent, biological and animalistic it all is.

And well, you can celebrate the ‘Hug day’. Hug tight and hug for long. Hug till your hormones die down and there’s a quiet; a quiet quiet enough for you to hear the heart-beat of the other.

Hug till you are one. And then you won’t have you or your partner.