Our young friend, lawyer-in-the-making Ashok, has given a topic which must bring forth a number of interesting posts. I cannot think of anyone of the ten LCBs not having anything to do with lawyers at some point of time in their lives.
My first acquaintance with a lawyer was when I was a child of four or perhaps five. A close personal friend of my father’s would visit the city where we were then living to attend to some High Court matters from a small mofussil town. He was larger than my father in size and smoked huge big cigars. The total picture was one of an intimidating personality. Although he was quite friendly, I was always in a bit of awe of him and often thought that it would be nice to grow up to be a lawyer like him and smoke big cigars!
When I grew up and got to know him, I found him to be anything but intimidating, but his story was fascinating nevertheless. He lived the life of a bachelor all his life, taking care of his widowed mother though he had a mistress tucked away conveniently in that small town, where everyone knew about it but accepted him for he was a great man and a pillar of the local society. There are many stories as to why he chose to live like that, and the one that appealed to me was that his orthodox family refused him permission to marry outside his caste and so he decided not to marry at all. My next ambition then became to live a life of a bachelor with a mistress tucked away in a nice corner somewhere.
That providence decided otherwise about both the ambitions is now known to all my readers and so let me proceed with my next lawyer acquaintance. Another friend of my father’s sent his son to study for the bar in the same city and he stayed in the college hostel. This student was all of ten years older than I was at that time and for me it was a great wonder that this guy living in a hostel and studying to be a lawyer could have all the freedom that was denied to me living with my parents. That man, incidentally one the many Ambis in my life, eventually did become a successful lawyer in the mofussil areas and also became quite a rake. Luckily I did not have much to do with him to influence me into emulating him.
Fast forward to my adulthood, working life and the national emergency, when I had to face the might of police highhandedness, about which I had posted here. The lawyer who was hired for me by a very close friend became a great personal friend and I could not but help admire him for the way he took on the police and the judiciary during the emergency to fight my case. That he won the case was entirely due to his high skills as a lawyer and the way he had the police official squirming in the cross examination was a sight that I shall never forget.
Subsequently, I had occasions to rub shoulders with some of India’s best legal brains in the area of trademark protection in Mumbai and Delhi and have nothing but great admiration for their pioneering work when the judiciary did not really understand intellectual property rights the way it does now.
After that experience, I have had nothing personal happen to me calling for the need of a lawyer, except to accompany some friends for attesting as witness for wills and testaments when too I have come across some very nice lawyers not at all like lawyers in the jokes one comes across so often. Peculiarly enough, we do not have jokes about lawyers and other professionals as much as the West does. Our humour tends to be highly ethnic in nature and the legal profession has therefore been spared much damage that the Western humourists have caused to their lawyers.
I quite like the enthusiasm and commitment that our proposer of this subject Ashok, has for the legal profession and I hope that he will become a highly successful one and here is wishing him all the very best that life can offer to enable him to do so. After all, I have already decided that he will be my lawyer for all future needs!
This post is the Loose Consortium Bloggers’ Friday post when Ashok, Conrad, Grannymar, Magpie11, Marianna, Maria, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy , and I write one post each on the same topic. Please visit the other blogs too to have different views on this fascinating subject.