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A Mourning Morning

October 9, 2009

Prologue: I have just been enrolled at the Bar Council of West Bengal and have earned the right to appear before the Court as an Advocate. It is 10-30 am on Tuesday, 8th September, 2009. I enter Court No 24 wearing my gown and band, with armloads of brief papers to meet the counsel there.

Counsel: Oh! You got your gown, congrats!

Me: Thank you, sir.

Counsel: So what are these papers about?

Me: Sir, this is a winding up petition against…

Counsel: Whyrwerngmurngband?

Me: Pardon me, sir?

Counsel: Whyruwearingmorningband?

Me: (now, exasperated) What, sir?

Counsel: Mourning Band, mourning band; Why are you wearing a mourning band?

Me: (with a completely lost expression) Mourning band?

Counsel: (irritated at my idiocy) Yes, you are supposed to wear a mourning band only when someone in the Court dies. If the judge sees you wearing it today, he will be very angry. Go, change it immediately.

Me: But, what is the difference between your band and mine?

Counsel: See, yours have a stitch in between.

Me: I didn’t know. I asked that lady in the second floor to give me band, she gave me these.

Counsel: (frantically, as if his reputation depended on it) Go, change. Or hide it with your gown.

I am feeling extremely foolish. All my happiness at appearing in the court for the first time has vanished by now. I spot a colleague and share this bit of distressing news with her. She is of the opinion that it can hardly be distinguished. The matter is called and heard.

Counsel: (after the matter is over and while we are leaving the court room) You should change it immediately. Do not wear it again. What have you done?! (Sees my senior with whom I have previously spoken and calls her) Look, look, she is wearing a mourning band today!

She silently stares at me, at a loss for words, wondering how she should react. I stare at the counsel, aghast at his behaviour.

Another counsel in court stares at me with the expression used by kids looking at an elephant or a tiger in the zoo for the first time. I come out of the court with all sorts of feelings waiting to burst out of me, some of which cannot be mentioned here.


Epilogue: I vent my anger on the lady who sold those darned mourning bands to me and made her exchange them with regular bands. I was pissed the whole day with an extremely foul mood. I discussed  with my colleagues as to how the insensitive counsel tried to make me look like an utter fool in front of so many others.

After 10 days,  when I started to narrate  the story, another counsel and a friend told me that he already knew it! Looking at my surprised expression, he added very kindly “The whole High Court knows”! At last, I am famous. Perfect.

NOTE TO SELF: I have achieved a hat-trick – 3 posts on 3 consecutive days. Wonderful.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. the weird wizard permalink
    October 10, 2009 3:49 am

    nice one.. 🙂

    anything and everything that happens to us.. happens for a reason.. 🙂 🙂

    • debosmita permalink*
      November 5, 2009 11:20 am

      Oh yes, and the reason in this case was to portray me like an utter fool 😦
      But, later I myself had a good laugh over it 😀

  2. October 14, 2009 4:27 pm

    It’s so typical of some people to behave like that. I am no stranger to such exaggerated reactions and hyperventilation. The key is to ignore such things completely and play it cool…

    • debosmita permalink*
      November 5, 2009 11:16 am

      Yes, and that’s why this blog post 🙂

  3. Laary permalink
    October 17, 2009 12:11 am

    See, if you were any smarter (than , me, me me)… you’d never enrol in the Bar Council. How tiresome! The idea!!!!!!

  4. debosmita permalink*
    October 19, 2009 10:54 am

    @ Larry – I didn’t have a choice; I am in the litigation team…I HAVE to enrol at the Bar in order to appear in the court.

    The idea of enrollment is definitely tiresome, even more the process, but it’s necessary too.

  5. sharothi permalink
    November 20, 2009 12:11 pm

    i had committed the reverse sin- not caring to spend an extra 18 bucks even when a member of the bar had expired. as one senior aptly pointed out-“are, do it..he was “important” enuf!”

  6. December 12, 2009 5:10 am

    OMG enjoyed reading this blogpost. I added your feed to my google reader!!

    • debosmita permalink*
      December 16, 2009 6:46 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂 and welcome to my blog

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