Okay, getting here can be a pain. Especially in the middle of the monsoon. Especially if it is a monsoon that actually sees rains. But that's where the pain ends. And it is replaced by a certain amount of longing, some jealousy, and a whole lot of appreciation for the magnificent NALSAR campus spread over 55 acres in Shameerpet.
After the security guys did all but frisk me, I found myself in the office of the most genial registrar and esteemed faculty member, Dr. A Lakshminath. A brief introduction later, a tour of the grounds left me amazed at the impressive architecture, landscaped grounds, enviable sports facilities with a football and cricket ground, a stadium, badminton and basketball courts, and plans for a gym and swimming pool. And once again, more longing to be 18 so that I can come to NALSAR took over me. And it had little to do with the fact that NALSAR is considered the second best law school in India after NLS.
The hostel facilities at NALSAR are more than adequate, with even foreign nationals being suitably impressed. Junior students share rooms while seniors get their own single rooms. A common mess serves the students, and tries, sometimes successfully, to cater to all palates.
The library and Internet center are well-planned and spacious. Seeing the size of the law books, however, reduced some of my longing.
The faculty at NALSAR are well-respected in the national and international law circles, with most of them sporting their own 200 word-profiles on their website. The classrooms are well-designed to ensure maximum interaction between the students and faculty.
The students have to take up internship programs every semester and work with NGOs, libraries, judges, lawyers, courts etc. to gain practical experience, and learn the all-important lawyers' skill of networking and building a future client base. The University has also signed an MOU with Griffith University of Australia to exhange faculty and students. The placements are a matter of pride here, with 100% of students have been placed with top firms, and commanding an initial salary of 55k to 60k per month. More longing. Sighhh.
Energy and laughter are tangible in the NALSAR air, as the students stream out of class in their Tuesday whites, but each with her own touch, to mark her individuality. That, in a word, sums up the students at NALSAR. Individuals. In an atmosphere of camaraderie and learning with suitable support from peers and faculty, the students have grown in confidence, and it seems infectious.
The campus is entirely residential, and students have to stay on campus on weekdays under normal circumstances. Weekends usually comprise of city visits. The campus is connected to the main road by minimal bus services, and this is one of the very few complaints that the students have. Personal vehicles are not allowed on campus.
But NALSAR is not a bad place to be stranded in, like I was on one rainy day, or like the students here are for 5 years. The campus activities are spectacular in their diversity, and students have a yearly intra-college cultural and sportsfest called Carpe Diem. And NALSAR also plays host to about 50 national colleges in its national level festival, The Summons.
The students have occassional classes in dance and yoga, and have their own film and book clubs, theater group, and quiz and debate groups. And being a cosmopolitan group, they share their cultures by traditional celebrations of all major festivals. No one complains of boredom here. If anything, they say time passes too soon!
NALSAR offers more than an education. It offers a great past and a great future.