My politics starts with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. I was eight , my mind was full of story books, comics and the Amar Chitra Kathas from Hindu Mythology. I can still remember those days of transition, I was growing very fast but not as just a girl child but as an intellectually strong girl child. So, I met ‘Bapu’ in the movie screen first in a clumsy dusty gloomy cinema hall, not like the present days INOX kind of a hall, that was literally unimaginable that time ; Bapu, first half wearing coat and trousers and the second half with Dhoti and Chadar had a charishmatic presence over evryone inside and outside the screen. A scene from the movie knocked at the window of my heart where Mr MK Gandhi was trying to send his Chadar to a poor lady through the wave of the Yamuna River ,and the lady sitting embarrassed beside the water, a sense of responsibility, a sense of respect, a sense of sympathy of the charecter who played the role of Gandhi attracted my senses which found a strong support from my inner self. I was just eight till I entered the movie hall. I tried to find him out on my history books when I was a pre teen even then I started thinking like those freedom fighters of 1942. I often tried to draw his picture on my mind from the various things I know about him but misearably failed because actually I knew nothing about him, except a few facts and figures of the history of nationalist movements of my country. Only after a long gap, when I passed University Examinations, I visited Shantiniketan, a place where Gandhi Ji became ‘Mahatma’, I restarted my expeditions on Mahatma’s Life through his writings, workes and quotations. The visit of Shantiniketan had a deep impact on my mind, I gone through publicised letters, writings of Tagore on Mahatma Gandhi , some valuable photos of Gandhi with Tagore , I could confirm their inter personal relationships, their feeling of brotherhood, sympathy toward fellow indians who were fighting battle against the British Rulers. It was understandable how both of them were emotionally attached with each other inspite of having different directions in life.
When I started my career as a lawyer in the High Court at Calcutta I was under a great confusion that whether I will be able to handle cases perfectly, err, perfect should not be the word, it should be whether at all I can handle cases because I was in serious doubt about my adaptability of the professional life as a lawyer. Not that I was a bad student or I was not mature enough to understand law studies in general. But there was something in my sub conscious mind which compelled me to think before joining my first chamber that may be I will not be able to be a good professional. Even today I am not completely out of that feeling. In the mean time I changed chamber several times, I changed my way of living , even I changed the city , I earned a lot of experience of handling people, clients, friends, seniors, juniors, judges, peons and clerks but I have never considered myself a good professional. People often pinched me by saying that I am a hard nut to crack but I swallowed all the ignorance, taunts, breach of trusts and laughter, not always silently but with patience. The future readers of this article may think opposite but I believe there is a close connection between professionalism and the urge of earning money. I can give you a strong example in support of my view which you may find in your daily life. A street begger who often begs with a child in a fixed traffic signal? In fact these days you can never find an amature one of old times with no intention to advertise his/her poor state of existence putting extra effort. So, for me also it was just an extra outfit over my saree in the context of earning money. But I truely enjoyed the journey as a member of the Bar Association. I enjoyed every bit of it. I liked the way I took the cases, I liked the way I assisted my seniors, I liked the way I comforted the juniors and most importantly the humane way I dwelt with my clients without having expectations of earning huge money. I always tried to be a good lawyer but that way I became a bad professional.