I met Shobhit Agarwal in Denmark, 2009 in a hostel where the owner held a party for the guests, or correctly said – was trying to sell cheap beer for much higher price, however everyone had a good time. Shobhit was visiting Copenhagen with his delegation to take part in Climate Change Congress. Since 2009, a lot things have changed, but we kept in touch with each other and one day I decided to ask him some questions about his life in India, so here’s the outcome:
I hail from a middle class family and am currently 25 years old and represent the vibrant youth of my country. By God’s grace, I have always been amongst the toppers, which actually propelled me to take some different profession and not customary Engineering which is the order of the day in my family as most of my family members, including my father, are engineers.
I always wanted to do something different. As I am a firm believer of the dictum, it’s always better to do something different rather than going through the age old custom which needs sometimes a change. I chose Law, keeping in mind that this profession will provide me with insight knowledge of the society at large and may be because of this, I will be able to play a part in the society.
I also got selected in engineering and was about to join some premier institute of the country, but then I realized that just having a technical knowledge in this ever changing world will not help, but will make me obsolete, so I dropped the idea and took Law as a career which in India is treated as a profession unlike to many.
Regarding my studies and family, I did my graduation from one of the premier National Law Universities of the country and completed 5 years integrated law course after my XII. In my college, I was fortunate enough to represent India at the international level a couple of times and went as the youngest coach of the world to Copenhagen to an International Negotiation Competition.
I was also fortunate that various articles which I have written got published in national and international Journals including WIPO, Russian Law Journal, Rajasthan Media Journal etc. Both my father and mother are gold medalists and my mother is a state artist and represented the state in various art forms including artistic fields such as dance, heena, music etc. Currently, I am working as an Assistant Legal Manager in Mahindra World City (Jaipur) Limited.
As far as my city is concerned, I hail from Jaipur. It being the largest city and capital of Rajasthan is also referred to as the Pink City. It was founded on 18th of November, 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, after whom the city has been named. Jaipur is 260 km from Delhi and 240 km from Agra and forms the golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. It is a bustling capital city and a business centre with all the trappings of a modern metropolis but yet flavoured strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveler.
The old Jaipur painted in Pink can grip any visitor with admiration. Stunning backdrop of ancient forts: Nahargarh, Amer, Jaigarh and Moti Doongari are apt testimonials of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance and chivalry.
Built by Sawai Jai Singh, this place was India’s first planned city. With its spectacular hilltops and stunning fortresses, Jaipur has become a major tourist attraction amongst both national and international tourists. This royal city captivates travelers as it is known for its rich culture and tradition, magnificent art and artifacts and brilliant and charismatic past. The serene temples, the long standing forts and palaces and beautiful havelis with royal touch to them add on to the glory of Jaipur. Wonderful landscapes, marvelous flora and fauna, picturesque views, etc. All together it creates a mesmerizing view of this place. Only forts and monuments aren’t the attractions of this pink city, the intricate handicraft items and exquisite jewelery also catch the eyeballs of tourists.
Why did you choose to study law?
I would like to answer this one with the help of an interesting story:
A guy once asked a girl in a library: “Do you mind if I sit beside you?”
The girl answered with a loud voice: “I don’t want to spend the night with you!!”
All the students in the library started staring at the guy and he was embarrassed. After a couple of minutes, the girl walked quietly to the guy table and she told him, “I study psychology and I know what a man is thinking. I guess you felt embarrassed, right?”
The guy with a loud voice said 5000 Rs! Just for one night!! That’s too much!!!
All the people in the library looked at the girl in shock and the guy whispered in her ear “I study Law and I know how to make someone feel Guilty”!
And that’s why I chose to study law!
But on a serious note, I chose law as I firmly believe that this profession will entail me to have a glimpse of society at large and I believe that by logically applying wisdom, one can actually break the shackles of slumber which often captivates one and another and shook all. I always wanted to join a profession whereby I would get a chance to interact with people so that I can relate myself to their issues and problems and by serving them by giving a helping hand, and if anything good happens, it will be a blessing in disguise.
Is it hard to become a lawyer in India?
It is not very difficult to become a lawyer if you go ahead with conventional approach that is by opting a three year LLB course after your graduation but this new integrated law course of 5 years is an interesting platform for budding lawyers as these National Law Schools (NLS) provide you in-depth understanding of facts and give you an excellent exposure both at National and International levels. I did my graduation, plus LLB from Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) and begged the certificate of excellence which is only given to those who have achieved highest marks in any subjects. I joined GNLU in 2006 and completed it in 2011 and after college joined company called as Shreyans, which is the official importer of Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Ducati etc. But left it after 1.5 years as I got good opportunity in my home town and came back to Jaipur and joined Mahindra World City as an assistant manager of legal affairs.
Could you also tell me about your work-routine?
Well, this can be aptly put like this: Hectic but eclectic. 6 days a week, with around 12 to 14 hours every day takes a toll on me but such an exposure in an early age keeps me going.
On a given day:
I work along with different departments of my company (legal, finance, infrastructure etc.)
Work on contracts and legal cases and try to improvise on the documents by giving my comments by involving myself in Cross Functional Team Management.
Interaction with multiple agencies on a daily basis, as my job demands various negotiations, arbitrations, discussions while putting on a piece of paper in black and white.
Due diligence of various other companies which are interested in investing in our real estate project.
Articulate work by tying up with various Financial Institutions by providing the information.
Since I am in a real estate business, customer satisfaction is of paramount importance and I listen to their problems and try to minimize it by way of giving them advise generally from a legal point of view and not discarding other realms of advise.
And yes, before I forget, I do and complete my lunch on time as well . Being a big time food lover, it is the second best thing in the world which carries me.
What do you usually do besides working?
Well, I am an ardent follower of cricket as a game and just loves to hang out with friends, although they are very few, thanks to my shy nature. I just worship cricket as a game, it has taken a set back after these fixing scandals which have bolted a nail in the faith of each Indian but still loves the game because of its sheer competitiveness, passion, ruthlessness and gentleness. Apart from cricket, I love to read and having a good collection of some novels thanks to some online websites which are a boon for a veracious reader like me.
I know that India has hundreds or even thousands of delicious dishes, have you got your favourite one?
I just love to have home-made cooked food prepared by my mother. Among dishes, I just crave on Dal Bati Choorma (kind of a traditional dish of Rajasthan). Also, love a bit of non-veg food.
Among, desserts, my heart swirls down when I have Rasgullas in my mouth..:)
Do you cook at home?
It is the irony that although being a hard core lover of food, I don’t cook as good as others do but is bit manageable and can say one thing for sure, after eating my hand made food, you don’t need to take stomach ache medicines for sure.
Could you tell me about some of your favourite places in India?
Jaipur: (I just love the city not only because I was born there, but because of its sheer sensitivity, calmness, vibrancy, love and warmth which people possess by valuing their relations. The city not only is considered as the tourist attraction for monumental buildings but is a dream shopping spree for girls. The food here is amazing which can bring one and all crazy and on their feet with its freaking taste!)
Mumbai: (Loved the city for its professionalism, street food and scenic beauty. The city can enthrall one and many by its unflinching glamour, its uncanny life style which is very fast and the city attracts you because it gives you many options and if you love Bollywood, Mumbai is the place for you!)
Goa: (I just recently visited Goa and fell in love with this place, not because it has beautiful beaches, poolside parties and… booze, but because I feel that people go there to enjoy their lives and to be carefree, which you generally don’t associate with other parts of the country as I loved the place because it can bring the flavor of oneself as by going there, you can be you who is free and far from diplomacy and mad running life.)
I know its a bit of a cliché to come up with this topic, but do you like Bollywood movies?
Who on earth can save himself from Bollywood?! Of course I love movies and especially romantic movies. As a Libra-sign, its in my blood to be a romantic zerk and thanks to actors like Shah Rukh Khan, who has just gone ahead with time in making us realize that true love exists and it exists beautifully. Maybe I’m empathizing it because I am still a bachelor and is time to look for the right one!
My Favorite movies:
Swades – Hindi Movie (of Shah Rukh Khan)
Lakshya – Hindi Movie (of Hrithik Roshan)
Dabangg Series – Hindi Movie (of Salman Khan)
Sholay – Hindi Movie (of Amitabh Bacchan)
and many other English movies too!