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Behind The Scenes: With a Lawyer

Behind The Scenes: With a Lawyer : This week we are in conversation with Mr. Chetan Anand, a well known advocate based out of Delhi and practicing in the Delhi High Court. He has over 10 years of experience in legal matters including commercial litigation, property litigation, contractual disputes, criminal cases etc.   He has shared a lot with us from his experience in this profession which may help and encourage you in this career. It was a great experience to interview him. Hope you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed talking to him!   Interview with Mr. Chetan Anand  Palak: Tell us a bit about yourself? Chetan: I'm born and brought up in Delhi and studied in Air Force School. My parents are also Lawyers by profession so I practically grew up hearing them discuss their cases. I enjoy my work, always thrilled to go to a courtroom and argue my cases. While on work regardless of which day of the week, you would find me wearing white shirt and black trousers. So in a way my wardrobe is pretty much black and white. And when I'm not working, I am a different person all together. I love to travel and so I look for opportunities to get out of Delhi either through work or otherwise.   Palak: How did you shape your career as an advocate? Chetan: I did my A levels from London School of Economics (LSE) for 2 years, afterwards I came back to India and studied B.A. LL.B from Rohtak University. I started my career by doing internship under Mr. Gopal Subramanium (Solicitor General of India from 2009 - 2011) for a year. Then I practiced with Mr. Amar Jeet Singh Chandhok for another year, from there I went on to practicing with my father for a good amount of years. Now it's been close to 4 years since I'm practicing Law independently.   Palak: What does this profession mean to you? What do you love the most about being a lawyer? Chetan: For me it has become a passion more than a profession. I love the thrill; this is what really keeps me going. I look forward to those days when I have to go to court and argue a matter; it's a different feeling all together. This profession has given me a good amount of experience  I can somehow manage to read someone's mind, their body language. It's exciting to get a big brief and polishing it up. Even if my client is on the weaker side, I go out of my limits to try to make his case strong enough and argue it out, playing my part at the best.   Palak: What type of cases do you handle? Chetan: I mostly deal with a mix of property and criminal cases, per say 7 out of 10 cases are of property dealing and 3 are criminal cases. I argue from the defense side, however I advice my clients to avoid dragging the matters to court instead do an out of court settlement. In my experience of 10 years I have already settled 7 - 8 matters out of court. I am not a tax lawyer and I dislike matrimonial cases.   Palak: What surprised you the most when you started working in this field? Chetan: My first day in chamber was nothing less than a shock to me. One fine day I went to chamber with my father, he handed me the file of a case at 1:15, the hearing of this case was post lunch. I did not have the slightest idea about this case but as they say you need to jump into the pool to learn, so from 1:15 - 2:15 I kept reading the file. When I presented the case in the chamber, I was almost blank, not knowing how to present myself; the judge thrashed me like anything in an open court. You can imagine my embarrassment! But that was that and since then by God's grace I have never had such a day again. Now I'm always fully prepared when I go to court, in fact I will not take your case if I haven't been through every minute detail of your file. One should always go prepared!   Palak: What were the difficulties you came across to reach where you are today? Chetan: When I passed out and entered law firm, things were not as easy as they seemed. You need a lot of patience when it comes to this profession. You can't base your whole career on the fact that your father or mother is well established in that profession and likewise you are also going to work wonders. In fact, when your parents are big shots in the same profession then there are always pros and cons attached to it. Obviously the expectations go way beyond and everyone expects you to live up to them. You have both friends and enemies to carry forward. It is all about balancing it out. The general perception is that you will perform well. I don't think about what others say or think of me. I don't let this pressure build on myself and just believe in giving my 100%. At the end of the day it's totally your talent.   Palak: What are some of the main personality traits of a successful lawyer? Chetan: Being street smart and the ability to think on one's feet, is very important. You should be studious, by this I don't mean that you need to score 90% but a bookworm kind of person. You really need to read a lot, without reading this profession is nothing. One also needs to have awareness about what's happening in the world that too almost in every sphere. To reach this level, you don't need to be a topper, neither was I; I've always been a mediocre student or the back bencher for that matter. It is the hard work which is the key to success and patience is what this profession demands the most.   Palak: How important are the interpersonal skills for this profession? Chetan: Interpersonal skills are an essential or the pre-requisite to become a lawyer. Since this profession is all about convincing so traits of communication are a must for lawyers. You need to deal with people from all walks of life; you should know the art of playing with words. There should be commitment in your voice because it's all about public speaking.   Palak: How do you keep yourself motivated? Chetan: The greatest motivation factor is, when your passion turns into profession. Also, losing a case motivates me to work harder and to win the next one.   Palak: What is the hardest part of your job? And what is the favorite part of your job? Chetan: I love the discussion part of my job. Whenever a new case comes up, the way my team sits down on a matter and we take the entire day reading the file, discussing and coming up with the various arguments among ourselves is what I enjoy the most. Investigating one matter from different points of view; the interactive sessions that we have are brilliant. The hardest part is to satisfy a client. It's nothing less than a task. One day the client might be happy with you but it might not stay same forever.   Palak: Name a few lawyers who continue to inspire you? Chetan: When inspiration is right at home why to look outside. I look up to my father, Mr. R.K.Anand. He truly continues to inspire me.   Palak: How do you spend your free time? Chetan: I love to play tennis, watch movies and play with my daughter in free time.       Palak: If not a lawyer then what would you want to be? Chetan: I would have wanted to become a Formula 1 Race driver. I am a hardcore fan and almost have been to all the F1's.   Palak: What accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction and why? Chetan: Settling a matter outside court is nothing less than an achievement for me. Being able to satisfy both the parties, even though I'm not representing the other side. Both agreeing to a settlement; basically it's a win-win situation for all.   Palak: Can you tell me about a typical day on the job? Chetan: My day starts at 5:30 in the morning. Then I dedicate an hour to my fitness, from 6:00 A.M - 7:00 A.M I'm at the gym. After coming back home, I read newspaper and by 9:00 A.M I leave for my work. By 9:30 A.M I reach my chamber and the court starts at 10:30 A.M. Till 3:00 P.M I am in my chamber and from 3:00 P.M - 8:00 P.M available in my office. 8:00 P.M - 9:00 P.M is the time dedicated to play tennis. I am usually home by 9:15 P.M. That's it, that's my typical day!   Palak: Would you like to recommend this profession to the youth? Chetan: Yes, I would love to recommend this profession. Lawyer is a beautiful profession. In law, you not only get the opportunity to meet but also help a lot of people. You get a lot of exposure in almost every aspect of life. Your thought process becomes vast - it's just not confined to one field. It's like one moment it could be a murderer and another moment it could be a property dealer asking for help; you need to step into their shoes, study, think and get them out of the trouble. Knowledge is immense in this field. I strongly recommend this profession but only for the people who work hard because it's a lot of work and one has to flame those lamps at nights; I still do!   Palak: What are employers typically looking for when hiring people in this line of work? Chetan: One should have a good grasp over procedures and basics. Other than that it's the zeal and enthusiasm to learn which matters the most. One should not confine the thought process and should go beyond. One should take the initiative and come up with different arguments. And yes another important thing is - one should know drafting.   Palak: What advice would you give to someone who wants to get started with this profession? Chetan: You have to learn all the procedures; there is no way out. Your basics should be right in place; sometimes you can defeat the opposition with strong basics only. And basic doesn't come just by reading, you need to go to the lower courts to witness cases, start working with the lawyers who are good in working with the trial courts. Civil or criminal doesn't matter; one should work with lawyers in trial sides. As far as Law courses are concerned whether it should be a 3 year course or an integrated 5 year course, doesn't matter much because in our profession it's the practical experience or the knowledge of basics which matters the most. Anybody coming out of the Law College my sincere advice would be to work for a trial court on civil side at least for a year, then if you want to practice the criminal side give another year to know the basics after that sky is the limit for you. Initially don't think much about money, just work hard money will automatically fall in place and then you won't be able to stop it. Remember it's a grey hair profession and you need to have a lot of patience. Hope this interview inspires you all!! :) iDC is focused on helping students choose a career in which their potential is maximized. In case you have any career related query, please post it here: SUBMIT --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Latest Articles: Changes in CAT examination pattern 2014 | Tips for Online Entrance Exams | Career in Law at a Glance | Practice Law as a Career | 7 Tips for an Intern to Outshine | Behind The Scenes: With a Photojournalist | Zoom Into Photography | Click Of Your Career  

Behind The Scenes: With a Photojournalist

Behind The Scenes: With a Photojournalist : We bring you up close and in person with Mustafa Quraishi, a renowned photographer with over 15 years of experience as a Photojournalist. His work found place in prestigious publications like the Time Magazine, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, GEO Magazine and not to mention in all the Indian big league newspapers, magazines and exhibitions. It was fun and interesting to have a chat with him. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed covering it for you. Exhibiton of Mustafa Quraishi's Photographs - Photo Courtesy: Mahavir Sbisht      Interview with Mustafa Quraishi - A Moment Catcher   Photo Courtesy: Mustafa Quraishi   Palak: Tell us a bit about yourself, your likes and dislikes? Mustafa: I'm based out of Delhi and did my schooling from Modern School, Vasant Vihar. I got through Kirori Mal College, Delhi University not because I passed my exams with flying colors but the credit for it goes to extra-curricular activities. As far as likes and dislikes are concerned I strongly dislike hypocrites and people with double standards. Being You! is what I believe in. I can't be pretentious at all. I am just the way I am - good or bad doesn't matter. For me being a good human is way above than being a good photographer.   Palak: What does Photography mean to you? Mustafa: Everything. If your work is good then your personal life is good. Being creatively and professionally satisfied means life is good.       Palak: Did you do a course to learn Photography? Mustafa: Yes, I did diploma in Photography from Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communication (SACAC), New Delhi. I also did a workshop in Photography with Deepak Hiranandani on light, texture and shadows.   Palak: How did you shape your career in Photography? Mustafa: In my 2nd year of graduation, I got an internship offer from Indian Express. So without any second thoughts I followed my heart and left graduation in between. After spending 5 eventful years at The Indian Express, I joined Associated Press and worked with it for almost a decade. Associated Press offered me to choose between two states Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. I chose Andhra Pradesh and stayed there for a year and a half. Right now, I am freelancing.   Palak: You started Photography as a means to express yourself or you always knew that this would earn you a living? Mustafa: No, Actually Never. As a boy, I dreamt of being in Army, flying helicopters. Photography happened much later; initially it was just a hobby for me. What actually happened was in 11th class a career counseling session took place and according to it my areas of interest were - army, media and interior designing. It was so apt as if somebody read my mind. However due to an injury I could not pursue my dream, so here I am exploring myself in media.   Palak: Which Camera do you own, what kind of lenses do you work with? Mustafa: In Associated Press I used a Canon Camera and the lenses were 17 - 35 mm and 17 - 200 mm. I own Canon 5D Mark II and Mark III. As far as lenses are concerned I mainly work with Fixed Lenses 24 mm f/1.4, 50 mm f/2.8, 85 mm f/1.8, 135 mm f/2L, the only Zoom Lens I have is 24 - 105 mm.   Palak: What first drew you towards Photojournalism, how did you discover your liking for it? Mustafa: I always liked the reaction of people towards news. The way everybody rush towards the breaking news or the most talked about thing in the town. Although at times its life threatening as there is a risk of being beaten up or getting injured but still every time I feel like going back. Three times I was sent to such locations from Associated Press and once in free lancing. But every time I felt like this risk is surely worth taking.   Palak: What were the difficulties you came across to reach where you are today? Mustafa: The forever nudging society commenting about me not even being a graduate. But once I joined Associated Press all the mouths were shut. Comments converted into compliments.   Palak: What do you love the most about Photojournalism? Mustafa: Anything and everything. This industry demands a lot of hard work and a tinge of luck too. I mentioned luck because picture happens in milliseconds. Once missed no matter what you cannot get that moment back, for e.g. exploding of a bomb, if captured in a fraction of second, it could turn out be a great picture indeed. Degrees and PhDs don't matter much; it's your eye which makes the difference. It's the person behind the camera which matters the most.   Palak: What is the hardest part of your job? Mustafa: The intensity of risk involved. Many a times this thought came across my mind that this could be my last day. Family life also gets disturbed as there are no fixed hours of working, however I'm lucky to have full family support. Moreover the equipments we use are very heavy. I can give it in writing that 80% of the photographers suffer from backache or knee problem.   Palak: How do you keep yourself motivated? Mustafa: I enjoy Photography. A great picture is the biggest satisfaction and this is what keeps me going.   Palak: Name a few photographers who continue to inspire you? Mustafa: Kevin Frayer, (Chief Photographer in Associated Press) and Gurinder Osan (National Photography head of Hindustan Times).       Palak: What makes a good picture stand out from the rest? Mustafa: It's the composition which makes you stop and gaze at it. It's the play of lights and shadows that increases your curiosity towards a picture. By looking at the portfolio one can easily recognize whether the brain is used or it's just a picture without story and thoughts.     Palak: Color vs Black & White? Mustafa: Color because that reflects reality. Black and white doesn't reveal the real picture or the truth.       Palak: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos? Mustafa: I just look ahead and don't think that much.   Palak: How do you know when to press the click button to capture that perfect shot? Mustafa: See it's all a gamble of time but we photographers do shoot a lot. In earlier days, it's by hit and trial method but later on it's the experience which helps. It's the experience only which lets your photograph speak the way you want them to.   Palak: How important it is to Photoshop the images? Mustafa: It's quite important but one should understand Photography first. What I mean is, your prime focus should be clicking a good picture; the composition should be strong enough in itself then adding some final effects to it. Clicking a mediocre picture and then editing it to make it presentable will get you nowhere. Anybody can learn how to use Photoshop but the real task is getting your angles right. One should really work hard on that.   Palak: If you could be invisible for one day with your camera, what would you like to click? Mustafa: Haha, being invisible would really help in my field, will reduce the risk. I would love to work more on my personal project on Maoists (Chhattisgarh).   Palak: Would you like to try any other style of Photography in the future, what would that be? Mustafa: Since I was working with an agency so I have already tried my hand on various styles of Photography - from wedding Photography to some story on pollution, straight from portraits to bomb blasts. But yes, I don't like wildlife and sports Photography. I don't have that much patience.   Palak: Some of your favorite works? Mustafa: Now that's a difficult one to answer. All of my work is very precious to me but still if I have to choose then it would be - projects on Afghanistan and Maoists. These projects are really close to my heart.   Palak: What piece of advice would you like to give for Photography enthusiasts looking to go professional or just starting out? Mustafa: Don't get into Photography for glamour. Don't think that you will be sent to Switzerland or some fancy location within the very first year. This road is not as easy as it seems. You will not get a high pay in the beginning but once you have explored enough in the market, gradually money will get better. One should have the urge to learn more and more in this field. It takes five to seven years of experience to get your basics in place. Give time and have patience. Else you will also be a part of the same bunch of amateur photographers with just a DSLR in your hand and strolling around with the thought of being a part of this cool profession. You will have to dedicate time and energy. But don't you worry it will all get paid off. Last piece of advice will be buying your own camera. Earning money and then spending it is what makes it truly valuable.   Click the links to see his work: Photojournalism & Other Work. Hope this interview inspires you all!! iDC is focused on helping students choose a career in which their potential is maximized. In case you are confused about pursuing Photography as a Career, please post your queries here: SUBMIT