Aashi was tired. It had been yet another late night and even after so many months, her system had still not adjusted to just a few hours of sleep. Added to that, working weekends was really not her idea of fun. Not that there was any choice but to grin and bear it. Ordinarily she loved her work but today was weighing heavily on her. Things were not right with Gurman and their nth argument last night had left yet another tear in what was already a fragile relationship. She gazed morosely at the engagement ring on her finger. Who would have thought that what she wished for would cause her such grief when it happened?
“Next student Meenu.”
Aashi jolted out of her reverie at the voice. She looked across at the counselor beside her who looked ready to cry.
“Komal, I have just finished a whole family’s counseling ya. Isn’t there anyone else?”
“I’ll take it Meenu. Komal give the form to me.” Aashi held out her hand and nodded to acknowledge Meenu’s grateful smile. She might as well keep busy; at least her mind wouldn’t wander to unpleasant things as it had a tendency to do off late. She looked down at the form to process the student’s information.
Samar Sharma. 1975 born. Looking for an LLM.
Aashi groaned mentally. These 30+ students were tough to handle. They came with all their research done and asked pointed questions. She sighed. Ah well, there was no avoiding this one. She looked up to see a distinguished guy walk into the office. He was smartly dressed in a coat and trousers and looked like he was ready to fight a case in court. Slight sprinkling of salt lined his wavy hair and spectacles added to his self possessed air. Aashi felt her heart sink. This one looked like he knew everything. She hated those types. They made her feel like she was under a microscope by testing her knowledge. And today of all days to be saddled with such a student. God really knew how to pick his moments. She pasted a smile on her face
“Hi, please have a seat. “ She waited until he sat down. “So how can I help you Samar?”
“I am looking for an LLM. I believe that you have representatives from some good UK Universities here. I would like to meet them. Here are my documents.” His voice was deep and husky; a pleasure to hear was Aashi’s startled thought.
Four sets of neatly bound documents were placed in front of her. To cover up her discomfiture she picked up one and looked through it-Class 10, Class 12, graduation, LLB, work experience; it was all there. Seldom in her experience as an education counselor had she come across such an organised student.
“This is great. Shall we first shortlist the colleges and then you could meet with the ones which are here today.” Aashi took a sheet of paper and started jotting down names of universities on it. Much to her annoyance Samar leaned over to see what she was writing. She sighed again. Maybe he had OCD? She briskly slid the paper across to him. “
“These are the ones I think you should target. You have good grades and work experience, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be made an offer. The only thing working against you is that you’re applying late. You missed out on two of the good ones because their deadline is past but I think Queen Mary should definitely be able to make an offer, especially since they are here today.”
“What about Australia?” Aashi gave him a look of horror. “Why would you want to do Law from Australia? It’s not recognised back in India and you wouldn’t be able to practice as a lawyer since their legal system is different. UK is a much better option. Now shall I set up an appointment with Queen Mary & Birmingham?” At his affirmative nod, she slid out of her seat with his forms and went across to the reception. “Komal, please register this student for these universities.”
She walked back to her desk where Samar was. She couldn’t help noticing how straight he sat, like a soldier. “Samar, if you could please take a seat at the reception, Komal will guide you to the universities when it’s your turn.”
“Sure. Thanks a lot for the information. Should I come back here once I meet with them?” Samar stood inadvertently bringing him close to her. She took an involuntary step back. Damn, she hated feeling intimidated. Not that the poor guy had said or done anything but he felt made her feel…strange.
“Yes, you can let me know what they say. All the best.” She heaved a sigh of relief as he left. These mature students were the bane of her life. This one was particularly bad. He made her feel like a kid who didn’t know anything. Oh well, it was just a matter of a few months and then he would leave for the UK, if he got good enough offers. Dismissing him from her mind, she went back to work.