An Advocate by vocation, I am Shreyas Rao. My career and life has been a roller coaster ride to say the least. I discovered that I have Bipolar Disorder when I was pursuing first year L.L.B in the year 2004 when I was barely 23.
I did not know precisely the illness per se but knew I suffer from some deviation in behavior and aberration in disposition. I had hesitation in telling my parents about it hence I started looking for helpline number on the internet. My search led me to a befrienders helpline Samaritans which is a Suicide Prevention helpline with a professional unit. I rushed there and took an appointment since it was a NGO the appointment with the Counsellor was free of cost. I described and narrated to the counselor my plight and predicament. She recommended me to a psychiatrist at Jaslok hospital.
I had to muster my courage to tell my parents I have a psychiatric illness and there is a need for professional intervention. My parents were in dismay and disbelief. They were initially reluctant to take me to a psychiatrist but back then I was interning with a lawyer with whom I had confided about my problem. I urged that lawyer to prevail over my parents and he did and my parents were convinced. My father made inquiries about availability of the psychiatrist at Jaslok and took me there. I consider myself very fortunate after the first meeting with the psychiatrist, I was recommended to a clinical psychologist to undergo a psychometric test which revealed there is neurochemical imbalance in the brain. My then doctor did not tell me it is Bipolar Disorder as he did not believe in labels however I myself discovered I am I have BPAD. My treatment was in progress by then.
All this happened while I was pursuing first year law and I ended up flunking in it prior to that I had flunked in 12th grade as well then I was pursuing commerce after that I switched over to Arts and became a sincere student.
I was the Secretary of Philosophy and Psychology Association of my degree college while I was in second year BA During that time I pursued a course in Human Resource Development from Welingkars Institute of Management. No matter I failed in first year law, I was the highest prize winner in co-curricular activities like debates, elocution, moot court, dramatics, mock parliament, inter collegiate events and extempore speaking at the National level. My illness derailed my focus and I was also diagnosed with ADHD IN 2005 and I failed for the second time in law in first year I fell short of 13 marks.
My then counselor nevertheless congratulated me and said to me, “You are so near and yet so far. You have tried your best.” I decided to pursue an Event Management Course and successfully completed it in 2006 and by then I cleared my first year law.
When my 2nd year law college began I got a manic episode which lasted for 3 months then depression occurred. I will never forget that manic episode. In 2nd year law I had 2 kts which I cleared subsequently and qualified for third year law. As usual I excelled in extracurricular activities.
I became a law graduate by 2008. In terms of co-curricular activities I was crowned Mr Personality in college and was adjudged best speaker in in entire Mumbai city and got an opportunity to represent Mumbai University in impromptu speaking and won 2nd prize.I got my licence to practice law in October 2008 I worked with lawyers practicing law of crime, Ashok Shahani and Associates. I was paid a meagre salary as a junior lawyer. I struggled in the initial years of advocacy I had to work with lawyers and firms who paid a paltry amount but gave good amount of professional exposure. I worked in companies and then with realtors. My vulnerability to stress was far greater than now. In the year 2011 I came across a law firm where in I could work for a year. I was also that very year writing columns for Legalpundits.com a Legal database.
In the year 2012, I got an opportunity to teach law at Acharya College, Chembur, however due to interpersonal problems I could not stick to that job. I lost my father in February 2013 and thereafter I started teaching at Ravi Classes Matunga for nearly a year I taught Economics, English and Psychology.
I wish to mention in 2010 the first writ petition I argued in High Court I was in the news as my client was a renowned cosmetic surgeon. I was again in the news in 2012 for saving an American judge from contempt in Bombay High Court.
I have got favorable orders/judgements against formidable opponents in RERA. When I was just 3 years old at the bar, I beat a giant lawyer of the Parsi Panchayat in a complicated matter. In the year 2015 I was working with Nalavade and Co a law firm dealing in General litigation. I have also been successful in getting divorces done in family court as a lawyer. Later, I taught Advanced English at Sheetal Academy and B.M Institute. For a very brief period, I worked as a Content Specialist with thatspersonal.com. In the year 2018, I joined Randive and Kadam Associates, a law firm dealing in Real Estate.
I am currently a freelance lawyer and independent practitioner and I am now an aspiring Content writer. Having learnt to live with the vagaries of Bipolar Disorder, I have succeeded in excelling at my career and enjoying life too.
Advocate Shreyas Rao