Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai – Ep. 1: The Articleship Saga

Meet the Author – CA Hetvi Valia

A freshly qualified professional pursuing her career in the field of finance (Alumni Pinnacle Education). Other than an apparent unique sense of humor, she manages to break-free from the definitive ‘Stereotypical CA’ with her happy go lucky attitude towards life coupled with a keen interest for various dance forms and a natural flair for writing.
For all the Bollywood aficionados reading this, meet the real life version of Geet – just a lot smarter!

Hetvi is also pursuing her CFA Level 3 and is preparing for her next journey at a B School.

Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai


*Stolen from Mountain Dew. To be read in Hindi.

Ep. 1: The Articleship Saga


“Sir, can I – “, I started as I stepped into the cubicle, with a beating heart and a hopeful smile, only to be cut off with a “NO!”. Deepesh Sir barely even glanced up before letting me finish my question. As I opened my mouth for a very logical argument about the subject in question, he looked up and said, “No, you are not getting any leave.”

The correct sequence to this would have been to turn on my heel and walk out of the cubicle with a dejected heart and a sulky look. Instead of choosing to be the picture of Tom walking away after being scolded by his (headless) owner for failing to catch Jerry; like most others, I chose to evade this landmine and asked a different real work-related question. The knowing twinkle in his eye confirmed my theory that he hadn’t been fooled. But as he let it pass, I doubled back to my desk to strategize my next move. I had to chart and predict when next Deepesh Sir would be in a good enough mood. Mission Get-a-Leave had to succeed at any cost.

I think I succeeded after the fourth try.

Tell me you haven’t experienced this and I will be your stunt double at office for a day without any complaint. This is the Story of all Employees; although I would say those particularly in articleship felt this more than others. After all, the post-IPCC phase is categorized by working, studying, attending CA classes and college (where low attendance was simply unforgivable) and basically just having a life.

You can just imagine the number of things we (CAs in training) would have had to get leaves for – giving college exams, going for GMCS, travelling, sick days, study days and what not. Luckily, I succeeded in colluding with my entire team at Dhruva Advisors LLP in the last 4 years (the plus one for Corona) and managed to be a part of a dance show, painted, travelled, hosted events at office, wrote and participated in competitions, cleared two levels of CFA, completed my B. Com. and, of course, became a CA in February 2021.

And before anyone else thinks otherwise, I actively worked too. All-Work-No-Play Hetvi appeared more frequently than the No-Work-All-Play Hetvi. And my leaves just toed the range of acceptable as per general practice. Just a pinch of planning ahead (foresight) and teamwork (co-operation and coordination) among my batch articles was all it took to manage these ‘bubbles’.

I am pleased to announce that you are invited to be a part of my CA journey – the ups and downs and the whole shebang strictly through my experiences (how else otherwise). I am who I am today because of the entire collection of these experiences; whether they relate to the mental strength during the Final Study Leave, attending (and bunking) classes during IPCC or the everyday life at office. Although I would love to give you the full season in HD, you would have to be content with weekly episodes else the buffering might take up a whole lot of your time. Oh, and I have ensured that these episodes can be viewed standalone and not necessarily in the chronological order.

Without further ado, I present to you Episode #1 : The Articleship Saga.

I strongly believe that ‘Articleship’ is the highlight of this course. You would have realized this seeing that I started off with an excerpt from office. It is literally the preview of real life. It is simply something that you cannot do away with (cough *dummy* cough). It teaches you that theory is a sham unless you can apply it practically. It helps you put a face to what you have studied. And that what you study does matter. I don’t think any other course has to offer this range of learning. It is the perfect caffeine boost your body needs before a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout. You skip the boost and your workout suffers. I am sure you are smart enough to draw the parallel with articleship.

The fact that people and universities don’t realize that articleship should count as legitimate ‘Work-Ex’ is a gross violation of natural law and justice. (CA students, if you know, you know). I know that I am prepared to take on any work in any environment with a little more poise and a lot more finesse vis-à-vis an articleship-less student. Dhruva has ensured that.

I really feel for those who are doing their articleship online; y’all are really missing out on the countless office experiences and learnings.

Deciding who would order the food when pulling off the late-night-shift; collecting those bills to claim as reimbursement; claiming everyone’s reimbursement for having lost a bet; taking those once-in-a-while really long lunch breaks on a Friday; cribbing about the workload during chai time; those really frantic mornings before a hearing or a client meeting; rejoicing silently because there is a must-attend session so you can skip work; turning up in casuals for extra work on the weekends; debating whether the Friday outfit is actually semi-formal; interpreting the difference between what is on fire and what is actually on fire; getting shouted at by your boss for the least expected things; talking about offsites – well, I can go on and on while taking a trip down the memory lane.

I sincerely wish from the bottom of my heart that your articleship days to hit play, so that one day, years later, you can relate with me and the other CAs too.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to balance ALL your bubbles to work, study and have your personal life all at once. I may be no Ethan Hunt, but my 80:20 rule did help transform this from impossible to possible.

Dedicate 80% of your time to the core i.e., undeniably studying and working. The remaining 20% of your time is YOURS. Whether you want to meditate, pursue a hobby, play sports, meet up with friends or just sleep – you have one-fifth of the day to do that. Accumulate this for the rest of the days for all the years and you have an intersecting venn diagram with certainly more than just the Work Bubble and the Study Bubble.

Customary disclaimer: Yes, it is difficult. Yes, you will fall. But yes, you will get back up too#

#Just a Tip to Get Back Up: Mix up the anger and frustration like a bitter cocktail and swallow it once a week as a toast to good (mental) health. Only once a week though. The rest of the days think of yourself as the Villain Who Wins; and just squash everything or everyone who came in your way.

The End.

This episode will self-destruct in 5 seconds if you have downloaded it and lesser if you choose to stream it. So, I shall just end with a more sophisticated (Latin) version of the title – ‘Veni. Vidi. Vici.’. which translates to I came. I saw. I conquered.’

I hope you do too!

Stay tuned for the Episode #2: To Do or Not to do – The Final Classes Saga soon on the journey ahead.

*Disclaimer: This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of the people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company or individual.

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