As a first year article, freshly into first year Degree College, I did not know what CA study circles are. I would always wondered at the weekly emails which my principal would receive from various study circles and the Institute regarding discussion on topics and seminars – especially on weekends. I wondered why CAs preferred to spend their weekends listening to lectures while they are already reading a lot during their work time. Didn’t they want rest? Do something fun on weekends? Later I learnt the CPE hours requirement mandated by ICAI for members.
With passage of time, when I started getting more practical training, I once volunteered to go to a Study circle by requesting my principal. I finally got a chance as to see what happens there. Though articled assistants were not allowed as members, the convenor permitted me to attend on request. So that was like mission one accomplished. I reached there before time and sat in the corner of the room, hoping to not get recognised or appear undisciplined by senior CAs by reaching late. The inverse happened. It was the members who started pouring in late, dressed casually (a few directly coming in their jogging shoes after a morning walk), each one staring at me, trying to guess who is the new creature sitting in the corner of room dressed in complete formals on a Sunday morning, well equipped with notepad and pen. During the seminar, I was the only one to scribble my notepad while others were simply staring at the screen, dozing off at times or glancing at me at intervals, easily guessing that it is only a student who can be awake and would make notes diligently.
The biggest blunder was when the attendance register was circulated wherein the members were required to write their ICAI membership number, name and sign. That was the big moment for the CAs sitting around me – Out of nervousness, not knowing which number to write, I wrote my principal’s membership number and name topped with my signature. I was unaware at that point what the membership numbers in some 40,000s series meant. That’s when the big eyes popped on me and I ended up grinning like a clown not knowing the reason for those stares!!
It is today after becoming an ACA and obtaining a membership number I realised the blunder I did by mentioning my principal’s membership number!