Serving the society should be an integral part of one’s life. While staying focused is important, the ‘Can Do’ psyche will help attain success is what Nishith Desai has to say to future lawyers
Mix law and chemistry and what do we get? Voila! It’s Pravin Anand! Yes, the country’s number one Intellectual Property advocate has been a chemistry buff since his childhood. In fact, he was all set to take up chemistry until his father intervened and cajoled him into taking up law for the sake of the family law firm. His father Nawal Anand is a trademark specialist.
So fond of chemistry was he that when he was in school, young Pravin even built a small lab in his house. His love for the subject saw him standing third in the university and also being awarded a scholarship from the rather prestigious Duke University. “My classmates would come to me when they could not figure out a salt and I would always be bang on,” he claims with almost childlike pride. Even today the eminent lawyer says that he remembers the Periodic Table and atomic numbers by heart! Although, once he joined law he got sucked into law and academically did very well here as well. “I was the real studious kinds!” he admits with a self-conscious laugh.
Though he has forsaken the colourful salts, breakers and test tubes for tomes on law, as a patent lawyer, chemistry remains a part of his life even today, courtesy the pharmaceutical cases he handles. His science knowledge has in fact been a boon for his law practice. “As an arguing counsel I am able to demystify the scientific aspects of the case to the judge.” In fact he was the first ever to give a Power Point Presentation in court-during the Colgate case.
Whether it is his scientific thinking or simply an attitude to break down something complex, Pravin has been at the forefront of demystifying and spreading awareness about IP especially amongst the youth. He has not only organized moot courts but come up with some rather innovative ideas such as board games and comic books and even staged plays with IP at its core.
A man of many talents, Pravin has even written two authoritative books on law with the prestigious Halsbury Books including the book Games Lawyers Need to Play: Moot Court Problems & Memorials.
A believer in defending the genuine creators, Pravin’s law firm takes up cases at rights owners, inventors or companies that own inventions or represent creative work and designers. Right from the fashion industry to the corporate world, from aeronautical to biochemical engineering to software companies to publishing houses, his firm handles it all. His clientele ranging from the Ritu Kumars to the Jatin Das’s to the Pfizer’s, Pravin says “My value judgment on the client is doing the right thing. We don’t accept a case when we don’t think we have the moral strength to fight the case.”
It was these very values that probably endeared him to the Dalai Lama. Although, it can be said that it happened by chance, the Anands while holidaying in Manali were informed that the Tibetan spiritual leader was present in the neighbourhood to give a discourse. “His discourse had such an impact that I went and took an appointment,” says Anand.
The meeting turned out to be very eventful as the Dalai Lama allowed Pravin and his sons Arjun and Dhruv to ask him numerous questions which also helped forge a great friendship. Now, Tibetan monks come and stay with the Anands at their New Delhi bungalow. However, Pravin, according to his wife, has a similar spiritual connect with a lot of sadhu and saints, who keep coming to him without seeking any favour. Pravin’s sons Arjun and Dhruv and their wives Vidhi and Aeshna are also lawyers.
Pravin himself is also not one who seeks favours or material things. In fact he says that “there are only two things I ever asked of my parents – The Encyclopedia Britannica when I was in class 6 and the other was a jawa motorcycle.” A gift that made his doting mother Nimma wait at the gate whenever he went out on a bike ride.
A caring son and a loving husband, Pravin still remembers the day when he met his wife Anita in Shimla. His friend’s younger sister, Anita was a student at St. Beed’s College, Shimla. On his second meeting with her, Pravin knew he was in love. However, it was when she moved to Delhi that their romance blossomed. But romance was one thing and marriage another. With both sets of parents not happy with the match, and as a result, Anita being sent off to Mumbai, the young lovers had a tough time convincing their families. And testimony to their days away from each other are the love letters that they wrote each other.
“Some of our letters would be 50 pages long,” confides Anita who has given Pravin two sons. Laughingly Pravin adds, “We have a trunk full of letters!”
Whether in matters of the head or of the heart, Pravin is certainly one who does not lack passion.