Two lawyers, Latha Anand and Neema T.V., have successfully juggled their profession and passion for music. They are gearing up for their first public performance

The jury is still out on this one. Do legal eagles and talented musicians have something in common? At times they do. Latha Anand and Neema T.V. are practising lawyers who pursue their musical passions with as much vigour. They along with two other musicians, from the city, are to hold their first public performance, Just Ganesha, at Kerala Fine Arts Hall on January 26.

Love for music

The two ladies have been practising their music furiously preparing for the programme. While Latha dexterously strums the strings of the veena making beautiful music, Neema pumps up the tempo by striking the drums.

In her tastily done apartment on Warriam Road, Latha quickly shuts the door, folds in the window and says, “We have been jamming so often nowadays and I am afraid I will be disturbing my neighbours. But they have been extremely kind and encouraging, asking us to play our music.”

Both women had their initiation into the world of music in school. While Latha began with the guitar, Neema started on with the Congo drums. From school, through college the passion continued. Neema was Kalathilakam for Calicut University in 1997-98. “I like percussion instruments. Luckily, I have never had a break in my musical career, even when I reached the High Court,” says Neema. Neema began her practice with noted criminal lawyer P.V. Hari in Kozhikode. She moved to Kochi in 1999 and started independent practice in 2008.

Latha is married to Senior Advocate K. Anand and is a partner of B.S. Krishnan Associates, a leading law firm in the city.

The women have managed to pursue their love for music in a workaday world where hobbies, interests and talents are often relegated to family and professional duties. And the ladies have triumphed. Latha entered the legal profession after marriage, “with a baby in tow,” while Neema, encouraged by her parents and later spouse, T. R. Rakesh, an executive with an automobile firm, continued to pursue her interest in music. The two women performed for the Annual Day of the High Court last year after which they grew in confidence. “Our families and friends have been encouraging." The two were unsure about the fusion of a traditional Indian instrument, veena with the western sounds of the drums, but the response they received after their first performance emboldened them to plan a bigger event.

Fusion ensemble

For this programme Latha and Neema have asked their friend Jayen Verma, a record-holding bass guitarist, to join in, and Sunil Edappally to accompany them on the mridangam. The four-piece fusion band will play morphed compositions, which meld classical and western tunes in a fresh, novel way. Latha who is also an artist and paints as a hobby, came up with the idea of a theme-based programme to give direction to her compositions and the event.

Hence some of her paintings on Ganesha will be showcased at the venue.

Ask the two talented advocates about music and law being strange fellows, they reply thoughtfully, “Strange bedfellows but very compatible, in fact complimentary. The legal profession makes one disciplined. It requires co-ordination with a lot of timing, reading and hard work, qualities that help in both the professions. Of course, music is a stress-buster and helps us release the stress of our profession.”

Latha’s beautiful living room fills up with the pulsating music. Neema’s coordinated hand movements strike the cymbals with the sticks, the high hat clashes, the foot pedal booms on the snare drum, the tom tom throb excitedly, tempered by the lilting tunes from the veena. A beautiful symphony ensues as Latha’s famed filter coffee aroma floats in.

Just Ganesha will be held at Kerala Fine Arts Hall on January 26 at 6.30 p.m.