“The hand that holds the gun, can also paint the world.” The proverb is slightly twisted but it serves the same purpose. The only difference is, it talks about Mumbai Police officers and not mothers! Kala Ghoda Festival in Mumbai shows the lighter side of these police officers. Among the various stalls that sell various art, craft and handicraft items, one of the stalls belong to the artists from the Mumbai Police. The stall was refreshing and pleasant change of image of the otherwise strict police force.
Policemen are generally known as people who are strict and severe and hardly have any interest in arts. In Mumbai, the police department is more than happy to show the world their other side. A few policemen and constables have displayed their painting and photography skills. The works are simply marvellous. Especially the photographs taken by a constable called Sanket Rathod.
Sanket’s hobby is photography. He clicks whenever and wherever he can. Camera has become an inseparable part of him. Whether on vacations or even at times on duty, he does not miss to capture the important event taking place around him. He has technically never taken any training for photography but the way he captures all the minute details in his camera, make his works no less than a professional photographer.
One of his works depicts an officer fighting against the terrorists on the fateful 26/11 incident. The picture has got Taj Hotel as its backdrop. The photo does not show the plight of people or how cruel the terrorists were. It rather shows the bravery and courage with which the National forces fought back. The other photos are more on the picturesque landscapes of Himalaya’s.
Mr. Shinde, a police inspector, who helps customers on the stall displaying the artefacts, was very happy about this activity. He said, “Even we (policemen) have other hobbies and talents. Festivals like this provide us a chance to show this creative side of ours. Otherwise we are seen as the least creative species on earth!” When asked about Sanket Rathod’s photography, he said, “Sanket is very talented. Especially when he captures human emotions, his picture conveys a lot more than what words can say.”
Anyone who sees the stall will agree with what Mr. Shinde says for Sanket. Miss Rohini was one of them. Rohini bought one of the photographs captured by Sanket’s camera. She said, “Sanket has done a great job and I bought this Taj Attack photograph, as a tribute to all the brave police officers who strive so hard to ensure our safety.” “We should encourage them by buying more paintings and photographs, so that next time the number of artistic policemen increases.” She added with a wink.
Thus, the Kala Ghoda is not only a platform for budding artists to show their talent, but it also has helped to discover the creative side of these stern looking police officers. Next year, we hope that there will be more number of policemen turning up to showcase their talents. Overall this whole exhibit juxtaposes the image of supposedly insensitive police officers.