I was quite taken up with the book title and so decided to give it a read.
The curiosity piqued from two aspects. First, Bibhuti Dash, the author, happens to be a batchmate of mine from my MBA days and I was aware of his ‘tongue in cheek’ ability and how he liked to revel in the comic and the absurd in day to day life. The second was my innate curiosity as to how an easygoing and gentle soul like Dash could have stumbled into and then negotiated the rough and tough demands of a cop’s life. By the time he penned the book, Dash had spent an incredible third of a century donning the police uniform and mindset as part of the elite Indian Police Service cadre.
It was sometimes end of 2009 and I was visiting my Alma Mater, the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore in Bannergatta. The occasion was the twenty fifth anniversary reunion of our batch’s passing out of those hallowed portals. Going down the stairs, I bumped into this slim person coming up. Recognition was instant, “Hey, Dash, you haven’t changed a bit my friend”. I was meeting the guy after twenty-five years!
That was also when I learned about the storied career the guy had had, having spent some years in the corporate sector before qualifying for and joining the police services.
Our paths crossed again when I moved to Kolkata. Over the years, I have come to know and admire the mix of diffidence and humility that characterises Dash.
With Bibhuti Dash @ Belur Math, Kolkata Oct. ’22
In the book’s foreword, Dash mentions that the book evolved out of a “Whatever it is, I’m against it!” blog series that he had been penning over the last couple of years. I daresay that I have been an avid reader of the blog which Dash publishes on Saturdays.
I had particularly liked one of the blogs with the rather evocative title, “ It’s raining guns and bullets”. This three-piece blog held a particular interest for me as it was about the Purulia Arms drop case in which large caches of sophisticated arms, ammunition and explosives had fallen out of the skies into the the sleepy Purulia district villages of West Bengal in the winter of 1995. As I recalled, it had become a sensational front page media incident. Dash had been involved in solving that case and his description of how several events transpired is the stuff crime thrillers are made of. Let me not say much more for fear of becoming a spoiler, except that “It’s raining guns and bullets’ is part of the book.
‘Police in Blunderland ‘contains forty odd ‘real life’ tales from a policeman’s diary with the protagonist being Dash himself in them. What I found refreshing was how the narrations created perspectives of an observer, even though narrated in the first person.
In the words of Bibhuti Das, “Policing in India is considered very opaque, stern and brutal. In the articles, I have tried to say that there is a human side to Policing and not all of it is dry and taciturn, although it has its flaws.”
I would strongly recommend you to get your hands on a copy. It is sure to entertain with its pithy style and its gamut of interesting plots and characters.
Amazon.IN (Paperback) : https://www.amazon.in/dp/9395986654?ref=myi_title_dp
Amazon.com (eBook): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BYF7JB66
Amazon.com (Paperback) : https://www.amazon.com/dp/9395986654
Flipkart : Click on this link
(eBook) Smashwords : https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1362404