Cops !

You cant miss their impressive height nor their majestic gait.

If at all you missed the height or the gait, the impressive turnout will get your attention. With clothes that fit to the T and muscles that show their contours although firmly behind those impressive uniforms

If you miss all of that, you sure must be fully blind to miss the half dozen accompaniments that hang from his sides. I mean, from the big leather belt. A gun, which perhaps could be a taser but could kill by the looks. A baton . Half a dozen pouches, with God knows what in them. A wireless microphone or a walkie talkie. A torch that perhaps can double up as a hammer. On top of all this, sometimes, a tie !

With all that on display, it is but natural that cars slow down, almost as an auto response when a cop car shows up in the rear view mirror. Wouldn’t it be an insult if the slowing down to all the ‘costume’ if the slowing down didn’t happen ?

I spoke to an officer once. No, no. No hanky panky. Just asking for directions. The response was to the point, respectful yet with a firmness that flowed !

You cant help but contrast the policemen that patrol Indian roads. Out of shape and out of favour of public opinion. Definitely not an inspiring presence!

On bikes and cycles. A faded khaki and heavy boots that adorn feet more worn out by providing ‘bandobust’ duty as some sundry cavalcade is supposed to whiz by ! Equipped with the most potent weapon in the world : a lathi !

Sure, the cops in the US were impressive. By how they talked, looked what they travelled in, and what they carried along. Am sure they are brave men, who inspire confidence in a society and are faced with innumerable challenges.

Yet, it is men like Tukaram Omble that stand tall. In the mind, that is. An unmentionable salary, unthinkable equipment, yet blessed with an undeniably indomitable attitude. An attitude that causes holding on to an assault rifle’s barrel that was pointed at him, even as a terrorist was spraying bullets! And just not letting go, thereby giving India the lone captured terrorist in the Mumbai attack of 2008

Such men’s stature has nothing to do with their real height. Making them taller than the tallest of them all. Often forgotten. Many other times, ignored. Yet, rolling up the sleeve and tapping the lathi on the floor to enforce order.

And sometimes, holding on to a barrel of a gun and falling, just so that a country can stand.