When musician-cops made Delhi dance to their tunes!

When musician-cops made Delhi dance to their tunes!

First came the lush green carpet and rows of chairs neatly laid out on it. Then came the stands holding musical notes and instruments of all varieties. Lastly arrived the orchestra members and the conductor to set in motion a soiree of music and songs.

Sho­­ppers at INA Dilli Haat came to an abrupt stop, local residents came streaming in and even curious passersby parked their vehicles to find out what the celebration was all about.

It was 150 glorious years of the Indian police, on the occasion of which bands of various State police and paramilitary forces staged the Great Indian Police Band Show. Over three days, the military music wings of CRPF, BSF, SSB, Rajasthan Police, Karnataka Police, Nagaland Police and several others ‘performed for the public’ at various locales. They belted out the choicest Hindi film songs – Ajeeb dastan hai ye, Babuji dheere chalna; some patriotic tunes – Mera joota hai japani, Ae watan tere liye, and even some Western classics like Speak softly love (Godfather) and Hotel California on popular demand.

The bands were chosen fro­­m the top winners of the All India Police Band Competition held annually, to enth­rall Delhiites. At the INA Dilli Haat show, it comprised over 50 musician-cops, neatly divided into Brass, Woodwind and Percussion sections, who just blew their audience away.

Sanjay Pant, Commandant, BSF, explained, “Every police force across the world maintains its own music wing. This is important not just to provide the marching tune but also entertain and keep up the morale of the force. Occasionally, we perform for the public as well to connect with them. You see, the police is quite misunderstood otherwise.”

For a change, this time though, people loved the police. They gathered around and settled wherever they could as the band performed at the open ticketing area of Dilli Haat. Senior citizens swayed to the tunes of Chhookar mere man ko and Pal pal dil ke paas, while youngsters placed requests for rock songs. They clicked pictures with the cops and their drums, guitars, saxophones and bassoons, and the smiling cops played along.

A beaming Pankaj Rawal, sub-inspector and bandmaster in BSF, told Metrolife, “I am often asked who do I like playing for more: The political leadership or people at la­rge. I always say ‘people.’ Our recitals before dignitaries are a part of our duty but it is at such public dos that our art is really appreciated and enjo­yed. The police playing songs and people dancing to it – can there be a better example of police-public harmony?”