A traffic cop and his magical flute

A traffic cop and his magical flute

One would normally relate a traffic policeman with a whistle and a baton. The same, however, cannot be said for Special Commissioner of Police for Traffic in Delhi, because this cop makes people sway to his flute!    

“I have been playing the flute since the age of seven,” says IPS officer, Muktesh Chander remembering
the times when he used to play “patriotic songs at school functions”.

Playing the flute started as a hobby for Chander who would “follow flute vendors on street, as they walked and played flute”. For him, “Flute is a divine instrument. Krishna’s flute was called ‘Sarala’ which means ‘simple’. As a musical instrument, a flute is not very expensive and easy to maintain too,” says the officer who has remai­ned self-taught for a long time.

Since a flute is a ready to play instrument, without the cumbersome process of tuning involved, Chander took to the art readily. “By the time I was in Std IX, I was able to play tunes of Hindi film songs on flute without any formal training and without even understanding the notes. This is playing by the ear, just like the great singer Kishore Kumar, who could sing a song only by listening,” says the officer and starts humming old melodies.

Few know that this police officer has even won instrumental music competitions while pursuing his graduation in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering at Delhi University.

“Engineering studies are so difficult and playing flute acted as a stress buster for me. I even played flute during my training days at the Police Academy, but once I was on field duty I lost contact with my hobby. When posted in Goa and Daman and Diu, I revived my love. Also, I got time to do so because there was less crime in these cities,” he says wittily prompting one to quiz him about his favourite numbers.

Unabashedly, he confesses his love for old Bollywood so­n­gs and mentions the Tita­nic tune which he can play on flute. “I have been given the privilege to perform at the annual festival at Siri Fort Auditorium that pays tribute to Mohammad Rafi.”

Routes 2 Roots recently launched his music album ‘Nostalgic Flute Magic’ and he says, “Tum hi ho... from Aashiqui 2 is one of my personal favourites in the album. But sometimes people ask me to play songs such as Sheela Ki Jawaani. I wonder how a flute can show such jawaani? I am pained by such requests and politely refuse them citing various excuses.”

To him, the flute is symbolic of the divinity of Krishna wherein listeners should behave like gopis. He even emphasises on the “young generation getting attracted towards guitar and other modern instruments more. Most of the time in movies flute is played by heroes who are shown as poor, introvert, timid, rustic and from rural background. This is evident in movies such as Shree 420 and Geet, Hero being an exception. But the truth is very few want to learn flute today.”

But these expostulations on music and creativity are soon interrupted as his subordinate approaches him to sign few official papers. A cop after all, is always a cop!