I first bumped into Rupesh, when I was caught riding a bike without a license and taken to the police station. While I was expecting to be screamed at by angry policemen, who would then try to take as much money from me as they could, I was greeted with a “What happened?” in clear, crisp English. While I was still processing the fact that this police constable was talking to me in English, he sat down with me and explained all the rules to me, told me why I should have all my papers on me at all times. When I told him I’d lost my wallet recently and all my documents along with it, he seemed to empathize with me and told me he understands that these things happen. While I was walking out of the station that day, I realized everything that had been fed into my head by people around me have been sweeping generalizations.
When I heard about the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, I decided to talk to Rupesh and see if he was interested in being the subject for my first film. Luckily he didn’t mind being so, as long as I acquired the necessary permissions. That led to me running back and forth between the Commissioner’s Office in town and the police station Rupesh was attached to. The people working at the Commissioner’s Office were slightly amused, because no one had come to them before to ask permission to present policemen in a good light. Every khaki-clad policeman I met was kind and friendly to me. I am still amazed how their behaviour changed my misconceptions about Indian police.
The entire point of this film was to help people see policemen as human beings who have dreams, aspirations, a family to take care of, and fight the very same battles every single one of us fights on a daily basis. If you watch this film and feel a little empathy towards them, even for five minutes, I know I’ve passed my message on loud and clear.