The Director-General of Police, Maharashtra, he is the only one with a Doctorate. As he sits on Mumbai’s hottest seat, his first priority is to boost the morale of his staff and restore the public’s confidence in the police. Sitting in the DG’s chamber, one gets to see the multiple facets of the man behind that uniform. As I enter, he gives me a stern look and as I introduce myself, his face breaks into a smile and he greets me affectionately with a Sat Sri Akal (one Sikh to another). He reads a letter that has just come in; does not approve of the draft, picks up the phone and fires the hell out of the person who drafted it. An officer comes to pay his respects and Dr. Pasricha is all concern, enquiring how things are at home, whether he has made a house and what his children are doing. The officer leaves and Pasricha looks into a file that has just come in, simultaneously ordering tea for me. The phone rings, it’s a close friend and the man bursts out laughing as the friend on the other end says something. Two guests come in to hand over an invitation and the phone rings again. He takes the call from a journalist…no interviews, he says. Phew! That’s some busy day! As if sensing my thoughts, he picks up the handset and says, ‘Now don’t disturb me for the next one hour!” I switch on the Dictaphone. THE OFFICER: His humorous side came to the forefront when at a press conference; he once said that there were three important P’s – Police, Public and Pasricha. “I was telling them, ‘There are 3 P’s- Police, Public and Press; and the fourth P,’ I said jokingly, ‘is to bring them together, that is Pasricha.’ Jokes aside, today I feel this is a public limited company and everyone is a shareholder. Everybody gets a rich dividend, so whether it’s the police department, the public or the press, it has to be impressive. It’s the concept of community policing again.” How does he plan to restore the confidence of the public? “Yes, we also feel disturbed and sad, but I think anything an individual does, should not be associated with the system. We should not lose faith in the system because it is very strong and self-sustainable. Mumbai city police has a history of 300 years; so one case should not upset the system of 40,000 strong police. But then of course it’s a cause for concern, it does hurt, it does cause you discomfort. But you are stronger after such upheavals and storms.” Should criminal cases within the police be kept under wraps, so that the confidence of the people is not affected? “I don’t think so, I don’t agree with this. Why should we keep anything under wraps? Let’s talk straight, if somebody has done something wrong or unlawful; he has to face the consequences too. The system and not an individual should give that confidence to the common man. However up the hierarchy somebody may be in that system, the law applicable is the same for everybody. Let people know everything. Why should we hide? I mean it will be like we are actually encouraging that lack of honest transparency in the system. I don’t think I agree with this. “We are doing our best to restore the confidence of the public. I don’t want to make some huge declaration that I’ll do such and such a thing, let my action speak for itself. We will do our best; it’s a collective effort, its not one man’s job. I am just a leader, who can provide direction and assure coordination. I need the support and I have the support. All of them have promised this and the entire department is with me. We shall restore the credibility of the system, which has derailed, and bring it back on track. I will ensure that the police officers revive the same level of public trust and public confidence that they elicited earlier.” There has been massive media coverage of the Sharma case and the Sunil More case that shook the entire police force. How does he react to that? “I felt deeply, especially with the electronic media. I try to understand their point of view also. There is this big competition, 30-40 channels trying to outdo each other in the run for TRP’s and to be the first to carry the story. In a way it can bring the truth in front of the people but when the media cross the limit, it can be very damaging also, especially when an investigation is going on. Media hype may tend to prejudice the human mind. Without a legal trial sometimes you may hold somebody guilty. Even if the man is proclaimed innocent tomorrow, you can’t undo the damage.” Can one comment of analysis make any difference? “I appreciate your point very much and am glad you brought it up. I think the media, especially the electronic media, should stick to some code of conduct. Sometimes even while giving their piece to the camera, they make a comment which can really be damaging and prejudice the mind of the viewers. In fact, that should apply to everybody, whether it’s the serving officer, retired officer, critical party, politician, journalist, anchor, or the intellectual. Let’s not make loose comments. “We keep meeting the editors, the bureau heads, the intellectuals, but I suppose ultimately they also have their limitations. They hire so many youngsters today who may be immature and some of them may want to prove a point to their bosses, ‘Look we have done a great story.’ It all boils down to ethics and that is something you cannot force upon anyone. I just hope that the public, press (and the politicians, I add) and the Police realize that this is our city and this is our life and we got to do what we can within our parameters to ensure a safe and peaceful life.” THE GENTLEMAN: How does his family feel about him being in the most responsible position today? “The wife of an IPS officer or a senior police officer knows the pros and cons of his responsibilities. They say ‘Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.’ That is so true in our case. Either you refuse to join the force or if you have, then do your duties with a conscience and sometimes you have to pay the price for it. This is one of the most prestigious posts in our country today, and there is bound to be disturbance associated with it. My family accepts the facts.” How much time is he able to give them now? “Earlier, I used to devote my evenings to my family. But now I cannot because there are so many meetings, so many people to meet, so many places to go to. I reluctantly go to certain functions for half an hour or 20 minutes. As the DG I have certain commitments so sometimes even on Sundays I am on the job.” But then it’s only his wife Kamal and him here. “My son is the elder child and he is in USA with MBA in Risk Management and Insurance. It’s a very promising and newly emerging field. Puneet had earlier done Financial Management from UK. Natasha is a fashion designer. Kuch seekh le zindagi mein, Bhagwan na kare Kabhi Zaroorat pad jaaye. My wife looks after my books, the publishing and distribution. More than that, she ensures that our house and I are looked after. She is fully devoted to me.” There was a tinge of pride to that…was it a love marriage? “Kamal is from Jullunder and my parents are settled in Bhatinda. You see we are refugees. Our parents came from Sialkot, Pakistan and our mothers were friends. One day they realized their children had grown up and got us engaged. My wife and I saw each other for the first time on the day we got engaged. So, you can say it’s 100 percent arranged. Those were different days. And tell me, does it make any difference to a marriage whether it’s classed as love or arranged, because in any case you are going to be on your best behaviour till you start living together and then realization dawns upon you. “Love marriage can be argued against. You are showing your best and she is showing her best because you are both in love. Ultimately, it’s under that one roof that you see the true side, so why not come under the roof as strangers and start discovering each other?” So, I joked, how different was his wife from his sisters? “Kamal is the only child and I have three sisters. She is different from my sisters. She is a very quiet and contented lady. One of my sisters is in America since the past 30 years and she is very ambitious, very dominating and very bright. Other sisters are also very different from Kamal. I think basically everybody has different characteristics. “I stayed mostly in the hostel; I used to meet my sisters and my parents during the holidays, so being the only boy in the family I was pampered quite a bit. Those were different times and values were different. Jo respect hothi thi woh aaj nahi hai, even between brothers and sisters. I did my Ph.D. few years ago. But even today when I meet my guide, I touch his feet and he kisses my forehead, whether it is a five star hotel or anywhere else. School ke bhi teacher hain whose feet I still touch. But aaj kal ke Rishtey different ho gaye hain. Hamaare time may sirf radio baj raha tha and today we have the Internet, so there is a lot of exposure, values and relationships are bound to undergo changes too.” How does he start his day? “Before I am up and about, I do about 10 minutes exercise. It’s more for the spinal cord and abdomen, kind of yoga you do before you sit up on your bed. Then in your old age you don’t get spinal problems. I am 55 plus. I am lucky to be healthy, and my blood pressure is 120 by 80. I have been a very disciplined person basically and absolutely focused. I have really thought of my imminent old age and cut down on sugar etc. I get up at 5.30 and go for a 1-hour walk. I also do cycling for half an hour. When the day ends I am not at all stressed. I have disciplined my mind in such a way. The last thing before I sleep is that I surf through all the news channels.” So when does he get to pray? “While walking I chant my prayers, but I am not a very ritualistic person. I don’t go to the temple etc.” Considering his job profile, which involves a high risk factor, does he believe it’s important to be closer to God? He suddenly asks me my father’s name, then my grandfather’s name and then my great grandfather’s name. I tell him the first two, but don’t remember my great grandfather’s name. “Even I don’t know my great grandfather’s name,” he smiles and confesses, “So you see, our time span after death is only about fifty years. Our great grandchildren won’t even remember our names. This body is just 80 kilograms of ash! There is a Punjabi shabad, ‘Mera mujh mein kuch nahi jo kuch hai so tera, tera tujh ko saumpte, kya laage mera….’ Jo hoga so hoga! It’s more important to do our job, our karma properly while we are alive. I have no fear. Today I am sitting on this chair; tomorrow somebody else can be here. We are deceiving ourselves if we think we are indispensable.” How would he describe himself as a person? “I am a very disciplined person, I talk sweet, and I’m very polite. I can crack jokes with anybody. My daughter can pull my leg; my junior officer can joke with me, but not beyond a certain limit. I am here and I don’t know which is my last day. You don’t know whether you will be able to write this interview or I will be there to read it or not. What is important is that we should be good human beings and do our work with a conscience because everything has a significance!” Box Favourite Cologne– None of them! Favourite Actors – Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri Favourite Serious movies– Aakrosh, Ardh Satya, Satya Favourite Comedy – Pyaar Kiye Jaa Favourite Commercial film – Sholay. (“I am not really fond of movies.” For a man who is not too fond of films, he made a neat choice.) Have you ever broken the law yourself? “I am a very crazy kind of person, absolutely disciplined. Unknowingly, I may have broken the traffic signal sometime.” Ever help in the house? “I do, I help by keeping my own stuff like, clothes, uniform accessories and other things in a proper way. I am fussy and meticulous about certain things. Even if there is no power, I can find you a pin or a pair of scissors in my room. I know exactly where my things are because I keep everything so neatly!