Cops… with Prabhat P
It was the third shoot for the Mumbai issue, and the third time that a cop came to interrupt our work. There was no reason for it, just a case of trying to assert authority, intimidate, and perhaps fish for bribes. In each instance, having a local with me diffused things, and fortunately no harm came, but it was frustrating. Prabhat taught me to just move along if a cop showed up, and to hide my camera when not using it.
When I was a teenager, I was pulled over by a cop for some traffic offense that I hadn’t realised I’d done. When I saw the flashing lights and heard the siren coming behind me, I kept pulling away, changing lanes to let him pass, not knowing he was after me. So when I did pull over, the cop’s anger was high. He wrote me a ticket and gave it to me with a big dose of profanity.
I decided not to pay the fine but go to court instead. The reason wasn’t to argue that I wasn’t at fault, but just to inconvenience the cop by making him attend court. Also, I wanted a moment with the judge and public to call him out for his bad behaviour. The cop was defensive, but the judge apologised on his behalf and slapped him on the wrist.
Since then I’ve not been good with the police, or with authority in general. Lucky for me, this was the last time that the Mumbai fuzz bothered me. One more time and I probably would have lost my cool and ended up writing this from an Indian jail instead of on my comfortable sofa with a cat purring on my lap.
To see more of Prabhat P and to read his story, pick up Elska Magazine issue (10) Mumbai (India).