From the Pen of a Cop (Foreword by Ruskin Bond) by P. Lal.


The Tribune Middles
1. Bomb in a basket 2
2. The Blue Book and the honeybees 4
3. The daunting doubt that vanished! 6
4. ?Holi Milan? that wasn?t 9
5. ?Kothi, makaan and quarter? 11
6. When in Paris, do as …. 13
7. Comedy of errors 15
8. Passing the test! 17
9. The mystery remains 19
10. The witty Pandit 21
11. Urgent, most urgent and immediate 23
12. The lure of the IAS! 26
13. When I saw Kiran cry! 29
14. The complaints game! 31
15. Money makes the cops go… 33
16. The story of an imported watch 36
17. The bygone mango days 39
18. The civic sense 41
19. The ?middle? connoisseurs 43
20. Remembering Atwal 45
21. The empty bottles of …. 47
22. The cost of a cuppa tea 49
23. The business of business management 51
24. Copped out 53
25. Thank you, Air New Zealand! 55
26. Where customer is the king 57
27. Divali dreams 59
28. The British way 61
29. March of time 63
30. The babu and the bureaucrat 65
31. Travails of the Lokpal to be 67
32. The second class 69
33. Fudging the DNA 71
34. Corrupt and clever 73
35. Benign, complex and inspired 75
36. The cart before the horse 77
37. Touching the feet 79
38. Unbelievable: Law-fearing policemen! 81
39. Regaining the pride 83
40. Breaching the hierarchy 86
41. Following the Blue Book 88
42. Three doctors, three opinions 90
43. The middle path 93
44. Then and now 96
45. A birthday that wasn?t 98
46. The Achilles? heel 100
47. Sweet and sour 102
48. The redundant club 104
49. It stops at the minister?s seat 106
50. And the word got around 108
51. Saved of bloodbath 110
52. Ways of the CBI 112
53. Truth be told 114
54. A true leader of men 116
55. Bit by bit, learning trade tricks 118
56. The loss of a dented helmet 120
57. Weird ideas at Science Congress 122
58. We have time, let?s talk to plants 124
The Tribune Other Articles
1. Chandigarh Calling 128
2. Flying saucers: an abiding mystery 129
3. Bermuda or Devil?s Triangle 135
4. Are we heading towards extinction? 139
5. How Nero fiddled… 143
6. Bending rules 146
7. The Titanic also sank 150
8. When a plane struck? 153
9. The unsolved puzzle of origin of man 155
10. This much and no more 161
11. Nuclear War Next Year!! 166
12. The Fat Man and the Little Boy 175
13. The mystery of the eighth continent 182
14. The ship that disappeared ? or did it? 187
15. Saying bye-bye to bureaucracy 191
16. Playing host to many a ghost 196
17. What a devious way to kill! 201
18. Taking corruption by its horns 204
19. The katha of Kayasthas 209
20. Does science point to the existence of God? 213
21. Blue Marvel Down Under 217
22. Punjab must prevent terror from spreading 221
23. Lest we Forget the Gem 225
Hindustan Times Spice of life
1. The many faces of Facebook I like 230
2. The face of a sister on Facebook 232
3. Striking real bonding in the virtual world 234
4. When the chief became the principal chief 236
5. Short course that changed my life?s course 238
6. Saying no to Diwali gifts can be tricky 240
7. The golden jubilee reunion at Mussoorie 242
8. Summer vacation and flu pandemic of 1957 245
HT Chandigarh Articles
1. Study Through The Year, Rest During Exams,
A Senior Citizen Advises Students 248
2. Lessions In Bathing With Very Little Water 251
Daily World Middles
1. Of committees, cabinets and coteries 254
2. Climbing up to a Padma award ! 256
3. The defence of Lucknow 258
4. Naming and shaming 261
5. Divinity in divine proportion 263
Daily World Articles
1. Crisis in the CBI 266
2. CBI and the Kolkata Police confrontation 270
Daily Post Middles
1. Gift of Bhagwad Gita to Emperor Akihito 274
2. Confidential, secret and top secret! 276
3. The daytime robbery 278
4. God will save them! 280
5. Source of eternal inspiration! 282
6. The law is an ass! 284
7. The vanishing trick! 286
8. The babu and the baboon 288
9. Maze of medical opinions 290
10. Yoga and its many faces 292
Daily Post Article
1. The will of the people 295
1. PAIN 300
4. LIGHT 303
5. ENMITY 304
7. HATRED 306
8. LOVE 307
10. STRENGTH 309
11. ANGER 310
12. CALMNESS 311
13. MISERY 312
15. CRUELTY 314
17. UGLINESS 316
18. BEAUTY 317
19. POVERTY 318
20. RICHNESS 319
21. TIMIDITY 320
oS”.kksa ek? dh Hktu@HksaVsa
1- Lrqfr 325
2- bfrgkl 327
3- jEHk djEHk o/ 329
4- nsoh vorj.k 331
5- nsoh efg”kklqj ;q? 333
6- nsoh&efg”kklqj ;q? 334
7- nsoh&eq.M&p.M ;q? 336
8- nsoh jDrcht ;q? 338
9- nsoh&’kqEHk&fu’kqEHk ;q? 340
10- nsoh&vorj.k 342
11- f=kdwV&ioZr izLFkku 344
12- Jh /j HkDr Hk.Mkjk 346
13- ek? HkSjks eqBHksM 348
14- vkjrh 351


About the book
?From the pen of a cop? is a book containing articles by me published in
various newspapers, and a few poems in English and a few Bhajans in Hindi
on Maa Vaishno. The poems and Bhajans remained unpublished till date
except the two titled: ?Darkness? and ?Light? which were carried in May 2019
by Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie in
the Memoir taken out on the occasion of the reunion of 1969 batch of civil
services officers.
The articles herein were published in The Tribune, Hindustan Times,
Daily World and Daily Post.
Articles in The Tribune include 58 ?middles?. There are 22 others carried
in Sunday Reading, Sunday Spectrum, Saturday Plus, Chandigarh Tribune
and on Oped page. ?Tips on home security? suggested by me and published
in ?CHANDIGARH CALLING? has also been included.
Hindustan Times published 8 articles in ?Spice of life? column, and 2 in
HT Chandigarh.
Daily World articles comprise 5 ?middles? and 2 opinion pieces.
Daily Post carried 10 ?middles? and 1 opinion piece.
Thus, total number of pieces in the book is 109.
Permission to use the articles for the book was most graciously granted
by the Editor, The Tribune; Editor, Hindustan Times and Editor-in-Chief,
Daily World, for which I am deeply indebted to them. Permission from
Daily Post could not be applied for as it has since closed.
The credit for launching me onto the path of writing undoubtedly goes
to The Tribune. ?Bomb in a basket? was the first piece published as a ?middle?
on July 07, 1992. Since then, the paper published a number of articles by me
on varied range of subjects. I am grateful to the Editors of The Tribune of
relevant periods and their staff for showing their indulgence to me.
I am also grateful to the Editor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh for
accepting and publishing articles by me in ?Spice of life? column and in HT
I am immensely beholden to the Editor-in-Chief, Daily World who
showed special love and affection for me by not only accepting and publishing
the articles but doing so very promptly; my joy knew no bounds when I saw
them in print the very next day I submitted the articles.
Though Daily Post is no longer publishing now, I must express my
gratitude to the Editor(s) and staff of the time when the articles were accepted
and published.
The ?middles? and articles for ?Spice of life? are mostly based on real-life
experiences. Though characters have not been named in a majority of the
articles, the idea behind narrating the incidents had been only to convey
some lessons of life, or to bring out certain aspects of it. I never intended to
tread on somebody?s toes. However, if unwittingly, I have hurt anybody?s
feelings, I sincerely apologise.
The book also contains 21 poems in English on ?opposities? like ?Pain?,
?Pleasure? etc. These were composed in 1995-1996. The spark that kindled
the endeavour waned by the time I completed the 21st, and hence the 22nd,
which had to be on ?Boldness? could not even begin. In March 2017, another
effort was made to re-commence, but it didn?t bear fruit.
There is one more poem: ?Let?s let our hair down?, composed in May
2019 and posted in the WhatsApp group- Golden Jubilee 1969 Batchwhich
has also been included.
14 Bhajans/Bheten to Maa Vaishno, composed in 1995 in Hindi,
including a ?Stuti? in the beginning and an ?Aarti? in the end, too, find place
in the book. Unlimited grace of the Maa at that time enabled me to compose
Mohindra Publishing House, Sector 32 D, Chandigarh and its
proprietor, Dr Akshu Pahuja, deserve my gratitude and much appreciation
for undertaking the task of bringing out the book in record time. Mr.Dev
Pahuja, husband of Dr Akshu Pahuja, took immense pains to guide me in
the endeavour and to finally make it a success. His effort is all the more
praise worthy as he had been simultaneously working on two more books of
mine. I place on record my indebtedness to him. Members of staff of the
Publishing House, specially Mrs Renu who worked on the book on day-today
basis, deserve a special mention for their tireless work, and I express my
gratitude to them.
My daughter Purnima Lal helped me a lot in computer work, specially
in searching ,on internet, old articles in The Tribune, enabling me to copy
them and email to the Publishing House. I express my heartfelt thanks to
Last but not the least, the book would not have seen the light of the day
but for the help and cooperation extended by my wife Geeta Lal who bore
with me ungrudgingly while I spent hours on the computer compiling the
material and arranging and rearranging it. Besides, she has been the source
of inspiration for some of the ?middles?. I sincerely thank her, and dedicate
the book to her and my daughter Purnima.
Chandigarh P. Lal



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