Beginners bit At the age of twenty I managed to sneak my dad’s car out, and rev that beautiful beast at top-notch speeds on the highway. The beginning was lovely but the end was a bit catastrophic because I landed up being caught by the cop for, a) Not having my driving license, and b) Not looking my age! I was asked to cough up a ridiculous amount that pretty much outdid my pocket money. I later found myself swearing and loudly proclaiming, stupid ‘PANDU’ (because I thought the cops were a corrupt lot, and didn’t issue me a legit ‘Powti’/receipt). The term ‘Pandu’ is colloquially used in the city of Mumbai to address a cop. On the 20th of September 2019, MX Player launched a new Marathi series starring Suhas Sirsat, titled ‘PANDU’. Plotters pot We, in the city of Mumbai, use the term ‘Pandu’ very loosely. We often associate them with being lazy and corrupt. The series ‘Pandu’ however, gives us an opportunity to take a sneak peek into the lives of these hard-working cops, who do their best at keeping the city safe. The scene opens at Sub. Inspector Kamble’s residence, where he’s praying to his ‘deva’, and his wife is tastefully preparing a meal for her husband’s ‘dabba’ as she sounds off the demands for more money. ‘Money money where to get more?’ (Quoting from Nissim Ezekiel’s poem, and sounding out the woe of every government officer). The sole breadwinner has also to cope with his son’s endless demands. The pay scale is measly and the standard of living has skyrocketed. So, how does a cop deal with the same? Inspector Kamble along with his aide ‘Hawaldar Gaikwad’ (Deepak Shirke) raid an unofficial godown that has walls stacked with branded shoes), in lieu of buying his son a pair of football shoes. The raid looks like a ‘win-win’ for all. Everyone in the department earns a pair of branded shoes. Kamble earns an extra buck to take back home to give to his wife. And last but not the least, the whole department earns credited for seizing embezzlers who carry out an unofficial business. While this is one instance of how the cops make a buck to keep from financially wearing out, there is another instance of how a rich woman seeks the service of these innocent Pandu’s in the name of ‘CHARITY’. Whatever said and done, these guys have a heart of gold and will go out on a limb to help the less fortunate. But what they get in return is not even a decent dinner. All this after the team has been employed for hours of waiting on the road in order to regulate the traffic. Crewed up! ‘Pandu’ comprises of a series of instances in the life of a Mumbai cop. Gaurav Pawar and Noel C have penned the plot. The stories are simple and captivating. The series hasn’t invested much but has come up with a simple a relatable instances, from the life of a cop. The direction by Sarang Sathaye and Anusha Nandakumar suffers slightly. The story even though can be understood is a bit patchy on the execution. Diksha Sharma has done a reasonably good job on the postproduction, but could have worked a little more intelligently to cover the directorial flaws. Nikhil Arolkar’s photography covers a lot of the imperfections. The dialogues involve the use of a typical Maharashtrian intonation that is simply humorous and makes the watching light. The youth can easily relate to the series owing to the ease of language and wit. The mark I can happily mark the series at a 3/5, for being an innocent and light-hearted sort, yet suffered greatly on the direction.