METRO PLUS

An aficionado of nature, by nature

The portrait of Mother Teresa right behind the chair of the City Police Commissioner in his office.

The portrait of Mother Teresa right behind the chair of the City Police Commissioner in his office.  

THEY ARE a terror for law-breakers but Good Samaritans for the distressed. Identified by their khaki robes, the police officers' role continues to remain an enigma for a large section of society even in this modern age. What is interesting is the fact that even in the confused scenario, many of them have managed to distinguish themselves in several ways simply by pursuing their areas of interest with great passion.

Our own city Police Commissioner, T.Krishna Prasad, is an officer with multifarious interests. A naturalist, a paleo-botanist and an ornithologist -- all rolled into one. Mountaineering is something he can never afford to miss while he loves adventures. Amazing it might sound, but he is a passionate art collector and has a fascinating collection of 100-odd fossils and petrified wood many of which beautify the lawns of his bungalow. The police officer, with a difference, is also obsessed with collecting complex and intriguing instruments/gadgets. On his office table is an exotic-looking instrument like a compass which doubles up for an instrument for measuring the angle of dip and a sundial.

"Blue Jay"

Prasad's deep love for nature and his zeal to lead a life full of adventures came to the fore when he was a student at the Regional Engineering College (REC), Warangal. Founder-member of the Blue Jay Nature Club, named after a unique bird which is also called the Indian Roller, Prasad revelled in exploring the different characteristics of the amazing winged creatures. "It is a very active bird which has every shade of blue in its plumage." The bird, he informs, has a very distinctive and impressive courtship behaviour.

City Police Commissioner, T. Krishna Prasad, with his collection of fossils.

City Police Commissioner, T. Krishna Prasad, with his collection of fossils.  

On spotting a female bird, the male Blue Jays make a graphic display of their aeronautical skills. Flying in circles around them, the male bird gains height by the completion of each round. Once it reaches its pre-determined height, it closes its wings and makes a vertical dive. When at a distance of a few feet from the ground, the bird suddenly spreads its wings and swoops onto the air in a magnificent display of speed, control and colour. That his eyes light up with joy even while he describes the awe-inspiring feats of the Jays reflect to what extent he is infatuated by the nature's mystique.

A discernible cop's eye

His love for nature drove him to many exotic places and he cherishes the memories of a trip he made to the Himalayan foothills in the Blue Jay Nature Club days. "We had no idea of what we were going to face. We thought windcheaters will be enough but as we headed towards Kulu Manali, and higher into the mountains, we had a problem. Thanks to some locals who provided warm clothes we were able to indulge in mountaineering," he recalls. With the help of people associated with the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, he was able to go right up to the Kyelan Pass, high in the Himalayan Range. He vividly remembers the two adventurous weeks the members of the Blue Jay Nature Club spent in the Himalayas. "It is amazing how much distance a person can cover with very little money," he says with wonder.

Icing on the cake

The Blue Jay Club members had several close "shaves" without realizing the danger they were in. They crossed frozen rivers without knowing where the ice was thin and walking at the very edge of a cliff oblivious to the fact that the temperature of the water flowing several feet below was as low as two degrees Celsius. Death could be the only result for anyone who fell in it even if he was an expert swimmer, he says. Not stopped at mere adventures, Krishna Prasad and his club members made friends with the best ornithologists of the country and even met the Father of Indian ornithology, Dr.Salim Ali.

An aficionado of nature, by nature

Adventures took a back seat once he entered the IIM, Ahmedabad. But what gladdens him is the fact that he could see all the major forests in the State during his stint as an IPS officer.

Collection of fossils

He began collecting various kinds of fossils, mostly petrified rocks from different geological terrains across the State. So much is his attachment to his prized collections that he carries the rocks to various places he is posted to. He also has an impressive collection of driftwood.

The nature-lover has not ceased to survive in the tough cop. Even today, as he sits in the lawn of his bungalow, he marvels at the chirping birds that nestle in trees of his garden. "I was able to identify the Large Egret and the Night Heron," he says with excitement.

Krishna Prasad is indeed a police officer who stands out like a Blue Jay with attributes that are equally, or perhaps more colourful and brilliant. A staunch humanist, he sincerely believes that he can invoke the blessings of Mother Teresa. Prasad always ensures that a portrait of the Mother adorns the background in his chambers wherever he works.

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