Unlike the majority of the personalities releasing their autobiographies in the form of bulky books priced on a higher side, the 32-page comic with lively illustrations tells the story of Kiran Bedi, the first woman IPS officer of India.
Dedicating the first book in the series Making of The Top Cop to children of the country, Bedi said, “I want my life’s story to be in the hands of every children. Is there anything better than a comic to reach children? Diamond Comics have done this for me. It is priced at Rs 50.”
Penned by her sisters Reeta Peshwaria Menon and Anu Peshawaria, Kiran Bedi – Making of The Top Cop is the first comic-based biography describing her life from childhood in Amritsar to the first woman joining officer ranks of Indian Police Service on July 16, 1972.
The colourful story book takes readers on Bedi’s journey from being an ordinary girl with long hair to a police officer with illustrations of the photographs taken from Bedi’s personal library.
Born to a family with three other daughters, Bedi says that there were many questions which were asked repeatedly and finally she decided to answer them through a book.
“How were you groomed? What made you so bold? How did you deal with the boys teasing you? Were your hair always short? Most importantly, did your parents missed having a son? This book answers every question,” Bedi told Newsline.
“We used to play tennis. My sister and I were given title of ‘Punjab Brothers’ after winning many tennis titles. It was during such early days in tennis that I realised my long hair were not manageable. It was inconvenient when hair kept coming in eyes. I went to Dogra Hair Dresser in Amritsar and asked him to give me ‘boy cut’,” she said.
“To Kiran being practical was more important than how she looked,” her sisters say in the book, adding that “dressed in trousers, Kiran was asked by boys, are you a boy or girl?” She would answer, “Do you have buttons or eyes?”
On dealing with eve teasers, she said, “Problems reduced when I started wearing trousers and had a boy cut but we four sisters were confident at very early age when we dealt with boys returning from tennis court because our upbringing was unfettered.”
Another story in the book describes how Kiran was upset after attending a wedding one day, at the hefty display of wealth and jewellery which her mother told was ‘dowry’.
“I was not able to sleep. I asked mother will this be my fate too? She said no, my daughters will be givers, not receivers,” said Bedi.
The book narrates her inspirational meeting with Flying Sikh Milkha Singh and later her life as a trainee at National Police Academy in Mount Abu, Rajasthan.
She led the Delhi Police contingent at Republic Day parade in 1975. The second part of the series will be Kiran Bedi: The Top Cop Years, describing her career in police services.
“The comic is being released in English, Hindi and 16 other national languages. I want children to embrace this book. It is my gift for them,” Bedi told Newsline.