Bengaluru: A head constable in Karnataka's Hubli rural police station turned his fibre-made lathi (cane) into a flute to play folk songs as a hobby.
"Making musical instruments and playing them have been my hobby for long. I turned the fibre lathi, given to me for policing, into a flute to play folk songs when free from work, Chandrakant Hutgi told IANS.
The 52-year-old Hutgi's skill and artistic talent earned him recognition from the state police department and a special cash award (inam) from Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Bhaskar Rao in Bengaluru.
"Rao called me to Bengaluru on Monday with the musical lathi and play for him in his office after he heard from his colleagues at Hubli that I converted it into a flute. He also rewarded me," said Hutgi.
Using local tools, Hutgi skillfully drilled eight holes into the lathi, including one for blowing air, six for playing his fingers and another smaller outlet to let out the air.
"Chandrakant Hutgi, head constable from Hubli Rural police station has converted his deadly fibre lathi into a musical instrument... we are proud of him," tweeted Rao after recording video of a folk song Hutgi played in his office here.
Soon after Rao posted the video clip on the social media -- his Facebook and Twitter handle, Hutgi's skill and musical talent went viral.
The video was also circulated on Whatsapp by his colleagues.
"Since the video clip went viral earlier in the day, I have been getting calls from colleagues, friends and relatives and congratulatory messages," chuckled Hutgi.
When Hutgi was posted on security duty at Dattapeetha shrine in Chikmagalur's Baba Budangiri hills for a week in December 2017, he converted the lathi into a flute in free time and fine-tuned it to play folk songs and Kannada film songs some times.
"To kill boredom or break monotony, I play the flute and entertain my colleagues after duty hours. My seniors asked me to play the flute on May 23 after vote count at the Dharwad counting centre," recalled Hutgi.