From Driving a Tempo to Donning the Khaki: The Inspiring Journey of IPS Officer Manoj Kumar Sharma

Written by Sanjay Kumar

The release of the film “12th Fail” on December 29, 2023, has not only taken the OTT platform by storm but also shed light on the remarkable real-life story that inspired the compelling character portrayed by Vikrant Massey. This character is none other than Manoj Kumar Sharma, a man who transformed his destiny from a 12th-grade failure driving a tempo to a distinguished IPS officer.

Early Life Struggles:

Manoj Kumar Sharma’s journey began in the quaint village of Bilgaon in Morena district, Madhya Pradesh. Born in 1977, Sharma faced financial struggles as his father worked in the Department of Agriculture. His academic journey was challenging, with only a third division in Class IX and X and a complete failure in Class XII, except for Hindi.

However, fate took an unexpected turn when Sharma fell in love with Shraddha Joshi. Despite initial hesitations due to his academic setbacks, he proposed to her, promising to turn his world around.

A Determined Path to Success:

Motivated by love and a desire to prove himself, Sharma embarked on the arduous journey of preparing for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations. To finance his education and preparation, he undertook odd jobs, from driving a tempo to walking dogs for the affluent in Delhi. At times, he even slept on the streets.

Sharma’s resilience and refusal to give up were evident as he worked as a peon in a library, using the opportunity to enhance his UPSC exam preparation and instill a spirit of unwavering determination.

Despite facing failure in the UPSC Civil Services Exam three times, Sharma persisted and, on his fourth attempt, secured an All India Rank (AIR) of 121, realizing his dream of becoming an IPS officer

Current Triumphs:

Today, Manoj Kumar Sharma serves as the Additional Commissioner in the Mumbai Police, earning nicknames like “Singham” and “Simba” due to his authoritative style. His love story with Shraddha Joshi, now an IRS officer, adds a touch of Bollywood romance to his remarkable journey.

In an interview, Sharma emphasized the pivotal role Joshi played in his life, stating that without her, his life would not be what it is today. The couple, despite their differences, triumphed over adversities, embodying the essence of true love.

A Bollywood Romance Unfolded

Sharma and Joshi’s love story is nothing short of a Bollywood script. Sharma expressed that he believed one cannot live without love, and the moment he met Joshi, he felt there was something special about her.

Describing his courtship, Sharma humorously mentioned learning to make tea, as Joshi, coming from the hills of Uttarakhand, had a fondness for it. Joshi, on the other hand, shared the stark contrast between her hillside upbringing and Sharma’s experiences, especially during their wedding, where shotguns were fired, a sight unfamiliar to her.


Manoj Kumar Sharma’s journey from a 12th-grade failure to an IPS officer exemplifies the triumph of determination, love, and unwavering perseverance. His life, now etched into the hearts of many through the film “12th Fail,” serves as an inspiration for those facing challenges, reminding us that no dream is too big, and no setback is too great to overcome with the right spirit and dedication.


Q1: Who is Manoj Kumar Sharma, and why is he in the spotlight?

A1: Manoj Kumar Sharma is an IPS officer whose real-life story inspired the character portrayed by Vikrant Massey in the critically-acclaimed film “12th Fail.” His journey from a 12th-grade failure to an IPS officer is both compelling and inspiring.

Q2: Where was Manoj Kumar Sharma born and raised?

A2: Manoj Kumar Sharma was born in 1977 in Bilgaon, a small village in the Morena district of Madhya Pradesh, India.

Q3: What were the early struggles in Manoj Kumar Sharma’s life?

A3: Sharma faced financial hardships, and academically, he earned only a third division in Class IX and X. His Class XII results were even more challenging, with failures in all subjects except Hindi.

Q4: How did love play a role in Manoj Kumar Sharma’s life?

A4: Sharma fell in love with Shraddha Joshi, and it was his love for her that became a driving force for positive change in his life.

Q5: What challenges did Manoj Kumar Sharma face on his path to success?

A5: To fund his UPSC exam preparation, Sharma took on various jobs, including driving a tempo and working as a peon in a library. At one point, he even slept on the streets of Delhi.

Q6: How many times did Manoj Kumar Sharma attempt the UPSC Civil Services Exam before succeeding?

A6: Sharma faced failure in the UPSC Civil Services Exam three times before finally succeeding on his fourth attempt with an All India Rank (AIR) of 121.

Q7: What is Manoj Kumar Sharma’s current position?

A7: Manoj Kumar Sharma currently serves as the Additional Commissioner in the Mumbai Police, earning the nicknames “Singham” and “Simba” due to his authoritative style.

Q8: Who is Shraddha Joshi, and what is her profession?

A8: Shraddha Joshi, the love of Manoj Kumar Sharma’s life, is an IRS officer currently involved in the Tourist Department of Maharashtra

Q9: How did Manoj Kumar Sharma and Shraddha Joshi’s love story unfold?

A9: Despite their differences, Sharma and Joshi’s love story is described as a Bollywood romance. Sharma’s humorous account includes learning to make tea to win Joshi’s heart.

Q10: What impact did Manoj Kumar Sharma’s life story have on the actor who portrayed him in “12th Fail”?

A10: Vikrant Massey, who played Manoj Kumar Sharma in the film “12th Fail,” revealed that there were moments during filming when he couldn’t control his emotions, emphasizing the deep resonance he felt with Sharma’s character.

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