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Vikrant Massey’s ’12th Fail’: This IPS-IRS Couple Inspired the Movie

Watched Vikrant Massey's '12th Fail'? Meet IPS Manoj Kumar Sharma, whose inspiring journey of cracking UPSC CSE and love story with IRS Shraddha Joshi inspired the Vidhu Vinod Chopra film.

Vikrant Massey’s ’12th Fail’: This IPS-IRS Couple Inspired the Movie

Once in a blue moon, you come across a real-life story that pales even perfectly orchestrated movie scripts in comparison. One such instance is the life of IPS Manoj Kumar Sharma, who failed Class 12 but later turned his life around to achieve his dreams.

Manoj’s remarkable journey made it to the movies in the form of a biographical drama ‘12th Fail’ directed by the acclaimed Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Manoj’s character is essayed by the talented Vikrant Massey of Mirzapur fame.

Though the plot of the film revolves around Manoj’s rise from the ground up, it echoes the struggles of millions of students who dare to dream of entering the civil services and taking the UPSC exams. It isn’t an easy road.

But that’s not why his story made it to the big screens.  

Born in 1977 in Bilgaon, a village in Madhya Pradesh, to a father who worked in the agricultural sector, Manoj went through tough times from a young age. He worked hard but success eluded him. Difficulties peaked when he failed his Class 12.

However, a driving force in his life was Shraddha Joshi, whom he fell in love with. Shraddha was then preparing for the UPSC exams. Intent on winning her over, Manoj too decided to take the exam and make something of his life.

To pay his fees, he was forced into all sorts of odd jobs — a tempo driver, a library peon, a dog walker among other things. But grit and determination were his pillars through these tough times. While Shraddha excelled in the UPSC and went on to become an IRS Officer, Manoj failed the exam thrice. But, he refused to quit. His fourth attempt proved successful, and today he is an IPS Officer.

The film ‘12th Fail’ is a story of never losing hope — a message to the countless students who pursue the UPSC. The film beautifully outlines the concept of embracing the challenges of life and reclaiming one’s destiny.

Though the movie hit screens on 27 October, 2023, recently, a viewer noticed a still from the film featuring the couple Manoj Sharma and Shraddha Joshi in the background. He applauded the attention to detail shown by the movie makers.

Taking to X (formerly known as Twitter), the viewer wrote, “Did anyone notice in the background, the real Manoj and Shraddha in this scene? What attention to detail! 12th Fail.”

Vikrant Massey responded, “Haha!!! So I finally found someone who noticed this. True, it’s them. A small @VVCFilms tribute to them. Another trivia… it happened at the same place, which is Delhi Haat.”

Edited by Pranita Bhat

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