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Thursday, Dec 02, 2021
Outlook.com
Review

What A Raja Has To Do

Good for a long train or air journey. The tale is interesting and amusing, and describes a period which, thank God, can never be again.

What A Raja Has To Do
What A Raja Has To Do
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

No wonder then that you have some of the most amazing stories of their lives. Passion India is one more, of the Raja of Kapurthala in the Punjab. A small principality of some hundreds of villages, in two separate pockets, it had also been gifted a big estate in Oudh, after the 1857 rising. The raja was the fattest of Billy Bunters. They married him at 14, and waited for an heir with great anxiety. The problem was copulation. A British engineer devised a mechanical device, based on a study of elephant doings, to help him succeed. Oh, what have we not done, in the service of England. By 30, he had become a slim, tall man, with four marriages. He shaved off his beard, but did sport a turban as and when he felt like it. He mastered French, and spent most of his time in Europe.

In 1908, he fell for a 17-year-old bar girl in Madrid. She was poor, and he prevailed over her family. He took her to Paris, educated her in the graces, and took her around Kapurthala on an elephant. Harbans Kaur, his senior wife, and the other Sikh ladies, resisted this madness. He already had four sons, some her age. The class-conscious British refused to treat her as a maharani.

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