A Marahani Remembers… ::
consider myself to be extremely blessed to get married to H.H. Maharaja
Virendrasingh Chauhan of Chhota Udepur. He was a great personality
and a noble soul.
I still distinctly remember our wedding day, when the handsome Maharaja
of Chhota Udepur came to Jaipur to marry me, the princess of Cama
- a Thikana of Jaipur. My father and brother, welcomed Maharaja Saheb
and his entourage at our haveli in Jaipur. The ceremonies of the wedding
was completed with all the fanfare of a Rajput wedding. The marriage
was attended by H.H. Sawai Mansingh II of Jaipur along with his favorite
sister Chand Baisa.
I came to Kusum Vilas Palace, Chhota Udepur my future home among all
pomp and pageantry.
I lived a complete and very happy life with Maharaja Saheb, and he
fulfilled all my wishes, being a good husband. I have always seen
him smiling, and never have I seen any grimace on his face. Even in
the most trying times for him, he put up a smile on his face, lest
his worries also bother us. He put up his bravest best even in times
of maximum adversities.
I have always seen Maharaja Saheb immaculately dressed for the occasion,
whatever it may be. He was as comfortable carrying a tuxedo as he
was with an achkan or sherwani. He had a special fondness for fragrances.
The various perfumes that he wore, made his presence felt and announced
Maharaja Saheb possessed all the qualities of a great ruler - an articulate
diplomat, an able administrator, a great orator, a fearsome leader,
all rolled into one. He got this edge over others by being well read
and updated on all the aspects and happenings around him. He used
to be the limelight of most of the gatherings he attended, simply
because of his 360 degree perspective of events and happenings - concerning
him or otherwise. In the sphere of enterprise, he was a force to reckon
with as he literally was a bank of knowledge. He was comfortable conversing
on any subject - business or otherwise. These qualities earned him
several good associations in the industry. Maharaja Saheb was also
a member of the All India Construction Company.
His associations with the Tata group earned him respect in all ranks
of Bombay House. Maharaja Saheb joined as an apprentice in Nelco,
and grew to the ranks of Director. He has also been the Industry Consul
for the Kingdom of Sharjah.
Maharaja was very fond of sports as well. He was a brilliant swimmer
and whenever he got an opportunity and was in Chhota Udepur, he did
not miss swimming at the inhouse swimming pool in the Kusum Vilas
Palace. He was also a brilliant cricketer and played games with other
teams. He regularly played table tennis in the Kusum Vilas Palace,
a game of billiards and was an expert in squash as well.
Maharaja Saheb was fond of parties - attending and organizing parties.
He was a complete party person, and had the flair for dancing as well.
He could carry himself with élan on several types of dances - including
the fox trait, ball dancing etc. He was also a connoisseur of good
food, and a gourmet expert. Inspite of this, he was not quite fussy
about food, whenever he was home.
Maharaja Saheb knew the art of balancing professional and personal
lives. He ensured that we went on regular outings to places across
the country and abroad. We frequented the hills of North India especially
Shimla, Mussorie, Nainital and Manali. Whenever on outings, Maharaja
Saheb was very particular about the choice of hotels where we lodged,
and ensured my comfort above anything else.
An incident, during one such outings is distinctly etched in my mind,
even after so many decades. "Once during our return from Dehradun,
we stopped at Chital to buy his favorites chocolates at a special
shop. These chocolates were his favorites, and he unfailing got them
during any of his trips to Dehradun. Thereafter, we stopped at a Maha
Kali temple outside of Dehradun to pay our respects to the deity.
On our return to Delhi, a beggar approached our car, and asked for
some food. Maharaja Saheb asked me to handover the Prasad to the beggar.
I mistakenly gave both the packets - the temple prasad as well as
the packet containing the chocolates. We realized this sometime later,
and I was really depressed that I had mistakenly handed over the packet
of chocolates. Maharaja Saheb however was not at all angry.
Maharaja Saheb never got into quarrels or battles with anybody. If
ever there was disagreement, he tried to sort it out by mutual dialogue.
However, if things did not come in control, he used to resort to the
legal angle to sort out issues of monetary interests. He never thought
twice before lending money to anybody. We literally called him "Dena
Bank", who always had the tendency to lend money.