:: A Marahani Remembers… ::
 
I 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 his arrival.

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.


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