By Ravindra (Robi) Bahadur

Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 5:57 PM

The building as you know is KHAS BAGH. Nawab had two palaces one in town, the other in the civil lines. Khas Bagh was built by French architect and had wonderful lay -out full of lavish green lawns and trees. It had Mardana Khana for Nawab Sh. as well as Zanana Khana for Begum Sh. wing A and B.

There were other buildings around Rampur where he used to go as per weather. One of them was Lakkha Bagh. One lakh mango trees were planted there and got the name Lakkha Bagh.

Novelties were displayed at the impressive entrance of the Khas Bagh Palace. I accompanied Papa and had a kind of tour. There was one red car also which used to rotate, blow horn lights on and off etc etc. As a child you will be so fascinated that you will keep watching and won’t move from there.

Nawabs were entitled to import, duty free so Nawab Raza Ali Khan had given standing orders as soon as there is any novelty of his interest it was to be shipped to him. When Buick car was introduced he had ordered one dozen cars. I saw in the girag. He enjoyed its test drive so much that he speeded to Nanital accordingly others followed. He was speeding so high that those accompanying him thought it was the end of their lives. Finally some one touched his feet begging him to bring the speed down. With these kinds of ‘harkats’ one can make out how challanging it must have been for people around him.

As and when desired by palace, Nawab’s car will report to Dewan House, Sarkar ne yaad farmaya hai. Papa will say aap Kunwar Lutfe Ali Khan ko pick up karnen mai tayyar hota hoon, just to gain time, in our Peepal Tola Mohalla the third person at times used to be Chaudhry Raghunath Prasad (father of Jai Kishan and Sri Kishan) with these three Nawab’s bridge table of four was completed.
They used to have royal banquets at the Khas Bagh Palace. For one Hindu Khana on Holi Papa was in-charge, he took me also. I had his instructions to touch Nawab’s feet if ever I came accross. Soon I saw Nawab Sh. coming for a round of inspection. Kiska hai, Papa answered, Sarkar aap ka he hai. Khana kha ke jana. When the banquet started it reminds me to-day of an Opera like atmosphere. Huge gathering service rotating with well uniformed bearers and food veg/non-veg was at its best. Even to-day If ever I meet old timer in Delhi and name of Rampur crops up, he has to talk to me kind of non-stop about the State, culture, hospitality and food.  Some retiered Commissioners high govt. officials even when they were transferrd out of Rampur used to seek invitation to his famous banquets, Bareilly Moradabad even Lucknow posted ones will turn up and will not miss.

One old Maison met me at the petrol station where both of us were getting our cars attended, strangers, we opend conversation, oh you are from Rampur.  and he started Nawab Rampur threw a dinner at Ashoka Hotel, he was Grand Master of Masonic Lodge, he just kept on, talking about the Rampur food. Also told me he was sent to Rampur by Pundit Je. in connection with … and told me Nawab was in and out a true patriotic Indian and was deadly against any unethical pratic but not his brother and son.

Most interesting was my experience with the Nawab Sh. when he also said khane ke baad, picture dekh ke jana. I think it was AWARA. In his Royal Theatre movie started after some time movie was stopped and he with the help of a stick pointed out screen as to where direction has gone wrong in the movie, movie was resumed as soon as movie was resumed his kids said Daddy I have not finished drinking my water, movie was stopped again by commanding ‘ROKO’. Oh those royal interruptions lights on and off with several Royal Intervals was no less than a picnic. An experience never again except in watching movies in Tehsils where Bhai Sh. was posted, chairs will go from the house according to the number of our family members and movie will not start until Tehsildar Sh.’s family is in seat. What nakhras and style of course befitting with those days.

I was up at four this morning and could write this up I think I am too late for my walk now, any how I will close here.