I was born on the 23rd of August 1974 in New Delhi as the first and only child of my parents
and by a strange twist of history I was born to a Raja and a Rani and as a Prince in socialist India.
I was born when
all the Rulers of India had been 'de recognised' by the Government of India after the British had left Indian shores, but
for Kutlehar the Raja was still the Raja.
The reason for this lies in the turbulent history of Kutlehar.
ancestors had ruled the Kingdom of Kutlehar for about 900 years, and Kutlehar because of its geographic location had been
in the path of every conqueror who was on his way to Delhi from the North, and that made sure that the small Kingdom of Kutlehar,
whose Rulers had the 'Brahma gaddi' or the seat of learning were forced to fight when they would rather have been dealing
with matters of the mind and spirit.
The turbulent history of Kutlehar has many names that it has in its memory of
plunderers who destoryed many things and yet carried away much more than what they left in ruins, the Rulers were happy in
the Hindu thought that nothing lasts forever, and everytime they rose again to a fresh start.
In the more recent history,
details of which are available at www.kutlehar.com, after the Nepalese and Maharaja Ranjeet Singh's time, when the British
Government came to power they refused to return Kutlehar as a State but returned it as an estate, as we had sided with the
Nepalese King, and alongwith that gave to the Raja, forests that were many times larger than the estate, these forests came
to be known as the Kutlehar forests.
The Indian Govt. resumed all the estates in the 1960s and then the titles of
all the Indian rulers were abolished too but as the forests were with my father they had to recognise him as the Raja of Kutlehar,
what was intended as a humilation by the British turned to our advantage and there was no clause for the Govt. to take over
the forests unless the forests were mismanaged, and according to the High Court of Himachal Pradesh, Kutlehar forests were
the best managed forests in India.
Therefore in the year of my birth when there were no other recognised Raja's in
India, my father was yet a recognised Raja.
I had a very protected yet aware upbringing, and life was no doubt priviliged.
We lived a double life, when out of Kutlehar and in Chandigarh, where I was educated or in New Delhi, where we visited
many times for shopping and other social visits, we lived the life of a modern Indian family but when we returned to Kutlehar
it was back to the lifestyle of what was acceptable and appropriate for the Royal Family, though this was never too constraining
and mostly one had to be just a little aware and in command of oneself.
I found it very easy to adapt to this lifestyle,
just as my parents did, the change was quite automatic and one did not think of it much, this continues to this day, inspite
of the Govt. taking over the forests and 'de-recognising' us as the royal family in 1991, just as it did with all the other
royal families in India many years earlier, life remains the same.
Our responsibilty remains the same and more than
that my parents sense of duty towards the people of Kutlehar remains the same.