A friend of mine visited me today, and related an interesting story. He was 3 years senior to me in school ( the Boys High School, Allahabad ), having passed his Senior Cambridge examination in 1958 ( while I passed it in 1961 ).
After passing Senior Cambridge he appeared in the selection test for admission to the the National Defence Academy, Kharakvasla ( N. D.A.) and having passed it joined the N.D.A. in 1959 or 1960 in the 22nd course at the age of 18 or so.
As a fresh cadet he was being ragged by a senior cadet one day, when a huge car appeared, and out of it emerged a young Sikh man, about the same age as my friend ( 18 or so ). Also from the same car emerged 3 or 4 tall Sikhs in the regalia and trappings of courtiers of some prince.
This young man was also a fresh cadet, and the senior beckoned to him, forgetting my friend, who realizing that the attention of the senior had been diverted and so he had a lucky escape from the ragging, slipped to a little distance from the scene, watching the new ' murga ' being dealt with.
When the fresh Sikh cadet appeared before the senior, the latter asked his name.
The fresher replied " Sir, my name is Amrinder Singh "
" And who are these jokers ? " asked the senior, pointing at the attendants on the young man.
" Sir, I am the Maharaja of Patiala ":said the young man " and these are my attendants "
" Tell them to buzz off with the car " said the senior and promptly the new cadet waived at his lackeys, asking them to leave.
Then the senior cadet made the new cadet do front rolls, back rolls and dance stripped to his underwear. He also made him do things which cannot be mentioned. My friend said that to the credit of.the new cadet he stood all this coolly and with equanimity.
Even thereafter the new cadet was often given ' special treatment ' by his seniors throughout his first term in N.D.A. ( a term is of 6 months ) since he was a Maharaja, but he put up with all this coolly.
In later life my friend, who left the army as a Colonel and became head of N.I.S. Patiala was often invited to the palace by the Maharaja where they would
exchange old memories of N.D.A.
Today that Maharaja is a senior politician and member of Parliament, and Deputy leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha..