The Begum

On one of my trips to India, I met a rather exceptional maharani. Her husband owned the most beautiful library in India, filled with ancient manuscripts dedicated to the study of medicine and botany. The maharani herself was short and round. She wore the garlands of an actual Christmas tree as a necklace, and on each of her pudgy fingers glistened a diamond, the next one bigger than the last.

Shortly before my arrival, she had given an interview to the BBC, during which she was asked how many windows there were in her palace. With a subtle gesture of her diamond-encrusted hand, the maharani replied, “In India we don’t count our windows, we count our palaces.”


And so the interview that had begun poorly, proceeded in an even worse fashion, as the young liberals from the BBC became increasingly annoyed and aggravated with the clear conscience of the maharani.

Finally, one of them blurted out, “But your Highness, you don’t have any contact with your people!”

“Me? No contact with my people?” the maharini replied indignantly. “I’ll have you know that every night I have six of my chambermaids sleeping on the floor just beside my bed!”


Rumor has it that the maharani took as a lover the French gardener whom she had hired to grow roses. Apparently his proficiency for sowing extended to the bedroom. Sometime afterwards, when he fell into disgrace, our lady had him castrated without hesitation.

by  Prince Michael of Greece