A SLACK-JAWED WRITER, visibly taken in by the opulence around him, grinned through his beard at a dashing king. It was a still, muggy afternoon, and the three men—the writer was accompanied by a bespectacled man in white who chose to stay mostly silent—were sitting on wood-carved chairs in a regal, yet aging, palace. Having heard of local big game, the gents were waiting to hear a tiger’s bellow.
With an immaculately creased dhuti and a dressy stole draped over one shoulder, the young royal lifted the corners of his mouth in a weary but warm smile. “Call me Himangshu,” he pleaded with his visitors, insisting on informality.
“I’ll maim you with my shoe!”