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True Story - The School Bus And The Maha Raja's AeroPlanes

Once the army check post clearance is obtained, the Shaktiman army truck converted school bus would start on a long ten kilometer journey to our school along a picturesque road passing through mostly barren land. On the left hand side of the road, a kilometer after the army check post was a short, few hundred meter runway, with an aircraft hangar which housed around half a dozen biplanes of the Maha Raja of Faridkot.

The Maharaja's aeroplanes were still flying regularly those days. The pilots were paid to fly and maintain it. The Maharaja did not fly those aeroplanes anymore as he had grown old. The Maharaja of Faridkot was reduced to the status of an Army Colonel after India became a republic and democracy was established.

The Maharaja still goes around in a Chariot with eight horses pulling it. The chariot ride is done mostly when the Maharaja comes for some formal functions in the Army uniform. I saw the Maharaja once when he came to a stadium in Faridkot to inaugurate the grand sports event those days in which we all were also participating.

The route to the school will now join the high way where our school bus would take a right turn. On the right for about three kilometers there was nothing but barren land. But half way through this barren land on the left hand side, comes the central jail with a huge 50 foot tall wall all around it. We never could see inside it. There were not even bushes along this entire three kilometer stretch. The jail was one of the forts of the old Maha Raja of Faridkot when he ruled Faridkot district as his kingdom. We were all scared to even look at the jail where there were policemen patrolling all around those huge walls.


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