LAHORE TO PARIS: A Fateful JourneyDate: Thursday, 23 October, 2008
The poignant date of 23rd October marked 115 years of the death of Maharajah Duleep Singh. His passing away in Paris, amidst relative obscurity, poverty, isolation, and ill health contrasts strikingly with the pomp and rejoicing which heralded his birth. The recent novel "The Exile" by Navtej S Sarna evocatively sums this up:
"Who could have guessed when he was born that this would be his end. Where was it that you said he died, Arur, which strange city? Not even in Vilayat(Britain) where at least he had his sons and daughters. But in some hell hole where there was no one to pray for him during his last moments, no one to hold his hand and shut his eyes! How different from that Bhadon (September)evening of long ago when the news of his birth was brought to the lion, Maharajah Ranjit Singh. Our Sarkar's joy knew no bounds and Lahore dissolved in music and celebration"