India: Whistle-Stopping Maharani

For the turbaned and mustached peasants of northwest India's Rajasthan state, it was a taste of old times. Through their villages, in a 1948 Buick that scattered peacocks, startled bullocks and cloaked the neem trees with dust as it sped along, came the Maharani Gayatri Devi, her bobbed brown hair dipping over one eye and her lithe figure wrapped in a peppermint chiffon sari. With the homage they and their forefathers had always displayed to a maharajah's wife, the villagers touched foreheads to the dust, tossed marigold garlands and waved incense. Cried...

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