The last Nawab of Pataudi used to be a frequent guest of the Nizam
Bidar has an old connection with the former Indian cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, who passed away on Thursday.
People of a certain vintage recall that the last Nawab of Pataudi used to be a frequent guest of the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad. “He and his friends from Hyderabad would often visit Bidar to hunt in the jungles of Shahapur, Khanapur and Honnikeri,” recalls septuagenarian photojournalist Ghulam Muntaqa. “The group would go in an open jeep to hunt. Sometimes we had to trek long distances or wait for hours in the dark. He enjoyed it,” the photographer said.
This was before the Forest Conservation Act 1980 was passed and laws became very strict.
The Nawab and his friends were shown around Bidar by Mr. Muntaqa and Abdul Sattar Adib, a journalist with the Urdu daily Rehnuma-e-Dakkan. Mr Adib died five years ago.
Mr. Muntaqa recalls Pataudi as a smart young man with an easy attitude, who smiled a lot and cracking up the group with his witty one-liners.
“Nobody needed to introduce him as of royal lineage: it showed,” Mr. Muntaqa said. His aristocratic mien — the way he behaved, moved and spoke — anyone could make out he was a prince, he said.
“People called him a tiger. For us, it was like the tiger coming to hunt in the jungles of Bidar. It is sad that he is no more,'' says Mr. Muntaqa.