Travel & Leisure India & South Asia

THE KING AND I

HIS OBSIDIAN EYES halt you till you reach the twinkle in their midst. You look again, and those deep dimples flanking his wide smile reach right into your heart. And then he speaks: he tells you tales of conquering heroes and lands won and lost; princesses from far lands who made India’s sons and daughters; gemstones and swords that filled coffers; a land, united and forged as one by the many layers of the legacy of the past. Nawab Kazim Ali Khan, much loved among his friends as Navaid bhai, is one of the most precious custodians of India’s history and some of its invaluable treasures.

I met him first as Nawab Sahib, in his full reglia, when he leaned down with his statuesque Pathan grandiosity

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