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When Rolls Royce Were Used As Garbage Vans!

He was in no mood to take the humiliation lying down. But instead of lodging a complaint with the company he found an innovative way to teach them a lesson.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

There are many stories of the Maharajas of princely India – of their wealth and eccentricities but some are different. They are about self-respect and honour, virtues that were at a premium in colonial India.

There is an interesting anecdote about the Maharaja of Alwar and how he taught a big car company a lesson. ‘Never bruise the ego of a Maharaja’, was a lesson learnt by the worldfamous car company Rolls Royce the hard way. At the turn of the twentieth century Rolls, as now, Rolls Royce was a status symbol – a symbol of power and opulence and so every self respective prince of the erstwhile princely states had one or two in his garage.

As the story goes one fine day Jai Singh, Maharaja of Alwar, in Rajasthan strolled into the showroom of Rolls Royce in a Mayfair Area, London to see some beauties around. His attire or maybe his skin colour did not impress the salesman who booed him away, thinking that the guy could not afford a Rolls Royce. The king had no Passover.

He was in no mood to take the humiliation lying down. But instead of lodging a complaint with the company he found an innovative way to teach them a lesson. He asked his staff to tell the showroom owner that king Jai Singh would buy a few Rolls Royces from their showroom. As expected a red carpet was rolled out for the king.

The king, dressed in his princely attire walked over it with élan. He bought all the six Rolls Royces in the showroom and ferried them back home. Here is the interesting part. He did not ride any of them but donated them to Alwar Municipality to sweep streets and collect and dump the garbage. An ultimate insult heaped on brand Rolls Royce.

The story has a happy ending. When the news reached back to London, the Rolls Royce sent a telegram apologising for their conduct. The king accepted their apologies and Rolls Royce’s self-esteem was restored.

They also offered six more brand new cars free of cost. The king then asked the Municipality to stop using the Rolls Royce for collecting garbage, he also accepted their apologies. Thus the matter was amicably settled. The moral of the story – Never bruise a king’s ego if you do be ready to apologise.