Meeting the Maharaja

An imaginary interview with the mascot evokes nostalgia
Geeta Doctor

The Air India Maharaja is an iconic character that always resonates with us, reflecting the airline’s past glories. This piece was written for the airline’s newly launched in-flight magazine but not printed because the management said it is trying to erase the mascot as he does not represent current day India. A familiar figure lies stretched out on the slatted wooden recliner by the pool of Bombay’s most iconic hotel in South Bombay. His portly mid-section is hidden by a large white Turkish towel. His eyes remain half closed beneath the familiar onion dome of the red and gold ribboned turban.  Clearly......

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