Most of us have heard the story of Maharaja Jai Singh Prabhakar Bahadur of Alwar. He was snubbed by a salesman of Rolls Royce cars just because he came humbly dressed. The Maharaja extracted revenge by ordering a fleet of Rolls Royce Cars and using them as garbage vans. Looks like Assam has its own Maharaja Jai Singh Bahadur in the dynamic tea planter, Late Sashi Prasad Barooah.
Sashi Barooah was a true aristrocrat, who never shied away from spending vast sums of money in causes he believed in. And why wouldn’t he, he was the younger brother of one of the richest tea planters of British India, Shiva Prasad Barooah. Sashi Barooah himself owned four estates.
Not only that Sashi Barooah was a man of tremendous self respect, and had a strong individualistic streak to his character. Once before independence, Barooah was denied entry into Calcutta’s Grand Hotel. The reason for the same being he wasn’t dressed in western clothes.
The way he retaliated was epic. He dressed up eight taxi drivers in suit and tie and sent them to the Grand. He spent a fortune in buying luxury clothes and also paid for their meal. After that, he himself got dressed up and went there. After having his dinner, he went to the counter to pay his bill. Taking the cash memo from the manager, Sashi Prasad said,
‘Hello! Am I not the same person you just heckled an hour ago?’
Just imagine the chaos that ensued in the Grand thereafter.
Source: Vintage Assam