HE IS Yuvraj Shri Manvendra Singh Raghubir Singhji Sahib, also known by such other names as Manvendra Singh Gohil, or Manvendra Gohil, the prince of the Rajpipla state and heir to the throne, scion of a dynasty dating back 650 years. He was born in Ajmer, India, on September 23, 1965, son of Maharana Shri Raghubir Singhji Rajendrasinghji Sahib, who has been Maharaja of Rajpipla since 1963. Prince Manvendra received traditional and conservative teaching, and was educated at Bombay Scottish School and at Amrutben University Jivanlal College of Commerce and Economics, Vile Parle, Bombay. In 2006, he became the most visible and highly placed individual to come out publicly as gay in Indian history.
I have made 17 visits to India and written 20 published articles about this astounding place. Each visit was for about 3 months and included most parts of India. Stirred by my experiences, I wrote Expect the Unexpected which covered the first six years of my visits as a Westerner sitting in the lap of Mother India.
When I began lecturing about India, I published India: Paradox & Treasures, volume one and two. This was a keep sake reminder for those attending my talks. Also, I made a compendium of selected photos of mine into a limited edition portfolio: Ganesha & Friends.
As a gay man, I was apprehensive as to how I would manage alone traversing this challenging and mysterious India. Those fears were soon dispelled as I found plentiful, desirable company. After the first two years, a young, handsome driver appeared who was to become my constant companion for the next ten years. He did everything to make my life easier and pleasant. We openly lived as a couple, seemingly respected by the communities we lived in.
As all fairy tales have an ending, my trips to India became increasingly difficult. Also, I wanted my young partner to discover more of life. He was a virgin when I met him, and it was now time for him to develop his own path. My thoughts are often about India; she made lasting impressions upon me and gave me a better perspective about what has been called the Human Comedy.