'That girl' is Devyani Rana, possibly one of the saddest and most devastated
young ladies in the world now.
Those who know Devyani say she isn't the archetype femme fatale. Not
overwhelmingly beautiful or alluring, she is nonetheless quite popular and well thought of
among her friends in Kathmandu's fast set. The mobile phone that she always took with
her to parties used to frequently ring with calls from the prince, say friends. They also
say she was discreet about her relationship.
Devyani didn't need to work, but she answered phones and helped a proud father in the
office of his political party, the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party. Her father, Pashupati
Shamsher Rana, is a suave Anglophile who leads one of the country's many political
parties. A cabinet minister, he's admired for his sophisticated political skills and
his ability to make money. But Rana is a broken man at the moment, a scion of an
establishment that may never get its place back in Nepalese society. (The Ranas, till
1951, controlled the state apparatus.)
Queen Aishwarya, it is said, was opposed to Devyani because of her mother, Usharaje
Scindia, whose Gwalior royal lineage wasn't considered impressive. For one, it made
Devyani half-Indian—and the royal family was perhaps reluctant to foster an Indian
connection. Also, since the Scindias had attained Kshatriya status through the so-called
process of sanskritisation, the Gwalior family wasn't considered in the same league
as the status-conscious Shahs.
Queen Aishwarya was supposed to have mastered the ancient art of forging political
alliances through marriages. And Devyani didn't quite fit into her scheme. Supriya
Shah did. The 22-year-old woman was a very distant relative of the prince, and they had
dated and seen each other on a number of occasions. Supriya had Queen Aishwarya's
approval largely because a marriage between her and Prince Dipendra would have ensured
that the Shah dynasty didn't have to share its power with the Ranas.
There were other problems, too. It's said the prince was more than a little fond
of Supriya. But she had reportedly told mutual friends that the man she may have ended up
marrying was occasionally prone to murderous rage while drunk or highly stressed,
something the royal family learnt so tragically last week.
The story that Prince Dipendra had married Devyani secretly in the week before the
killings fits perfectly with the astrological prophecy—but is little else otherwise.
A few months ago, Nepali newspapers carried the chilling prediction by a soothsayer that
both the king and queen would die if the Crown Prince married before he reached the age of
35. Though royal family insiders pooh-poohed this at the time, newspaper readers took the
news seriously and in their grief last week found enough latitude to gossip about the
prince's love life.
The logic is impeccable, even if false. One highly improbable story says the prince
married Devyani in secret, perhaps at a Hindu temple in India. It was why the prediction
came chillingly true, courtesy the prince. In the palpable inability to explain the
massacre of the royal family rationally, it isn't surprising to find people turning
to superstitions and the extra-mundane for their answers.
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT