I’m not putting my CC10 here, as it is too personal to tell. But I did that in May and since a long time, I hadn’t posted any new speeches here. So, here it is, my 1st ACB Speech: Storytelling Manual Project 1: Folk Story. This isn’t my original creation but a folk story from Rajasthan. I was sure that nobody in my club would have heard about it. Even I hadn’t known much about this apart from the name at RTDC Hotels.
Together forever, never apart, maybe in distance, but never in heart…
Toastmaster of the Day, fellow Toastmasters, and welcomed Guests… Good Afternoon!
You might have heard of Romeo-Juliet, Laila-Majnu, Shahjahan-Mumtaz Mahal, and Heer-Ranjha. Today, I will tell you Yet Another Love Story which might jog you, or shock you, or even rock you.
Our story begins in the arid-lands of Thar in Rajasthan, circa 14th or 15th century. It was the month of May, the festival of ‘Akshaya-triteeya’ or as it was called there ‘Akhateej’ was in full flow. The royal palace of Bikaner was dazzling with fragrance of flowers and mesmerizing with the tunes of Shehnai. After all, it was the royal wedding of Maaru, the daughter of the King of Bikaner with Dhola, the Prince of Narwar, a town in Madhya Pradesh. The families were beaming with excitement and joy.
The young prince Dhola, who stood 2 and a half feet tall, at a tender age of 3 was getting married to the playful naive Maaru, the sweet princess, who was just 2 years old.
Child marriage, which it was, was common among the royals of that time. The wedding happened but since the couple were too young, it was decided that the bride shall go to the groom’s place only when she comes of age. Dhola returned back to Narwar with his family, while Maaru stayed back in Bikaner with hers.
Few years passed. Maaru was excited to step into her new role as a wife soon. The family started to prep her for the life ahead. She started dreaming of her life as the new princess of Narwar. She was ready to meet her prince charming Dhola, and fall in love, officially.
There was a conundrum though. Dhola’s father had died few years ago and Dhola was re-married to another woman Malwani. Being married so young, he had forgotten about his original marriage.
Maaru sent letters to Dhola, expressing her love and eagerness to meet him. Dhola’s wife, Malwani received the letters before Dhola could get them. She enquired about this and she was made aware of the child marriage. Not only that, the way the beauty of Maaru was explained, it made her furious and utter jealousy creeped over her. Malwani decided to never tell Dhola about this and kept him under Dark.
Whichever letters Maaru used to send, all used to disappear before it could reach Dhola. Maaru sent messengers but apparently Malwani got the messengers killed.
Eventually Maaru sent off a folk-singer to Dhola’s court. The singer was told to sing a song about their love story. The singer went to Dhola’s court and sang a ballad.
The ballad was sung in Raag Malhaar while it was raining. The setting, the ambiance and the song was so captivating that Dhola got intrigued by the lyrics and got hooked to it very deeply. It touched his heart and soul Dhola realized that it was a cryptic message for him from Maaru. He finally realized and remembered that he was indeed married to Maaru years ago.
He at once decided to go to Bikaner to meet Maaru. But, his wife Malwani stopped him by engaging him in other matters and averted the meeting, for the time being.
Eventually, one day, Dhola decided to go to Bikaner when his wife Malwani was not around. On his way, he got bit by a snake and died.
But then a miracle happened. He was found by some sages who brought him back to life, as they understood that he was going to meet his wife and his love was pure and pristine. Meanwhile, Maaru was caught in a conspiracy by some local folks who wanted to get her because of her beauty. Maaru was made aware of the entrapments she was about to fall into. She decided to take matter into her own hands. She found the fastest camel available and rode straight to meet Dhola.
Eventually they both met on the way between Bikaner and Narwar. They embraced each other and fell in love again. Despite so many hurdles and obstacles in their ways to get to each other, they were finally united. It was their sheer persistence and ever longing for each other that overcame all problems. Their true love was victorious in the end.
Malwani, the 2nd wife understood the purity and piousness of their love and agreed to share her husband with Maaru.
And then, they 3 lived happily ever after. That was the story of Dhola-Maaru.
This legend has got so much ingrained in the local culture in Rajasthan, and also in MP & Chhattissgarh, that whenever a couple gets married, their love is compared to Dhola and Maaru. Dhola and Maru were a couple who were separated for years but despite all hardships, they got united.
As Paulo Coelho puts in his book Alchemist, when you want something really really bad, the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. And as John Lennon put it, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”