Toastmasters Storytelling Project 3 – Moral of the Story – “F News”

It was one of the busiest days at work. I was deeply engrossed in my laptop. It was the last day of the project deadline, so the surroundings sounded of silence and seriousness. Everyone on my team had skipped lunch that day. My attention was divided between the software application I was working on and my mailbox in which I was expecting some emails from my colleagues about some critical issues.

Meanwhile, just to set some context, a couple of days ago, I had just finished my first year at the office, which also happened to be my first company. I, along with all my batch-mates who had joined on the same day, had received our first ever salary hike letters. We were generally in a mood of congratulations and celebrations. As you know, the first hike letter is special!

As I was expecting some very serious mail about critical issues, I got a message in my inbox. It was from one of my batch-mates. I ignored it for time being and kept on doing my work. Within minutes, then I got another message from another batch-mate. I ignore that too as I had to concentrate on my work. The deadline was lurking. After few minutes, few more emails came. Apparently, there was a mail chain going around with everyone replying to all. After ignoring them for a while, I opened the latest mail. It said that one of the friends had “heard” that the new batch of joiners have been given much higher package and that exceeded our current salary plus the hikes which we were to receive. As you all know, people are very emotional about money. This had started a chain-reaction. Many people had started replying to all in the same mail chain that “how wrong this is and we should do something about this. How could the company betray us like that?” Mind you, I had more than 50 batch-mates.

This replying to all going on for a very long time eventually choked my email inbox. I was neck-deep-busy that day but now my concentration had been compromised due to this unnecessary rumormongering. This constant barrage of email volley irked me. After ignoring for a long while, I decided to end the matter once and for all! I replied to all saying that I have just talked to the HR Manager personally and if this email chain does not stop, everyone’s hike would be canceled. I also added at the very end of the email that I was kidding but please do not send emails to all about such kind of confidential matter, as it is not at all professional.

And that worked! The shower of emails stopped. Some of my friends who thought I was really serious came to my desk and I told them that nothing’s wrong, I was just joking as I had got frustrated with the constant bombardment of emails onto my inbox. I told them about the last line of the email and the matter ended with laughter.

Everyone moved on with their lives. We finished our project on its deadline and life went on.

A few days later, I was at home on a vacation. I got a call. It was from office. I picked up. The person on the other side said that he was the HR of the company I was working in. He revealed that he had been forwarded that email of mine. The email also did not contain the part where I had said that I was joking. The tone of the HR was very serious. He asked me who had given me any right to spread such misinformation. I told him the whole story but he asked me whether I sent the mail or not. I said I did send but my intention was not to spread fake news but rather to stop spreading rumors. The HR said he does not care whatever was intended but since I was the one whose email he had received so I was to be blamed. He scolded me for 30 minutes before hanging the phone up. Luckily, he left me with a warning of never doing this again.

Toastmasters and guests, our generation is a generation of information. We all receive such messages. For example, UNESCO has declared our National Anthem as the best National Anthem. Drinking Coke after eating Mentos is Death by Explosion. Haven’t we? However, with this information overload, sometimes we receive some information, which is as far from the truth as Pluto is far from the Sun. There is an umbrella term for all such information. Can anyone guess? Yes, this plethora of misinformation is called ‘Fake news’.

Moral of the Story: First, do not believe the fake news. Always check several sources before forming your opinion. More importantly, do not react and spread fake news. In today’s age, whatever you share electronically, you have no control over where it will end up. Moreover, whether it will end up in its entirety or not, is out of your hands. I learned my lesson that day. Have you?

By the way, did you know that if you do not discuss this speech with 10 of your friends, you would have bad luck for 10 years?

Toastmasters ACB Speak to Inform 2 : Clicking Better

Speak to Inform Project 2: Resources for Informing

The following is my speech for the Project 2 of Speak to Inform Advanced Communication Manual. I spoke about a topic which I have interest in; Photography.


Fellow Toastmasters and welcomed guests, a very good afternoon to one and all!

Show of hands please, how many of you take Photographs regularly?

Almost everyone, right?

Do you use your Mobile Phone Camera?

Or a Point and Shoot one?

Or you use your DSLR?

So, the overall consensus is that, obviously, almost everyone takes photographs. Some use properly dedicated cameras while most others use their phones. Everyone nowadays knows how to click and shoot. There are billions of photos taken daily. There are millions of photos shared on Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Whatsapp, etc daily.

We all take Photographs daily. But not all of us are called as Photographers. Professional or Hobbyist. Today, I am going to share with you, some composition guidelines, tips, and tricks which you can use to improve your photography. These are some basic rule of thumbs, which can help you become better photographers, than just ordinary-photo-clickers.

Disclaimer: I am not a Professional or Commercial Photographer myself, but I have been learning this art for a long time now and this is just me sharing some of that learning with you.


Slide 4: 3 Guidelines for Better Composition

I am going to discuss the 3 most common guidelines for better composition. Can anyone tell what Composition means? CoThe compositions the placement of objects and subjects in your photograph. This is basically how the elements in your photos have been placed. So, the 3 most common composition guidelines are:

  1. The Rule of Thirds
  2. Leading Lines
  3. Less is More

I will start with the Rule of Thirds

Slide 5: The Rule of Thirds

For this, I would request you all, to take out your phone and open your camera. Can you see a grid there? That grid divides the viewfinder into 9 parts.

The Rule of Thirds states that if your subject is placed at one of the intersections of these grids, that composition would look better than those in which subject is placed without any thought. Scientifically, this kind of composition conforms to the Golden Ratio. You might have seen this curve before. Without going into this too much, I would just say that this curve or ratio pleases the eyes.

This would mean is that when your subject is placed at the intersection, it would give the photograph much more dynamism and a professional look.

I will share a couple of examples to depict this.

Slide 6: Sweet Farm

Slide 7: Sweet Farm with Grid

Slide 8: Busy Bee
Slide 9: Busy Bee with Grid
If you noticed, here the subject was placed at the intersections that made the photograph appear slightly better.

Now, we will understand the second guideline i.e. Leading Lines

Slide 10: Leading Lines
‘Leading Lines’ is another guideline, which you may consider while shooting a photo. It helps the viewer to scan your image from a point to a point. It also gives us a sense of depth, size and, distance. I will again show you some examples.

Slide 11: Hampi Temple
Slide 12: Hampi Temple with leading lines shown
Slide 13: VV Puram Street
Slide 14: VV Puram Street with leading lines shown
Now, the third guideline, Less is More

Slide 15: Less is more
When we want to click, we want to cover as much as possible. We worry about getting all the details of the scene onto our image. However, sometimes the opposite might make sense. Sometimes, having a minimal number of objects in the image can give it a better look. Let me share some examples for this.

Slide 16: The Moon
Slide 17: Birds on a wire
There is a sense of calmness and serenity in these pics. It still depicts a lot, by depicting very less. If we can try minimalism in our photography by giving some white space, that can help us to compose our shots better.


Slide 18: Break the rules

I have just talked about Rules. But, the actual rule of Photography is that there are no rules. There are just guidelines. For creativity, we are often encouraged to break the rules. So, if you ignore the above 3 guidelines, you can still create some good compositions. Some more examples for you.

Slide 19: Attack on Hampi (A combination of Rule of Thirds and Minimalism)

Slide 20: Choose a Side (A subject which is totally centered in the frame)
Slide 21: Buy some Balloons (With colors selectively removed)

Slide 22: Another Balloons seller (It just tells a story)
You can try your own styles and bring the best photographer out of yourself. Always remember, it is not the tool which is used to click your photos, but it you who is more important.

Happy Photography!

Back to Toastmaster!

Continue reading “Toastmasters ACB Speak to Inform 2 : Clicking Better”

Last Presidential Address

The script for my last presidential address at my Toastmasters Club. I didn’t deliver it exactly as the script but you can still read it for free:

Today is my last Presidential Address. Please don’t cry at the end of the speech. For the last 25 odd Toastmasters Meetings, I used to prepare something for each week.

How many of you read the December 2017 edition of the Toastmasters Magazine? (How many of you know that there is a Toastmasters Magazine published monthly?)

On the very first page, there’s a line by International President DTM Balraj Arunasalam, where he is quoting Mark Twain,

“A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read”

In the same way, he says that

“A Toastmaster who won’t lead has no advantage over one who can’t lead”

It means that if you have an opportunity to lead a group of people, for your and their betterment, you must grab that opportunity with both hands. As Robin Williams said in ‘Dead Poets Society’,

“Carpe diem”

First of all, I would like to state that Trailblazers Toastmasters Club is not my baby as in I wasn’t a charter member or part of the executive committee until January 2017. But, when I had joined it in June 2016, soon I did adopt it as my baby. I saw it as a place which had huge potential for me to grow as a person. It was a place where I could meet new people and develop my communication skills. I tried my best to capture the moments I had in the club. Over the course of last one and a half years, I have seen this club grow from a novice club to a sophisticated club now. We now have proper standards, practices, procedures, and processes to run the club. In the recently held elections, we not only got the 7 officers elected on time, 3 more people stood up and took the responsibility of Associate Officers.

During my time as acting VP-Education, VP-Membership and then as President, with the help of the executive committee, we tried to do whatever I could to make the club beneficial to everyone. I hope that our efforts were useful to all the members. I said this in my Presidential Acceptance speech 6 months ago and I will say it again that if we take our role in Toastmasters a tad bit seriously and see it as an opportunity to help others, we can do wonders. I will share a small story about helping others which I had read in a book some time ago. I hope you see some lesson in it:

In 1892, at Stanford University in the US, there were 2 poor students who were not able to pay their college fee. So they approached a pianist Paderewski to perform in their college. Paderewski was quite the superstar at those times. They thought that they would raise enough money from the tickets that they would be able to pay the pianist as well as pay their fee. They asked him to perform for $2000. He agreed and performed.

But, they could raise only $1600 from the concert. With their heads hanging in shame, they went to the pianist and said that they will give the rest of $400 later when they will be able to pay for it. Currently, they said that they were not even able to pay tuition fees. So, they gave him a cheque for $400 and requested him to encash it later. Instead of shouting and scolding them, to their surprise, Paderewski told them that they don’t need to worry. He will not only deduct his fee for this concert but also agreed to pay their tuition fee for them.

Years passed. It was the time for the First World War. The pianist Paderewski had now become the Prime Minister of Poland. Poland was ravaged due to the war and was in dire needs of food and ammunition. He approached the United States to help them. US President Hoover quickly sent food supplies and helped Poland during the war. When Paderewski went on to thank President Hoover, Hoover said that he needn’t thank him. He was just returning the favor. He said he was one of the 2 students whom Paderewski had helped a few years ago to pay their tuition fee.

Think of your Toastmaster role as a role of not self-improvement but helping others. Improvement will happen automatically if you come to the meetings. By helping others, by doing small things, can have a huge impact on others lives. Like taking up roles in a Toastmasters meeting. Your role as Ah-Counter can help someone stutter less and become a better speaker. I could go on and on.

Before I sign off as the president, I would just request all of you, the new officers and the members to try to help each other. I am always there to help. You just need to be proactive and ask for help. You just need to capture the moment before it is too late. You can take my adopted baby now and help it grow more into an awesome person in the future.

Continue reading “Last Presidential Address”

Promise Needs Patience

“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”
Mexican Proverb

You might or might not have heard this story before, but here it goes. I’ll start with a question:

Does anyone here know about the growth pattern of a Bamboo plant?

When the farmers start growing Bamboo, they must nurture it, water it and take care of it during its first year. However, there is negligible growth. The farmers must have patience and continue to water it in its second year too. Even then, there is nothing much to see. They fertilize it with best quality manure so that they see something soon. But seasons after seasons, years after years, there is almost nothing to be proud of. It doesn’t even show proper sprout.

3 years pass. There’s still no motivation for the farmers to continue. But they continue to water and fertilize the plant. Even after the 4th year ends, there is still nothing. By this time, even the most motivated farmers give up. Who would keep watering the plant which shows no growth at all? But even then, the farmers persist.

Now, this is the time when the patience pays off. In the 5th year of its cultivation, Bamboo finally shows some traces up from the soil. Not only that, it reaches more than 60-80 feet up in the air in the same season itself. And then, it continues to stay strong, no matter how harsh the weather is. It bends, it twists, but it stays strong. In case, you don’t know Bamboo is a kind of Grass.

You know, all the years when it didn’t show any growth upwards, it was actually growing downwards. Yes, it was growing upside down. Its roots were getting longer and longer and they had eventually reached that length and gained enough strength that they could hold the soil to sustain 80 feet tall shoots of Bamboo.

Same is the way in which revolutions work and revolutions fail. If there are doubts in your convictions, your beliefs, and your aim, no matter what you do, you are bound to fail.

If you are doing things right with honesty, but you are not seeing any benefits, take some lessons about patience from the Bamboo. If you promise yourself patience and keep at it, it would need patience. It might take time, it might not show any positive results soon. But, if you keep working in the right direction, there will be a time that you will be really proud of yourself that you invested time on that very thing.

The above was used as part of my Presidential Speech Script in my Toastmaster’s Clubs Meeting. I had come across this story in this book:

Year 2017 End Post, or is it?

New Year Resolutions are something which I never pay attention to. They’re not for me. I stopped thinking long-term a while back and took life as it came. That worked most of the time but there are times for which one should also be prepared. But if I have to rate no-long-term-thinking-theory, it would still be one of the best decisions I made to stay happy. Fewer Expectations, Better Life.

This time, however, I am thinking of taking a Strong New Year Resolution which requires full-time dedication. We will come to that in a minute or so. The year 2016 was a fine year by the way. Although I changed my ‘status’ that year, still I lived alone for 8 months. The latter part of 2016 was not good though. I got to know that Depression was something real when it happened to one of my close ones. Also, I had a motorbike accident which left me with not being able to use my right hand for more than 2 weeks. Plus, in my journey to be a more confident speaker, I came across an obstacle which made me question my decision itself to become a more confident speaker. Long story short, as I was entering 2017, I was not in my best state of mind and body.

So, let’s have a thorough look back at the Year, Twenty Seventeen was.  Did it turn out okay, did it turn out alright? Boom! Here we go…

  • Firstly, I am very proud of this year. I learned a lot of things, both professionally and personally. The thing which was bothering me at the end of 2016, I took it head on and instead of running away from it (Public Speaking), I decided to confront it. I got my Competent Communication module of 10 Speeches done by May 10th. And that was the time (January-June) when I was peak busy at Work. This taught me a lesson that when one is super busy and focused at work, that is the time when the brain is at its optimum energy level to do things which can give you a break from work.

Lesson Learnt: If you’re busy with work, that is the best time to do things which are totally unrelated to work. Break the monotony

Break Monotony
Break Monotony
  • I also gained enough confidence to recite poems (in my case, these are just words put in an order to rhyme, after every line) in front of a live audience. Although, the audience was known me, reciting a rhyme, in public, is a feat.

Lesson Learnt: Let some skill, which you always have been shy about, come out in public. Some might like it. Overcome inhibitions!

overcome inhibitions
overcome inhibitions
  • For the first time, I traveled to Kerala i.e. Kochi, Alleppey, and Munnar. It was such a wonderful trip which left us wanting for more.

Of course, needless to say that the lesson here is travel more. Anyone has anything to say against travelling?

Some pics here:

  • I took over as the President of a Toastmasters Club which had 31 people when I started and my term ended (will end on Dec 31) with 24 people. Heh! Now, have I failed? Have I embarrassed myself? Have I lost the cause? Well, actually no. This experience of serving so many people is a humbling experience. This isn’t managing people. This is more like leading people to something they want to do, but they probably aren’t as enthusiastic as you are. I would say, being a President of a corporate Toastmasters club is a difficult task. But I am proud to say that I didn’t give up at all. I didn’t fail because I kept at it. I, with the help of some other people, always kept my members on their toes. Surely, we could do a lot better but I hope the wheels of motion are now set. I was commended by few people for the job I was doing. I was also praised by some that there won’t be anyone like me in future. But I would like to believe that at least one a couple of people would have taken some inspiration and would continue to work for others. Working for others give a pleasure which is immeasurable.

Lesson Learnt: Experience Selflessness. Do something for others and enjoy their success.

experience selflessness
experience selflessness
  • Now some selfishness. I bought a new phone after 3 years. I was using Moto X2 since October 2014. The only issue with that phone was Battery. I had no issues otherwise and quite enjoyed the phone. But there was one caveat. The camera quality was not very exciting. So, I got myself a new One Plus 5t and since then, I am spamming Instagram almost daily. And I feel good about that kind of spamming!
  • I read more numbers of books this year than I have ever read in my life. Isn’t that awesome? This number also included so many superb books. I have written some reviews of those too. Kindly check them out here.
read more
read more
  • One important thing also happened this year. I didn’t miss Twitter. I didn’t miss TV news. That reaffirmed my belief that most of the social media and other media I have been consuming is a farce. I deserve much better and my time deserves the much better use of media. I don’t even want to spend any of my words here about how Twitter and stuff are full of crap. I would rather suggest a Chrome Extensions here: Nudge. This extension helps you to unfollow everyone and everything on Facebook. And block Twitter and all addictive social media sites. I installed and did exactly what it was supposed to do. Unfollow everything. Now, that’s something you should try!

So that was mostly it! Enough about 2017. Now, it is time to share

Thoughts on 2018

Day One
Day One

The above poster is inspired by this post by Ryder Carroll:

There’s one thing I have been meaning to do for a long time. That is to write daily. There is also a HUGE GAP in my usage of Adobe Photoshop this year as my laptop had crashed. Plus, this year I discovered vlogging and scope of me learning video editing. Also, I also have started to indulge in jumping on to the bandwagon and sharing ‘Stories’ on Instagram. So, I am looking at following things this year:

  1. Write daily. This is really important. Seth Godin, here I come.
  2. Take more photographs. Edit them better. Make better stories. Be a better photographer, better editor.
  3. Be a better storyteller. Better speaker. Better. And don’t let anything distract you from that.
  4. Indulge in Video making and editing. Tough task but time is now! Casey Neistat and likes keeps inspiring and sharing new people to get motivated from.
  5. Learn something new every week. New technology, science, history, word, technique, skills, something! And write about it.
  6. I didn’t have an actual big cycle when I was a kid. I had a small kiddy bike till I was 13. But then my younger brother got a proper bike. So I used it. But not as much as I wanted. So, if all goes well, I will buy a Bicycle soon and just ride it.
  7. Overhaul the overall brand. Come up as a person people should look up to. Learn from others. Teach what you know to others. Learn more, be more!
  8. Basically, just do. Don’t complain. Don’t indulge in politics. Don’t share irrelevant details. Don’t consume bad stuff. Don’t intake negative vibes. Just do your thing and be better!

My Mantra for 2018 is going to be: JUST DO. If I get some more motivation, I will probably get a T-Shirt made out of this.

Just Do
Just Do

On second thought, I think Nike has already done something similar. Nevertheless, I am going to follow-up on this motto and show up more often here.

I am psyched!

Toastmasters Speak to Inform Speech 1 : A Bit about Bitcoins

I tried to give a very quick and high level layman understandable speech about Bitcoins for my Advance Speech Speak to Inform Project 1. Some people got it, some who hadn’t heard much about it, didn’t get as much as I expected. Nevertheless, here’s the script:

Designed by Freepik

Title: Money, money, money, it’s so funny, in the rich man’s world… (ABBA 1976)


Toastmasters and Guests, Good Afternoon!

Do you remember that last year, on the evening on November 8th, a man appeared on TV at 8 PM. And said,

“Bhaiyo aur behano…”

This one man talked, and left us mortals shocked,

and whatever money we had kept locked, was supposed to be getting blocked.

PM Modi had just announced De-Mo.

You all remember that day, right?

What if, I tell you that there’s a way, in which you can keep all your monies safe and secure, encrypted and out of reach of any government or bank?

Today I will tell you about 2 things: Bitcoins and Blockchains.

Don’t worry, these terms Bitcoins, Cryptocurrencies and Block Chains are not as dangerous as they sound. To understand these is like understanding Money? Easy, right?

So first.. Tell me, What do you understand by money? Any words which come to your mind?

Money is nothing but another name for Worth or Value. When you say I have Rs. 100, that means, the bank recognizes that this paper is worth Rs.100.

Thus, when I give someone any money, how do we know that the Transaction has taken place? We have eyewitnesses here, right! Or officially, we have Bank as the 3rd party which verifies all this.

So, today I am going to tell you about a way,  a way in which there is no bank involved as third party.

You might or might not have heard about Cryptocurrencies but Bitcoins is the most popular as of date. Let me tell you that price of 1 BTC has crossed 7 thousands US Dollars recently. In 2011, it was a mere 2 Dollars.


I will explain the concept of Bitcoin in 2 steps.

  1. First, what is a Bit-Coin?
  2. Second, what is a block-chain?

So what exactly is a Bit-Coin? Where did it come from? How does it look?

Let me start by giving a very short history of Bitcoin.

On August 18th, the URL was registered. Few days later, Lehmann Brothers filed for bankruptcy on September 15, 2008. Coincidence?

A person named Satoshi Nakamoto, whose real identity is, till date, unknown, came up with a White Paper in 2009 and he explained the basic concept of Bitcoin.

The concept goes like this:

In most simple terms, Bitcoin, is nothing but a currency. You can buy or sell thing by paying Bitcoins as tender. Like we store our physical money in our wallets, same way we store our digital money in digital wallets. Like Paytm or Airtel Money, Bitcoins are stored in Digital Wallets too.

A Bitcoin Digital Wallet is nothing but a string of 26-35 alphanumeric characters. The part which makes Bitcoin wallet different from your Paytm wallet is that:

  1. Paytm wallet stores Rupees, Bitcoin Wallet stores Bitcoins.
  2. Paytm knows your email ID or even KYC details. Bitcoin Wallet stores nothing else than the Bitcoins you have.

Now, the fun part, when you send some money from your Bitcoin Address to someone else’s Bitcoin address, the wallets gets updated digitally and anonymously. There’s no Bank in between to verify this. Like there’s a finite amount of Gold on Earth. Same way, there’s a finite number of Bitcoins present in the system. 21 million bitcoins to be exact. Not one less, not one more.

Fun Trivia: In 2015, Satoshi Nakamoto was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, but of course, he didn’t win because nobody knows who he is. Also, Satoshi has probable 1 Million BTC himself. Right now, there are 15.6 million bitcoin in circulation .

Coming back to Bitcoin wallets. So, say I transferred 1 BTC to you. My wallet will have 1 less BTC than previously, and yours will have +1. So, how do we verify this has happened?

To verify that you have a certain amount of money with you, the Bank maintains a Statement which is nothing but a Ledger.

Like Bank, the one 3rd party maintains our account, Bitcoin ledger is owned by everyone in the BTC system. That means, each transaction gets transferred and written to everyone who is part of this system. So, this irreversible, writing of ledger is, in simplistic terms again, is called a Blockchain.

And what exactly is a Blockchain?

So, block-chain is the universally available ledger which has the list of all the transactions happening with bitcoins. It is irreversible so once the transaction is done, it is done. People who maintain these block-chains integrity, are rewarded bitcoins, hence they have to maintain same Blockchain copies everywhere there by making it almost impossible to fake.


So, how popular this bitcoin thingy is actually? Is it just a concept or is it something which is very much present in real life. Turns out, it is. Many countries have deemed it legal. Some countries are even accepting it as a mode of payment for their Visas. Many websites also accept it. Though, some websites, which have illegal stuff being sold, also accept it. And this makes it slightly in the grey area. For example, a drug selling website Silkroad was accepting it. As it is totally anonymous, it worked really well there. But that lead to it being banned in US. Eventually after arresting people and banning Silk Road, it was legalized again. Also, accepting Bitcoins is legal in India.

November 8 will come and go. Paper currency may come and go. Bitcoins are here to stay. They will evolve into something in future, we will be more comfortable with. Remember the name Ethereum. All revolutionary things take time to adjust. So will be this currency.


Toastmasters Storytelling Speech 1 : Yet Another Love Story

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.

Story of Dhola Maaru
Story of Dhola Maaru via


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.”