Dhola-Marooni is one of the most romantic tales from the folktales of Rajasthan. Long long ago, there were two kings – Pingal and Nal. Once, the State Pugal of King Pingal faced a grave famine. Number of people left their home in search of food and fodder for their animals.
King Pingal too left with his wife and daughter Marooni along with his trusted lieutenants. After covering a long distance they had a sojourn in Narvar State which was ruled by King Nal. When King Nal came to know about the arrival of King Pingal, he came to receive him and gave him a warm welcome. He requested the king to stay in his kingdom which had plenty of rains. Nal was happy with his queen and his only son Dhola, the Prince of Narvar. With the time, the Pingals could have very near and emotional attachment with the Nal. Pingal’s wife thought that it would be an ideal match if Marooni could be married to Dhola.
The proposal was put before King Nal and his queen. It was gladly accepted. The marriage was arranged with all the pomp and show. It was a happy news in Narvar and the little princess was married to the little prince of Narvar. Soon after the marriage, the news of heavy rains in Pugal reached King Pingal. Hence, King Pingal with his convoy took leave from Narvar and left for home. As Marooni was still a child, she accompanied her parents. A good deal of time passed away. Marooni was of age. She bloomed into a very young and beautiful princess. The fame of her beauty spread far and wide.
One day in the silent night, she has sweet dream and saw her husband. She exclaimed the dream to her mother. She decided to send Rajguru to Narvar. But something unpleasant was to happen for Marooni. King Nal, with the time forgot all about the marriage of Dhola and did not take it seriously. He arranged a remarriage for Dhola with the charming princess of Malwa-Malwani. Malwani was happy in Narvar.
Marooni was not aware of any such move. She used to sit in her palace and look out of her windows for Dhola, the charming prince of her dreams. She tried to send messages to him but none reached Dhola and there was no response. This kept Marooni always sad and unhappy. King Pingal also tried to send the message for Dhola but Malwani had made such arrangements that no message could be delivered to Dhola. One day, some merchants came to Pugal from Narvar. When this was learnt, they were invited by the king and he inquired about the welfare of the royal family. They disclosed to King Pingal about news of Dhola’s remarriage and also stated that it was not easy to approach Dhola. This was shocking news to the King. He discussed the matter with his counsels. They suggested that Rajguru (the Royal Priest) should be sent to Narvar with Dhardies (singers) to deliver the message of Dhola’s child-marriage with Marooni with a caution to do the job without making anything known to Malwani.
After undergoing a long journey, Rajguru and the singers reached Narvar but it was not easy even to enter the city as the soldiers rained by Malwani had an eye on every newcomer. The clever priest and the singer used their own tricks and requested for permission, as they were the wanderers in search of their livelihood. They were allowed to visit the palace. The priest and the singer found the residence of Dhola in the palace and pitched their tents nearby. The singers in the night would sing melodious songs about the marriage of Dhola and Marooni. Dhola was moved to hear the pathetic song. He was so much disturbed that he could not sleep. Next morning, he went to the singer’s tent and inquired about the purpose of the song. The priest was very happy to see the prince. He narrated all about Marooni. Also, he showed him the messages sent by Marooni to him. Dhola was surprised to see all that which he never received. Dhola exclaimed, id he could have wings, he would have reached Pugal soon.
He assured the priest that he would soon have reached Pugal soon. He assured the priest that he would soon visit Pugal. When Dhola came to his palace, he was very sad. Malwani wanted to know the reason. Dhola briefly mentioned about his early marriage. He said that he would visit Pugal. Malwani was very unhappy to hear all this. She requested Dhola to forget all about the marriage which took, place in his childhood. But it was not possible for Dhola to do that. Prince Dhola took a sturdy camel and set out for Pugal. On the way, he faced many difficulties. He continued his journey and reached Pugal. Dhola’s arrival was a sensation for Marooni. When she was told about it, she could not believe the words and waited silently in the balcony for Dhola. Dhola came near Marooni. They faced each other, but neither spoke a word. ‘Today is a great day of love and reunion of two souls,’ said Marooni’s mother. She asked Dhola why he had forgotten all about the marriage. Dhola begged pardon. Then there were all the festivities in the state of Pugal.
After a month’s stay, Dhola took leave of his in-laws and with rich gifts and his beloved wife Marooni, left for Narvar. The journey was not very smooth. One night when they were taking rest, a serpent bit Marooni’s face. Next morning when Dhola got up, he found Marooni almost dead. He wept and stayed with the body. Some days passed but Dhola did not move. A sage came there. The prince narrated the story of his misfortune. The sage tried to teach him that life was like that, but he refused to accept the plea and insisted on dying with his wife. The sage was pleased. He poured some water on the face of Marooni and she was back to life. She opened her eyes. The sage blessed them and disappeared. Now Marooni was all right. They resumed their journey.
But things were not to end here only. The prince of Sind Somasura who wanted to marry Marooni was in search of an occasion to take revenge on Marooni. He met Dhola on the way and invited him to stay with him and pass an evening. The proposal was accepted. A singer who was from Narvar knew the designs of the Prince of Sind. She gave a hint about it to the prince and princess Marooni. The Prince with his young wife Marooni was able to run away from the scene on camel and reached Narvar happily. The people gave welcome to them. Malwani with the passage of time could also adjust and lived with Marooni as a sister. The life of Dhola-Marooni was a happy union.
Dhola-Maroo – A Rajasthani Love Story – Rajasthani Folktales
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