Meet Rani Gayatri Devi (Dhrasti Dhami) of ‘Once a King and a Queen’

By on February 24, 2020
drami Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani

Rani Gayatri Devi is the female protagonist of the show, Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani (Once a King and a Queen). She becomes the Queen of Ameerkot after marrying the King, Rana Indravadhan Singh Deo. Gayatri is his second wife and he initially rejects her due to his feelings for his dead wife, Rani Sulakshana, but the duo fall in love with each other. Gayatri is portrayed by Indian actress Dhrasti Dhami.

Gayatri was born to Govind Seth, the region’s wealthiest money lender, and his wife Damyanti. She is the only sister of her two older brothers. From a young age, she visited the library frequently and had a passion for romance. When Rana Indravadhan ‘Ranaji’ Singh Deo returned from World War II, she was attracted towards him despite her commoner background. The royal family was in debt to her father and hence she was married to Ranaji, oblivious that he hated her and harbored feelings only for his dead wife, Rani Sulakshana. The couple eventually fell in love, however their content was disrupted by an impostor claiming to be Sulakshana, who tried to separate Gayatri from Ranaji. Gayatri discovered this hoax and also managed to reveal that Ranaji’s grandmother, Badi Ranimaa was behind the conspiracy. Soon, she encountered Avdesh Singh Chauhan, a rival of the royal family who fell in love with her and aspired to acquire her as his wife. She rejected his advances and informed Ranaji, who exiled him. Avdesh was brought back by Ranaji’s mother, who insisted that he stay in order to conceal a secret that he had discovered. The latest development in the show has introduced his sister Rajeshwari, who has vowed to make Gayatri accept him.

Gayatri is a beautiful young woman, with large hazel eyes and creamy skin. She has a petite form and long, slightly curly black hair which she styles in braids before marriage and leaves open or in half-updos after marriage. Her attire consisted of plain saris prior to becoming Queen, and now consists of intricate or heavily embroidered saris and long western dresses.

She is a bright and vivacious individual, but is respectful and kind towards others. Gayatri has a firm stance in truth and goodwill and strives to inspire love for the royal family. She is a loyal and caring wife and humble daughter, with no interest in wealth or status.

Rana Indravadhan ‘Ranaji’ Singh Deo
First meeting
Gayatri and Ranaji meet in the library.

Gayatri first speaks about Ranaji during one of her visits to the library, where she acknowledges that he is brave and loyal to his kingdom because he bravely went to fight in WWII himself, instead of being selfish. She first sees him when he is touring the common village, during which she knocks a plant pot off the terrace of her house and scares his horses. His royal guards demand to search her house but she refuses, asserting that it would be an invasion of their privacy. Ranaji deems this as a sensible reason and spares her for her mistake, after which she begins to admire him. She follows him on his visit to the neighboring village but falls into a lake. Ranaji rescues her and questions her identity, which she conceals in hesitation. Later, she encounters him at the library and accidentally falls into his arms. Her father arranges for her to get married to Ranaji – a condition set forth by his mother Rajmata to compensate for the money that the royal family owes to Gayatri’s family. Gayatri agrees to the marriage and fantasizes under the impression that Ranaji loves her.

The couple after their marriage.

After their marriage, she saves him from an attempt to murder him, but he reveals that he only hates her and is still in love with Sulakshana, his dead first wife. He accuses her of planning this marriage to gain wealth and Gayatri is heartbroken. She returns to her mother’s house but, upon encouragement from her mother, returns to fulfill her duties as royalty. Gayatri challenges Ranaji by promising that she will create a bond of love between them. She later overhears his conversation with a corrupt British General named Wilkinson, who insists that he pay a large sum of money because he married a commoner. Determined to prevent Ranaji from further distress, Gayatri secretly travels to Wilkinson and gives him her gold jewelry, pleading him not to inform Ranaji. Wilkinson plots against the couple alongside Ranaji’s uncle, Kunwar Chandravadhan, and sends Gayatri’s anklet, which she accidentally left, to Ranaji in order to imply that she danced for him.

Ranaji takes care of Gayatri.

Gayatri is confused when Ranaji invites her to a secluded forest and asks her to dance, insulting her. She slaps him for his behavior and he angrily leaves her in the forest overnight as punishment. Gayatri is bitten by a snake and becomes disheveled and weak but is adamant on finding her way out. The next morning, she slips off the side of a cliff, but is rescued by Ranaji, who realized his mistake when Chandravadhan accidentally revealed Gayatri’s innocence. She rejects any further help from him but he sucks the poison from her foot and apologizes, after which she agrees to return to the palace with him. On their way out, Gayatri is shot in the arm by a sniper hired by Rajmata, who plans to bring Ranaji closer to her. Ranaji brings her back to the palace and asks the servants to attend to her, but they refuse, citing Rajmata’s commands for them to stay distanced from Gayatri. Left with no other option, Ranaji takes care of her himself – feeding her, changing her bandages and chiding her. Gayatri overhears that he is still in debt and is determined to help out. She fires the servants and begins to work herself, which prompts Ranaji to forcibly try to stop her, and she faints from exhaustion. The doctor proclaims that only prayers can save her from her now-critical condition and Ranaji travels to a shrine with her in his arms. His prayers allow her health to better and the two decide to stay at the shrine overnight. Through their conversations, they grow close to each other and reveal their personal philosophies. Ranaji realizes his mistake in treating Gayatri coldly and begins to accept that he has feelings for her. The duo return to the palace and share several romantic moments, love blossoming between them.

On the day of Karva Chauth, when Indian women fast for the well-being of their husbands, a woman identical to Sulakshana appears just as Ranaji tells Gayatri that he has wholeheartedly accepted her as his wife and is about to break her fast. Gayatri is heartbroken and although Ranaji helps her break her fast later, assuring her that he no longer loves Sulakshana, she tells Sulakshana that she is the wife of Ranaji’s friend. Her lie is discovered soon, however, when Sulakshana witnesses her embracing Ranaji. She orders Gayatri to become her maid if she wants her to stay in the palace; this is followed by her attempt to insult Gayatri by making her dance in front of guests. Ranaji is infuriated and soon the royal family discovers that the woman claiming to be his first wife is an impostor, who says that she was hired by Badi Ranimaa, Ranaji’s grandmother. Gayatri discovers that this is true but is believed by no one. On the day of the Haldi-Kumkum ritual, Gayatri is pushed into a deep well by Badi Ranimaa and presumed to be dead when she is retrieved from it. This causes Ranaji to spiral into depression, but it is revealed that Gayatri is alive and her death was planned to make Badi Ranimaa confess, which ultimately happens. Ranaji and Gayatri blissfully reunite after he apologizes for not believing

Ranaji says “I love you, Gayatri.”

her by dancing with her. When Ranaji is kidnapped by goons, Gayatri saves him from them, in the process being confronted by one of them. She is rescued by Avdesh Singh Chauhan, who falls in love with her at first sight, but is revealed to be Ranaji’s rival for the throne. He befriends Ranaji and arrives as a guest in the palace. Avdesh’s presence leaves Gayatri disturbed, and he gambles with Ranaji and cheats, acquiring the throne and his wealth. Gayatri tearfully informs Ranaji of Avdesh’s advances, who responds violently and exiles Avdesh. She later comforts him when he curses himself for being a fool.

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