Luv Kush Ramlila is one of the oldest Ramlila committees, and each year it gets a number of celebrities to make it the talk of the town.
If the Delhi durbar is about power play, then its Ramlilas are about a world without politics and the ideal rajya that is an aspiration at best. But there are real world takeaways too. Like actor Shahbaz Khan, who plays the role of Ravana and has perfected the stotras and shlokas of Shiva for his character, a perfect embodiment of eclecticism.
Luv Kush Ramlila, one of the oldest Ram Lila committees, is also the one which is most talked about thanks to the array of celebrities it manages to get each year and the technology blitzkrieg that it unleashes. Says organiser Arjun Kumar, “There are 40 film stars who will be playing different roles including Shahbaz Khan who plays the role of Ravan. What is interesting to note is that he has learnt the shlokas for a year now, quite a scholarly act in itself. Raza Murad plays the role of Surabhi. Then there is Bindu Dara Singh who is playing Hanuman.”
But there is more in the arsenal of Luv Kush Ram Lila committee. For they have brought not just film celebrities but those from the political arena as well. So one would be able to catch Dr Harshvardhan playing Janak and Vijay Sampla, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, as Shiv’s father. Vijendra Gupta, the BJP MLA from Rohini, Alka Lamba, the Chandni Chowk MLA from AAP, Jagdish Mukhi, Governor of Assam and an MLA from Bihar too will be playing characters. The total crew comprises 600 artists.
“We are getting 20 artists who would be creating sets like Bahubali. So there will be scenes like Ram and Ravan engaging in battle mid-air or Hanuman flying. We will be engaging stunt artists,” he says.
Adding to the razzmatazz of the event and lending an element of authenticity to the proceedings are the dresses. This time around, the committed has got Babu Bhai from Mumbai on board for the first time. “He makes dresses and even crafts shoes that are authentic and like that of a sanyasi,” says Arjun.
If that’s not enough, people do not have to be physically present to be able to enjoy the Ram Lila. It can be watched live on the phone or TV by logging onto their website. “Several cable operators have taken the URL and they too will be telecasting it live on their private channels. There are 15 theatres in Bihar and UP, which will have a special show of the Ram Lila in the evening. It can be seen all over the world through multiple channels,” says he.
Since security too is an important aspect of the entire proceedings, the committee has got the services of a private security agency and hired Black Cat commandos. “There are also 800 local children called the Swayamsewak karykarta which are divided into 40 groups of 20 each to look after the security. The Delhi Police is helping us.
The CCTV footage will be monitored by both — our people and DP.” Arrangements will be made to seat 25,000 people while 15,000 can watch it standing. “We expect about a lakh people watch it everyday as the audience keeps coming in and walking out.
The Shri Ram Dharmik Leela Committee, Tri Nagar is not as old but it does have its own charm. Organiser Anil Garg, says, “We will not be using sets that generate a carbon footprint post-show. Rather we have LEDs where the backdrop keeps changing. So during the forest scene, the display changes to a forest on the screen. We have increased the stage size from 100 to 130 feet.” They feature 65-70 artists but all of them know the entire Ramayana by heart and do not need any prompting.
Garg organises another Ramlila in Pitampura called Sampurna Ramayana where the entire epic is performed within three-and-a-half hours. Performed over six days to get the maximum traction, what makes it special is that the language is easy. The title song is sung by Udit Narayan and the music has been composed by Chandra Kamal, son of Raj Kamal, who had done the music for BR Chopra’s Mahabharata.
Courtesy: The Pioneer