Thursday, January 18, 2018
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Ram Leelas are gaining popularity in the year every year. But there was a time when hardly any attractive Ram Lila was staged. If at all it was done, it was a mini affair.

All eyes were focussed on the Ramdals. I remember when we came to Allahabad in 1946, I would ask mother why she was not taking me to a Ram Lila as she had been doing in Delhi, Lahore and Karachi. I used to be told that Allahabad’s  Dussehra highlights are the Ramdals which were as famous in the north as the Mysore Dussehra in the south.
But gradually our young artistes and organizers decided to make the Ram Lilas an attractive affair. No wonder this year we could read in the newspapers  colourful reports about the daily staging of episodes which were remarkably presented too. Isn’t that astounding? The passage of time hasn’t at all dampened the spirits of those who still get a thrill from the epic events of the past. I would like to congratulate all the organizers who planned those shows. If there were a regular Town Hall in the city, it could indeed stage a prestigious Ram Lila starring the best of local talents including those sons and daughters of the soil who have carved out a niche for themselves in the Hall of Fame in Mumbai. I need not name them.


Ravan survives? No

 A Naini reader rang up to say that ‘Ravan’ was to be ‘burnt’ on Sunday. But his death sentence was stayed by the Rain God. Again  on Sunday he was to be  put to flames. But the same story was repeated. Why has the Rain God been so kind to Ravan? Has He come to the conclusion that Ravan of the epic age was far better than even some of the saints and babas who allegedly turn their ashrams into dens of vice? Anyway it would be interesting to know when finally the Ravan effigy was burnt. Or was it dismantled and the crackers reserved for Diwali?
(Subsequent reports say that Ravan’s effigy was finally burnt on the third day)

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