Ayodhya’s star-studded Ramlila dazzles the audience

Ayodhya, Oct 22 (IANS) It takes three hours of rehearsals and three hours of makeup for a three-hour live performance of the Ram Lila going on in Ayodhya, in the grand setting of Laxman Qila on the banks of River Saryu.
The celebrated star-studded Ram Lila, with performances by Bollywood stars and politicians is a big hit with the audience. The troupe of 85 artistes from Mumbai is busy making the performance a great experience for viewers watching on different media platforms and a 55-member team from Doordarshan is shooting the epic of the Ramayana from nine angles.
Performing the character of Ravana, actor Shahbaz Khan says, “It is a great experience enacting scenes from the Ramayana and the biggest challenge is giving a live three-hour performance without any retake. We have started our rehearsals since the month of August and practise for three hours every day. Before a live performance, we do full-dress rehearsal on the stage for at least three hours.”
“We are learning Ramayana dialogues day in and day out. For the final live performance, we spend at least three hours in the makeup room with a dozen makeup artists to get into the skin of the character,” said Kavita Joshi who is playing Sita.
Playing the character of Bharat, Gorakhpur MP Ravi Kishan said that a great lesson from the Ramayana is the dignified demeanor (maryada) of Lord Rama that teaches us how to live in society with dignity.
Talking about the experience of watching the Ram Lila, Ayodhya-resident Anurag Shukla says he is thrilled about its return. “In the last twenty to thirty years the tradition of Ram Lila in Ayodhya had been replaced by the Durga Puja, but now it seems that we have returned to our basic culture in new Ayodhya.”
“The Ram Lila that began on October 9 will finish on October 24 with the ‘Ravan Dahan’ on the next day. For this a 100-feet tall Ravana effigy is being prepared,” says Subhash Malik, the director of Ram Lila. “We have sent an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be the chief guest on this occasion,” he adds.

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