Where acting in Ramleela is a passion for many, members of a local family are forwarding their legacy further.
Bali family is setting a precedent by playing the roles of gods in Ramleela organised by Upkar Ram Leela club at Dhandar Mandir, Basti Guzan, here.
Rajiv Bali, 39, plays Lord Rama, while his younger brother Sandeep Bali, 31, plays Lakshmana. Though demon king is the enemy of Ram in Ramayana, Ajay Bali, 41, who plays Ravana, is the elder brother of Ram (Rajiv).
It has been 20 years that Rajiv and Ajay had been participating in the traditional performance.
Rajiv said: “My father started working as Lord Rama in the Ramleela. I grew up watching him performing the role. He wanted me to take over the role as he wanted to forward the legacy in our family so as to preserve the culture and maintain discipline.”
He said: “My children also come to see the performance and I will love to see my son taking my place on the stage.”
Ajay and Sandeep are into spare-parts business, while Rajiv is a sales manager.
“People have been appreciating our work since years. I faced difficultly in attracting audiences initially, but now everyone appreciates my performance,” Rajiv said.
Sandeep said: “This is more than a devotion to us. It helps us serve god in a way. Our father was devoted to Lord Rama and we are carrying forward his trust.”
Rejecting the opinion that Ramleela was diminishing over the years, he said: “Artistes participating in the Ramleela are promoting culture and there is a need to give them the desired recognition. People should know and make their children learn about Ramayana through Ramlila.