iconimg Monday, July 06, 2015

Shailee Dogra , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, October 05, 2013
He dons khaki throughout the year. But, these days 41-year-old UT police constable Ashwani Sharma is busy rehearsing script of his role in Ramlila. Posted at the police headquarters with the office of SSP (traffic and security), Sharma is famous for his role of Meghnad at the Ramlila being staged in Sector 17. However, he has also been playing the roles of Parshuram and Dashrath for the past 23 years.

Sharma has seen Ramlila change over the years and says technology had brought in change in the art of telling the mythology to generations.

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“Pre-recorded dialogues and use of latest technology in light and sound system are new things which have given Ramlila a new avatar and done away with the loudspeaker attached to the amplifier. Earlier, people used to sit on the dari (carpet) but nowadays we make sure that chairs are in place,” says Sharma while jostling with office files.

“To provide residents audio and visual treat, entire sound has been pre-recorded, including dialogues, songs and chaupais, complete with background music and effects. There are over 35 songs and 80 chaupais that have been recorded in a professional studio and the actors lip sync on the stage,” says Sharma talking about the changes in the portrayal of Ramlila.

“Ramlila will never go out of fashion because it talks about our culture and tradition. There was a time when people had stopped coming to see Ramlila, but now for the past over five years we have witnessed that the crowds were returning,” adds Sharma, whose son too used to act in Ramlila earlier.

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Talking of what keeps him going, he says, “As an actor I have realised that mythology teaches us to have a solid foundation for our life. Ramlila, moreover, keeps reminding us that goodness will always prevail over evil.”

Ramlila starts today

Ramlila will be staged daily from 9 pm onwards from Saturday and culminate with the burning of the effigy of Ravana on October 13.