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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Jabalpur, October 22, 2012
For last 37 years, a man continues to worship Ravana at village Patan some 31 kilometers far from Jabalpur. Running a small tailoring shop in the village, 56-year-old Munna Lal Namdeo considers Ravana as his guru. A lone person in the village to worship Ravana, he considers Ravana an intellectual and scholar. He got inspiration to worship Ravana from the Ramlila in which he performed various roles before it seized to be staged in 1986 at the village for certain reasons.

Namdeo played roles of various characters of Ramayana including a minister in the court of Ravana in the Ramlila between years 1975-1985. He says 'he daily worships Ravana by chanting his own scripted mantra'.

'My wife and sons have no interest in understanding the character of Ravana though they help me in performing the rituals', Namdeo said. He said 'at initial stage certain people including my in-laws objected for worshipping Ravana but later on they stopped speaking on this issue'.

The village's Durga committee extends him full cooperation to erect the pandal for installing idol of Ravana in the middle of the market. The idol is installed on the fifth day of the Navratra and immersed on Dussehra, when the people burn effigies of Ravana. Namdeo immerses Ravana's idol in river Narmada or a nearby lake.

Inspired with character of Ravana, he (Namdeo) named his three sons as Meghraj, Akshay Kumar and Rajkumar.. He has also named his tailor shop in name of Ravana - 'Jai Lankesh Tailors'.