It what could be termed as tradition banking on technology to carry its voice across, Ramlila organisers across the city are actively logged on to social networks like Facebook and WhatsApp. More than a dozen Ramlila organisers maintain a Facebook account and each one of them uploads their photos and videos every day to keep the netizens informed of the important highlights on their schedules.
Sample this: Over the past week, the home page of Navyug Ramlila, Sector 7, has received over 300 hits on the photos they have uploaded of their rehearsals and stage performances.
Club president Govind Kumar said: “The days of distributing pamphlets and hiring rickshaws for public announcement to ensure good audience are wrong gone. The virtual space is not only helping us connect with a younger and new audience, but also helping us spread our message across a wider area with ease.”
Deepak Kaushik, Shri Hari Naam Sankirtan Parchar Mandal, Panjab University, said they had uploaded their Ramlila invitation on Tuesday and within one hour, it got hundreds of hits from university colleagues. Those from outside the campus also logged on and read the invite. “Times have changed and it is good that as Ramlila organisers, we are trying to be relevant,” he said.
Interestingly, the Ramlila at PU is the oldest in Chandigarh, and was started in 1935, when the PU campus was in Lahore.
Director of Garhwal Ramlila in Sector 28, Mukesh Sharma, said: “As soon as our performance begins, we start uploading the photos on WhatsApp to build curiosity.”
Wowing the audience
The presentation and enactment itself has undergone a change with stunts aided by technology set to wow audience this season.
At the Ramlila to be held at Manimajra, the character of Surpanakha will make a flying entry to the stage. At the Sector-27 Ramlila, the background score has been computerised to give a special sound to the performance. Most Ramlilas in Chandigarh now offer advance stage light management system and modern curtains that change colour and shape.