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The mayor's other job

These days, Faridabad Mayor Ashok Arora takes longer than usual to get ready for the day's work.

delhi Updated: Oct 12, 2010 01:08 IST
Prabhu Razdan

These days, Faridabad Mayor Ashok Arora takes longer than usual to get ready for the day's work.

After all, it's not easy convincing people you are Parshuram, a role that Arora essays in the local Ram Lila here. However, donning the mythological hero’s costume is not new for Arora. The first citizen of Faridabad has been performing the roles of Parshuram and Hanuman for a long time now.

It was in 1980, when he was just a regular member of the Vijay Ram Lila Samiti, that he began exploring his latent talent for acting, especially of the mythological variety.

Arora gave free rein to his creative abilities and was chairman of the Samiti, till he was elected Mayor of Faridabad in June.

Last week, Arora acted out the role of Lord Parshuram at the Ram Lila with panache, leaving the audience stunned, in more ways than one.

"Kisne toda Bhagwan Shiv ka Dhanush?" demanded Arora as Parshuram and sent a rush of excitement through the crowd.

However, there were moments when the crowd also burst out laughing, seeing a senior civic official in a jocular mode and unusual attire.

Ask him why the choice of Parshuram and Arora replies, "I sought permission from my Guru, who advised me to perform the role of Bhagwan Parshuram and I did so."