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Ram Lila 'gods': Young, driven

delhi Updated: Oct 12, 2010 01:06 IST
Mallica Joshi
Mallica Joshi
Hindustan Times
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Stars in their eyes and a hope to find a place in people's heart. This is what the actors of the Luv-Kush Ram Lila bring with them every year when they come to the city.

According to the actors, it is the fame attached to the Ram Lila that motivates them to come all the way from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh for the 10-day cultural extravaganza.

"The audience makes us feel like gods. They touch our feet and give us respect. I feel like a hero," says Bhaskar Joshi, who plays the role of Ram in the Luv-Kush Ram Lila.

The 25-year-old MBA student hopes to get a job in the marketing sector after he completes his studies.

Joshi has been participating in Ram Lila productions for the last five years. He has been playing Ram for the last three of the five years.

Neha Vashisht, who plays the role of Sita, works in the Customs department. "I told my boss that I had to attend a family function. It is quite difficult to get leave but I managed," says the 23-year-old, who has joined the troupe for the first time.

"I like the swayamvar scene the best. I am the centre of attraction and it feels very good," she says.

The Ram Lila troupe is like a family, which is not surprising given that most of the main cast is related to each other.

The Lakshman of the Ram Lila, 24-year-old Udit Vashisht, is married to Kavita Vashisht, who plays the role of Srupnakha.

Both fell in love during rehearsals.

"The 10 days that we spend here each year have helped us make friends. We all know each other's families," says Kavita. Udit's brother, Madhukar, plays the role of Shatrughan.

Though they play gods on stage, these youngsters are not overtly religious in real life.

Sunny Sinha, Joshi's close friend off stage, plays Hanuman but says he rarely goes to temple in real life.

"Cricket is my religion," he says. "The members of the troupe are just like any other normal youngsters. We don't go to temples regularly and most of us participate in the Ram Lila for the love of the stage and fame," said Madhukar.