It is seldom that the character of Ravana becomes a bigger protagonist than Rama. When the play Raavan Ki Ramayan was staged at Hans Raj College, the sound of whistles and cheers reverberated in the auditorium.
Directed by Atul Satya Koushik, the character portrayed by Puneet Issar brought unheard aspects of Ravana’s life to the fore.
“This is the first time that I am watching Ramayana from his point of view. We never think of his side when we read or see the epic. He’s always portrayed as the bad guy, but this is an eye-opener as it makes us wonder how things must have been for Ravana,” says Preeti Gupta, a second year student.
“Every time Ravana talked about his unrequited feelings for Sita and expressed sadness at his brother Vibhishan’s betrayal; we felt as if the character had sprung back to life,” adds Gupta.
Rishabh Verma, a B Com student, says, “The play was so cool! We have always seen that Lord Rama is the hero but for the first time, it’s Ravana who is the hero!”
The staging of the play was organised to help young minds understand the epic Ramayana better. “We want the younger generation to understand both the characters - Ram and Ravana. After watching the play, I’m sure the attitude of youngsters towards Ravana will change. They will learn to look at both sides of any situation,” said Dr Rama, college principal.
Issar, who is popular for playing Duryodhan in the television adaptation of Ramayana, was impressed with the college crowd. “I dedicate my performance to the students. It was due to their encouragement and thunderous claps that I performed better than we would have otherwise,” said Issar post his performance.
The actor emphasised, “Plays like these should keep happening in the college, they’re a good way for youngsters to connect with their culture and understand how rich it is.”