Lord Ram here is a Class 10 student, Sita studies in Class 9 and Lakshman is in 7th standard. These children have been juggling between school, tuitions, exams and rehearsing their roles in Ramlila for the past two months.
The all-kid Ramlila is being staged in SAS Nagar’s Sector 68. This will be their second Ramlila performance. The organiser, Ramleela Dramatics Committee, started it as an experiment in 2015 and decided to continue going by the good response.
“We have been rehearsing for two months for two hours daily. Learning the dialogues by heart is tougher than studying for the exams,” says Inaksh Thind, who is playing Ram.
“It brushes up my acting skills and takes away the fear of stage and audience,” says Sarmandeep Singh, fondly called Nannu, who plays the character of Lakshman. He has learnt the dialogues by heart. Kareena, a Class-9 student, is playing Sita and she loves acting. “We started practising on August 15 and children practice for two hours daily. It was difficult to co-ordinate as the children had their examinations also. But these talented kids are so sharp and need very little prompting,” said Badri Prashad Kaushik, director of the Ramlila, who is a government employee.
How the idea came up
“In 2014, at a conclave, I met Kaushik and came to know about his acting skills. He had played the role of Sita in Ramlila in the past. It is then the idea of roping in children and get them trained under him for Ramlila struck,” said Shinder Pal Singh, aka Bobby Khamboj, said.
“We started it as an experiment, but it clicked and now this will be a regular feature. The families of the children and residents have supported us fully in every manner.”
Kaushik said, “Last year, we used to stage the Ramlila at Sector-68 temple. This year we have set up a stage in the market.”