Sunil Lahri, Arun Govil and Dipika Chikhlia in a still from Ramayan.
Sunil Lahri, Arun Govil and Dipika Chikhlia in a still from Ramayan.

Making of Ramayan: How Sunil Lahri injured his fingers, Dipika Chikhlia spent days sitting under a tree

Dipika Chikhlia was required to sit under a tree for long hours for the Ashok Vatika sequences of Ramayan.
By Ruchi Kaushal | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 09, 2020 06:59 PM IST

Ramayan actors Dipika Chikhlia and Sunil Lahri faced quite a few challenges while shooting for the show in the ’80s. While Dipika has opened up about how she shot for almost half of the show while sitting under a tree, Sunil confessed suffering from multiple cuts on his fingers during the shooting of the war sequences.

 Watch: Ramayan actors Dipika Chikhlia and Sunil Lahri on making of the show

On being asked about her thought process during the Ashok Vatika sequence, Dipika told Hindustan Times in a video chat, “It does get monotonous but as an actor that’s what your challenges are. You have to keep the continuity of the mood. It was a long stretch and went on for a very, very long time. Every time before the shot, the assistant director would say, ‘ab to neeche baedh jaiye (now you should sit down)’. As an actor that’s your input to bring in the character, make sure that you keep it alive and keep the thoughts behind. You go through the complete storyline every time you are sitting there. You just can’t be sitting like a wanderer, you have to keep the mood and everything that goes with it.”

Talking about shooting the war scenes, Sunil said, “We were not facing the enemy but had to imagine them and fight. We were fighting a war against the chroma most of the time. The opposite parties – the Raavan sena or Meghnath sena were rarely over there.”

Dipika Chikhlia in a still from Ramayan.
Dipika Chikhlia in a still from Ramayan.

“Arrows have sharp edges at the end and we used to shoot them, it used to leave cut marks on our hands. We had to be very careful while shooting the arrows, it was very challenging. Ramanand Sagar’s direction and the narration we received, it kept us motivated. I think we did a good job with it,” he added.

Also read: Ramayan actor Dipika Chikhlia would love to play Kaikeyi, Sunil Lahri wishes to play Raavan’s role if given a chance

Prem Sagar, son of Ramanand Sagar, also revealed the many struggles of shooting war sequences. He said, “There were no costumes available for warriors anywhere in the country because nobody had done it earlier. We had no time for preparation. We organised so many costumes at the last minute because there was no preparation time. Everything was done on location. There was no equipment. We had no SCGs, it came in 2000. It is a technical machinery with which you add arrows and sparks to add more credibility. There was no computer graphics at that time. There were no locations where we could go and shoot and come back. We had to shoot in the backlot of the studio.”

“Everyday there was an uncertainty that the episode will reach or not reach Delhi. Believe me, the Luv Kush episode reached Delhi at 8:30 am for the 9am telecast,” he added.

(Author tweets @ruchik87)

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