Being Rama: This computer teacher loves his role literally
For 28-year-old Anuj Pandey, Lord Rama is the guiding light that has been constantly illuminating his life.
A government schoolteacher from Uttar Pradesh, Anuj plays the character of Lord Rama in Ramlila organised at Rajguru Nagar Dussehra fair every year.
He says sticking to the principles followed by Lord Rama has improved the way he lives his life and moulded his temperament, making it more positive.
“I have imbibed values from him and become more soft spoken. I tend to never get angry. I have even given up tamasic food,” he adds.
Anuj teaches computer science at a government school in Prayagraj and had been taking 10 days off from his
job to take part in the local Ramlila for the past eight years. “I come to Ludhiana a day before Navratras and stay here till Dussehra. In these 10 days, I sleep on floor in a temple. I only consume vegetables and fruits and shun tea or coffee during these days,” Anuj says.
Talking about the adulation and reverence he commands for his role, he says, “People, even elderly, touch my feet and seek blessings. They even come up with offerings.”
Anuj says playing the role of Lord Rama has brought some significant changes in his personality.
“I respects people more, love Mother Nature and impart moral education to students apart from computer training,” he adds.
Not only Anuj, but his elder brother Vipin Pandey and cousins too have a role to play here. While Anuj enacts the character of Lord Rama, Vipin plays Meghnad (Ravana’s son) in this Ramlila.
The brothers could be foes on stage, but after their act, they dine together and sleep under one roof.
Vipin, 30, is a contractor, who is joined by cousins Vipin Ojha, 25, and Bindey Tiwari, 22, on stage as Vibhishana and Hanuman.
Vipin is a teacher at a private school in Prayagraj, and he also follows the same routine as of his brothers.
Anuj’s father Ganga Prasad Pandey, 62, had played the role of Lakshmana for 30 years.
He is now a stagehand.