Ramleela returns after 2 years in Indira Nagar, Thane; continues to draw wide audience

Published on Sep 30, 2022 08:26 PM IST

The Ramleela in Indira Nagar, Thane, is all graced with a local touch as the performances are staged by local artistes who have a day job as auto rickshaw drivers, painters and mobile repair shop workers while a few others are college students; the 11-day long Ramleela, which depicts Ramayana, is performed by a group of 35-40 people on a stage set up at Indira Nagar with an arrangement to have an audience of over 2,500; started in 1992, this is the third generation of Indira Nagar Vikas Mandal that is continuing the art form in Thane

A scene from Ramleela being performed in Indira Nagar, Thane. Ramleela returns to Indira Nagar after a two-year gap and continues to draw large audience. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
A scene from Ramleela being performed in Indira Nagar, Thane. Ramleela returns to Indira Nagar after a two-year gap and continues to draw large audience. (PRAFUL GANGURDE/HT PHOTO)
By, Thane

Ramleela at Indira Nagar in Thane is back after two years and continues to attract audiences from across the city and nearby areas.

This Ramleela is all graced with a local touch as the performances are staged by local artistes who have a day job as auto rickshaw drivers, painters and mobile repair shop workers while a few others are college students.

The 11-day long Ramleela, which depicts Ramayana, is performed by a group of 35-40 people on a stage set up at Indira Nagar with an arrangement to have an audience of over 2,500. Started in 1992, this is the third generation of Indira Nagar Vikas Mandal that is continuing the art form in Thane.

Suresh Yadav, a 34-year-old resident of Airoli and who is an auto driver by profession, has been performing at Ramleela for the last 10 years. Yadav plays the harmonium and comes every night to Thane to be part of the performances for the 10-day Navratri festival.

“I was a child when I first watched Ramleela and was awed by the grandeur and decided to be a part of it. I started playing the harmonium at a young age. I used to stay in the same locality, though I have shifted to Airoli now. This Ramleela keeps me connected to Thane. I believe whatever lessons we learn from Ramayana are all applicable in our day-to-day life,” said Yadav.

He said that the reason to continue to be attached to the show is merely to pass on the tradition to the younger generation who will also learn about these epics.

“What my grandfather started followed by my father taking it over in 2000, I am trying to continue the same. People still look up to Ramleela when Navratri festival arrives. The preparations for the same began a month before, right from finding the artistes to practicing and performing live,” said Rajnish Singh, 31, who manages the show.

The month-long preparations include selecting the artistes to perform, school students and those who had given their contacts to the mandal during the previous performances for auditioning are called up. They are auditioned and then selected to perform.

Thane’s Ramleela stands out from others in Mumbai and other cities because the mandal chooses artistes from all walks of life and also the locals while others tend to acquire professional actors from Varanasi and other cities, claimed Singh.

“Our team is made of those who are local people and have keen interest in Ramayan. They work hard the entire day and for practice we all unite in the evenings. The practice goes on till late in the night at schools or shops as per the availability of space,” added Singh.

“There are artists who have been with us since the beginning in 1992. We also have a transgender, who is a professional artiste, performing” added Singh.

Ramesh Sharma, 39, a hairdresser by profession, is playing the role of Lord Ram this year. He is one of the oldest artistes to be performing here.

“I have been with the group since its start in 1992 and have seen the group grow. We are very much united when it comes to depicting the story of Lord Ram. Playing the role of Lord Rama this year is a blessing for me. I want people to know the significance of the entire Ramayan. I do my job at the salon and then come for Ramleela every year,” said Sharma,

The Ramleela will end on October 6 with the fight between Lord Ram and Ravan on the stage.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sajana is a correspondent for Kalyan and has an experience of about four years covering civic and cultural issues for Thane edition of HT.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, December 04, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals