Chandni Chowk to Chandigarh: Playing the heavy, Ravana gets a 28kg outfit, 10kg crown | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Chandni Chowk to Chandigarh: Playing the heavy, Ravana gets a 28kg outfit, 10kg crown

Ashok Chaudhary, 52, who plays the role in the Sector-20 Ramlila has been doing just that as his club — Azad Dramatic Club — has decided to add this “heaviest, the most expensive designer outfit” for Ravana tag to its offering.

punjab Updated: Sep 23, 2017 11:44 IST
Ifrah Mufti
Ashok Chaudhary, who plays the role of Ravana at the Sector-20 Ramlila, getting ready for his performance in Chandigarh on Friday.
Ashok Chaudhary, who plays the role of Ravana at the Sector-20 Ramlila, getting ready for his performance in Chandigarh on Friday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

Playing Ravana in Ramlila is no mean task. You might have done it for 24 years, but when times dictate that you have to wear a 28-kg outfit that includes a 10-kg crown, you need to put in an extra hour to learn to balance while walking.

Ashok Chaudhary, 52, who plays the role in the Sector-20 Ramlila has been doing just that as his club — Azad Dramatic Club — has decided to add this “heaviest, the most expensive designer outfit” for Ravana tag to its offering. The costume and the crown have cost Rs 35,000 and have been bought from Chandni Chowk in New Delhi.

The artist, employed with the Haryana public works department, weighs 82 kg himself. He is bemused, but is carrying on sportingly. “It is for the first time that I will be wearing such a heavy costume. I have had to practice walking with it, to check if I’ll be able to handle it. Usually, the costume of Ravana weighs between 10-15 kg,” he said.

Also read | Cost up, donations down, Ramlila reels under GST this year

Cardboard, velvet, steel all make the dress

The costume is made of cardboard, designer velvet cloth with jewels on it and steel wires for support and the crown is made of metal this year. From dhoti to chest coat and from jewellery to crown, everything has been especially designed, on order.

“When I tried it yesterday, it hurt slightly due to the metal component. So, I have asked a local tailor to fix cotton foam inside the costume, for my convenience.”

Costume costs up to Rs 1 lakh

Organiser of the Ramlila at Sector 28, Mukesh Sharma, said, “Unlike last year, when the mukuts were made of cardboard, we have bought a metallic mukut for Ravana and a new designer dress has been bought, which includes a dhoti and a chest jewel and chunni, instead of a coat.”

He added, “The cost of the costumes, depend on the financial status of the Ramlila mandal. The committees, which would have adequate money, can go up to spending Rs 1 lakh on a single costume and the minimum spent can be Rs 5,000.”

The organisers stated that there is no tailor or store in Chandigarh where such designer costumes for Ramlila characters are available, which is why the dresses have to be bought from Delhi.

Pooran Chand, Jai Prakash and Sushil Kumar are the prominent manufacturers in Kinari Bazaar, Chandni Chowk, where the city Ramlila committee members buy the costume kits for their character.