Monday, November 19, 2018
Punjab

Arts


Folk Drama & Entertainment

Ram Lila

Ram Lila starts on the first Naurata and continues evey evening for the next ten days. The epic is roughly divided into ten parts and every night one part is performed. There is zeal and devotion all along. All the participants are amateurs and boys in their early teens perform the roles of girls. Great care is taken in the choice of proper costumes and make-up. Ram's army is equipped with bows and arrows, demons wear large masks and Hanuman has a long tail appended.

On one side of the stage there is Sita sitting sad and dejected and on the other side, war between Ram and Ravan goes on. The main scenes shown in the Ram Lila are Sita's swayambar, Ram's exile, cutting of Saroopnakha's nose by Lakshman, abduction of Sita, Hanuman's meeting Sita  in Ravanas Ashok Vatika, war between Ram and Ravan, resuscitation of the unconscious Lakshman, Hanuman's carrying a mountain on his palm, defeat of Ravan and victory of Ram. The dialogue between the actors is traditional and sometimes it is improvised on the spur of the moment. The greatest attraction of the Ram Lila is in the presentation of scenes and great effort is made to make them absorbing. The tenth day of the performance start with the victory of Ram and the defeat of Ravan. Huge effigies of Ravan, his brother Kumbkharna and his son Meghnad are put up. The effigies are made of paper and bamboo and are nicely stuffed with crackers. A little before sunset, they are set on fire and while the flames from the burning effigies leap towards the sky, the air is rent with the boom of crackers.

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