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This weekend, Ramlilas return to Chandigarh in all their grandeur

This weekend, Ramlilas return to Chandigarh in all their grandeur
Written by bobby
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It is that time of the year again. This weekend, Ramlilas – whether put up by professionals or mounted by enthusiastic neighbourhood mandalis – will return to the city in all their grandeur after two years of subdued celebrations in the wake of the pandemic.

Setting the ball rolling, the Azaad Dramatic Club in Sector 20 will put up its production on September 24 (Saturday), a day before Navratri in order to adjust extra scenes and to ensure they stay on schedule even if rain plays spoilt sport on some day. Around 50 Ramlilas will be staged across the city, and most of them will put up their first performance on September 25 (Sunday).

Senior vice-president of the club Ashok Choudhary, who plays Ravana, says, “This year, we have designed the stage in such a manner that it demonstrates the height of Ravanas castle. Besides, we have incorporated some new scenes for Kumbhakarna and Meghnath,” he said.

Earlier, the Chandigarh Kendriya Ramlila Mahasabha, through their chief patron, BP Gaur, would collectively seek permission to put up all 40-50 Ramlilas assiciated with them.However, with Gaur passing way this month, all Ramlila associations had to individually visit the municipal corporation and subdivisional magistrate’s offices. Some associations are still awaiting the authorities’ nod.

An organiser, who did not wish to be named said, “We had to take leave from our day jobs to visit different government offices for permissions. This year, we are not allowed to use fire at all even on a small scale as was earlier done to show Lanka Dahan (burning down of the Lanka) .

OCF Sanskritic Manch, Sector 29, director Jyoti Swarup Bhardwaj said Ramlilas will be held with pomp and flair this year as Ramlila bodies were facing a cash crunch last year. “We have made arrangements on a pre-pandemic scale. We expect people to show up in good numbers this year,” he added.

After 40 years of performing in Sector 7, this year the production will move to the Sector 49 open ground in front of Ryan International School. Director Pardip Kumar says, “We will have an open-air triple stage in Sector 49. Different scenes alternating between Ravana’s durbar and Rama’s exile in the jungle can be shown side by side. While one scene will be being performed, the next scene will already be set up,” he said, adding that this year women will also act in the Ramlila as opposed to male actors playing women’s roles.

Meanwhile, residents will have to wait till September 27 for the Sector 17 Parade Ground Ramlila to begin. Director Rajinder Bagga says, “The programme will wrap in eight days.

On any changes this year, he says, “This time the role of Sita will be performed by Mukesh, an artiste, who earlier played a role in Ravana’s army, so it will be a nice change of pace for us. My son, Gaurav Bagga, will essay the role of Rama.”

Allow use of green crackers: Chandigarh Cracker Dealers Association to UT

The Chandigarh Cracker Dealers Association has written to the UT deputy commissioner to allow the sale and purchase of green crackers. In the letter, the members said bursting of green crackers can be allowed as per the guidelines of the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court. It asserted that Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh had also allowed it. Last year, a blanket ban on crackers, even inside the effigies on Dusshera, had affected the business of cracker sellers in the city, many of whom had incurred big losses.

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