Ramlila or Ram Leela is a folk play on the life of Lord Rama, basically it is played on the stories from the religious epic Ramayana. Generally it is played for ten nights which ends on the Dussehra when the Demon King Rawan is set on fire.
When I was kid there was a small temple near my home where Ramlila used to get performed. My grandmother use to take me there many times as she wants to make me religious and on the weekend sometimes my father used to take us to the biggest fair and festival ground of that time to watch the most glamorized Ramleela at "Ram leela Maidan, Jaipur" (even the name of this ground is "Ram leela Ground). The capacity of this ground is in thousands and it was used to be jam packed at those time of Ramleela.
As this is Ramlila season, yesterday evening I made a plan to revisit the memory lane. First I went to that small temple and inquired about the Ramleela but they said that they had stopped organizing it from few years. Then I thought ok let's go to the biggest Ramleela ground of Jaipur "Ramleela Maidan". When I was kid and used to come here we needed to have special passes or tickets to get entry, I was happy to see that now it’s a free entry with just few booked VIP’s seats. I reached there about an hour early so decided to have a peek at the backstage area. All the artists were very friendly and welcomed me with the open heart. I was sitting with them, having chit-chat, watching them get ready, clicking few pics in-between.
After they all got ready and they said play will start in a minute. I thanked them all for their hospitality and came out from backstage to main ground to watch the play. But as soon as I came out and saw the scenario of ground my heart broke and I realized what Electronic Media, Fast moving Life and Commercialization of everything had done to the Performances like this. The ground was kind of empty, Even the few Vip’s seats were empty, Most of the crowd was of the beggars and poor homeless people who lives in and around this ground. Every year the event gets sponsored by “Golcha Charitable Trust” but in this condition it’s a question that till when this sponsorship will go on. All most all the small temples had stopped organizing RamLeela and the one who still organize don’t get the audience and meet the expenses. So I will suggest if you have kids then take them once to RamLeela cause in this condition I don’t think it will going to last long.
|Still In many of the folk performances in India the female characters are also played by males only and so was the case here. Actor getting ready to play the role of Sita.|
|Shri Raj Mal Golcha.|