Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kids Ramlila

It was past 10 PM and all children were busy in an unusual activity. They were working on a project in the garden of Ravi’s house. There were seven in all! Stealthily, they were busy applying paint on the face which had been built with dedicated effort for more than ten days. It was the penultimate day to give the finishing touches.

Prabir looked at Ravi and asked’ Bhoosa  kahan se lainge is mein bharne ko?(Where do we get the dried grass to fill in this)

Ravi replied with a serious face’ Tere sir mein to bahut hai, whan se’( You have enough of it in your head so why look around)

Then a scuffle broke out!!! ‘Shhh…lado mat! Mummy ko pata chala to abhi wapas jana padega’( Don’t fight else mummy will come to know and will call us back) Tushar tried to drive some sense and disengage Ravi and Prabir.

The effigy of Ravan was ready with crackers stacked in! All by the efforts of us children!!

It had been a lot of hard work starting from raising funds from the neighborhood and pooling all the pocket money. Next the bamboos were purchased, knives brought from homes to cut the bamboos, buy twine, glue, and steal old newspapers to give it a shape. It had been assiduous work till wee hours! The schools were closed for the Dusshera vacations. A group of us kids were motivated by Billu, the eldest among us. He was the brains behind constructing the effigy of Ravan.

Often fights would break out for trivial reasons but the fun was tremendous! Year after year we devoted our energies to construct our own effigy of Ravan which could measure up to 15 feet high when joined together. The ideas used to be picked up from  the bigger Ramlilas which were performed  in the colony, to make a evil looking Ravan complete with a Kundal( ear rings), Mukut( Head gear), a sword and a big mustaches!.

On the D Day, the entire neighborhood would descend to see the Ravan which was set up in flames a little after the main Ramlila ended in the colony. This was to ensure that besides locals the crowds returning home  make a bigger audience to cheer.

It may be difficult for the Gen now to even imagine such things, with having multifarious choices for engaging in holidays like trips with families, 24X 7 chat on Internet, video games, shopping malls, eateries, and amusement parks!

Dusshera is just around the corner and I am reminded of the great time we had celebrating this festival  with aplomb,with our meager resources, but a ‘never die spirit’ to commemorate the victory of good over evil!!


  1. that was fun...Dusshera was different for people in was more about firecrackers....

  2. :) my father in law engages all the children from the colony and still does it :D i never did it, my husband mentions he did it :)

  3. Sub- Durga Puja @ Kolkata is a grand spectacle.. was there last year!

  4. Thanks Chintan... Now I know besides me, there are more like minded people

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. It's beautifully put into words Sir ,
    Just creates a scene before my eyes !
    Reminded me of how we used to make Raavan.

  7. Thank you Ashish for liking this.I am sure many who are not writing are still keeping the richness of our culture alive!!