The ‘Ram Leela’, presented by local artistes of Nashik at Gandhi Nagar ground for the last six decades is in the final phase of rehearsals. The play, which has become an integral part of the Navaratri celebrations in the city will be staged on October 1.
“Ram Leela is popularly organised during Navaratra in North India. It was started in Nashik in 1955 by the North Indian Pandits. Since then, Nashik has uninterruptedly hosted the event every year. We have third and fourth generations of artistes working in Ram Leela,” secretary of Ram Leela Utsav Mandal Kapildev Sharma said.
while devotees from all around are gathering at Saptashrungi similarly for many Nashikites, the presentation at Gandhi Nagar ground is like an annual family ritual. “Many of them meet only once a year on this occasion, work together in Ram Leela and pay tributes to the sixty-year-old tradition,” president of the Ram Leela Committee Anandkumar Saxena said.
The script of Ram Leela was specially drafted by Surendra Singh Bist and Devilal Sharma in the 1950s. Several members, who are in their nineties now, recall that the duo used simplified Hindi to make it easy for the Mararthi audience here to understand. The songs composed by Brahmadev Kunthe and Krishna Jawade, are still being used by the artistes.
Neither of the artistes performing in the Ram Leela charge any fees. “The artistes work to maintain the tradition. This city has a long legacy of Lord Rama. We want to carry it forward through our art,” an event organiser Sanjay Lodage said.