This Dusshera, effigies in Dwarka to aim for the sky

Oct 04, 2011, 06:42 IST | Vatsala Shrangi

Dwarka Ramlila committee, organising the Ramlila for the first time, will put up 120-feet effigies, breaking last year's record of 115 feet

Dwarka Ramlila committee, organising the Ramlila for the first time, will put up 120-feet effigies, breaking last year's record of 115 feet

This Ramlila season will see its chief demons touch the sky. The Dwarka Ramlila committee in the national Capital region has made the tallest Ravana, Meghnada and Kumbhkarna in the city. The first-time organisers in Dwarka Sector-10 will be putting up the effigies measuring 120 feet. With this, the Dwarka commiittee has left behind the Capital's other more experienced committees, and also broken the last year record of 115-feet high effigy.

Standing tall: 120-feet Ravana being put together by artisans from
Hyderabad, at Dwarka Sector-10 in New Delhi on Monday. Pic/Rajeev Tyagi

Issue-based show
A group of Muslim artisans has been called upon by the committee from places such as Ghaziabad and Hyderabad to make the effigies. Also, unlike others who are focussing only on one theme this year, the committee is planning to symbolise three burning issues of our times, corruption, terrorism and inflation as Ravana, Meghnada and Kumbhkarna. 

Good things come in small packages: Mohammad Taushid, who makes
small effigies at the Blind School, in New Delhi on Monday. PIC/Imtiyaz Khan

First time on field
"We are organising the Ramlila for the first time. We could have begun it last year itself, but could not secure permission due to the Commonwealth Games. Besides corruption, the two other major evils eating up the nation are terrorism and as price-rise, which need to be dealt with severely," said Rajesh Gehlot, organiser, Dwarka Lila Committee.

Now the Ramlila, which will cost nearly Rs 50 lakh to the committee this year, is expected to become a regular feature in the area in the coming years. The venue has been completely secured, with 12 CCTV cameras and four metal detector gates in and around the place. Irfan, one of the artisans from Ghaziabad, said, "We have been making effigies since the time of our ancestors. This is the tallest effigy I have ever worked on."

Also, in a novel move, fashion designers have decided to present their creations at Ramlila show. Designers Nida Mahmood and Raul Chandra will also host an event aimed at reviving folk art of Rajasthan. The event, which will be a collage of dance, puppetry, music and video art, will be held at Ramlila Maidan, North Avenue, Rashtrapati Bhawan.

As part of the event, the duo has decided to make the Ramlila actors put up a dance performance, beginning 7 pm on Tuesday. Speaking to MiD-DAY about the event, Mahmood said, "I have been working on reviving dying art forms for a long now. Folk theatre is almost extinct in our modern society and to showcase it, what could be a better platform than Ramlila. The exaggerated make-up and look of these characters has always intrigued me. These are beautiful art forms and its going to be a lot of fun."  

Now, some small talk
Mohammad Taushid hails from Hapur, UP and his small Ravanas and other effigies can be bought for anything between Rs 400-4,500. Taushid, who works as a decorator for events in five-star hotels for a living, has been making effigies since 1975 in the Capital. He has secured a space in a blind school located near Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi, to make the effigies.

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