Technology, celebrities to draw crowds at Delhi Ramlilas

Technology, celebrities to draw crowds at Delhi Ramlilas

New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) Ramlila committees in the national capital have this year lined up a visual delight besides inviting a host of celebrities to leave the audiences awestruck.

There are hydraulic cranes to enact mid-air fight scenes, state-of-the-art surround sound systems and celebrities from Bollywood and the TV industry to grace the shows.

The 10-day celebrations will culminate on Dussehra Oct 3.

The Lav Kush Ramlila Committee that organises the event on the Red Fort grounds is using special effects in the stage show and for burning of the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Meghnad.

Celebrities like Hrithik Roshan, Govinda, Raveena Tandon and Kapil Sharma will turn up here from Sep 29 to Oct 3.

Arjun Kumar, secretary of Lav Kush Ramlila Committee, said: "During the fight scenes whenever swords or arrows will come in contact with each other, sparks will fly."

Kumar added that on Dussehra when the effigy of Ravana will be set on fire, its eyeballs will roll and it will also shout "Hey Ram". Around 10,000 crackers fitted into the effigies will amplify the sound.

A popular Ramlila in west Delhi's Punjabi Bagh area too is banking on technology and gimmicks to wow the crowd.

Satyadev Goyal of Shri Ramlila Committee in Punjabi Bagh said that using hydraulic cranes, the characters of Ram and Ravana will be lifted 15 feet in the air and sparks will fly whenever their weapons strike against each other.

He said: "We will use special lighting and surround sound to make the scene more appealing."

Terming the use of remote controls to burn the effigies as passé, he said sensors will do the job.

"There are sensors placed in the effigies as well as the arrows of Ram. When the two come in contact, the effigies will light on their own," he said.

He added that the three effigies have been covered in special paint that will shine under lights, thereby presenting a visual delight to onlookers.

One of the oldest Ramlilas in Delhi - Subhash Maidan's Shri Dharmik Leela Committee which has dignitaries like the president and prime minister on its guest list - plans to keep the celebrations "traditional" with "limited use of technology".

"We use minimal special effects and concentrate more on the performance of our characters - their acting and dancing skills and the costumes," Amrish Gupta of the committee said.

"This year, we have focused on costumes, especially those that look more colourful and extravagant," Gupta said, adding that in keeping with the times, some stunts and gimmicks have been included.

"The scene showing Lord Hanuman getting the Sanjeevani booti has been choreographed mid-air using cranes and cables," he said.

Besides, there will be gastronomical delights, like the famed Delhi street food, to draw the crowds at all Ramlilas.

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