“Whatever the work a man performs, the most effective aid to its completion, the most prolific source of true success, is energy, without despondency.”
This maxim enunciated by Lord Rama, holds true eternally and universally. It illustrates not only through the unfolding of events in the Ramayana, but also in life as it moves through various courses today, where positive energy remains the fulcrum on which life’s dynamics function.
The Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra’s 60th Diamond Jubilee edition of the spectacular “Ramlila” presents a beautiful amalgamation between reality and idealism, magnificent costumes, masterful lighting, perfect choreography and music, orchestrated flawlessly, by the custodian and nurturer of Indian cultural heritage, Shobha Deepak Singh (Director, Vice Chairperson, Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra). The magnum opus presents a natural amalgamation between reality and idealism, on an enthralling podium, where destiny plays with emotion and specific situations vary, but the external, superficial trappings, sentiments and intricacies of human dilemmas, reflections and responses are constant and similar in essence, as they reflect contemporary questions of mind and heart.
Shobha Deepak Singh’s in-depth, meticulous research on the Ramayan stands reflected in the ‘Ramlila’, which portrays familiar and endearing incidents from the epic Ramayana including the banvas of the revered ‘Ram’, Sita’s unwavering love and faith in the face of several personal predicaments, Ravana’s crafty strategies, Ram’s unquestioning obedience to his father, his graceful acceptance and addressing of adversities of daily existence, his ability to transcend barriers of caste and creed through acceptance of Shabri’s fruits. Says Shobha Deepak Singh, “The Kendra’s Ramayan has been witnessed by almost all Presidents and Prime Ministers to date. The Kendra’s copy of the Ramayan itself is unique for it bears the signatures of all the past Presidents and Prime Ministers commencing from 1957 by Pt Jawaharlal Nehru who had donated money from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the first Ram Lila. Meant to be a one time show the Kendra’s Sampurna Ramayan has gone from strength to strength making and breaking many records.”
Shobha Deepak Singh continues, “To date the Kendra’s production improves with every show – not therefore falling into the groove of blind faith but always remaining well above values expected from The search for the discerning of the divine and the profane, is an urge that lies dormant, unless awakened..”
The Kendra consistently maintains the highest standards in its production which are then often replicated by the myriads of Ram Lila’s taking place in the city.
“I believe that the popularity of the Kendra’s Ramayan lies in the fact that it does not compromise on the quality of the production inputs such as Shashidharan Nair for Choreography, Shanti Sharma and Biswajit Roy Chowdhary for Music and Keshav Kothari for the Stage setup, as also the well trained dancers who work round the year to ensure that the quality of the production is of the highest standard.” Shobha Deepak Singh continues, “Friends-staging the show annually is not easy. Working on ‘Ram’ has been possessing and exciting, but never exhausting, for, here freedom came to life and dreams became a reality.”
The Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra enjoys the distinction of being the first to present an aesthetically refined ‘Sampurna Ramayan’, that keeps the intrinsic spirit of the epic alive. Indeed Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra’s ‘Ramlila’ is a legacy in itself and a significant segment of an effort to familiarise the audience with the country’s cultural heritage.