Dussehra in New Delhi
Yesterday was the festival of Dussehra and I spent the evening watching the 'Ramlila' performance at a stage put up by neighbourhood folks in the car park. The name of the theatre troupe was 'Diamond Artistes' and they enacted a Ramayana story which included the different avatars of Lord Shiva through song and dance. I liked the acting of the guy who played 'Sudama' - he made all sorts of funny faces, stuffed a banana in Ravan's mouth, danced with a mobile phone and kissed all the folks who came up on stage to give him cash.
Things went well, until the CD playing the Ramlila music to which the actors were lip syncing went awry. The narrator tried to save the day by asking and answering questions on religious geography like - Who discovered Vaishno Devi shrine ? Which country has no rivers - Saudi Arabia etc. The kids who were playing Ram, Lakshman and Ravana kept giggling on stage while enacting the fight scene with sword and bow/arrows. A few sardars jumped on stage and mobbed 'Ravana' who chased them off with a wave of his sword.
Later on, was the much awaited Dussehra fireworks display and the burning of the effigies of Ravana and his brothers Meghanath and Kumbhkaran. Best part of the evening, it happened quite late at 9.00pm cause the play took too long. Wolf whistles and cheers went up as the deafening sound of fireworks stuffed in the 'putli's' went off in a ball of fire.
There was supposed to be a 'Dandiya Dance' after this, but I did'nt stick around cause I was too hungry. Not many Delhi-ites know how to do the 'Dandiya' dance anyway - a Gujarati dance, it has just not taken off here. Anyway, lots of local toughs gather and gawk while the DJ's play film songs, which is real uncomfortable and weird.
How was your Dussehra ?
Dussehra Ramlila Dandiya New Delhi India