Panjab University’s (PU) Ramlila, the city’s oldest, famous for its dialogues in Urdu, this time introduced new faces for the female characters.
Even when the institute shifted to Solan in 1956 and eventually settled in Chandigarh, the vibrant celebration of Ramlila never abated, ensuring that the campus remained rooted in its rich cultural traditions.
Ramlila has been a part of PU’s history since 1935 when the institution was based in Lahore, Pakistan. Today, the heritage lives on in Chandigarh, bridging cultures and generations, creating a picturesque scene that resonates with a sense of unity and tradition.
Ramlila has been an enduring part of the university’s heritage since its early days in Lahore. Even when the institution shifted to Solan and finally settled in Chandigarh in 1956, the fervent celebration of Ramlila never abated, ensuring that the campus remained rooted in its rich cultural traditions.
According to director Rajan Sharma, who also plays the role of Lord Ram.
Ujjwala will make her debut as Sarada Soorpanakha, a personal servant and for the first time playing the role of mother Kaikeyi. Apart from this, PU security guard Hemant Bhatt will play the role of Kaushalya’s mother. ‘Ram-Lakshman and Soorpanakha Samvad’ was performed on Friday evening.
Apart from this, Vikas Sharma is playing the role of Lakshman, Rakesh Kumar is playing the role of Sita, Sunil Sharma is playing the role of Ravana, Sachin Sharma is playing the role of Meghnath and Karan Sharma is playing the role of Kumbhakaran.
Rajan Sharma has been playing the character of Lord Ram for over 30 years. He retired from the administration department of the university.
Sources suggest that the script of Ramleela, originally written in Urdu in 1935, was initially divided into eight sections. Over time, the challenges of preserving the old manuscripts led to several revisions. The last rewrite took place in 1970, credited to the late Kharaiti Lal Bahl.
Rajan said that this year’s Ramlila is specially dedicated to late Sushil Puri, president of Sri Arjun Amateur Dramatic Club, who passed away peacefully three months ago. Notably, the club, which was founded in 1935, had a young Puri begin his Ramleela journey at the age of six, which initially involved lifting curtains.
He informed that the club is an integral part of Harinam Sankirtan Prachar Mandal, the organizing body which has played an important role for three decades. Their funding comes mainly from local residential areas and markets near the campus. In addition, they also receive support from PU to help preserve the tradition of Ramlila.