For the fifth consecutive year, the Chaturvedi family from Mathura, who has been staging Ramleela across the country for over six decades, will perform for Ramlila Committee, Sector 27, in Chandigarh for the fifth consecutive year.
Sixty-seven year old Shankar Lal, the founder of Mandali, has been witnessing Ramlila since he was 5 and slowly started to act in the plays which eventually led to him creating his own 40-member crew. Out of the total 40 members, 13 are from his family.
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Leading the group, Pandit Sham Sundar Chaturvedi said, “Since our early age, we have been traveling every year with my family across the country to stage Ramlila. We have staged it in Delhi, Mumbai and almost every corner of the Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. For us it is family affair now.”
Right from designing the sets of the stage to make up, all are done by the members of the family. “The uniqueness about our Ramlila is that we set up three stages simultaneously. By doing this, we are able to present the various scene and scenarios thereby giving the audience a bigger and better picture. The battle scenes are presented on the ground to give a realistic view of events.” said Chaturvedi.
Although the crew includes only men, but this time around for the very first time they have included four girls. The smallest among the male members is 7-year-old Gyan Chaturvedi who has a role in Vannar Sena and Ravan Sena.