FROM THE Chief Minister’s office to the stage of Ramleela, it is an easy transformation for this Dashrath. Not many in the city know that Pawan Sharma, the officer who countless people approach for getting their grievances addressed in the Haryana CM office at Main Secretariat in Sector 1, is completely booked from 9.30 pm to 12.30 pm. For, he becomes Dashrath during this time at the Ramleela in Sector 5, Panchkula.
The Supervisor of the CM grievance cell has taken a 10-day break from work to act in the Ramleela, but there are times when Dashrath has to become Sharma.
“There are times when I am almost ready for my role and I get a call from my staff asking about some official issue. Sometimes, they would even come with a particular file to the venue looking for me when it needs to be cleared urgently and finding me in that dress with the heavy make-up would amuse them,” Sharma says.
Dashrath is a favourite among senior Haryana government officials too as they call him up enquiring if seats could be available for their family in any of his Ramleela shows.
“I am elated to see such an overwhelming response for my shows. Last night, there was so much of rush that an official in a minister’s office who had come with his family had to return disappointed as there were no seats,” he said.
For over two decades this official played the role of Ram. But as he aged, and his son Saurav grew, the off-stage father-son duo turned into the on-stage father-son as well. Now, Saurabh Sharma who is pursuing his PHd in Computer Science performs the role of Ram while his dad plays the role of Dashrath.
“In fact, our entire family loves to play these epic roles. My brother who is a TGT teacher in Delhi would perform the role of Ravana with us three years back. Since he had a heavy voice, he was given this role. My wife too had so much interest that she would stitch our costumes but this year my son suggested some modern designs, so he got them from Delhi,” Pawan said while flipping through the pages of his script on Thursday.
Interestingly, Sharma’s role doesn’t wind up with the end of Ramleela, as sometimes, his office loves to hear the dialogues from him during lunch time. “Had I played the role of Ravana like my brother did, they would have asked me time and again to laugh loudly like Ravana does. Here, I just narrate the interesting scenes and dialogues for all those who miss watching it,” he says.
The role of Dashrath ended two days ago when he breathed his last. Now Sharma does prompting and directs scenes.