Generations have changed but the stage remains the same,as does the role they have been playing for the last fifty years. The members of the Bagga family,who have been tailoring cloths for the people of the Tricity for the past five decades,are better known for playing Rama in the Ramlilas organised in the city every year on the occasion of Dusshera.
It is the third generation of the family which is playing the role of Hindu god Rama at the Ramlilas and are performing on the stage in Parade Ground,Sector 17,for 53 years. Sohan Lal Bagga,the patriarch of the family,started participating in Ramlilas in the year 1961 and continued the tradition till his son Rajesh took his place in 1981. Following the tradition,24-year-old Guarav Bagga,son of Rajesh Bagga is playing the role of Rama for the first time,this year.
Gaurav started playing the role of Rama in his childhood when he was 7 years old,at the same stage of at Sector 17. But it is Gauravs first experience to play the role of a grown-up Rama. Gaurav,who is a data entry operator in Haryanas Food and Supply Unit,wishes to continue the tradition of the family.
Residents of Sector 47, Bagga family has been honoured with a state award by the Chandigarh Administration and are the Limca Record holders as well. Rajesh Bagga,assistant director of the Ramlila committee,has also applied for a National award such that the Home Ministry could appraise their work which they have been doing for decades.
After my father died in 2002,I was more determined to continue the tradition. He spent almost half of his life playing the role of Rama,and then I was given this role to play. Now,my family,especially my mother,is proud to see my son playing the same role and that too at the same stage. My daughter also has a keen interest in dramatics and she is a very active participant of the dramatics club at MCMDAV College, Rajesh Bagga told Chandigarh Newsline.