For the sprightly 21-year-old Aazam Khan, playing the role of a Rishi Muni during Ramleela will be unique in every sense of the term and his excitement knows no bounds. Born and brought up in a Muslim family, Khan balances out at the stage from offering namaz to practising dialogues. The artiste would be seen at the Ramleela celebrations in Sector 28.
“Initially, I would work back stage like arranging costumes of the artistes, helping them learn the dialogues or assist make-up artistes. It is for the first time I am doing this role and I am really excited,” Khan told Chandigarh Newsline, adding how he would sometimes perform the role backstage when the main artistes were performing on the stage.
For Aazam, a resident of Zirakpur, performing this role did not come easy. “I come from a very conservative family. There was opposition from some of my relatives but when I told them that for an artiste, there is no separate community or caste, they were convinced. Moreover, we are all brothers and the young generation, be it in any community, is very open,” said Aazam.
The 21-year-old added that Ramleela has always interested him since he was six years old. “I have grown up watching these Ramleelas. I am really excited as I will dress up like a Rishi Muni and will have the same hair style, too. I also have another short role of a Devta,” he added.
Before Ramleela begins at 8.30 pm, Aazam may be keeping busy, be it helping out at his father’s tailoring shop or offering Namaz. But he keeps practising his dialogues, wherever he is. “In my free time, I quickly brush up all my dialogues. Sometimes, my brother also gets upset since I am constantly murmuring the dialogues,” he added.
Permission to hold Ramleela has been taken by different Ramleela committees at 49 locations in Chandigarh. The Ramleelas will be organised from October 9 to October 20. Chandigarh Police has deployed special security to maintain law and order during the Ramleela celebrations.