Blurring the divides, Dassehra

By Zain Awan (ANI) | Updated: Oct 10, 2018 17:23 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 10 (ANI): Navratras have begun, kickstarting the festive season in India.
Old Delhi - Chandini Chowk, Dariba, Chawri Bazar, Hauz Khazi, Nai Sarak - all are decked up like a new bride. Dassehra is in the air.
Make-shift eateries, selling Purani Dilli's favourite food - Daulat ki Chaat, Paav Bhaaji, noodles, fruit chaat, soya chaap - have mushroomed up in Sita Ram Bazar, glittering with lights, the melody of devotional songs dissolving in the October nip.
Young and old, teens and kids, men and women, are all soaked in euphoria and divinity.
Ramleela, the theatrical enactment of Lord Rama's life, will be staged for the next 10 days at Ramleela Maidan, Red Fort and Parade Ground.
Roads have been repaired for the God's procession through the narrow lanes of Chawri Bazar. But people with broad hearts will welcome their God and His family for the next 10 days.
With humility in hearts, Muslims from Chooriwalan and Ghalib's Ballimaran will come out on the streets to see Ram and boo off Ravana when he comes roaring on his chariot.
"There are no differences here," says Prabhu Dayal, whose family has been running Kirana shop for generations now.
The streets, which welcomed the Tazia procession a few days ago, will now witness Rama, Lakshman, Sita, Hanuman and his kin.
Luv Kush Ramlila Committee has been organising the Ramleela for decades. This year it's all the more special.
Union Minister of Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan is expected to enact the role of Raja Janak, Sita's father. Aam Aadmi Party leader Alka Lamba will play Ahilya, whom Lord Rama liberated from a curse. Ramleela, for once, blurs the fierce political divides.
Luv Kush committee's president, Ashok Aggarwal, is both excited and anxious about the star-studded casting of his Ramlila. "Vindu Dara Singh will play Hanuman, we'll also have Delhi BJP's Vijender Gupta, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla, and even Bihar lawmaker Sanjay Yadav, playing different characters of Ramayana."
Like every year, the Ramleela will be staged under the shadow of Red Fort, with people thronging the elaborate, giant size swings, jostling for space at the food stalls. The same ground houses the shrine of Sufi Saint Hazrat Bhure Shah.
Opposite this colossal lawn, is the historic Jama Masjid. As the soothing sound of Azaan from the mosque whiffs out, it merges with the divine chants of 'Jai Shri Ram' from the Ramleela. This is, perhaps, one of the best time to be in India and feel what it means to be India. (ANI)