Stitching Ramlila and Ramayana Foundation Suriname 2 February 2019 Bhardwaj Manch
(SRRFS) is a non-profit organization acting as an institute to cultivate the growth and stimulation of the Ramlila in Suriname and the Caribbean. They are traveling to Prayagraj, India in January 2019 to participate in the Ramlila theatre presenting the audience with two performances on February 2nd and 3Rd, one in Hindi and the other in Sarnami, respectively. Sarnami is a blend of Bhojpuri and Awadhi, stemming from the indentured labour that was brought in by the then Colonial power, Holland, over 145 years ago. It has now been recognized as a formal language and uses the Roman script instead of the Devanagri.
Day 1: (2nd Feb)
The first presentation will commence with the “Swayamvar” of princess Sita in the palace of Raja Janak, her father. From there it moves to the intervention of Parashuram and the stringing of the bow of Lord Shiva, resulting in her marriage to the Prince of Ayodhya, Shri Ram. The scene quickly shifts to the palace of Shri Ram, where he is to be coronated shortly. His stepmother Kaikeyi has been instigated and demands that he be exiled for a period of 14 years, which has a disastrous effect on his father, Raja Dashrath, who dies of shock and dismay at his queen’s demands, but yields to the pressure of keeping his word. Shri Ram and Sita, along with Lakshman, his brother- proceed to the woods and Sita is soon abducted by Ravan, while Shri Ram goes on a hunt looking everywhere. He meets Shabri, a devotee who has waited for decades to meet him and sheds some light on Sita’s whereabouts, bringing Shri Ram in contact with Sugriva (ruler of the Vaanar Kingdom) and Hanuman.
Day 2: (3rd Feb)
Day two commences with the tussle for power between the two Vaanar brothers, Bali and Sugriva and the first meeting of Shri Ram with his devotee, Hanuman, culminating in the friendship between Shri Ram and Sugriva. Shri Ram vows to support dharma in the form of Sugriva and vanquishes his brother, Bali, after labeling him to be unjust and immoral. The scene shifts to Lanka where Vibhishan, the brother of Ravan turns to be a fond devotee of Shri Ram. Hanuman spots him and enrolls him to their camp. At the Ashok Vatika, Ravan tries to coerce Sita into marrying him, while she declines and warns him of dire consequences. Hanuman enters the garden and brings Sita the greetings of Shri Ram with a message that Shri Ram would appear soon to relieve her from this ordeal. Hanuman leaves Lanka, but not before he destroys their beautiful garden by setting it on fire with the help of his tail.