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Ram Leela in Urdu – Traditional Storytelling at Its Finest

An Urdu version of Ramayana is lighting up the stage in Faridabad. 

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(This article was first published on 29 September 2017. It has been republished from The Quint’s archives on the occasion of Dussehra.)

“Ram, maine maut par fateh pa lee hai. Poori qayanaat me mere se bada aur takatvar insaan koi nahi hai. Tu jaa apna kaam kar.”
Ravan

The industrial town of Faridabad, Haryana, has kept an age-old tradition alive. The Ram Leela that is organised, tells the story of Ram in Urdu. From Ram to Ravan to Hanuman to Sita – all the characters deliver their dialogues in Urdu. It is a pre-Partition tradition that has been kept alive.

Ram Leelas are being performed in Hindi. But the one organised in Sector 15 is telling the tale in Urdu. Why? Well, because the organisers originally belong to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. The first version of a mix of Hindi and Urdu Ram Leela was performed in 1976 in Palwal, Haryana. And the tradition has continued ever since.

Camera: Abhishek Ranjan and Athar Rather

Editor: Puneet Bhatia

Producer: Abhishek Ranjan and Shadab Moizee

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