Tuesday February 19, 2019
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A visit to Delhi’s most famous Ram Leela

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By Harshmeet Singh

Delhi’s famous Red Fort ground is currently the venue for at least 5 simultaneously ‘Ram Leelas’ being organized by different committees. While each of them has its own USP, visitors seem to throng the ‘Luv Kush Committee’s Ram Leela’ in far bigger numbers. Participation of Bollywood veterans like Shakti Kapoor and Asrani in this particular Ram Leela seems to have titled the visitors towards this particular option.

While I was about to reach the venue after a small walk from Chandni Chowk metro station, I still wasn’t sure about which entry gate to take for the ‘star-studded’ Luv Kush Ramleela. Just as I asked a rickshaw driver about which gate to enter through, a voice told me to take a right turn and then join the long queue to enter the venue. The voice came from a burqa clad lady, who was going to the same Ram Leela! It is in these small moments that you realize the joys of living in a secular country like India!

As expected, the entry queues were more than 15 meters long. As at any other Indian function, there were a few people approaching the security forces to let them in by ditching the queue ‘because they knew the organizers’. To the credit of security forces, they kept a customary stern face and didn’t allow any such entry.

stage 2

It is only when you enter the venue do you realize that it is much more than a Ram Leela exhibition. With food stalls ranging from the Dominos Pizza to Old Delhi’s famous Chat Kachodi, you realize how generations’ old custom has undergone a commercial makeover. The food stalls are organized to suit the needs of all sections of visitors with cost for 2 ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000 at different stalls!

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Just when I was ordering a Pav Bhaji, a roaring laughter emerged from the background, ‘Raavan hun main, main hun Raavan!’. The show had begun! Expecting a huge crowd, the organizers had arranged close to 10,000 chairs for the audience to witness the extravaganza. Apart from the grand stage, 2 huge projector screens were set up on either sides of the stage to ensure that the visuals reach the entire audience. The other attractions for the visitors at the venue included rides like the Giant wheel and Columbus.

stage 1

Despite people’s reducing affinity towards our cultural programs, Ram Leela has held its own. With people of all caste, religion and age coming together to witness one of India’s most celebrated mythological stories, it can truly serve as an inspiration to those who are after each others’ blood just because of their eating habits!

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Cases of Swine Flu Crosses 1,000-Mark in Delhi

The advisory also said that children with mild illness but with predisposing risk factors, pregnant women, persons aged 65 years or older, patients with lung diseases, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease etc.

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Swine Flu

As many as 1,011 cases of swine flu (H1N1) were reported from various hospitals in the national capital till Sunday, according to a data released by the government on Monday.

Although the government data does not report any deaths due to H1N1, some city hospitals claim that 11 persons died last month due to the infection.

In entire 2018, only 205 H1N1 cases and two deaths were reported.

Till January 29, the number of cases were 512.

The Delhi government has directed all its hospitals to make local purchases of logistics required to ensure a continuous supply of medicine, vaccine and kits.

Representational image.

“All government hospitals are equipped with the necessary logistics required for the management of Seasonal Influenza A (H1N1),” the government said in a statement.

A health advisory has also been issued in both Hindi and English by the Delhi’s Directorate General of Health Services, it said.

According to the advisory, Seasonal Influenza (H1N1) is a self-limiting air-borne viral, and the disease spreads from person to person through coughing and sneezing, indirect contact by touching a contaminated object or surface, and close contact including handshakes, hugging and kissing.

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“The symptoms include fever and cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and difficulty in breathing. Other symptoms may include body-ache, headache, fatigue, chills, diarrhea and vomiting, and blood-stained sputum,” it said.

The advisory also said that children with mild illness but with predisposing risk factors, pregnant women, persons aged 65 years or older, patients with lung diseases, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, blood disorders, diabetes, neurological disorders, cancer and HIV/AIDS, patients on long-term cortisone therapy are under the high-risk group. (IANS)