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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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Air Quality In Delhi Very Low, No Sign Of Improvement

SAFAR has advised people to avoid outdoor physical activities.

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Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons
Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons

The air quality deteriorated to ‘very poor’ in the national capital Delhi and areas around it due to low wind speed and marginal effect of stubble burning in neighbouring states.

Several areas across Delhi also saw ‘severe-plus’ and ‘severe’ air quality due to high level of particle pollution, which remained over 10 times the safe limit.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) was 337 or very-poor against 273 or poor or Thursday. The AQI at Anand Vihar was 407 and of Mundaka was 432, both under ‘severe’ category.

PM2.5, or particles with diameter less than 2.5mm, is still the dominant pollutant. Despite dry and cool north-westerly winds, the air quality dropped to the average PM2.5 over 37 areas of Delhi recording 191 microgrammes per cubic meters, against 134 units on Thursday and 240 units on Wednesday.

India, air pollution, WHO, diwali, Pollution, Delhi, egypt, air quality
A man walks in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India. VOA

“Air Quality Index will remain in very poor category on Saturday. A slight improvement is predicted later,” said a forecast by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research.

According to weather analysts, wind speed at present is slow allowing the pollutant to accumulate.

“Stubble fire will have a marginal impact,” SAFAR said.

Also Read: Tips to Improve The Air Quality of Your Home

SAFAR has advised people to avoid outdoor physical activities.

“If asthmatic, keep relief medicine handy,” the warning added. (IANS)