22nd Oct 2012
People in India are relocating more often and further away from home. If you miss those childhood memories of the local flavours you grew up with, well, the internet can be of help. Every major event of national (and international) importance seems to be "streaming live" these days, including the Republic Day and Independence Day parades, Google Hangouts with state CMs, the Mars landing of the Curiosity rover, and of course the unveiling of computing devices.
However, you know things have gone overboard when gods start making appearances online. Live streams of aartis from popular Ganpati pandals and temples such as Lalbaug and Siddhivinayak in Mumbai have already been done. As the popularity — and the commercialisation — of festivities increases, we can expect many more such events to be streamed. What's next in queue then?
By the likes of it, you can soon catch one of the oldest Ramlilas in Delhi online this Dussehra. However, that's not where the "advancement" starts. IANS reports that the traditional "Ram-Kills-Ravan" tale will be a visual treat — The Lav-Kush Ramlila Committee, located near the Red Fort in Delhi, has quite a few things to wow its audience.
Arjun Kumar, secretary of the Lav-Kush Ramlila Committee, elaborates, "The effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnad are all above 100 feet tall. When Lord Rama's fire-tipped arrows pierce through their hearts, they will emit fire from the mouth and their ornaments will change colour. As the effigies collapse on the ground, they will chant Rama's name".
Moreover, Hanuman will not run in with the Sanjeevani Booti as always; this time, he will actually fly in (using wires of course). Also, in the climax that sees Rama and Ravana in a fierce battle, their swords will emit sparks when the blades clash. This one really has my rapt attention — I can catch the entire show live at www.lavkush.com. The link gives you all the details about schedules and timings.
However, it's not just Rama and Ravana who are fighting, there is stiff competition from across the street as well. The Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee on the other side of the road has put up an 18 by 36 foot LED screen for a backdrop, which will screen Ramanand Sagar's Ramayana as well. Adding to the glitz is a hydraulic stage to highlight Sita's 'swayamvar'. Plus, the Sita Haran scene, and Hanuman carrying a Sanjeevani Booti, will all happen in thin air (read: wired).
Since I am not a Delhiite, I can't catch this one; the Lav-Kush Ramilia is rather more convenient.
Does commercialisation of this sort dilute the essence of festivities? Would you ever prefer watching the "action" from the comfort of your home — instead of actually being among the crowds? Let us know in the comments!
TechTree Blog: Festivals Go Online
Does live streaming of social and religious events hold any appeal?
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