A theatrical extravaganza of ‘Humare Ram’

 A theatrical extravaganza of ‘Humare Ram’

New musical drama Humare Ram has taken India by storm, hundreds queue up to catch the untold stories of Ramayan on stage. Rahull Bhuchar who is the force behind Felicity Theatre and also sashays the complex role of Lord Ram in Humare Ram worked on this musical treat for over two years. I was fortunate to see this show when it was staged in Mumbai and spoke with the supremely talented actor Rahull Bhuchar about his journey in Humare Ram, Excerpts from the interview:

How did the concept of untold stories of Ramayan came to your mind?
We have seen Ram leelas since childhood, we exactly know the story. I wanted to show something which was completely off beat yet authentic and true. So, we picked up and researched various Ramayan’s; Tulsidas Ramayan, Valmiki Ramayan, Kamb Ramayan and Adbhut Ramayan. We wanted to show something which is interesting to the audience as well as something which they have never ever seen or dreamt of. I wanted to make something interesting not run of the mill or cliché as everyone knows the story of Ramayan, that is how the idea of untold stories of Ramayan came to my mind.

Why did you choose Ashutosh Rana as Ravan?
Whenever a depiction of Ravana comes to our mind, we go back to our childhood days when we used to watch Ramayan or Ram leelas, it had a figure of a person who is tall, shouting, laughing and trying to scare people away without realising the actual essence of the character Ravana. Ravan was a vidwan and he was most intelligent, so we wanted to pick up vidwan Ravan. There is no vidwan Ravan than Ashutosh Rana in the country, Rana ji s diction, his command over the hindi language, his adhyatmak Gyan, his persona and his in-depth knowledge especially the books which he has written especially ‘Ramrajya‘ is unmatched. He brings out so many layers of Ravan that people fall in love with Ravan.

Humare Ram
Rahull Bhuchar as Ram and Ashutosh Rana as Ravan in ‘Humare Ram’

Who brilliantly choreographed and executed the dance sequences?
Oh yes! Our choreographer Sagar Jain did a fantastic job in the dance sequences. He is from the Indian dance troop, Delhi, he runs a dancing institute and teaches dance to young students. We exactly wanted the kind of children that he had for the dance performance because we have converted them into vanars and they did a fantastic job when Ram Jee is walking towards Lanka on setu. Even the sensual dance of Apsara Rambha was very seductively done keeping it classy and stylish which attracts Ravan to her and eventually molesting her.

The show has been a grand success and a mega production, many are part of it isn’t it?
The show has been digested and perceived very well. It is the only show in the country which is of this magnitude were 116 people travel to a destination and perform. Within three months, we have already reached the golden jubilee of this play. I am proud of the entire cast and crew, but the most important person apart from Ashurosh Rana is our Director Gaurav Bhardwaj, he is a very selfless man, he has put his entire bhakti to the play and has not charged a single penny. Our light designers Sharad and Bharat from Bangalore, casting director Shweta Bhuchar, costume designer Vishnu Patil, Praveen Dada for sets, Taj and team who change the set after each scene (25 people change the set between scenes in no time). Ajay Pujari, designer of the entire set. The CG work is by Deepanshu Maheshwari and of course are singers Shankar Mahadevan, Sonu Nigam, Kailash Kher and Ashutosh Rana. How can I not mention our lyricist Alok Shrivastav and our co-writer of the play Naresh Katiyan.

The show is a musical treat; what thoughts went behind the song?
We wanted people to go back home singing all our songs whether it’s Ramleela, Dashanan or our title track. We also released our album on Instgram, Gaana, Apple music, Facebook and YouTube. All these platforms have our albums because I wanted people to keep singing and listing to these songs every day. I wanted it to be people’s delight that’s why I got legendary singers on board so that people are glued to our songs.

The dialogs are like teaching of a guru, how did the writer team plan the poetic style of dialogues?
We wanted it to be in poetic form because if the poetry is good topped with costumes, drama, LED screens, lights, props, special effects, etc, it’s a super hit. Dialogue in a poetry form always becomes lovable by the audience plus we wanted to give the message and morals of each episode out properly, what better than poetry to explain all that.

Show premiered in Delhi then travelled all over India, what are the future plans for it?
The play premiered in Delhi and we did 12 back to back shows then we went to various cities Mumbai, Ujjain, Bhopal and more. We have fixed the dates and venues for 125 shows. 150 shows will be announced very shortly, so with Ram’s grace till the end of 2025 we will complete 250 shows. Through Humare Ram, we want to show Ramcharitmanas and Ram Katha everywhere, that is our objective and is the audience can learn something from our play, Ram Rajya won’t be far.

What is most special to you about Humare Ram?
We have made this play with a lot of Bhakti. Before the play opened we went to Rameshwaram Jyotirling to perform a Pooja. We kept our script on Jyotirling and we took blessings from the divine that Humare Ram receives love and blessings of people, at the same time people should learn something from it in their personal lives and spread Ramrajya. I am blessed that the audience comes and with love and bhakti to watch our play.

Sandip Soparrkar holds a doctorate in world mythology folklore from Pacific University USA, an honorary doctorate in performing arts from the National American University, He is a World Book Record holder,
a well-known Ballroom dancer and a Bollywood choreographer who has been honored with three
National Excellence awards, one National Achievement Award and Dada Saheb Phalke award
by the Government of India. He can be contacted on [email protected]


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