Tales in the Ramayana do not belong to our times. And neither does Shilparamam. Here, then, is a premise for a great evening.
Shilparamam, in association with Sri Venkateshwara Natya Mandali (Surabhi Group), is organising a 9-day Surabhi Drama Festival, from 21st to 29th April. Today, the fourth day, a famous Telugu mythological drama called Lava Kusa will be staged.
Lava and Kusa are the twin sons of Rama and Sita, who were made to fight against their father by destiny. After slaying Ravana in Lanka, Rama rescues his wife Sita and brings her back to Ayodhya. The people of Ayodhya do not accept her and doubt her fidelity due to her staying in Lanka for so many years, in spite of her proving her purity through an Agnipariksha. Unable to disappoint his people, Rama orders Lakshamana to leave Sita in the forests. As Sita is pregnant at that time, Lakshamana leaves her at Valmiki's ashram.
At the ashram, Sita delivers twins and names them Lava and Kusa. The children learn archery and use of other weapons, besides Ramayana and other stories, from Valmiki. Meanwhile, Rama decides to perform the Ashwamedha Yagna to get rid of all his recurring problems, and so sends a horse along with a big army all over the world.
Unable to face Rama, many kings surrender their kingdoms to him. During the journey, the horse enters the forest of Valmiki's ashram. The boys Lava and Kusa get delighted by the sight of the beautiful horse and tie it. The army of Rama searches for the horse and finally finds it with the boys. The commander of the army Shatrughna requests the boys to untie the horse or fight him.
The boys agree for the fight and defeat the army. They take Hanuman and Jambhavan as hostages, to their mother Sita. Sita immediatly recognises them and orders her sons to free them. Meanwhile Valmiki arrives and tells them that they were fighting their father, Rama.
Valmiki then teaches both the boys on how to sing the Ramayana and asks them to sing before Rama in Ayodhya. Gradually, the boys win over Rama and reunite him with their mother.
Surabhi is the oldest theater group in India, started sometime in the 1890s by Vanarasa Govind Rao, who had three sons and ten daughters. As the size of the family expanded, several sub-groups were formed, one such being Sri Venkateshwara Natya Mandali. Initially there were 50 companies, which dwindled to 16 in 1974 and only 4 in 1982. Currently, there are 5 functioning across Andhra Pradesh, all under the umbrella of Surabi Nataka Kala Sangam. Sri Venkateshwara Natya Mandali, the biggest of them all, was set up in 1937. Today, their troupe has 62 members.
For further details, please contact the venue at 2310-0455.