BHOPAL: Effigy-makers in the city have togged up Ravan in a rain suit, fearing his untimely fall to the arrows of Rain God before the ones of Rama may entail it to him.
The demon ruler’s son Meghnad who could take on his enemies, hiding from behind the clouds, is also depending on a raincoat to die at the hands of God. Otherwise, Rain God would have blessed him with a premature departure.
Such is the fear of Rain God that Ravan’s brother Kumbhkaran, of whom even the mighty gods were scared, too, needed a raincoat to go to heaven.
Each of the three demons, though in effigies, has been provided with a raincoat. So, for the first time, Bhopalites will watch the evil spirits going up in smoke in rain suit.
The effigies will, however, have nothing to do with a real ‘raincoat’ made by Duck Back Company, because they will be coated with polythene.
Om Prakash Sahu, making effigies for 50 years, told Free Press, “The height of the waterproof effigies of Ravan will be 50 feet and those of Kumbhkaran and Meghnad will be 40 feet.”
He said, “Dussehara committees have told us to find out some ways to protect those effigies from rain. Accordingly, we have decided to wrap them in plastic which will work as rain suit. We have done such a thing for the first time.”
Sahu said, “We are just using big transparent plastic sheet to cover these effigies. Its cost has shot up by 10 %.”
He has never seen such a rainfall during Durga Puja, he said, adding that the excess rain has damaged the papers and other materials he uses to make effigies.
“I had to make some extra efforts to keep the effigies dry. We have incurred a loss of Rs 40,000 due to rain,” Sahu rues.
BHEL provides its Natraj hall to the artisans who began to make effigies two and half months ago.
“We have engaged 13 artisans for this. To make the effigies, we use bamboos, cane and scrapes. Such materials are available in the city, but we fetch papers from Delhi,” he said.
Sahu has received orders for making effigies from Dusshera committees of BHEL, Chhola, T T Nagar, Bairagarh, Ayodhya Bypass, Shahpura, Bittan market, Meenal, Ashoka Garden, Kolar, Mandideep, Budhni, Obedullahganj, Begumganj, Vidisha and Sehore.