kiskiKAHANI (the Ramayana Project)

300 Ramayanas and Counting . . .
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Unravelling the Divine with Philip Lutgendorf

As part of our lecture series entitled Unravelling the Divine, Philip Lutgendorf talked about Hanuman, the most beloved god in the Hindu pantheon.

Unravelling the Divine with Ramdas Lamb

Ramdas Lamb’s Rapt in the Name provides an intriguing account of the Ram bhakti tradition in India. Less well-known in the West than the tradition of devotion to Krishna, the Ram tradition is an important component of Hinduism. Ram is the most-worshipped form of the divine in North India today and has long been particularly important to those of the lower castes throughout India. Lamb explores both the evolution of the tradition and the rise of lower caste religious movements devoted to Ram, specifically the Ramnami Samaj, an Untouchable religious movement in Central India. Lamb’s study of the Ramnamis has spanned nearly three decades, first on a personal level as a Hindu monk and later as both a friend and a researcher. He discusses the historical origins, as well as present-day forms and structure of the Samaj, including a description of its distinctive ritual dress and practices. Among the more innovative aspects of the sect is its adaptation of the story of Lord Ram that is uniquely woven into its devotional repetition of his name (Ramnam). In addition, Lamb shares biographical sketches of six Ramnamis, each of which reveals the freedom of individual exploration and expression that is integral to the sect. This is a fascinating account of religious life and adaptation on the periphery of society.

Rakshanama: Theatre Workshop with Dipalle Parmar

Our workshop with the teachers of Pragati Vidya Mandir was held over two weekends. Dipalle Parmar lead the group through a series of exercises. Here is some of what we did!


Our theater workshop with the teachers of Pragati Vidya Mandir, Pune.

Itna Bada Rakshas

From our writing workshop with Annie Zaidi.

Ramayana – A Modern Interpretation

In 2004 Trilok Fusion, New York, produced the Ramayana. This is a video of that performance. This particular clip deals with the conversation between Sita and Hanuman in Lanka. Choreographed & Conceived by Sudha Seetharaman, Music & Lyrics by Julian Velard

Chandrasena (1935)

Chandrasena (1935) was a Marathi film directed by V Shantaram and produced by Prabhat Films. The film is based on Indrajit and the war at Lanka.


Hemanta Kumar Mukhopadhyay also known as Hemanta Mukherjee (June 16, 1920 - September 26, 1989) was an Indian singer, composer and producer. He sang in Hindi films under the name Hemant Kumar. This is his celebration of Valmiki’s Ramayana.

Bhimsen Joshi and Lata Mangeshkar

Shri Ram Jai Ram with Bhimsen Joshi and Lata Mangeshkar

Bangla Ramayana

The Ramayana in Bangla

The Ramayana

The Ramayana cartoon, where Sita's trial by fire is left out and every cloud has a silver lining.

" target="_blank">M S Subbulakshmi sings from the Bala Kantam

M S Subbulakshmi sings from Kamba's Bala Kantam

The Hanuman Chalisa

The Hanuman Chalisa is a 16th century devotional song written by Tulsidas, a poet-saint in the Vaishnava tradition. Written in Awadhi, the poem has 40 verses, whence it get it’s name, the Chalisa. The poem has a simple structure — an opening and closing doha bracketing a series of  –  is extremely popular in northern India and is usually chanted on Tuesdays, Hanuman’s day. Legend has it that Tulsidas went to meet the Moghul Emperor in Delhi., In the royal court, he [...]

Sunte Ho! A review

Sunte Ho! with the Vayu Naidu Storytelling Theater Company, Ruby Sahota and Ansuman Biswas , was performed on February 9 and 10, 2012 at two venues in Pune, with over 100 people in the audience on each day. Continue reading

Meeting the Manganiyars

Map Unavailable Date/Time Date(s) - 19 Mar 2012 until 26 Mar 2012 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM Location Our first research trip in March this year is to Rajasthan to meet the Manganiyars, who have been telling the story of the Ramayana and Mahabharata in their songs for several generations. For centuries, they have survived on the patronage of wealthy merchants and royal families of the region. The Manganiyars, who are Muslim,  live in and around the Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Barmer districts. Their [...]

Heroes & Anti Heroes at Play

Paula Richman's lecture at Central University of Kerala, Kasaragod Continue reading

Githa Hariharan and Ramanujan

Githa Hariharan discusses the multiplicity within cultural spaces as depicted by Ramanujan’s essay which has come under criticism by the right-wing and the Academic Council of Delhi University. Continue reading

Ramayana with Arshia Sattar

Arshia Sattar talks about reading the Ramayana in the 21st century at the Azim Premji University Colloquium Series, in Bangalore on January 12, 2012 Continue reading

The Abduction of Sita

The Abduction of Sita is a dance/music theatre project conceived and directed by Joachim Schloemer. A confluence of western and Indian influences and styles, The Abduction of Sita takes off from the chapter in the Ramayana that speaks of Sita's abduction and goes on to explore abduction as a human experience and a social reality.

Sita Sings the Blues

Two women separated by several centuries find their stories coming together in Nina Paley’s animated comedy-drama. Having moved to India to be with her husband, Paley’s cartoon becomes fascinated with the Ramayana. Meanwhile several centuries earlier Sita the beautiful daughter of King Janaka, Rama’s wife is kidnapped by the evil King Ravana. Sita's story is two visual interpretations at once -- a visually striking abstract version and the other uses a whimsical, cartoony approach [...]