Some childhood memories never fade. I was then 4 years old. Every year during Navratri, Ramleela was played in the community ground. Two brothers — Suraj Kaushal and Pavan Kaushal, then about 18 and 16 years of age, used to play the roles of Ram and Laxman every year. Their selection was obvious, because they were very good looking, handsome, of appropriate age (which ensured their presence on stage for another 5-6 years), and of course, because they were real brothers, so had similarity in facial features. They were widely admired and very popular.
Once Pavan Kaushal, i.e., Laxman, was kidnapped. One thought such things happen only in movies. It was a big story — presumably using some pretext the kidnappers made him unconscious and took him to a distant hill station in a car. But they were not aware that Pavan was a NCC cadet. Before they could demand ransom, he used several tricks like opening knots, crawling, climbing — that he had learned in NCC training — to run away from the hostage place. He returned safely after couple of days on his own, on foot. It was high drama.
He was made a local hero, awards poured from school authorities, NCC, and of course, Ramleela committee. Juniors and classmates used to listen in awe to his narration of the adventure for several months, till the time he passed the college and left the city in pursuit of his career. Several more students were thus motivated to join the NCC.
Time moved on, Suraj passed out of the school and college, and Pavan was promoted to play the role of . . . Sita . . .