Hyderabad: Dhakis drum up Durga puja festivities in city

Hyderabad: Dhakis drum up Durga puja festivities in city
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The celebration of Durga Puja is absolutely incomplete without the beats of dhak (drums).

Hyderabad: The celebration of Durga Puja is absolutely incomplete without the beats of dhak (drums). This year once again the rousing beats of dhak at the puja pandals have attracted the attention of devotees. 'Dhakis' (drummers) are specially brought from West Bengal to drum up the ecstatic beats of joy. Many devotees specially come to listen to the drum sounds.

According to the Bengali Durga Puja Committees, the Dhakis, who are the most integral part of the pujas, have to be hired from West Bengal as there are no traditional drummers in the city. The art of playing the huge barrel-shaped membranophone instrument is considered as staple of Durga Puja.

Every puja ritual has a different and unique tune and beat of the dhak right from the arrival of the idols till their immersion. It is played when the idol enters the pandal and even when the goddess exits on the last day of puja, Dashami (Dasara). On the tenth day, the melodious beats of the dhak help to uplift the air of sadness and gloom during the vermilion ritual (sindur khela) and ultimately, the immersion. In West Bengal, the drummers hardly earn during puja; they earn Rs 5,000 a day here.

Mithun Sabdakar, a drummer from Cooch Behar (WB), who has been playing drums for the past 10 years in the city, said "I and my team look forward to this occasion every year, as we get the opportunity to visit Hyderabad and showcase our talent. Only during the Durga Puja and Kali Puja can we showcase our talent and earn money. Rest of the months we are forced to do some odd jobs. For the past ten years, I have been coming to Hyderabad and playing drums at the Hyderabad Bangalee Samity (HBS) which hosts the oldest puja in the city."

"I and my team consist of 10 traditional drummers who love to come to the city every year during the puja. We feel the atmosphere here is like our home town. For the past 15 years, I have been coming to the city along with my team to play the dhak. While playing drums I get pleasant happiness. Apart from Hyderabad, I have played drums in Nagaland, Mumbai and Jaipur," said Duldal Das, the drummer from Murshidabad (WB), who has been a drummer for the past 15 years in Bangiya Sanskritik Sangha, Keyes High school, Secunderabad.

"Compared to West Bengal, over here the Dhakis receive respect. They are paid well. Only in this puja months we can earn. Rest of the year we do odd jobs to run our family," said Nando Das, another drummer from Murshidabad. "Apart from Bhog and cultural programmes, no Durga puja is complete without dhaki. Every year we specially come to puja pandals, to listen to Dhaki beat, as there are mesmerising," said Ramesh Kundu, IT employee.

"Every we wait for Durga puja, specially on Dashami, as I love to see drummers perform, as their style is unique," said Anu Das, home-maker.

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