Thirty three-year-old Esha Rajput, who works with Oracle, Mumbai, rushes residence from work to get right into a nauvari (Maharastrian-style nine-yard sari). She completes the normal look with a nathni (nostril ring), necklace, bangles, jhumkas, a chandrakor tikali (half moon-shaped bindi) and turban. Lastly, she ties the dhol, weighing round 13 to 14 kg, round her slender waist and is all set to hitch the Swargandhar Dhol Tasha Pathak’s performances in pandals throughout Mumbai.
That is the routine Esha and 50 different ladies, who’re a part of the 150-member youth band, comply with by way of the 11 days of Ganesh Utsav. Because the booming beats of the dhol tasha lease the festive air, gender stereotypes are damaged as these ladies carry out together with their male counterparts.
These percussion devices have been historically performed by males and the pathaks (band in Marathi) didn’t enrol ladies.
Initially, the beats of those devices signified victory throughout a struggle. Appaji Pendse of Pune is credited with founding the primary dhol tasha pathak within the early Sixties as a part of Ganesh Utsav celebration. Through the years, many such bands have been fashioned.
The favored Mumbai-based Swargandhar was began by 26-year-old entrepreneur Prasad Pimpale in 2014. “I was concerned about the dilution of the music, and keen to take forward this beautiful tradition in all its authenticity. I realised it could happen only by involving the youth. Our members belong to the 11-35 age group. Community celebrations are a great way to inculcate cultural values among youngsters and make them aware of our rich heritage,” says Pimpale, who led a 30-member workforce final yr to the European Union of Folklore Competition (EAFF) in Spain.
The resonating beats of the dhol make Hemangi Haldankar, who works with Axis Financial institution, really feel empowered. “After I instructed my mother and father about becoming a member of the band, they have been initially sceptical. However, they’re now pleased to see me pursue it with ardour. It’s onerous to place in phrases the enjoyment that I derive by taking part in the dhol. It additionally feels great to don conventional apparel. Fortuitously, you now get pre-stitched nauvaris, making it simpler to put on and transfer round,’’ says Hemangi, who’s trying ahead to Swargandhar’s musical outing throughout Dussehra.
The band follows two observe classes in a yr — January to March to arrange for Gudi Padwa (Maharastrian New Yr) and June to September for Ganesh Chaturthi. “Since most of us are working, and a few finding out, we meet throughout weekends and play for 3 to 4 hours,” says Hemangi.
Although it requires a whole lot of vitality and energy to grasp the beats, Shivani Patil, who’s pursuing a course in German, thinks the dhol tasha has strengthened her bodily and mentally.
“I am excited that we have entered a once male-dominated musical domain and are performing as well as them. But during performances, disparities based on gender, caste or background hardly come into play. The sound of the dhol binds us,” says Shivani.
The members don’t receives a commission for the performances; they do it for the love of music.
“Since I started taking part in the dhol, I really feel extra assured to tackle the world. The rhythm is rejuvenating. I really feel extra ladies ought to take it as much as expertise the enjoyment of music and oneness. When the Ganesh Utsav attracts to a detailed, my favorite chant is Ganpati bappa morya, pudhchya varshi lavkar ya (My Lord Ganesha, return quickly subsequent yr),” laughs Minal Mukesh Shigvan.
Minal Mukesh Shigvan