Nagpur has been celebrating Ganapati festival on the beats of dhol tashe pathaks for past ten days. The irresistible charm and infectious energy of these wadaks (dhol players) have surely become an intrinsic part of not only the festive celebrations but also of the wedding celebrations etc. After Nation Next captured Shiv Pratishtha’s performance at Ganesh Tekdi during the Ganapati festival, we spoke with the members of this famous dhol tasha pathak of Nagpur about what inspires this group of students and professionals to play drums during the celebrations.
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“We don’t perform for people who spread hooliganism and create ruckus on the streets in the name of celebrations. We can’t entertain people, who misbehave under the influence of alcohol during festivities, so we make sure that during our performances, people maintain the decorum and decency around us,” said Swapnil Murtey, leader of Shiv Pratishta, which emerged as Nagpur’s favourite during this Ganapati festival.
Two childhood friends Pankaj Pande and Swapnil Murtey started this dhol tasha pathak group in March 2013 in Nagpur. The group ropes in its members on the basis of their passion, personality and their body language. Shiv Pratishtha group, which claims to have 75 members in its group, has zealous students, doctors, lawyers, etc, as its members. The major reason behind starting this group, says one of the group members, “was to preserve and maintain our culture during festivals as it was somehow getting polluted due to loud music in sandals and DJs.”
This group has 55 dhols, 14 tashe, four jhaanj (hand cymbals), five shankhs (conch shells), a gong and a dafli (hand drum). These dhol and tashe weigh around 15 kg each and 7 kg each, respectively. Some of their signature performances of the group are on Shivstuti, Kallol taal and Paramparik taal.
Photojournalist: Kartik Thakur