Drummers set festival rhythm - Dhaki contest adds to Aambagan Durga Puja attraction

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By PINAKI MAJUMDAR in Jamshedpur
  • Published 13.10.02

Jamshedpur, Oct. 13: It was a contest to beat your own drum, literally. The prize money was meagre but that did not deter the dhakis who had gathered at Aambagan ground today to be named the best drummer in town.

The competition arranged by Jamshedpur Sarbojanin Puja Committee, which organises the Durga Puja at Aambagan ground, proved to be a big hit this evening. As the drumbeats reached a crescendo, puja revellers on a pandal-hopping spree were drawn to the ground here. And the numbers kept swelling.

Organised for the first time in memory of Late Kanailal Singh, an active member of the club, the dhaki contest added to the attraction of the grand mela at Aambagan ground. Singh, who had also made his mark in social service, had died in July this year.

Dressed in colourful clothes (mostly in a red and yellow combination), the dhakis mesmerised the crowd with their pulsating performance. They turned and swayed as they played the instrument. The beats drew the old and the young, who stood around the participants during the hour-long contest. The organisers said this contest was the first of its kind in the steel city.

“It was indeed a unique contest which I would never forget in my life. Usually, I spent the festival with my relatives in Calcutta but this year I chose to stay back. I have not come across such a contest before,” said Bhibhuti Bhushan Das, a student.

During the allotted 10 minutes, each participating team tried to put up their best performance. There were five judges to select the winner and two runners-up teams.

Altogether six dhaki teams from Sidhgora, Baridih, Bagun Nagar, Sonari and Sakchi areas had participated in the contest. “We had invited many more teams but they did not turn up,” said Robin Banerjee, assistant secretary of Jamshedpur Sarbojanin Puja Committee.

“We look forward to organising the contest every year with more number of participants,” he added.

According to him, the winner of the contest would be presented with the Kanailal Singh Memorial trophy and a cash prize of Rs 300. The second and the third runners-up teams would also be presented with trophies and a cash award of Rs 200 and Rs 100 respectively.