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Bindi Bottoms
Apurja Dande Advocate, Pune

"The adrenaline rush of playing the dhol is so addictive that one doesn’t feel the exhaustion. You just want to keep playing. I have been watching a dhol-tasha group perform for two years. This year, I joined them as a participant. I didn’t do anything else these past months but play dhol.

I practised four to five hours daily for months. It is required because the dhol weighs 10 to 12 kilos and one needs practise to carry it for long hours. Sometimes if the group decides to play at another location, one has to carry it on one’s back. On the days of the performance, we perform in slots of two to three hours at many places. There were days when I would come home with bruised or swollen palms and fingers. Even though it was very gruelling, I wasn’t daunted. I told myself, however long the distance, I have to carry this dhol and play it. I decided to not give up.

It takes a lot of energy to play the dhol loudly and consistently, but that’s the beauty of the dhol. It needs to capture the imagination of everyone around for kilometres. I believe that I found the energy to perform because I could connect with the rhythm we played. Listening to the sound of the dhol was like meditation for me.

I want to play my dhol on the roads of Pune next year too. The bonus is that I get to meet people of all ages and from all walks of life, who come together to play music. ”


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