On Ashtami Jayanta Pramanik, our Mandap secretary, came and said: “Can we send our dhakis to a competition?”
The question was sudden and I could not understand what exactly he wanted to say. “Competition? Whose competition?. Where and why?,” I asked.
Jayanta looked at me for a minute and probably realized that his question has put me in a quandary. A smile floated at his face and he clarified that Kali Bari in Ghasiyari Mandi, Lucknow was organizing a competition for dhakis. They have invited dhakis from all the puja pandals and our Dhakis should take part in that competition.
I was still not sure whether I should say yes or no. I looked around and saw other members looking at me. I threw the question at them and all of them said: Why not?
So – we decided that dhakis should go to completion. Shushanto, Pobitro and Robi agreed to take part in that competition. Our Bhatta Bhaiya (P.K. Bhattacharya) agree to take them there. By evening the news broke that Shushanto came first in solo competition in which dhakis across Lucknow took part. While Bondhu Mahal, Lucknow was adjudged third in team competition.
Bravo! Dhakis really did Bondhu Mahal pride.
Bondhu Mahal Durga Puja Committee President R G Pramanik honored all the three with cash prizes.
For those who are not familiar with dhak and dhakis – here is small history.
Dhakis (Bengali: ঢাকি) are traditional drummers who play the dhak (drum) during Hindu festivals, primarily in Bengal. Drum beats are an integral part of the five-day-long annual festivities associated with Durga Puja. Dhakis perform mostly in pandals of barowari pujas, starting from Vishwakarma Puja till Kali Puja.