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THE MELODIOUS SOUND OF TABLAS AND DHOLAKS – WEEKEND FEATURE

tablaDrums, dholaks, tablas, dholki… call it what you may but the sound that emits from these musical instruments is memorable. Their music is an integral part of most festivals and joyous celebrations times are changing, they continue to be of those somethings that never go out of style. Just one hit and you wonder, whether that deep, magical sound filling the room really came from your fingers. That’s the sound that a table can make. The tabla is an Indian percussuion instrument which dates back to the times of Persian Muslims. Actually tabla forms a major instrument in Indian music. The tabla comprises of two drums and that could be the possible reason it is also known as the Indian Drums. The drum that is kept on the right hand side is called the dayan. Dayan a smaller drum is made from a solid piece of hardwood. The left hand drum is made from metal which is called the bayan. The smaller ones have a softer beats and the other with a much sharper beat. The skin of the drum shells is fabricated from goat. The drum also bears a think black disc, which is known as shiai. This is the most important part of the tabla which allows the emanation of sounds. For fine tuning, the braided part of the tabla is thumped by hammers. The business of the dholak industry while may not be found much in Navi Mumbai, the Punekars are the oldest in Panvel, their business was started 60 years ago at Mominpada in Panvel, These establishments some dating back to 1949 are a family-run business. Third and fourth generations of the founders are now continuing the trade. While all round the year the business is down, it is during the Ganpati festival that business picks up when people come looking for these musical instruments or want to have their old one repaired and tuned. In fact, Ganesh is the only busy time for them during the year. Since during the rainy season there are chances of the leather dampening, preparations for making the dhol begin early in the year. The instruments are made from the wood of the limba tree while the covering is pure goat leather that comes from Sholapur. It takes a minimum of eight hours to completely make the table. What’s unique is that a peculiar black stone is used to being shine to the black spot of the table. The stone is not easily found but only in the depth of the sea and for the Punekars it has been with them for decades. With the changing times, the classical tabla has been taken over by doldrums and modern orchestra drums. But the Indian spirit of the tabla music is felt so much that garbage bins sometimes are found for making that beat. And someone who has excelled in this is Tabla maestro Taufiq Qureshi. And as the Punekars say, modern drums might be in, but the satisfaction to the soul is found in the original drums only. Sana Warsia – NMTV News.

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