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Six women ‘dhakis’ or drummers from Kolkata of West Bengal have been performing at Titaguri Bhawanipur puja pandal in Assam’s Kokrajhar district
Six women ‘dhakis’ or drummers from Kolkata of West Bengal have been performing at Titaguri Bhawanipur puja pandal in Assam’s Kokrajhar district|EastMojo image
ASSAM

Assam: How women ‘dhakis’ are adding new sight to an old tradition

6 women from Kolkata are breaking the glass ceiling by playing ‘dhaks’ or drums -- traditionally considered a male bastion -- during Durga Puja in Kokrajhar, and they are winning hearts 

Hantigiri Narzary

Kokrajhar: The playing of 'dhaks' or drums is a significant part of Durga Puja -- as much as the 'dhunuchi naach' -- but these are traditionally considered to be a male bastion.

So, it's a pleasant sight to see six women from Kolkata in West Bengal come to Assam's Kokrajhar district to play the 'dhak', much to the local residents' delight.

On Maha Saptami, these women 'dhakis' attracted devotees in hordes in the Titaguri Bhawanipur puja pandal in Kokrajhar on Saturday.

The women's 'dhaki' team has been led by Tapashi Biswas, who said that this was their first visit to Assam. "Two women dhaki teams are performing in the state; one is in Kokrajhar and the other in Silchar of Cachar district," she said.

Biswas informed that she and her team members started practising to play the 'dhaki' about two years ago.

"We are very happy to have arrived in Kokrajhar where a large number visitors are visiting at the puja pandals," said Biswas.

To observe its platinum jubilee, the Titaguri Bhawanipur puja committee in Assam’s Kokrajhar district has decorated the pandal with a diamond statue of goddess Durga, which was made by Prasant Paul of Kumartuli of Kolkata
To observe its platinum jubilee, the Titaguri Bhawanipur puja committee in Assam’s Kokrajhar district has decorated the pandal with a diamond statue of goddess Durga, which was made by Prasant Paul of Kumartuli of Kolkata
EastMojo image

Incidentally, Titaguri Bhawanipur puja pandal is marking its 75th glorious year in celebrating Durga Puja. To observe its platinum jubilee, the puja committee has decorated the pandal with a diamond statue of goddess Durga, which was made by Prasant Paul of Kumartuli of Kolkata. The aristes for the pandal and the other artistes, too, were invited from from Kolkata, said a puja committee member.

The mandap has been decorated at a cost of nearly Rs 50 lakh, said Champak Dey, an organiser.

Meanwhile, attractive puja pandals have made a mark across Kokrajhar district of Assam. According to a rough count, 210 puja pandals have been erected in the entire district.

A Chandrayaan-themed pandal has been erected at Jahnabi Club at Gournagar near Circuit House in Kokrajhar. The art and design were created by Karthik Bhattacharyya of Kokrajhar.

A Chandrayaan-themed pandal has been erected at Jahnabi Club at Gournagar near Circuit House in Kokrajhar
A Chandrayaan-themed pandal has been erected at Jahnabi Club at Gournagar near Circuit House in Kokrajhar
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Meanwhile, the district administration has been keeping a close watch on the pandals to have a smooth and peaceful celebration.

"Each and every puja celebration committee has been instructed to maintain peaceful environment with necessary installation of CCTVs at the pandals," said Kokrajhar deputy commissioner Partha Pratim Majumdar.

Majumdar added that necessary security vigil and arrangements were made in the entire district to maintain healthy and peaceful puja celebrations.

Meanwhile, a marathon race competition was carried out to create awareness on anti-social activities like crimes on women in connection with Durga Puja celebration at Salakati in Kokrajhar district on Saturday.

Hundreds of participants from different places from greater Salakati area participated in the marathon race which was started from Station Road, Salakati and concluded at the same point after covering a distance of 8 km.

Former BTC executive member Derhasat Basumatary and social activist Durga Hasda flagged off the marathon race. The spot holders in the race were awarded cash money and prizes from the organising committee.

Basumatary said that the race was organised to create awareness and building up a healthy society in the region. He urged upon society not to belief in rumours and maintain harmony among all sections of the masses.