Hyderabad: The changing times and practices are now sounding a death knell for the ‘dholak’ making tradition in the city. Most of the ‘dholak makers’ are natives of Uttar Pradesh settled at Chandrayangutta in the city several years ago and eke out a living by making and selling the traditional musical instrument of various sizes.
The demand for dholak used to go high during the Vinayaka Chaturthi festivities as many of the pandal organisers would acquire them. “In the evenings, the devotees would sit around and sing the traditional religious song with one of the participants playing the drums to synchronise with the vocals. Now we don’t find the practice anymore and people instead are using music systems. This has resulted in there literally being no demand for this traditional musical instrument,” said Mohd Jabbar, a dholak maker at Chandrayangutta.
Around 50 families stay at Chandrayangutta and all of them are into the dholak making vocation. These families complain that the Covid-19 pandemic and successive lockdowns since last year, have impacted their earning drastically. “Thankfully we survived on the donations made by the people in form of ration. Now the life is slowly returning to normalcy after lockdowns but still there are no proper earnings,” said Mohd Sajid who is into the vocation for last one decade.
It takes around three hours to make a dholak and it is priced anywhere between Rs 250 and Rs 700. “The cost depends on the material used for making it. The demand however usually is for the ones priced below Rs 500,” he added.
After completing the process of making the instrument, they move into the market in search of buyers. “The sales are not encouraging, we are able to sell only one or two and that too after convincing the buyers who bargain a lot,” explained Mohd Taj, who along with his brother Mohd Imdad, makes and sells the dholak.
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