While walking around many a road in Chowhatta and Kadamtali areas of Sylhet city these days, passers-by are greeted with a rhythmic sound. This melodic and cacophonous sound -- coexisting harmoniously -- is due to the workers making and repairing musical instruments, which are in great demand as part of the celebration of Durga Puja.
With the puja only a few weeks away, the makers of these instruments -- dhol, dhak (big drum), mridanga (a two-faced drum played with hands), khol, dholok, dugi, khamok, naal, tabla and khonjori -- are busy trying to meet their orders.
The biggest religious festival of the Bangalee Hindu community will be celebrated across the country from October 4 to October 8.
Percussion instruments including dhak and dhol are an integral part of Durga Puja, Sree Prakash Babu, a maker at Humayun Rashid Chattar in Kadamtali, told this correspondent yesterday. He said they are working 15 to 16 hours a day to meet the demand.
The instrument makers are selling various types of dhak and dhol for around Tk 4,000 to Tk 20,000 each; mridanga for Tk 2,100 to Tk 5,000; and tabla for Tk 6000 to Tk 12,000.
Besides, kirtan (devotional songs) performers or kirtaniyas, who perform at different temples during the puja, are thronging the workshops to repair their old and damaged instruments. The repair work starts from Tk 1,000.
Artisan Suchandan Hrishi of Chowhatta area said he had to hire extra help to meet the demand. “At present, we’re working till midnight. We’ll get extremely busy a week before the celebration.”
Many were also seen swarming the area, looking for a percussion instrument. They said the atmosphere is vibrant with people walking around the market and the rhythmic sound coming from the shops.