Dhak and dhol in great demand
As Durga Puja draws near, Narayan Chandra Das, an expert in making dhak (big drums) and dhol (smaller drums) has his hands full. When this correspondent met him at his shop on Kalibari Road in the town he was hard at work trying to meet orders from in and outside the district.
So far he has received orders for 20 dhak and 25 dhol. Orders have also poured in from Jamalpur, Sherpur, Tangail, Kishoreganj and Netrokona districts, says the 65-year-old Narayan, who stepped into this profession at a very early age.
“The volume of orders is higher than previous years and this is true of every year as we have to keep pace with the increasing number of puja mandap (venues where public celebrations are held),” said an elated Narayan.
Narayan's son Suvash Das told this correspondent that the profits are higher than previous years as well, and the family hopes business will pick up further. As the price of animal hide, bamboo and jute, required to make these percussion instruments have increased, the sale prices of the finished products have also increased, he said.
But Suvash also lamented that since making musical instruments is less profitable than many other professions, workers are fewer. “If there were more workers, we would have taken more orders and earned higher profits,” he added.
Sadhan Das, a worker from Gheur, under Manikganj district, told this correspondent that he usually earns Taka 3,000 per month excluding all his expenditure. “I took up this profession following in the footsteps of my forefathers and I enjoy it,” he said.
Naresh Das, from Madhupur in Tangail, who supplies dhak and dhol to shops in Mymensingh and Tangail, pointed out that he is very busy on occasions like Durga Puja, Kali Puja and Pahela Baishakh.
“As dhak and dhol are inseparable parts of festivals like Durga and Kali Puja, the demand for craftsmen in this profession will continue,” Biplob Kumar Dev, a trader at Aampatati in the town, said. However, the concerned authorities should support the people involved in this profession so that they can eke out a reasonable living, he said.