Breaking Barriers: Female Dhol Players Sway Mumbai With Their Beats
What’s Mumbai’s favourite festival if it isn’t welcomed, and bid farewell to, by beats of the ‘dhol’?
Like the sweet ‘modak’ and celebratory processions, Dhol Tasha Pathak groups—or traditional drummer groups—have always been an essential feature when celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra. Over the years, such groups have replaced loudspeaker systems playing devotional and film music, with even women dhol players beginning to make a mark.
The six-year-old Morya Dhol Tasha Pathak in Mumbai is one such group, comprising around 150 performers—32 of which are women.
The group’s founder, Nilesh Chalke, a professional dhol player, tells BloombergQuint that these women are of different ages and pursue various professions, yet are united by their passion for the dhol. They juggle their personal and professional commitments to train and perform.
BloombergQuint spoke to three women from the group—Bhumi Ingle, a homemaker and mother; Devisha Mhatre an eleventh-grade student; and Natasha Banglekar, who works for a private bank.
These women are breaking stereotypes, driven by passion and their devotion to Lord Ganesha. The gratification of playing the dhol is their only remuneration.
Watch their stories: