For the last nine years, they have left city residents mesmerised with their art form during the Durga Puja. Carrying huge barrel-shaped drums hung over their necks with two thin sticks, they captivate people with their maddening beats.
Dhakis are traditional drummers who play the dhak (drum) during the Durga puja.
Babul Das, Kali Das and Bhudadeb Das play drums at the puja pandal in South City. "We play the dhak for the Mother," said Babul (32). They are paid R17,000 for the four-day event.
Dhaki is an integral part of Anjali, Aarti, Dhunachi (forms of puja) during the festivities.
Farmers by profession, the trio acquired the art form as an ancestral inheritance. "My father taught me how to play the drum when I was 20 years old," said Kali, 52.
The trio can play the drums for hours together. "I can play the drum for five hours without any break. My arms don't hurt. This is my prayer to the Goddess," he added.
Bhudadeb, who is also a dhaki, plays the Kasi - a metal plate and rod - which acts like seconds to the rhythm of the large drums.
And, for the rest of the year, they rely upon farming for a living. "Farming is our main source of livelihood," said Babul.
Ramlila artists from UP enthrall
The Ramlila being staged at the Dakshin Marg ground has turned up to be a great crowd-puller. A team of 80 artists, including 25 women, from Muradabad (UP), enthrall the audience with their performances. This is the fourth consecutive year that these artists are performing at the ground, which has a capacity of 12,000 people. "The Ramlila has been organised for DLF residents," said Ramesh Rastogi, a committee member.
The Ramlila's expenditure of R25 lakh is incurred by builders, realtors, residents and committee members, he said.