Chembur resident Parag Vivalkar, 23, has been practising the dhol and other traditional instruments along with 49 other members of his group Sudhir Nashik Dhol that is hired to perform during festivals across the state.
From October 16, when Navratri begins, the group will perform at several mandals in the city with an array of over 60 instruments such as dhols, tashas and bells.
“We perform for festivals and occasionally lend our instruments for film shoots,” said Vivalkar, who joined the group in 2006. “Traditional instruments mark the true spirit of a festival rather than disc jockeys (DJs) or orchestras,” he said.
Traditional instruments seem to be the flavour of the season this Navratri, and with housing societies allowed to use these instruments till midnight, several residents plan to opt for them this year.
For the 80 Gujarati residents of Visovani Cooperative Housing Society, Goregaon, the 10pm restriction has meant that no professional band was hired expect for two days when they were allowed to play till midnight.
“Since most of us reach home only by nine, we don’t see the feasibility in hiring a band every day just for an hour,” said secretary Mayur Shah. The residents have been making use of a music player since the past few years. “Since we have the benefit of using traditional instruments till midnight this year, we will use it to our advantage,” added Shah.
For some Navratri organisers such as the Kandivli Navdurga Mahotsav Samiti, using traditional instruments is a matter of pride. “While most mandals in the city have moved on to DJs and orchestras, we use only traditional instruments,” said Nilesh Mehta, a committee member, who has been organising the dandiya raas at SV Road in Kandivli since the past 83 years.