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Delhiwale: Band of brothers

We catch members of a wedding band resting on a dusty pavement. Partially dressed in their velvety red uniforms they look like half maharajas warming up for a show.

delhi Updated: Feb 09, 2018 10:26 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhiwale,Dilliwale,Mahalakshmi Music Band
Members of the Mahalakshmi Music Band near Dyal Singh College.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

One evening, we find ourselves walking on Lodhi Road. Not long after crossing Dyal Singh College, we come across men sitting on the dusty pavement — dressed like military officers, complete with caps and epaulettes. But these aren’t soldiers. They are members of the Mahalakshmi Music Band that performs at weddings.

That explains the drums and bugles scattered around. Since tonight’s assignment is still some time away, the team is stealing moments of rest. Indeed, some are not completely dressed in their uniform yet. Their everyday shirts are tucked into the red trousers of their velvety uniform. It makes them look like half maharajas.

A minute or so later, one of the younger musicians stands up and plays his bugle as if warming up for a show. But no sound comes out. It turns out he is merely playing a prank. Others seem bored. One man continues to sleep, his head resting on a pillow of black boots. Another one, absentmindedly, takes off his cap and replaces it with a metal cymbal.

“Arre, ghoda gadi aa gayi (horse carriage has come),” somebody exclaims. A horse-driven carriage is approaching. All the men stand up and start putting on their jackets and pants over their casuals. The break is over.

Decked with white flowers, the carriage will transport the groom to his bride. Next moment, the Mahalakshmi Band leaves for the wedding venue, a luxury hotel nearby, leaving the pavement as silent as a grave.

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 10:25 IST