Lohri sans dhol: Less demand for dholwallahs amid pandemic
Nothing beats dancing to the beats of dhol around bonfire, when it’s the festival of Lohri. But dholwallahs in Delhi-NCR cry foul that gone are the days when dhol was an essential party fix! Due to the pandemic, their livelihood is facing challenges, and even for Lohri they haven’t got many bookings since people have limited the size of gatherings, as well as many are avoiding to spend extra due to financial crunch.
No bookings for Lohri
From 10 functions per day to no function at all, dholwallah Rajesh Bhatt, from Karol Bagh, who has a team of 200, is in a fix. He says, “We don’t have any bookings for Lohri as of now. We even have a Punjabi Bhangra team for Lohri. But no takers. We’re hoping to get work in April-May-June. Kuch February 16 ke din bhi bahut heavy hain. Hamare paas New Year ki kaafi bookings hoti thi. Earlier we had performances in Delhi, and even out of country. Kuch curfew ke chakkar kuch Corona ki wajah se cancel ho gaye hai. Aaj ki date mein hamare paas ek bhi kaam nahin hai.”
Spending capacity curtailed
They have shelved the prices, too, because of no to abysmal work. Delhi-based Sanjay, another dhol wallah, shares: “Corona ki wajah se bahut down ho gaya hain kaam. We don’t even have enquiries for Lohri this time around. We used have over five performances line up earlier. 50 ki gathering mein log kharcha nahin karna chah rahe hai. People don’t want to spend extra. Discount dena pad raha hain because of no work. Kaam market mein kisi ke paas nahin hai. We are bound to give discounts,” he says.
Small gatherings, no dhol
Echoing similar sentiments, Sajan Rana, from Sector-5 Gurugram, says: “Lohri pe koi kaam nahin hai. Shaadiyan bhi nahin ho rahi iss samey. Paise bhi nahin dete ache se log. 16 februray ko saya bhaari hain, but ek hi din ka kaam hai. It’s all because of Corona. Gathering hi nahin. Pehe 500 logon ki gathering mein people didn’t bother spending extra money. Ab unka ek lakh mein kaam ho raha hai.”
Author Tweets @Nainaarora8
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