Dhakis tied dhaks to the  waist and played with wooden sticks.

Try Dancing On Dhak, The Beats For Dhunuchi Dance

Dhak beats are an integral part of Durga puja. Those echoing bangs are adequate to produce a mesmerizing effect of the Durga Puja celebrations.

Like all non-Bengali, the grandeur of Durga Puja also fascinates me. Bengalis welcome the stunning Goddess Durga with hymns of "Jai Durga" and ululation. Above all, she sits on a lion with an array of weapons in her hands signifying conquest of good over evil.

The festivity as manifest in the traditional outfit, food, and music, almost doubles the enthusiasm of planning the per day celebrations! The entire city is covered with pandals, tall idols of goddess Durga and stalls filled with different Bengali food.

Household use of dhunuchi

Dhuno has got disinfectant effects. Moreover, people make use of it in daily life too.

Pandal’s attraction

Dhunaachi dance is one of the main attractions of pandals in Kolkata for the reason that it is performed to placate the goddess Durga. Moreover, the dancers use special dhunachi, which are like earthen pots and dance on the beats of the Dhak. Dhak is a musical instrument that is put off from the neck, also tied to the waist and usually played with wooden sticks. The drumming of dhak is the main part of Durga Puja celebrations, festooned with long white or multi-coloured fluffs. Above all, the entire atmosphere whiffs of Shiuli flower, the endorsed flower of West Bengal.

How the dance is performed

A long-handled clay bowl is filled with coconut husk and camphor which is used by the dancers. These bowls, filled with charcoal, are known as Dhunuchi which are balanced by proficient dancers in their hands, forehead or sometimes even on the chin while they perform a dance on the rhythms of Dhak.

The mesmerizing scene

This whole setup is inebriating and will keep your attention fanatical to the performers. One can easily get bewildered as well as tensed to behold the specific thing dropping down on the performers. But, the talented and skilled dancers are so engrossed in their performance that the spectators are driven by awe and admiration. Furthermore, one will embrace the magnanimity of Durga Puja with the collective spirit of varied colours, food, carefree dance with the censer and inexplicable joy of togetherness.

Some interesting facts:

Bollywood also captures the essence of dhunuchi:

The dhunuchi naach has not only become perpetually identical to the festival but also an essential part of the state’s cultural identity. Many are familiar with this dance form due to numerous references in Bollywood films. Bollywood has made bounteous use of illustrations from this festive season to craft foot-tapping songs, notable scenes and stunning visuals hefty with symbolism.

We cannot forget how Sanjay Dutt in the movie Parineeta performs a full-fledged performance of the traditional dhunuchi dance. It was in front of Maa Durga idol to the tune of the effervescent beat of the dhaks. Not only this, but dhunuchi dance is also a part of Navratri celebrations. Bollywood stars also perform this dance. Last year the entire nation was mesmerized when a video of Susmita Sen went viral. The actress performed dhunuchi with her daughters and her guiding gesture is beyond anything.

Durga Puja: A Festival of Reunion.

In conclusion, Durga Puja a time of reunion. So this puja you can show your competency with dhunuchi no matter from which ethos you belong or where you come from.  This puja does try to dance balancing the dhunuchi. Dancing madly and dhaks thumping wildly with the huge murti of maa Durga in the foreground makes for a scene that will engrave incessantly in your memory. Finally, this is the essence of Durga Puja which aims at getting people together.

Author: Swati Pandey