Two schools of Dhaak bol: Dhaka and Faridpur
Did you know there are more than one type of Dhak rhythms and beats, and that they signify different rituals of Maa Durga? During Durga Puja, the Dhaki needs to know his beats perfectly because each ritual demands separate rhythm. Right from the time of Kalparambho on MahaShasthi, the day Goddess Durga arrives on this mortal world with her childrenand Puja begins till Maha Dashami, the concluding day of the festival,when devotees bid a tearful adieu to the Goddess, Dhak forms a vital part of the spiritual and social do. The Purohit who performs various intricate rituals needs to hear the rhythmic beat of the Dhak to move across and sway while chanting Mantras and performing Arati.
The rhythms are specified during Durga Puja days. The Abohoni heralds the coming of the Goddess. During the four-day Puja, the Dhakis play different rhythms. There are two different schools of this Dhaki-bol.The Dhaka form and the Faridpur form. During Boron, when the Goddess and her children are welcomed, a particular rhythm plays. During Chakshu-Daan (heralding the Goddess’ sight), Arati (when the Purohit performs certain rites to please the Goddess) and Bishorjon, rhythms change from slow to drut (fast) taal. During Sandhi Puja or Bali-daan the rhythm reaches a frenzy and the dhakis dance in unison as they play their instrument.
Dhak has been appreciated by traditional musicians and some of the Dhakis have reached a level of stardom for their prowess. Gokul Chandra Das is one of the foremost Dhaki players who hails from a family of traditional Dhakis. Apart from playing the Dhak, Das has been travelling extensively around the globe, performing with renowned musicians and percussionists. Shankar Das is a Kanshi player (another instrument that is played along with the Dhak) and he provides the support to Gokul and the duo forms a talented team.