Kendrapara, October 21 ( Odisha.in ) Thanks to the decision of the authorities to implement the Apex Court’s order regarding not to allow sound amplifiers , loud speakers above the ambient noise standards of 75 decibel limit during the Dusheera and Laxmi puja in Kendrapada district.
To hnour the decision of the authorities, many puja committees decided to use the age-old traditional musical instruments like Dhola(Drum), Conch, Mrudanga, Sehenai and other instruments.
“This puja has led to a fresh hope for the people who used to eke out their livings two decades back, by enchanting the hearts of the people giving soothing music through their traditional musical instruments. The court’s decision has influenced Puja organizers to restore this traditional form which has been an integral parts of state’s festivals”, said Tukan Sahoo the president of Mavaveer Puja committee in Kendrapada.
The Dhola(drum) , arguably, is one of the essential ingredients for invoking the Goddesses since time immemorial. This has also been a traditional art form to express obeisance to and propitiate the Goddesses. But, since ,last two decades, many puja committees displayed their apathy towards the age-old musical instruments.
“Since 1980s, loudspeakers replaced dhola and other ancient musical instruments , blaring out contemporary Hindi and Oriya songs. The reverence and pride of many people were lost in the milieu of pop, rap, rock and double meaning obscene songs.
Since , last five years, many band parties hired some street singers to sing songs in the band parties during the procession of the Goddesses. This was the last nail in the coffins of the traditional musical instruments”, said Saroj Das a teacher of Kendrapada.
“Many Dhola musicians (drummers) are basically farmers and beat the drums on occasion which comes as extra income. They cannot do without this income as their ploughing season is restricted”, said Madan Jena a drummer of Gandakhia village in Kendrapada district.
” Many drummers left their occupations since long after the arrival of stereos and loudspeakers. But, this year many puja committees booked us after paying advance amount thanks to the decision of the court not to use noisy music”, said Ratnakar Jena another drummer of village Gandakhia.
Pradeep Mallick a Sehenai musician of Garapur village outskirts of Kendrapada town has been eking out his livings by selling betel-leaves in Kendrapada since more than a decade as no body sought his service in any festivals . But, this Puja brought joy for him as three puja committees sought his help to play Sehenai.
” I polished my Sehenai last week to play it in the Puja. At last , the people preferred the age old musical instrument”, said Pradeep Mallick.
“We may not earn much but there is again a demand for dholas, conch, sehenai and other traditional instruments in the puja pandals . However, there is not much money in it. We need more money to purchase raw materials for the instruments so that we can continue with the tradition”, said Aswani Jena a drummer of Duitial.
“We have directed all the puja committees of the district not to exceed the 75 decibel limit sound in the puja till midnight for which many committees rushed towards traditional musicians”, said Santun Dash Officer-in-Charge of Kendrapada police station.