Pune: Manini Dhol Tasha group, which has the distinction of being the only all-women group in Pune, is gearing up for the forthcoming Ganesh festival, which starts from August 25.
The group, founded in 2011, has women in the age group of 18-60 years. It comes under the Smita Suhas Trust which runs three organisations including Manini Activity Group for women and Mamta Day Care Centre on Sinhagad Road.
The Manini Dhol Tasha Pathak was started in 2011 with only 10 to 12 members. The first show was at Grahak Peth in Tilak Road, where only basic tunes were played and they received a huge response from the audience.
Smita Indapurkar, leader of the group, said, “Basically, women in the age group of 35-40 go through menopause and hence, they face difficulties in this phase. As there were 10-12 women in the group, the stress and problems vanished as they used to play dhol vigorously.”
After two years, Indapurkar started taking young girls in the group as the ladies use to leave the group rotationally. Now, there are young girls who are joining the group from the age of 18.
“Dhol Tasha being a men’s forte, it took us a long time to get used to it. Last year, two young boys joined the group and through them, we discovered new tunes and ideas to play Dhol Tasha creatively,” Smita said
Prathamesh Hendre, group member of Manini Dhol Tasha Pathak, said, “Me and my friend Akshay Dixit joined the group last year. We knew to play Dhol as we were practicing it from last many years. We saw Smita taking a lot of effort to teach women so we became a helping hand and new tunes and new way of presentations were evoked.”
Shweta Indapurkar, another member from the pathak, said, “Anything and everything is possible if one has the heart to do it. We have heart and courage to play these Dhols and Tasha. Along with it, the person playing should maintain the position and it is very difficult to stand in the same position carrying the heavy Dhol. But once the technique is known, it is very easy to play.”