Some of you may know about Ganesh festival. It is celebrated in India as well as outside of India.
It started in Pune. Many people visit Pune during this festival. Pune city is especially famous for procession. In the grand procession, there are lots of activities performed by different pathakas (teams) like Dhol- Tasha (musical instruments) team, Lezim (musical instrument) teams, dhwaj (Flag) team, Sword fighting teams, elephant procession, women & children dress in traditional attire and sit on horse during procession.
When I saw the procession for the first time in Pune, I was so surprised and excited. As I had never seen this kind of procession in my life. At that time a thought came in my mind that I should participate in it. But I did not know anything about it like who can participate in it, what is the procedure, are there any criteria? Fortunately I came to know one of my friends is a part of one team “Yuva Pathak” (Dhol-Tasha Team). I asked her lot of questions and she calmly said to me there are no any criteria. You just go and join that team. I was very happy.
Practice started 2 months before the festival. On the first day, I went at the place of the practice. There were 3 teams performing so I was confused & enrolled my name in one team. After that I started searching my friend. But I couldn’t find her. I called her on mobile & told I enrolled my name in the team. She laughed & told me that you enrolled your name in different team. Then I cancelled my name from that team and registered in “Yuva Team”. It was the first day of practice so the old team performed as they performed in the procession. And new joiners like me were told to watch the performance. I observed that performance and realized that there participants were of all generations.
On the 2nd day, new joiner started practicing. One girl helped me to tie that big drum (Dhol) to my waist and suddenly thought came in my mind.. OMG! how can I carry this heavy drum in the procession. But after that I concentrated on what the leaders were teaching. I was so confused. I didn’t understand when to beat the drum and when to stop. I was so tired. My waist, thighs and hand were swollen that night. I remembered even though I didn’t eat anything and I slept. That night was very painful for me.
Then every day we practiced a lot. Gradually we got tuned up with it. Now there was no confusion. Also we practiced how to walk in the procession with that big drum. We performed on 1st, 3rd, 5th & 7th day during festival. But the main attraction is last day procession.
On the last day, we gathered in one school and got ready. The whole team was prepared for the procession of one of the famous Ganpati in Pune (Tulshibaug Ganpati). It started at 1pm from Abhinav Chowk, Laxmi road. We tied our respected instruments. I was so excited. Roads were overcrowded. All were in enthusiastic mood. On our first beat, what a kind of response we got from public! OMG! So you know it created more energy within us and we performed it very happily. Crowd was cheering us, clicking our images and shooting videos. It was an outstanding experience in my life.
While playing drum, I was so involved into it. I forgot all my worries & tensions. I was enjoying each & every moment.
I learned lots of thing during those days. I realized that I have lots of physical strength. I am a good team player as well as I got confidence that if I dream something and chase my dream, I could make it happen.
Thanks to Yuva pathak for giving me such a nice opportunity.