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The drummer boys of Dhargal

The drummer boys of Dhargal

13 August 2017 No comment

The popular leisure time routine of most unambitious youth in Dhargal village typically revolved around doing absolutely nothing after class hours or engaging in unproductive activities, which saw them draw only frowns and curses from the elders in the community.

This changed in the monsoon of 2010 when a group of 15 dynamic youth from the village decided to adopt Goa's famed percussion instrument -- the ghumat and galvanize youngsters to join their musical movement.

"Realizing that there is no ghumat aarti troupe in Pernem, or for that matter, any social group in Dhargal, we decided to put in our efforts, with the blessings of Lord Ganesha, and formed the Heramb Art and Culture Club. The goal was to empower the youth of our village through music, but we managed to inspire the entire taluka. Today, Herambians have members from neighbouring villages of Colvale, Hansapur and Parcem," says co-founder, Subhash Kamalkar, an assistant professor at DMC, Mapusa.

Kamalkar, whose father was a professional tabla player but discouraged him from pursuing music for better prospects in academics, admits that many youth in the taluka were being tempted to indulge in drugs and alcohol and had no direction in life.
He says, "These youngsters now find their way to the temples and engage themselves in an art form that has changed their social lives, their personalities and also gained back the respect of the community".

This positive distraction has helped the 25-member strong team to explore their creative side and develop their hidden talent for music and singing. The intimate passion and genuine interests that the Herambians share for this art form have propelled them to achieve laurels in various competitions across the state since 2014.

"Yes, these awards motivate us, but beyond the competitions, we have consciously worked hard for the art form to be appreciated and the instrument's identity as of being affiliated only to Goa be recognized," says Aniket Halbe, co-founder of the Herambians, whose rise has inspired the formation of four more professional ghumat aarti groups in Pernem taluka.

In 2014, when they were preparing for their first-ever competition, they practised eight hours a day for eight months and this devotion to the art form has reflected in their tremendous growth in just three years since bursting onto the stage.

Over 300 prizes, including 26 first places, is no mean feat and the Herambians ascendance has captured eyeballs of everyone in the ghumat aarti music circle. Their first-ever composition was called 'Dhareshwar', based on local deity in Dhargal, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Their second, 'Bhagawati', was a devotional tribute to the presiding deity of Pernem.

The Herambians have performed both of the above and dozens of other compositions written by respected musician and composer Sooraj Pinge. "The Herambians are flexible with their styles of dramatically and harmonically emoting the compositions. With them, there is scope for experimentation," says Pinge.

Herambians are popular among jurists and competitors for their dedication of doing justice to every emotion, subtle or strong, as witnessed in their performance of 'Shantadurga'. Their performance of 'Chakra Dhari' this year highlighted their understanding of the classical style, portraying the ten incarnations of lord Vishnu.

"It's earth's music. I connected to its rhythm instantly despite having no formal music education. It evokes an indescribable feeling. I need no EDM to feel the trance, I have the ghumat," says Kamalkar.

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Source: The drummer boys of Dhargal

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