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Amidst the excitement of welcoming Lord Ganesha into their homes, Mumbaikars will also be dancing to loud beats of dhols by the innumerable dhol tasha groups of Mumbai. A culture prominently found in Maharashtra’s Pune, has also risen in popularity in Mumbai, especially among the young. The main attraction of these groups, however, is going to be the women playing dhols and displaying great vigour, enthusiasm and style. We spoke to Sheetal Nyalpelly, a woman dhol player of Virar’s Martand Dhol Tasha Pathak (group) who dissects their choice of fashion.
The members of the dhol tasha groups usually have a uniform that involves wearing a white kurta and pants with a layered jacket of their respective group. However, the ladies have gone all out looking absolutely stunning in their Indo-Western attire.
On the day of the miravnuk (performance), women sport a nauvari saree (a nine-yard saree worn by Maharashtrian women on festivals or special occasions,) white sneakers and a 13 kg huge dhol on their waist.
To complete the look, women wear Maharashtrian jewellery like a nath (nose ring), chandrakor (bindi usually studded with coloured stones or diamonds) and gajra (flower garland) that is perfectly fitted to a tightly tied hair bun or braid. Besides these, they also wear bhikbali or jhumkas as earrings.
Women drape nauvari sarees as it is a traditional attire that women during the Maratha rule used to wear. Their choice of wearing sneakers, instead of Kolhapuri chappals or sandals, is to get the right grip while handling the dhol. Since the pressure of the body and the dhol completely falls on the feet, having comfortable footwear helps them perform with ease.