2 comments on “Percussion Discoveries: Kathak Bols Can Be Great Just for Listening, and I Have Finally Found a Queen of the Dholak!

  1. Half a month after I wrote this post, it was pointed out to me during a Facebook discussion that we caught a glimpse of a certain young actress playing the dholak (at least on screen) in a very famous Indian film song some six years before the release of the film Dholak. (So the idea of female dholak players existed in Indian films going way back! ) I was reminded of this song – and the fact that a certain girl was shown playing the dholak in it – by Sidharth Bhatia (who is a founder/editor of Thewire.in). (Actually, I had known about this actress’s presence in this song, and her role as a dholak player is pointed out in comments below the YouTube video. But Sidharth was the one who brought this to at least a few people’s attention on Facebook.)

    The song is the pioneering qawwali “Aahen Na Bharin” in the famous Noor Jehan starrer Zeenat (1945), and the little girl shown playing the dholak in this scene was Shyama! (Her significant part of the song – with close-up – occurs in this video from 3:34 to 3:42.)

    Of course, the conversations about Shyama had started because she had died that day. That was very sad news (she is one of my favorites). But it was a delight to exchange some of her film clips with a few people, and also to be reminded of her adorable debut.

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