Shatabdi Roy of late has turned actor/director with her last couple of films and they have been topical in nature like Abhinetri (Made on the life of an actress), Friend (film made for children, featuring a character made on the lines of E.T) and this particular film is no different. This film is about ‘dhakis’ or traditional drummers. This is the story of Nitai, a drummer. His father and fore-fathers were also drummers and he is carrying forward that tradition. He lives with his wife Panchami (with whom he has grown up from childhood) and daughter Dashami (as she was born on Dashami, so the name). A number of factors effect Nitai and his family like poverty, his daughter’s illness specially since she suffers from a rare illness. He constantly thinks of giving up his dreams of becoming an established drummer as this profession is likely to fetch him very less money, but his wife constantly motivates him. Drummers are their relevance in today’s society and this is proved when the organizers of the annual Durga Puja in the village tell him that due to a low budget, they will not require his services any more and they will fulfill their needs by simply playing a cassette. His daughter falls very sick one day when he is away having gone to the city to play drums during pujas to earn money to pay for his daughter’s operation. He earns money, and comes home a happy man only to discover that his daughter has passed away and even the doctor couldn’t save her as it was too late.
Dhakis are traditional drummers who have a tradition of playing drums for generations and they cannot take up any other profession as they don’t know any other trade. They are usually in demand during the durga pujas every year as the very essence of the pujas would be missing without the ‘dhaak’ playing in the background. Unfortunately they try to make the most of it during those five days. As for the rest of the year they literally do not earn any money or have anything much to do. They are also in demand when big shops/stores are inaugurated, but such occasions are rare. They come from their respective villages before the pujas and after those five days, they go from locality to locality or from house to house for alms. It is indeed a dying profession and nowadays the world of cassettes/Cds have completely taken over and will very soon wipe out any originality like drums which are surviving day to day and the present generations of drummers will have turn to other professions in order to survive as it is just not possible to carry on any longer.
Shatabdi Roy must be congratulated for portraying the plight of the ‘dhakis’ in a beautiful way. She has also acted well as has Tapas Pal. Special mention must be made of Mita Chatterjee as ‘khuri’ (aunt) who has acted brilliantly.