July 15, 2010

The Dhol and the Dhamaal

The dhol is intrinsic to Pakistan. Its beat is native to this country. The strike of the cane causing the soft rhythmic transmission, to translate into the thump of the membrane's resonance. The captivating sensation as the beat picks speed captures every particle of a person's soul and forces everything from the mind until a lull remains; a soulful pleasure which captures the inner essence of a person, the pleasure of which immerses the nature of a person till it becomes one with the self.

So you might imagine then, why I am rambling on about the dhol? Truly it is an exhilarating experience, just sitting (or standing in my case) and listening to the varying beat transition from fast to slow and then back to slow. But I am standing here being mesmerized by its insane beat only to realize I am dancing to its tune without really thinking or caring what a fool i'm making of myself and what a sight I must be presenting for the spectators. Oh well, I suppose they got their money's worth.

The story of dhamaal begins simultaneously with the story of the dhol. The exhilaration that courses through every particle of one's body when the thump of the dhol is raging in one's ears causes the inexplicable act of shuffling the feet and waving the arms in unison to the beat causing a strange energy to course through the crowd, uniting everyone in that moment, in that act. Such is the sensation of the dhamaal. It is wonderful; it is energetic. It is full of life, and full of hope.

The flavor of the dhol and the ensuing dhamaal kindles a flame of plentitude in one. An endless supply of energy that gives the impression anything and everything is possible. I do not know where the dhol originated or who invented it. What I do know is that it is every bit as Pakistani as the decor on a Pakistani truck. The instrument that can change the personalities of people is ours. And it is such things that fill me up with hope, that make me extremely proud of my roots. I am a Pakistani, and a very proud one at that. So tonight, I go to sleep happier than I was of late, knowing that I come from the land of the dhol. It’s brilliant. :)